“Let me give you a hypothetical case, Miss Lane. You, it is well known, have a sort of personal relationship with Superman. I take it he has actually saved your life more times than you can count.”
“I’m perfectly capable of counting that high, it’s just that I wasn’t keeping score.” It was a lame crack but it helped Lois avoid blushing.
“Say you were somewhere really out of the way, Miss Lane. In Zaire. In the abandoned shaft of a diamond mine. The mine caved in. You had about an hour’s supply of air. Absolutely no one knew where you were, and even if they did there would be no chance of getting you out in time. What goes through your mind?”
“I wish Superman would stop stalling. I’ve got a deadline to meet.”
“Exactly. You don’t make your peace with God or your conscience. You don’t cry. You don’t go mad. You wait impatiently for Superman to save you. That possibility now exists. No one needs despair any more. Superman plays adopted father to the world, ready to bail anyone out of trouble the way his father Jor-El bailed him out of a dying planet. The only evidence of significant social growth over the past ten years, I have found, has been among those outside law-abiding society.”
– from Superman: Last Son of Krypton, 1978.