"If a woman sleeps alone it puts a shame on all men. God has a very big heart , but there is one sin He will not forgive: if a woman calls a man to her bed and he will not go ."
Action Comics #761 is a romantic mini-epic from writer Joe Kelly's run on the book, during that brief period in 2000 where it looked like DC was going to start putting out good Superman books on a monthly basis. Alas, it was not meant to be, although there were a few nuggets of superhero goodness during this period - mostly Joe Kelly's stories, now that I think about it.
In this book, Kelly thinks up a kind of sweet way of exploring the depths of Superman's love for Lois Lane while still meeting the need for superheroic violence. Superman and Wonder Woman get magically teleported to Asgard, where they're both recruited by the DC version of Thor to fight in a Ragnarok-style apocalyptic battle against hordes of demons and whatnot. While Superman and Wonder Woman are off planet, Lois stews a little, jealous of the bond Superman and Wonder Woman have together. I can't blame her, it'd be tough if your husband's "work wife" was Wonder Woman.
Here's Lois, stewing:
Although very little time is passing on Earth, Superman and Wonder Woman battle in Asgard for a thousand years. I don't know if Joe Kelly really means for us to believe a thousand years have passed, or if he's being fanciful. Anyway, a really long time passes for our two heroes, who battle with the Asgardians day in and day out. There's a great sort of montage in the middle of the book that depicts the passage of time really well, and there's a clever series of panels that depicts Superman and Wonder Woman sleeping in the Asgardian camp around a campfire. They start on opposite sides of the fire, but as time passes, in each panel they move closer together until Superman and Wonder Woman are sleeping in each other's arms next to the campfire. He's torn between his devotion to his wife and his powerful bond with Wonder Woman. Superman can no longer remember Lois' middle name, and "Diana smelled like orchids and fire..."
Finally, their epic campaign reaches an end, and on the night before the final battle, a battle weary Clark and Diana meet in his tent:
Superman, dude! Wonder Woman is coming on to you! What are you going to do? Are you going to stay loyal to the chance - the hope - that you and Lois will be reunited, or are you going to give in to the passion, the intimacy of the moment?
He says no. To Wonder Woman.
Superman, you must be out yo mind.
It's the tent scene that snaps my already stretched suspension of disbelief. I mean, I can believe that Superman can fly, or that he has heat vision. I can even believe that he has super-ventriloquism and can turn back time by flying around the Earth really fast. What I cannot believe is that under these circumstances Superman would not have sex with Wonder Woman. It's just not physically possible. And let me tell you, if it were me, it wouldn't have taken a thousand years to get to that point, either. I'd last maybe six months and then I'd be all, "Hey. Wonder Woman. How you doin'?" His millenium-long chastity doesn't make me think he's a noble hero, it makes me wonder if he's not mentally ill.
The whole scenario is so implausible that it mentally pains me, and therefore receives my new "The Pain!" banner which I shall award to things I think are painfully stupid.
Okay, I'm settling down a little. I confess that despite my histrionics I actually like this issue quite a bit and I think Kelly deserves points for his unabashed sentimentalism and the fact that he wrapped the story up in one issue. And of course, I understandwhy one wouldn't want Superman and Wonder Woman making sweet Asgardian love, but I think they should have, it would have been more interesting. So despite my mockery of Superman's lame decision making, I think it's a swell comic.