Everything I need to know about girls I learned with the Silver Age Superman

Superman’s Silver Age period debuted with the “Super-Key to Fort Superman" story from the June, 1958 issue of Action Comics (#241) and lasted until editor Julius Schwartz took the reigns of the character’s editorship in the June, 1971 issue of Superman (#233).
Mort Weisinger had been the character’s previous editor, from the mid-40s all the way to 1970. He was the main driving force for establishing the mostly-recognized aspects of the Man of Steel such as the artic fortress, Supergirl, Krypton, the imaginary stories, Bizarro, etc etc etc. Weisinger, of course, had a cadre of probably the best comics writers at his disposal, among them Ed Hamilton, Otto Binder, Superman’s creator Jerry Siegel himself and many others (among the artists, Wayne Boring, Kurt Schaffenberger and Curt Swan soared to new heights). Weisinger’s style has been described as very controlling, knee-deep involved in what his team was doing and that is probably the reason for the Superman books of his day sporting the best, most concise continuity ever seen in comics.

Weisinger’s plots usually featured one recurring element: The many loves of Superman, which, if you think about it, make for a very interesting analysis of the feminine mind through the establishing of Jungian-like Archetypes… and I’m only half-kidding here… What I mean is, one can easily pick the main girlfriends Superman’s had, especially their portrayal during Weisinger’s tenure to actually, well, understand girls.

Here are the Archetypes, at least according to my personal vision and experience with the fair sex:

Lois Lane debuted alongside Superman in Action Comics #1, in June, 1938 and has been the character’s main romantic interest ever since. I don’t like Lois, though. In fact, I think the only person who ever made me care for her was artist Kurt Schaffenberger, the #1 good-girl artist in all of comicdom history.
Lois, see, is pretty much obsessed with the big guy: She’s got this relentless drive that says must-get-Superman, period. It’s like she doesn’t love the man, only hates the idea of not having him. I’m perfectly aware I see Lois in a totally biased manner but let’s be honest here: The post-Crisis Lois Lane sucks, right? Because she has no personality whatsoever! And ever since the mid-‘90s when she finally married the Man of Steel she’s been below zero in the characterization department. I’m still to see an interesting Lois after the marriage. The character’s lost her raison d’etre, lost her meaning, lost herself once she finally got the object of her affection.
For Lois (that b*tch!) it’s not really about loving, but indeed about possessing, about controlling… otherwise why all the mad plots and crazy schemes to expose Superman’s secret identity, to trick him into marriage, and the works?
The way I see it, Superman should sort of resent all the time and effort he put in his relationship with Lois, because in the end it wouldn’t really amount to anything special.
I know I would, and maybe I do. I don’t know.

Lana Lang also heralded from before the Silver Age and was, first and foremost, Superboy’s answer to Lois Lane, ergo, she was introduced in Superboy #10 (Sep.50) to play Clark Kent’s lead romantic interest when he was a boy, in a sort of retroactive-continuity way. Like Lois, Lana’s infatuation makes her do all sorts of cretin plans to expose the Boy of Steel’s alter-ego, that kind of stuff… But unlike Lois, Lana’s just a girl, see, she’s the girl next door, she’s the girl that made Clark like girls in the first place.
That said, I will wholeheartedly disagree with anyone that claims Lana as Superman’s true love… but I will, however, stand by Lana’s side as worthy of Clark’s love: Lana definitely has a place in Clark’s heart.
I vouch for her; she’s special in that in-hindsight sort of way. She was there first, after all, she was his first love.

Lori Lemaris was Superman’s Mermaid Sweetheart right from her first appearance in Superman #129 in May '59 and serves to describe the whole rest of the girls in anybody’s life not fitting within the Lois or Lana.
The story went like this: Clark Kent fell in love with a girl. She was perfect. She seemed like heaven… but to make a long story short, he then discovered she was not a regular girl, she was a mermaid who then went to live with her own people and fell in love with some guy like her.
Even though I’m really fond of Lori (though not up to Lyla’s extent), she is like most of the girls I’ve been attracted to in my life: They all seem wonderful, incredible, smart, etc… up until the point they have fish tails, and are revealed not to be what they seemed at first.
The Archetype of Lori Lemaris would thus befit all the girls one’s been disappointed with- and sadly they are legion.

Lyla Lerrol, on the other hand, is a whole different ballgame: Now this gal is Superman’s true love as odd as it might sound, because probably 99% of the audience would frown at the sound of her name and ask, who is this girl anyway?
Lyla Lerrol had but one appearance during the Silver Age, back in Superman #141 (Nov.60): Superman, while chasing a weird alien being, traveled faster than light and through time, and ended up in orbit around Krypton’s red sun shortly before the planet exploded. Superman loses his powers under a red sun, obviously, and was therefore unable to return to the present. In Krypton’s past he befriended Jor-El, his own father (but never let he know he was his time-displaced son), and got to know this actress called Lyla Lerrol. They fell in love for each other and lived a perfect life for a few weeks… up until the point when he was thrown back to the present in a strange accident, leaving Lyla back in Krypton’s past.
Now Lyla was a perfect match for Superman in every sense: She was smart, had both her feet firmly on the ground as opposed to the madcap Lois and Lana, she was a sweet, intelligent girl and also damn cute. She was, also, Kryptonian like Superman. So why didn’t things work out for Superman and Lyla Lerrol? That’s pretty much the billion-dollar question and all in all it can only be answered to Fate’s “sorry sport, it just wasn’t meant to be”. Lyla belongs to a different world, all senses implied.
Lyla did make a cameo back in a story published in December, 1985 (Superman Annual #11), Alan Moore’s classic For the Man Who Has Everything, which is Superman’s greatest story ever told, in which Superman falls victim to an alien parasite which locks him inside his own mind, living out the perfect fantasy while his body perishes… and it’s with Lyla he’s living in his fantasy world. Not Lana. Certainly not with Lois.
The point is, after Lyla, how the hell can Superman even think of another girl?! Lois, Lana and the likes of them just pale before the memory of her…
Lyla Lerrol is the archetype for “the one that got away”, with the added bonus, “because Superman was too damn dumb”.