"The Super-Family of Steel!": Van-Zee was a scientist from Krypton who lived in the Bottle City of Kandor and a relative of Superman. While Van-Zee wore an identical Superman costume and bathed in Hyper-Zeta Rays, Superman coincidenta
Synopsis for "The Super-Family of Steel!"
Van-Zee was a scientist from Krypton who lived in the Bottle City of Kandor and a relative of Superman. While Van-Zee wore an identical Superman costume and bathed in Hyper-Zeta Rays, Superman coincidentally looked into Kandor with his x-ray vision. The combination caused a freak accident that transported Van-Zee outside the Bottle City and restored him to full size. Van-Zee confided in Superman that he had fallen in love with Lois Lane, and asked Superman's permission to court her and take her back to Kandor where she would be safe. With his first duty to safe guard the Earth, and wanting Lois to be happy, the Man of Steel consented to his relative to try and court Lois Lane.
Van-Zee confronted Lois and told her the truth -- he was not Superman but his distant relative, but Lois turned him down, telling Van-Zee that she loved only the real Superman. Lois suggested that since Van-Zee was a near twin of his relative, there must be a woman somewhere that looked like Lois Lane as well. Van-Zee decided to seek this woman out. Sure enough, Van-Zee found her: millionaire heiress Sylvia DeWitt who was being forced into a marriage with Sir Essex of England by her father. Not finding Essex attractive in the least, Sylvia fled home and assumed the alias Jane Brown.
She took a cruise on a ship and met a woman named Laura Barton who was convinced that "Jane Brown" was Lois Lane. Not wishing to be recognized, Sylvia deflected any suspicions until Laura left the ship. When Sylvia accidentally fell overboard, she was rescued by Van-Zee who proposed to her. Sylvia initially thought it was a trick orchestrated by her father, and she demanded that Van-Zee prove that he really was a Kryptonian. He made true by getting her Queen Cleopatra's ring, Helen of Troy's wedding dress, and he searched the Earth to get her flowers from the Garden of Eden. Having accepted the gifts Sylvia agreed to marry Van-Zee and the two flew off to a remote island and were married by a native chief.
The pair took a rocketship into space where Van-Zee showed her the sights and made a monument of their love by hurling meteors at two moons to carve out their images. Van had made a home on the planet Venus, and showed her all the technology he had setup and gave her a hypersonic signal watch to use if there was ever trouble. Trouble ensued when alien invaders arrived and captured Sylvia, but Van-Zee rescued her and decided to make a super-serum to endow her with super powers. Before this happened however, she became pregnant and months later Van-Zee took her to the planet Urth's Hospital Satellite where she gave birth to twins. The twins were endowed with super-powers which proved to be difficult for Sylvia to discipline when they acted up.
Van-Zee used rare element Korium-66-Beta to perfect the super-serum and when Sylvia drunk it she received super-powers so that she was able to look after Lyle and Lili. When Van-Zee went on a mission to Urth, Sylvia mistakingly spied on Earth with her telescopic vision. She saw Superman saving Lana Lang's life, and when Lana thanked Superman with a surprise kiss, Sylvia believed that Lana had kissed her husband Van-Zee, and when Van returned home she lashed out at him, took the children, and left their home to go to Urth.
When Lyle said that he had seen his father Van-Zee destroying satellites around Urth, Sylvia asked a native of Urth where her husband was. He confirmed that Van-Zee never left Urth. Sylvia tracked down her husband, they reconciled, and returned to Earth. The pair met with their doppelgängers Superman and Lois Lane and decided that, to avoid future confusion, Van-Zee and his family would return to the bottle city of Kandor. Reduced in size by Brainiac's Shrinking Ray, the family was parachuted into the city where they resumed their happy marriage.
Lois took Van-Zee's super-formula and drank it to get super-powers, only to find that it didn't work because his serum only worked on Sylvia's blood type.
Appearing in "The Super-Family of Steel!"
- Sylvia DeWitt (also used the alias Jane Brown) (First appearance)
- Lili Van-Zee (First appearance)
- Lyle-Zee (First appearance)
- Van-Zee (First appearance)
- Two Menacing Aliens (Unnamed) (Cameo) (Single appearance)
- Laura Barton (Single appearance)
- Cleopatra (Statue only)
- Helen of Troy (Mentioned only)
- Adam (Mentioned only)
- Eve (Mentioned only)
- Prince Charming (Mentioned only)
- Romeo (Mentioned only)
- Cruise Ship's Officer (Unnamed) (Cameo) (Single appearance)
- Native Islanders (Unnamed) (Cameo) (Single appearance)
- Native Chief (Unnamed) (Cameo) (Single appearance)
- Brainiac (Mentioned only)
- Tom Thumb (Mentioned only)
- Jor-El (face carved on an asteroid)
- Lara Lor-Van (face carves on an asteroid)
- Miss Jingles (Robot Maid) (Destroyed)
- Urthians (Single appearance)
- Two Expectant Fathers (Unnamed) (Cameo) (Single appearance)
- Doctor (Unnamed) (Cameo) (Single appearance)
- Nurse (Unnamed) (Cameo) (Single appearance)
- Man (Unnamed) (Cameo) (Single appearance)
- Man (friend of Van-Zee) (Unnamed) (Cameo) (Single appearance)
- Sylvia's Chauffeur (Unnamed) (Cameo) (Single appearance)
- Mr. DeWitt (Unnamed) (Cameo) (Single appearance)
- Sir Essex (was to wed Sylvia DeWitt) (Unnamed) (Cameo) (Single appearance)
- Asteroid (carved with the faces of Jor-El & Lara)
- Krypton (Mentioned only)
- Planet (Unnamed)
- Uninhabited Planet (Unnamed)
- Two Moons (Van-Zee carved Sylvia & his faces on them) (Unnamed)
- Hospital Satellite
- Maternity Ward
- Van-Zees' Residence
- United States of America
- Niagara Falls (Mentioned only)
- Sahara Desert
- Hidden Pyramid
- Sahara Desert
- Mediterranean Sea (Unnamed)
- Middle East
- Ocean (Unnamed)
- Remote Island (Unnamed)
- England (Mentioned only)
- Sir Essex's Castle (Mentioned only)
- England (Mentioned only)
- North Pole
- Daily Planet Newspaper
- Cleopatra's Wedding Ring
- Silk from Helen of Troy's Wedding Dress
- Wedding Bouquet (made from flowers from the Garden of Eden)
- Superman (Statue only)
- Brainiac's Shrinking Ray
- Venus Canary
- Lois Lane's Signal Watch
- Jimmy Olsen's Signal Watch (Mentioned only)
- Ray Guns
- Translator Helmets
- Illium 349 (Mentioned only)
- Stone Model of Earth (Destroyed)
- Old Satellite (Destroyed)
- Anti-Space Microbe Gas
- Van-Zee's Telescopic Viewer
- Duplicator Loom
- Hyper-Zeta Ray
- Superman Robot
- Zak-Kul's Enlarging Ray
- Cruise Ship (Unnamed)
- Sunken Ship of Ancient Troy (In ruins)
- Spaceship (built by Superman)
- Flying Saucer
- Peg gag strip.
- Varsity Vic gag strip.
- Jerry the Jitterbug gag strip.
- The Super-Family of Steel!
- Part I: Super-Husband and Wife!
- Part II: The Bride gets Super-Powers!
- Part III: The Secret of the Super-Family
- This story is presented in such a way as to lead the reader to think that it is really Lois Lane and Superman that are the central focus of the story, it is not until the end that the writers reveal that it is really Van-Zee and Sylvia DeWitt.
- This issue is reprinted in Superman #207.
- Van-Zee, Sylvia DeWitt, Lili Van-Zee and Lyle-Zee appear next in Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #21.
- Zak-Kul's enlarging ray last appeared in Action Comics #245.
- On the cover, Part 3 of the tale is titled Super-Babes of the Super-Parents. On the splash page for Part III, however, the title is instead The Secret of the Super-Family.
- Sylvia's Signal Watch emits a hypersonic signal.
- Jimmy's Signal Watch emits a ultrasonic signal.
- Sylvia DeWitt has blood type A.
- Lois Lane has blood type O.
- In the Letters to Lois from Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #18 concerning the story The Super-Family of Steel! A reader pointed out that contrary to what was stated on Part III page 7 panel 6 that "nor did Sylvia call him "Superman"." In fact Sylvia did call him Superman on Part I page 4 panel 2. The editor's response was, "Right! And so did our writer, letterer, artist, proofreader, color artist and production staff. We all plead guilty."
- Cover gallery for the Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane series
- Images from Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane Vol 1 15
- Superman Family Recommended Reading
- Action Comics (Volume 1)
- Adventure Comics (Volume 1)
- DC Comics Presents (Volume 1)
- Superboy (Volume 1)
- Superboy (Volume 2)
- Supergirl (Volume 1)
- Supergirl (Volume 2)
- Superman (Volume 1)
- Superman Family (Volume 1)
- Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane (Volume 1)
- Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen (Volume 1)
- World's Finest (Volume 1)