Wednesday, February 12, 2014


For the week leading up to Valentine's Day, Your Humble Editor will be presenting a selection of Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen's romantic gal pals. Today, we meet ...

The complicated Kryptonian key party of lies begins!

Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen No.57 (December 1961) – Jimmy Olsen Marries Supergirl
This book-length adventure falls thankfully into that Silver Age category of the Imaginary Story, which is lucky for Jimmy’s lifelong efforts to stay off the sex offender registry.

Writing a story on the Midvale Orphanage – where Superman’s teenage cousin Supergirl resides when slumming with mortals – Jimmy inadvertently exposes a plainclothes Supergirl to a chunk of red kryptonite which turns out to behave like some sort of super-roofie. You’re probably aware, if you’ve made it this far through a catalog of Jimmy Olsen anecdotes, that red kryptonite has unpredictable effects on super-powered Kryptonians, only once per exposure, for a period of twenty-four to forty-eight hours. Remember that time frame, it’ll become important. Or, well, as important as anything ever gets in these stories.

The Red K has the effect of removing Supergirl’s memory AND super-powers. In a whirlwind – because it has to be – Jimmy takes her on their first date, proposes, introduces her to all his friends in Metropolis, gets married, takes a honeymoon trip, comes back home, struggles with their personal finances, quits the Daily Planet and goes job hunting, plus he bought a house somewhere in there, and then Supergirl’s memory returns. On the outside, that was 48 hours.

Since unnecessary duplicity runs in the family, Supergirl – whom Jimmy still only knows as his wife Linda  - decides to break the news of her dual identity to him gradually, after making him fall in love with her super-identity. Again, did everyone in Metropolis have dysfunctional families? How is tricking your husband into having an affair meant to resolve anything? This isn’t a Superman comic, it’s the Red Shoe Diaries. Maybe it’s a Kate Bush song. I don’t even, you guys. Jimmy’s gonna have a nervous breakdown.

♫  Every now and then I fall apart ♫ 

Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen No.59 (March 1962) – Jimmy Olsen, FREAK
I’m glad someone finally noticed.

Beautiful space brunette Princess Ilona of the Sunev galaxy (you know the one, right? By the Arco station?) drops outta nowhere in the middle of Jimmy’s pointless daydreaming about Lucy Lane, the only thing nature abhors more than a vacuum. Although Ilona comes from a race which wears the Michelin Man’s skin as clothing, they otherwise have terrific taste, and she admits she’s come across the galaxies to find Jimmy Olsen, her idol, and marry him.

That is straight-up a solid put-down.
Jimmy knows a good thing when he sees it, which is why he has a closet full of green checked jackets and red bow ties, so he signs on with Ilona’s offer right away. Man, that’s dangerous, Jimmy, you don’t really know anything about this girl – what if she’s a white supremacist? Maybe her people consume their mates. Hey, what if she has a tattoo of Mickey Rourke’s face on the inside of her thigh? You gotta get to know a girl, Jimmy…

For instance, Jimmy did not know that he was to be Ilona’s fifth husband in her man-harem (Hold on, there’s got to be a lame man-centric pun about that. A he-rem? That can’t be right), and likewise didn't know that the other four husbands were jerks with reality altering belts that turn Jimmy into something that looks like a cross between a volleyball, Rupert Grint and an airplane’s inflatable emergency slide. Wait, I can do better – it turns him into Andy Richter. No, wait, that was cruel – how about Louis Anderson?

Anyway, they use ray beams to turn him into a fat, weird, shaggy weirdo and then worse yet we learn that their names are Vangar, Duran, Rogor and Berek, which for some reason I find more offensive. Still, Jimmy finds polygamy a turnoff and so arranges for Superman to help him drive his devoted, sexy, wealthy, fawning fiancĂ©e off into space so he can go back to being Lucy Lane’s punching bag, because he hates joy.

Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen No.64 (October 1962) – Jimmy Olsen’s Super-Romance!
No, Jimmy and Superman don’t just break down and confess their undying love for one another, it’s another space-lady with an eye for the redhead cub reporter who occupies the romance of the title.

Allura, Princess of the Ashtar Galaxy, contacts Jimmy Olsen through the magic of those TVs people used to have in the Sixties that were bigger than refrigerators. A long-time admirer of Jimmy’s, she sends him a “Menor Band” which increases Jimmy’s intelligence a thousandfold. “I get a real kick out of being a mental giant” says Jimmy Olsen, the man who routinely wanders in front of ray beams and drinks chemical formulas like soda pop.

You can make it work, mini-Jimmy.
The mentor band is a bit of fluff that fills the chewy nougat center of this story, killing time until Allura can begin to entice her intergalactic inamorata to join her forever on her alien kingdom. Yep, the beautiful and devoted queen of an alien planet isn’t enough for Jimmy Olsen, she has to sweeten the pot with SUPER-POWERS, fresh piping hot super-powers granted to any Earthman who visits her planet’s double suns.

When Jimmy does get there, he discovers that Allura’s people are giant-sized, and so being so terribly mismatched Jimmy chooses to leave her behind, knowing there is no way they could ever truly be together as long as he was small, and that nothing would ever allow him to be a giant, and probably six times over the next three months he’ll wander in front of a ray or drink a chemical that turns him into a giant. THINK AHEAD OLSEN.

Most unsettling part of this story is that the infants of Allura’s world have the proportions of full-grown adults but are only as tall as human Earthlings. Jimmy describes this as “They were as large as I am, what a weird development” and mostly I was thinking how bizarre it was that there was a planet where babies had tits or muscular abs and stuff. Truly disquieting.

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