Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Back Issue Box: Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #44



I know it is going to be a busy week of reviews (Wednesday Comics, Superman Secret Files, Adventure Comics, and R.E.B.E.L.S.) but I can't help but dip into the back issue box for a recent find.

The local comic book store just purchased a Silver Age collection and was having a 25% off sale. So how could I not plop down a few bucks to buy Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #44 even if it is in pretty rough condition.


This issue was one of the many easter eggs mentioned in Supergirl:Cosmic Adventures in the Eighth Grade. Here Supergirl tells her mother about the werewolf she met. So I thought I would get the source material.


The story titled 'The Wolf-Man of Metropolis' was written by Otto Binder and drawn by Curt Swan.

It starts out with Jimmy getting snuggly with Lucy Lane. But when he wants another kiss from Lois' sister, she calls him a wolf (although saying that more smooches might happen on their date the following night).


How ironic that she calls him a wolf.

The next morning Superman flies into the Daily Planet and drops off a box of potions that he has discovered that were supposedly created by Merlin. The Man of Steel thinks the potions might make a good story.

Jimmy thinks magic is a bunch of nonsense and to prove it downs a potion with his lunch. The potion states that it will make a man into a wolfman under the light of the moon. The only cure ... a kiss from a willing beautiful maiden.

Now I don't care if he doesn't believe in magic. Downing an ancient liquid of any sort is probably not the wisest thing to do ... if only from the infectious viewpoint.


Unfortunately, the potion turns out to be truly magical. That night, Jimmy becomes a wolfman.

Luckily, he happens to be going to a costume party that night. And with Lucy as Little Red Riding Hood, his 'costume' is perfect.

At the end of the party, Jimmy thinks his problems will be solved by a kiss from Lucy. But she snubs him saying his 'make-up' is too hideous. He pretends that his 'mask' is stuck on his face and drops Lucy off at home.

Throughout the issue, Jimmy turns into a wolfman but stumbles into situations where his condition is accepted. The next night he walks into a casting call for a monster movie. The director wants to hire him but Jimmy (as a way not to be hired and his true condition discovered) asks for too much salary. Jimmy also ends up at a kid's birthday party where the kids laugh at him as part of a 'boy who cried wolf' theme.


Realizing that he needs to think outside to box to obtain the cure, Jimmy starts trolling the park at night, looking for women, and offering them cold hard cash in exchange for a kiss.

Jimmy is lucky he wasn't picked up by the police for either harassment or as part of a prostitution crackdown.

Finally, Jimmy gives up looking for a cure on his own and contacts Superman in hopes Superman will help his pal find a cure.


Superman tells Jimmy to head back to his apartment and wait there.

With the lights dimmed, a girl walks into Jimmy's arms and gives him a kiss. Jimmy enjoys his ... ahem ... 'antidote'.


'Miss X' is revealed to be none other than Supergirl. Superman asked her to help him out by kissing his buddy.

I don't know ... I know I am reading this 1960 story with a 2009 sensibility. But it just reads a little creepy that Superman would 'pimp out' his 15 year old cousin even if it was only for a kiss. (Thank goodness there is no description of how passionate the kiss was.) Wouldn't it have been easier for Jimmy to tell Lucy the truth and get a kiss from his girlfriend?

This was a relatively early appearance for Supergirl so she was still in 'secret weapon mode' thus the dimmed lights and secrecy.
Back to normal, Jimmy enjoys another night with Lucy.

Alas, despite the availability of Lucy's lips, Jimmy's mind is thinking of the kiss from 'Miss X'. Kara must be a good (if underaged) kisser. I feel slimy.

This issue certainly captures the silliness of the Silver Age. It also shows its age a bit. There were some cringe worthy moments in the story. And given the brief appearance of Supergirl, I don't think it is an important enough issue for Kara fans to hunt for.

9 comments:

Nikki said...

hmmm ...Teen Wolf in Metropolis.
I'm not really a fan of Jimmy, I think he's a bit pathetic.

Alan49 said...

I'm sorry but neither Superman or Supergirl or Jimmy did anything wrong when supergirl and Jimmy Kissed. It was just a kiss and there's no such thing as underage kissing. Also do you really want to write Supergirl out of the story?

Anj said...

I'm sorry but neither Superman or Supergirl or Jimmy did anything wrong when supergirl and Jimmy Kissed. It was just a kiss and there's no such thing as underage kissing. Also do you really want to write Supergirl out of the story?

Thanks for the comment.

Perhaps I overstated things.

Superman does make a point of saying Supergirl volunteered to kiss Jimmy. And it is just a kiss.

It just seemed like there might be an easier solution. I put Jimmy around 21 years old and Kara at 15. When the supergirls at home are 15, I don't know if I want them kissing 21 yr olds.

I am probably just overthinking a silly innocent Silver Age peck on the cheek.

Gene said...

Jimmy didn't want to tell Lucy the truth because it would prove to her how much of a doofus he was for drinking a bottle that was clearly labeled as a wolfman potion. I'm surprised that he didn't contract dysentery also.

I know the Silver Age was full of innocence, but wow, this particular story is one for the books.

TalOs said...

Heh, I recon, LOL! :P

Landry Walker said...

I think you just got to the heart of the Lucy Lane/Kara feud.

Anj said...

I think you just got to the heart of the Lucy Lane/Kara feud.

LOL

I didn't even think of that.

She donned the Superwoman cowl out of jealousy for Jimmy.

Scott said...

Thanks for this (and all of the other back issue reviews).

I had just discovered this issue as being part of the Silver Age Jimmy/Kara relationship story, but didn't really know what the extent of Kara's involvement was.

Thanks for the excellent review!

Anj said...

Thanks for this (and all of the other back issue reviews).

I had just discovered this issue as being part of the Silver Age Jimmy/Kara relationship story, but didn't really know what the extent of Kara's involvement was.

Thanks for the excellent review!


Thanks for the post.

I try to mix current and past Supergirl stuff here. There is some interesting Jimmy/Kara history out there. Maybe to be mined later.