Sunday, January 26, 2014

Weird Science Retro Review: Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #53 Review

Written by: Jerry Siegel
Art by: Curt Swan
Cover Price: $0.10
Release Date: June 1961

Superman's Pal, Indeed

This issue contains three stories: The Boy in the Bottle, The Giant Turtle Man and The Black Magician that I will review separately.

The Boy in the Bottle

Explain it:

Superman wants to restore the bottled city of Kandor and needs Jimmy to switch places with Kandorian Scientist, Van Zee.  However, the "Exchange Ray" breaks and Jimmy is stuck in miniature form.  Using the "Earth Monitor", Jimmy watches as his girlfriend, Lucy Lane, kisses everyone in town.  Meanwhile, Jimmy can't keep a job for more than a day, tries to date anyone who looks a bit like Lucy and then has his memory wiped to forget her.  When Superman rescues him he still doesn't remember Lucy which makes her want him more than ever.  When Superman restores Jimmy's memory and he wants to make up with Lucy, she loses interest in him.

Bits and Pieces:

Well, we learned alot from this issue.  Jimmy has ADD and can't keep a job for more than a day.  He isn't in love with Lucy Lane, but anyone who looks like her.  He has a type and he's sticking with it.  Lucy, on the other hand, is pretty much a tramp.  Superman isn't nice and really likes torturing Jimmy.  Kandorian stewardesses are allowed to keep their job, even after getting married...scandalous! Van Zee is not a good scientist, but is a horrible husband and father.

This story was pretty much a riot in ways that it was not intended to be.  Poor Jimmy can't catch a break and I think you should listen to Naked Eyes, "Always Something There to Remind Me" while reading it.


Weird Science: Exchange Ray, Memory Pillow, Kryptonian Youth Pool, Earth Monitor, 3-D Image Enlarger, 4 Sense "Really Movies", Memory Erasing Machine and Memory Regaining Potion

The Giant Turtle Man

Explain It:

Clark, Jimmy and Lois are on a Vacation Cruise to the West Indies.  Clark is a dud, Jimmy likes shiny things and Lois loves spending money. While beach combing, Jimmy finds an enlarging ray gun and uses it on a snail and a sea sponge.  Meanwhile, Superman is on a vital mission and is accidentally summoned back to Earth by Jimmy.  Superman warns him of the perils of the ray, but Jimmy still manages to use it to turn himself into a giant turtle.  He then goes on a rampage, collecting bridges, submarines and cables to put in a volcano. Superman discovers Jimmy is not only large, but is being mind controlled by Goxo, an Atlantian criminal, who set this all up to hide a Spanish treasure.  Superman shrinks Jimmy back to normal and fixes the damage Goxo caused.

Bits and Pieces:

Ok, the thing that strikes me the most is Jimmy finds an enlarging ray gun, uses it on a sponge and then wants to make a news story about the giant sponge.  Really?  He made the sponge huge.  Isn't the real story the gun he found in a case on the beach?  Then, Superman warns Jimmy about the ray gun, but doesn't take it from him.  He just tells Jimmy to be careful.  It's Jimmy, Superman!  Jimmy!  Then the twist did we not see it was Goxo from the start?  Because it make no sense whatsoever!  Or does it??


Weird Science: Enlarging Ray Gun, Super Sonic Signal Watch, Brainiac's Shrink Ray

The Black Magician

Explain It:

Jimmy heads to the Daily Planet's King Arthur Masquerade Ball.  Unfortunately, Mxyzptlk is there and has eyes on Jimmy's gal Lucy Lane.  He sends Jimmy back to the real King Arthur's Court where he is mistaken as a Black Wizard.  Jimmy suspects Merlin is from the 5th dimension and tricks him into saying his name backwards which proves his theory right.  He then goes back to the present, tricks Mzyzptlk to say hi name backwards and gets two kisses from Lucy.

Bits and Pieces:

This was the weakest of the three stories.  In fact, it pretty much stunk.  However, we do get further proof that Lucy Lane is a tramp.  Seriously, she is Jimmy's girlfriend yet has ten dances planned...and Jimmy is third!


Weird Science: Disappointingly, none

Overall, Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #53 was a fun, crazy read.  The first two stories were really great and even with the third one being mediocre, I'd recommend this every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Just remember, Lucy Lane is a total tramp.

Overal Score: 8.0/10

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