Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Lucy Lane On Supergirl Show - Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #57

There has been a slew of news, interviews, merchandise, and videos about the upcoming Supergirl television show. It is sometimes hard for me to figure out what to post and not post about the show because there is so much news so fast. I will be trying to figure out a mix of posts relating show news to comics and others that just discuss the upcoming series.

One news item that grabbed my attention was the reveal that Lucy Lane will be on the show! Here is a link: I can't help but love that because there is so much Lucy/Supergirl stuff in the comics!

Now immediately the internet started to wonder if that meant that Lucy would become Superwoman on the show as a villain. But I doubt we'll see that ... at least in season 1. Now matter how great 'Lucy as Superwoman' was in Supergirl, Lucy has a much longer history as being Jimmy's significant other (or at least someone he wanted to date and love but who often spurned him). Given that the show is going to play up Kara's crush on Jimmy I have to think that Lucy will be an ex-girlfriend of some sort, someone  to punch up the romantic part of the show.

The truth is that there has always been some ground swell of support that Jimmy and Kara should get together. Assuming that they are close enough in age for it not to be icky, creators every so often hint at it. And in the Silver Age it seemed to have something of a 2 year life cycle where every couple of years someone would write a story where the two interact. And Lucy always plays a role in these stories, sometimes as the past love regretting her dismissive attitude, sometimes as the girlfriend fighting for her man.

But the Jimmy/Kara potential romance is brought to one logical conclusion in Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #57. Writer Jerry Siegel and artists Curt Swan and George Klein have the two tie the not in the imaginary tale 'Jimmy Olsen Marries Supergirl'. The text states that thousands of people have written asking for a story where the two marry which means this faction of Olsen/Danvers shippers has been present since 1961!

The opening panel sets the stage nicely with Jimmy marrying Linda. Sparking in her white gown, Linda looks stunning. And there, in the background is Lucy, looking on at the one who got away.  I love that Superman is the best man, a nice showing of his relationship with Jimmy. And, at least up front, we learn that some Red K is in the mix.

The story opens with Jimmy heading to Midvale orphanage to show off some of his Superman mementos. Serendipitously, Linda, already adopted by the Danvers, is there to also visit and help out.

One of Jimmy's Superman trophies is a chunk of Red Kryptonite. And when exposed to the Red K, Linda loses all memories of being Supergirl and all of her powers as well. Right now she is completely human. There is some immediate chemistry between the two and so Jimmy asks Linda if she'd like to accompany him to Metropolis on a date.

There is something just absolutely beautiful about that first panel of Linda. I love it.

Of course, at the amusement park's dance hall, Jimmy spies Lucy dancing with a 'handsome pilot'. He also looks to be old enough to be her grandfather! But he doesn't care because Linda, 'a living doll', is in his arm.

Again, the history of Lucy never really appreciating or being invested in her relationship with Jimmy plays into the story.

These were 'one and done' stories and brief. Things need to happen fast. So after a wonderful evening and a kiss in the tunnel of love, Jimmy pops the question. And Linda accepts!

Talk about whirlwind romances! But, I suppose, when you know you know.

There doesn't appear to be a long courtship, tedious preparations, or any time delay. One page later they are married.

Superman is present and before the ceremony asks Linda about her Supergirl career but she doesn't understand what he is talking about. He quickly deduces that she was exposed to Red K. But rather than put an end to this or tell her the truth about herself or anything, he let's the wedding happen!

And the Danvers? No where to be seen. Don't you think they might ask her things too?

Ahh ... but there is Lucy in the front pew. She is feeling pretty sorry about letting Jimmy slip away.

Now back then the '48hour' rule for Red Kryptonite wasn't around. So sometime goes by before Linda suddenly remembers everything about her life and regains her powers.

She is 100% happy being married to Jimmy. But what can she do?

Unfortunately, she doesn't seem to think too highly of Jimmy's capability of dealing with her secret. Jimmy has been Elastic Lad. He has been Flamebird. He is friends with Superman. I think he might handle being married to a Supergirl.

But unfortunately she decides to keep her secret hidden from Jimmy, even if she secretly uses them now and then, like here when she makes it seem like Jimmy is able to shout instructions to a plane.

I have to say, Siegel might have an axe to grind with Lucy. He has Jimmy run into her one more time. Again, she seems forlorn and he seems to gloat just a bit too much about having found Linda.

Now some of the thinking in this story is a little wonky. But Linda's idea here is the nuttiest.

She decides to reveal her existence to Supergirl to him. Then, as Supergirl, she will make him fall in love with her. Then when he is in love with both Linda and Supergirl, she'll reveal she is one and the same.

But what a terrible trick to put on Jimmy. The best way to show that he loves her is to tempt him with infidelity??

Jimmy needs to get rescued from an amusement park ride gone wrong and Supergirl is there to save the day.

She quickly recaps her history (told in a neat 1-page retelling) and tells him that she is still Superman's secret weapon. He can't tell anyone about her.  Then she really slathers the compliments and flirty quips. Even he can tell that she loves him. But he keeps it all bottled up.

Linda can't help but admire that Jimmy can keep that big a secret, not even leaking it to his wife.

The super-temptations become bigger and more difficult to shake off for Jimmy. Supergirl takes him to an alien planet for lunch. They have adventures. He would 'marry her in a second' but he already has a wife.

And it isn't as if he has fallen out of love with Linda. He still loves her.

As for Linda, well ... as Linda ... Linda keeps mum.

This is just too weird.

To make matters worse, Jimmy somehow falls down a hole into a subterranean kingdom where he fulfills a prophecy of a surface dweller who will save their culture. Immediately their raven-haired princess asks him to be her king.

Supergirl is quick to label her a 'hussy' for trying to steal her husband and whisks him away.

After the rescue, Jimmy actually takes a stand and ends it with Supergirl. We see him thinking about how he is only breaking up with her because he is already married. But he tells Supergirl that he doesn't love her, thinking that is less painful than saying that he would marry her if not already betrothed.

But remember, Linda wanted Jimmy to fall in love with her. When he says he doesn't love Supergirl she is crestfallen.

Like I said, this story moves quickly with lots of twists. Insanity.

So I was pretty impressed with Jimmy for finally ending it with Supergirl.

But I was really impressed with his honesty when he tells Linda about Supergirl and how he felt around her. He kicks himself, calling himself a skunk for feeling that way. But with that reveal, Linda knows he can deal with her dual identity. She reveals she's Supergirl.

He still faints!!! Supergirl is glad her long convoluted, somewhat manipulative games gradually revealed the news because otherwise that faint might have been a shock!

The story ends with the couple in a hug, presumably to live happily ever after. That's right! This is the rare imaginary tale that has a happy ending! Interestingly, Siegel brings up Lucy one more time. She is still out there.

I love this story. I don't always ship Jimmy and Kara but they sure do make a swell couple here. And while the plot twists are almost absurd, it is a Silver Age imaginary tale! Of course it is going to be absurd.

 While this is forgotten story in Supergirl's history, I find any interaction with the bigger Superman supporting cast important. I would rank this as medium importance to a Supergirl collection, riffing the possible Jimmy/Kara romance and also being a Silver Age Imaginary tale. My copy is a completely tattered book, the cover barely holding on, and it cost me $10. So just be ready to pay.

Overall grade: A

Looking for more Jimmy/Lucy/Linda action? Go back to this review of  Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #75 and see Linda try to save Jimmy's life by getting him fired from the Planet. Part of that plan is getting Lucy angry at him. More Silver Age Red Kryptonite zaniness are in this story too!


Nobile said...

I remember this story. I read the italian version looong ago, in an old comic that probably belonged to my parents, and I was not aware of the second part. So I checked the web and just discovered it was heavily manipulated!
Only the first part was printed and edited to be self-contained: I can't remember how it ended, exactly, but it was not presented as imaginary, so they probably splitted in the end.

By the way, Swan and Klein drew a sexier Linda than Supergirl.

Nobile said...

As my misty memories clear a bit, I am almost positive the story ended on the two panels showing Kara telling Jimmy how she would like him as a husband and then flying away. The dialogue was probably changed in something like "I married you under red K influence so the wedding is void, see you around".

The story was printed when Supergirl existence had been already revealed, so the secret weapon part was omitted, as well.

Anonymous said...

Italy had extensive reprint rights to the Superman feature as well as authorization to generate their own Superman comics under DC license. Per "Alter Ego" magazine this means there are ORIGINAL silver age Superman stories (some featuring Supergirl) that have yet to be published in English!
So I don't doubt that the original story have been revised by the Italian editors.
Incidentally, Tony Isabella was at one point slated to be Supergirl's prime writer in the "Superman Family" dollar his plan for the character involved Kara getting into a hot and heavy relationship with Jimmy Olsen! In fact it was Isabella's plan to have Supergirl tip Jimmy to her secret ID it was gonna be big and then sadly Isabella left DC before anything could be done....the Road Not Taken...


Anonymous said...

Wonky indeed. With news that Lucy will be coming to the Supergirl TV series, I've heard more than one rumbling
in various places the series is going to fall into love-triangle inanity. I don't know myself, and I'm trying
to give the show the benefit of the doubt... Personally, I'd prefer they keep away from any romance subplots
for at least a season, just to give her a grounding in the superheroics, and us the audience a better sense of
the characters.

My humble 0.02c


Nobile said...

The Kara/Jimmy relationship has always been around, of course, it was also specifically addressed in the movie, probably inspiring the series.
I think it echoed the Robin/Batgirl thing that got hot in a couple of instances but always ended up friendzoned (but yes, Dick had shots with half of the female DC universe, he's an anti-Jimmy!)

Nobile said...


Yes, Mondadori owned the rights to the whole National/DC stuff for a couple of decades along with Disney's. They were and still are one of the biggest publishing companies in Italy, so they had what we may consider an "infinite budget" for comic books production, compared to today's comics standards.
Disney comics have always had a huge success in Italy and the demand quickly exceeded the limited US material, so since they could easily afford a big artists and writers staff, they started to print self-produced material. They applied, on a smaller scale, the same concept to the DC stuff, which was less successful but had solid figures nevertheless, but whilst Disney was 70%IT - 30%US and growing, DC was just 10-15% produced in Italy at most.
Problem was, they envisioned comics as strictly kids stuff, and their artists started to edit and redact stories and art to tone them down at Mickey and Goofy level. Or they just edited stories so they could fit the book pages, as in this case.
When 70s approached and it was clear that superhero comics would hardly appeal the average Disney reader, they decided to drop the rights. Yes, censorship and revisionism ended, but DC heroes never managed to be popular again in Italy as they were in the silver age and their publishing history has been sparse ever since.

Anyway, some of the self-produced Italian stories are claimed to be good (never read one, unfortunately!) but pretty hard to find. I also doubt that the original were kept at all.

Anj said...

Thanks for comments and interesting stories about foreign editions of this issue!

Anonymous said...

BTW I maintain to this day that Curt Swan (though he was never her prime penciler) drew the prettiest Kara Zor El of all the silver Bronze Age, she looked perfectly proportioned, realistic and dollsome with any recourse to exaggerated features...

I'd love those unique Italian Superman stories to see print in english, if the Superman Silver Age dailies can see the light of day, anything can happen...



prowl72 said...

For those interested in reading this story, it's also reprinted in "DC's Greatest Imaginary Stories" TPB. I don't know if it's in print anymore, but it may be a less expensive alternative than buying the actual issue.