Friday, November 30, 2007

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen (Story Three, Part 3, Finale): THE CABINET FROM KRYPTON!

When last we read, mayhem was about to break out as Lois sees Lucy heading into the cabinet. Without ado, further or otherwise, here is the next installment of THE CABINET FROM KRYPTON!

"In an instinctive rush to protect her sister, Lois plunges forward..." and Lucy, that rat, jumps out of the way so that Lois is the one who ends up in the cabinet instead of her. Sure, she looks regretful, but this could all be deep-seated sibling rivalry made heinously real through the use of a Kryptonian evolution cabinet. Just saying, is all.

Jimmy zeeeee's for Superman while explaining to Lucy as if she's never heard of the watch before, "I'm using my signal watch repeatedly to call Superman!" Ah well, as John Byrne always said, "Every comic is someone's first issue." Because we're running out of pages in this story, Superman actually shows up this time. And now we get the Superman thought balloon from the cover. "My X-Ray vision reveals that it's changing Lois into... but I daren't tell them!" (daren't? Superman thinks like a 19th Century romance novel? Interesting.)

And finally, the secret is revealed. Lois emerges from the cabinet and she's... no, I daren't tell you. Aw, what the heck. She's a giant cat. (That makes so much sense. Jimmy is turned into an old man, Perry into a baby and Lois into another species. That is one wacky cabinet. You can't even count on it to continue aging or digressing people. Now it's suddenly capable of switching species. Personally, I think it was because Jimmy gets to make that pun about Lana thinking Lois is catty. It's a long way to go for a pun, but not if you're high on goofballs.) Lucy pleads for Superman to change Lois back. Perhaps she doesn't want any pets or maybe she fears the enormous tuna bill that giant Loiscat would incur.

Superman reads the inscription with his microscopic vision and finds out it can't turn anyone back to normal. "This is the evolution cabinet of Zan Zoll, scientist of Krypton... which changed his victims in strange ways, but could not change them back! (Krypton, originators of the run-on sentence) Therefore, we sentenced him..." Rather than finish the quote, we get to see chunky Kryptonians wearing shoulder puffs, headbands, and underwear on the outside as they condemn the non-puffy-shouldered Zan Zoll to the phantom zone. (My, that must be one crowded zone). Then, instead of destroying the cabinet, they shoot it into space. ("Not our problem anymore. Let those damn Earthlings deal with our detritus yet again. I hear Jimmy Olsen speaks Kryptonian.")

So we finally have the answer to that "why wasn't it turned to Kryptonite" question. It was jettisoned prior to the big boom. Then, as if things weren't bad enough, Mxyzptlk decides to take that moment to make an entrance. Because this is Jimmy's comic, it's time for him to save the day.

Jimmy tells Mxy not to bother them because a greater magician has changed everyone in ways that no one, even Mxy, could reverse. And because the imp is a known idiot who can never see the obvious, he falls for it and instantly turns everyone back to normal. (The best part of this sequence is Perry White. If you'll recall, he was wearing baby garments at this point in the story so when he's turned back, he is not dressed for company. Granted, the baby clothes appear to be quite stretchy, so he's not entirely nekkid, but he isn't looking his sharpest. This continues through the next few panels.)

Picking up Jimmy's lead, Superman praises Mxy, telling him, "You can truly boast you're a greater magician than the one whose name is on this cabinet." (No, sorry, I can't see this one coming from 100 miles away. I am truly obtuse. I am convinced Mxy will denigrate Zan Zoll and continue to harass Superman.) "Of course I am greater than that amateur! Let's see, what's his name..." says Mxy, showing his enormous intellect. "...Kltpzyxm... oops!" Yes, that wacky sprite has done it again. Even as he poofs away, he explains that saying his name backwards is returning him to the 5th dimension ("Up, up and away in our beautiful balloon...")!

Just in case we didn't follow that, Jimmy tells Superman the trick Supes just used to make it happen. Then Superman continues the explanation by explaining that even though Mxy's magic usually disappears when he does, in this case, since they were all returned to normal, the magic stuck. (Okay, it doesn't make much sense to me, either, but there's only one panel left. Heaven forfend there not be enough room to push the Strange Sports Stories issue of the Brave and the Bold.) In the background, Perry says, "What happened? Why am I wearing baby clothes?"

Luckily, there's room enough to tell us the entire plot of the comic all over again, so we get a quick wrap-up by Lois (who wasn't even there!). Perry then fires everyone amidst a sea of happy smiles. Superman isn't winking at us (shucks) but he is smirking, so that's partial points.

Ah, Silver Age DC Comics. Oh, but I love them so.

Now that we've had a Golden Age Wonder Woman comic and Silver Age Jimmy Olsen, it's high time we enter the Bronze Age. Starting next week is one of the most classic Lois Lane Bronze Age "look how relevant we are" comics ever. It's the inimitable SUPERMAN'S GIRLFRIEND LOIS LANE #106: I AM CURIOUS BLACK where Lois gets turned into a black woman so she can experience prejudice and the ghetto firsthand. Oh, but it is deliciously dated and an outstandingly good read. Come for the story; stay for the snark! That's coming on Monday. Until then... ::wink!::

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen (Story Three, Part 2): THE CABINET FROM KRYPTON!

When last we read, Jimmy had just stepped into the mysterious big red phone booth scientific instrument from Krypton that shouldn't be tampered with in order to impress Lucy Lane. (Please don't ask me about the logic of that move. This is Jimmy Olsen for crying out loud.) And now, for the startling consequences that none of you could possibly see coming! Here's part 2 of THE CABINET FROM KRYPTON!

Jimmy comes out feeling weak and shaky. Although he can't see it, we now know that – shocker! – he's been turned into an old man! Jimmy looks in a mirror and thinks, "Yow! I'm an old man! The evolution cabinet aged me! I should have listened to Perry and not fooled around with it!" (Oh, Jimmy. Will you never learn? If something is called an "evolution cabinet," is from Krypton, has no obvious buttons or gadgets, and is big enough to fit a person, you might consider thinking about possible consequences as opposed to your date with Lucy Lane. Just saying, is all.)

How Jimmy deal with this harrowing turn of events? Will he tell Perry White what happened so they can make sure no one else makes the same mistake? Have you read no Jimmy Olsen comics at all? Of course he won't! He'll wear a disguise. Seeing a Christmas wreath, Old Man Jimmy gets an idea. He quickly rents a Santa costume so that his aged body and long white beard will look perfectly normal. When Perry questions him, he explains that (snicker) " this old-man make-up and Santa Claus costume I can investigate that stolen fur racket with no one suspecting I'm a reporter!" (Let me get this straight. In order to investigate some crooks, he goes undercover as Santa Claus? No one will notice him then, right? "Hey look, Mugsy, Santa Claus is wandering around, asking about our racket. Phew! For a second I thought he might be a reporter. Tell Santa whatever he needs to know. He's prolly just trying to get the goods on giving furs for Christmas. Every kid loves a fur coat. Yeah, that's it.")

Perry thinks Jimmy is "disguise-happy" (ya think?) and notes how well Jimmy is imitating an old man. But what's this? Jimmy left the notes on the fur racket in the evolution chamber. Perry crawls inside to retrive them, the cabinet glows and wham! Perry is now a baby! He's a baby wearing Perry's clothes and bawling. Childcare expert Jimmy puts a cigar in the baby's mouth yet oddly enough, the child is not happy about that. (Can you imagine in today's anti-smoking world what the outcry would be if one put a cigar into a baby's mouth?) The cigar thing proves to Jimmy that Perry is not just a baby in appearance, but also one mentally.

Just then Lois drops by. She takes one look at Santa Jimmy holding a baby dressed in Perry's clothes and to her credit, asks what's going on. (Things are strange at the Planet, but apparently there's a limit.) Jimmy explains his disguise and then says that the baby is a relative of Perry's and is dressed like that for a gag. Funny stuff. Dressing a baby in a man's suit. Lois doesn't question it so Jimmy asks Lois to babysit but she's on her way into Perry's office to check on a feature and hasn't the time.

Baby Perry is now happily playing with an ink bottle (my guess is that they needed to match all of the elements on the cover because DC covers often came before the stories). Jimmy cleans him up and while the baby makes a racket, Jimmy tells him he has to get on that racket story. (heh) Santa Jimmy buys a stroller and baby clothes and takes the baby with him to the racket story. (He's going to blend in even more now! An old, skinny Santa Claus pushing a baby carriage – who would look twice at that? It's a perfect disguise).

Santa Jimmy stares at some crooks about 10 feet away. The crooks do not notice the Santa who's got a baby carriage and is taking pictures of them. Apparently, ex-convicts are stealing furs and selling them in a store. Now that Jimmy's got the goods on the racket (phew! That MacGuffin racket plotline needs to be put away. We're interested in the Santa, baby, phone booth plot, not some stupid fur racket. When does Lois get in the booth? Huh? It's on the cover so it must happen. C'mon, Lois, get in there and get turned into something Superman dare not say).

Once finished with the racket, Jimmy hightails away because it's after 5pm. "Jeepers, it's time for my date with Lucy Lane... and if I stand her up, I'll be an old man before I get another date! What am I saying? I am old!" Let's just hope Lucy is suitably impressed by Jimmy going into the phone booth. That was supposed to be a turn-on for her, right?

But at a downtown nightclub (they're going to a nightclub at 5pm?) Santa Jimmy races in with baby Perry. Lucy isn't even sure it's Jimmy. He tells her it's a disguise and let's face it, no explanation is more acceptable than Jimmy is wearing a disguise since he puts a new one on every 5.4 seconds. They sit down to dinner and Jimmy orders a steak for Lucy and a soft-boiled egg with crackers for himself. (It's because he's old. Just in case you forgot. Jimmy is old. He eats old man food. Phew – it's a good thing they keep reminding us, huh?) He orders a bottle "for my editor... I mean, my baby" (just in case you forgot the baby was Perry Whi—oh, forget it).

Lucy is not amused by Jimmy's disguise and tries to pull off the beard. Uh oh! It's real! He spills the beans to Lucy, telling her the truth about the cabinet. He offers to take her to the planet to show her (she never got her steak! I'd like a steak. I'll eat it) the cabinet. "I'll come," says Lucy, "And if this cabinet of yours has done anything to my sister Lois, I'll... I'll..." She looks angry instead of turned on. Poor Jimmy blew it in so many ways. And now Lucy is worried about Lois (nice to see her getting protective of her older sister).

The two of them (and baby makes three) head to the planet. Jimmy gives her the abridged version of finding the cabinet (making sure to mention yet again that it wasn't converted to Kryptonite. Hmmm....) but Lucy thinks the story sounds fishy.

And now let the mayhem begin! Perry tries to crawl out a window, Lucy decides to debunk Jimmy's story by going in the cabinet (will no one show a single working brain cell and stay out of the flocking cabinet????) and Lois enters at that moment, still searching for Perry.

Whaddaya suppose is gonna happen now? Mayhem, I tells ya, pure mayhem! Be sure to come back Friday for the thrilling conclusion of THE CABINET FROM KRYPTON!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen (Story Three, Part 1): THE CABINET FROM KRYPTON!

Curiosity is a good quality in a newspaper reporter, but it can be carried too far! And Jimmy Olsen proves that when his curiosity drags him, and also Perry White and Lois Lane, into an amazing predicament from which it seems even Superman can't rescue them! Here is the tale of the strange doom that came out of-- THE CABINET FROM KRYPTON!

Life is never easy for ole Jimmy, is it? Even when he's showing one of the qualities that put the rep in cub reporter, he still manages to get in trouble. I wonder how? Oh, look! A comic book and it appears to have all the answers. Let's find out together, shall we?

Our splash page shows Metropolis's rainbow Lego block skyline and Jimmy as an old man. You can tell he's old because he has a long, white beard down to his knees, uses a crooked cane, has his hand on his back, and puffs and gasps in his thoughts. I'll admit that I don't know if geriatrics puff and gasp in their thoughts, but I'm willing to take it as given. (Note that Jimmy's trademark 'red' hair has but a wee bit of white at the temples and is otherwise still full, lush and orange, as it always is. I guess when something is your trademark it won't do to lose it. How else are we to know it's Jimmy? Certainly not by his fashion sense. Everyone knows Jimmy only owns one suit and it's green. Apparently, once aged, Jimmy quickly went shopping at Geezer Gap.) Meanwhile, Superman flies overhead and helps the reader note that a) it's Jimmy – just in case that orange hair didn't clue us in enough, b) he's old, and c) he's having a tough time holding his job, most likely due to internal puffing and gasping.

I glance at the first panel and right off the bat, I'm proven wrong. Jimmy does own clothes that aren't green. I guess the bowtie is far more important than the color of his suit. The story begins with Jimmy shouting at a flying Superman. Apparently, Supes didn't answer Jimmy's signal watch's "zeeeee". Jimmy wants Supes to help with a deep-sea dredging story. Superman can't help with that fascinating dredging story, however, because he's on the tail of Mr. Mxyzptlk (helpfully pronounced "Mix-Yez-Pit-Lek" according to the editor).

So what is that wacky interdimensional imp up to now? (oddly, Microsoft Word does not recognize the word 'interdimensional'. Do they not read any comics over there? Shame on them. They are tainting the appellations 'geek' and 'nerd' for everyone.) Ole Mxy is causing havoc by reversing signs (i.e. spelling everything backward). Wow. That is... just... havoc-making. Obviously a job for SUPERMAN! The world would stop if a motorist can't make out that billboard for Burpsi-Cola (or Isprub-Aloc, as it now appears). Superman needs to make all new signs to avoid traffic jams. (Often I think about the things that happen in comics and what mayhem would be produced in the real world were some of the happenings within to occur in reality. The comic world needs superheroes just to deal with all that insanity. But reversed signs? Yeah, that's the end of civilization as we know it. No nation could recover from that. Armageddon.)

Recognizing the seriousness of the whole 'ngis' dilemma, Jimmy heads on over to the docks for the dredge report (heh). A crane lifts up what appears to be a red phone booth and it is a startling sight to Jimmy. "What in the world is the dredge bringing up now?" (Nothing political, I hope) The dredge guy doesn't know but guesses it's been sunk for a hundred years due to its excessive silty-ness.

Dredge Guy does not see it as a red phone booth. He thinks it is some sort of scientific instrument (have to admit, that would not have been my first thought.) Ever-helpful Jimmy notes that, "...this inscription on it is in the language of the perished planet, Krypton! I learned the language from Superman and can read it!" Wow, Jimmy's education in all things Superman even extends to speaking Kryptonese. That is simply amazing. I wonder how often that's needed? What am I saying? In Jimmy's life, probably every other day.

He reads it aloud. "This is the evolution cabinet of Zan Zoll (Kryptonians really love the letter "Z", don't they?), scientist of Krypton..." The rest is corroded and illegible. As Jimmy and the dredger load the cabinet onto the Daily Planet helicopter, Jimmy notes that, "for some mysterious reason, it was not changed into Kryptonite." You know, that alone would make me wary of the thing. A scientific instrument from Krypton. Not turned into Kryptonite. Zan Zoll. Yup, those all add up to a big yellow "Caution!" sign to me. But this is Jimmy "I'll do anything as long as it's against common sense" Olsen. He's taking it with him so Superman can have a lil look-see.

Later, in the Daily Planet office, Jimmy proudly shows Perry White his new toy. The ever-sensible Perry warns Jimmy not to "tamper with it." Sound advice, Chief. Just don't expect Jimmy to follow it. (that's a guess on my part. Perhaps I'm wrong and the rest of the comic is simply pictures of Planet employees walking past it without touching it.)

The next panel shows Jimmy opening the door to the big red phone booth scientific instrument from Krypton that shouldn't be tampered with. He thinks, "What does Perry think I am... a child? I'm not going to tamper with this thing... but it won't hurt to look it over... if I could find out what it does, I might be able to impress Lucy Lane tonight!" Brilliant thinking, sport. Don't tamper with it, but open it up, try to figure out how it works because there's nothing that turns Lucy Lane on more than a guy who tampers with, er, figures out how big red phone booth scientific instruments from Krypton work. Yeah, go on inside and see what happens.

"What's happening!" From my perspective, Jimmy, you're in a big red phone booth scientific instrument that is now glowing. What a startling turn of events! "I didn't touch any gadgets, but that force came on automatically when I stepped in! It's overpowering!" (I did NOT see this coming. I thought for sure opening the door and getting inside would be completely harmless. Wonder what happened? If only the splash page had given us a clue.)

Are you as curious as I am about what could possibly have happened to Jimmy in the big red phone booth? Are you completely clueless because the splash page and the cover of the comic book are too enigmatic? Then come back on Wednesday for part 2 of "THE CABINET FROM KRYPTON!"

Saturday, November 24, 2007

More comics!

Just got a big box of coverless comic books from the 60s and 70s so I've got lots more stories to tell now. Remember to come back Monday for the final story in Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #66: THE CABINET FROM KYRPTON!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Quick message

I'll be back Monday with the final story in this Jimmy Olsen comic. This four day Thanksgiving weekend will give me time to catch up. Thank you for your patience!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #66 (Story Two, Part 5, FINALE): JIMMY OLSEN'S LAST STAND!

When last we read, Jimmy was held captive in Sitting Bull's camp. He's guarded by an eerily familiar Indian. I don't know if you figured out who it is (no one left a comment so I can't tell) but his secret is about to be revealed by Jimmy "In my era..." Olsen. Ready? Then let's get to the thrilling conclusion of JIMMY OLSEN'S LAST STAND!"

Jimmy thinks several more exclamation points about the invasion plans he just heard and feels he must get back to Custer immediately to warn him (Lex is attacking at noon. So far Custer has seen every attack and met it, even the one at night, thanks to Jimmy. Why is it so deadly that they're attacking at noon? Will Custer and his men be distracted because they'll be picnicking and won't want to leave their egg salad sandwiches and potato salad?) Jimmy devises a plan that just might work!

He tells his guard to untie him because he's a powerful medicine man and will give the guard a magic talisman. The eerily familiar Indian (Is a mascot from Cleveland? No. Atlanta? No.) For reasons completely unknown to me, Familiar-guy cuts Jimmy free. He really wants that talisman, I guess. Jimmy pulls something out of his pocket and says, "Watch closely! By just squeezing my fingers together I will create your imagte on this bit of metal!" Hmm... a bit of metal. An image of an Indian on a small, round piece of metal. D'oh! The Indians portrait was indeed right on the money because Jimmy hands him an Indian-head nickel.

Man, now that is some coincidence that Jimmy's guard just happens to be identical to the portrait on the nickel down to the last detail. It's almost as if he was drawn using a nickel as a guide! It's uncanny! Quick, Jimmy! Go find the identical buffalo to the one pictured on the reverse so you'll have a set! (No, not Buffalo Superbill – the bison kind.)

Jimmy hands the Indian the nickel. "The simple savage is stunned by Jimmy's feat of 'magic', and..." Oh, my, nothing offensive there. 'Simple savage'. Please forgive me for even repeating that, but it's so indicative of the era and helps us understand how far we've come. There will always be things in these stories that don't jive with today's world. Still, there is value in seeing the past for what it was and not sitting in judgment on it. It is what it is and now is now.

The Nickel Man lets Jimmy go and has a neato souvenir of his future fame. Jimmy, meanwhile, sees that the Indians are heading off on their horses to attack Custer. For some reason, Jimmy thinks he can outrun horses and make it in time to warn the cavalry of the impending battle. He can not. By the time Jimmy gets there, we see our first real casualties. A dead soldier with an arrow in his back (was he running away? Heaven forfend! Not our brave white guys! There must have been some other reason) and a wagon on fire.

A distraught Jimmy doesn't hear the "stealthy footfalls behind him until..." Sitting Bulluthor grabs Jimmy by his bright red hair. "Har! It is the paleface medicine man! He escaped! But I have him now! His red-haired scalp shall be my finest trophy!" Lexbull holds a tomahawk above Jimmy's head, preparing to strike. "Sitting Bull! It's my finish! Yeeeaaaa!" ("It's my finish"? What odd final words. They're so formal. No 'I'm gonna die!' from Jimmy. Nope. Instead we get an "It's my finish!" Almost bizarrely cool in a way now that I roll the words on my tongue. Very melodramatic. Okay, I now approve. Let's move on, seeing as it's Jimmy's finish and all.)

Suddenly a big rainbow whoosh! And Jimmy is back in Frontier City with Superman! Holy plot twists, Batman! And what's this? He's got fingers growing out of his head! Oh, no! Something messed up in the time travel and his fingers ended up growing out of his ear while... his... oh. That's Superman's hand. Never mind.

And now, let's have the requisite "I'm going to explain everything that just happened in this story" moment with our host, Superman. "No, Jimmy, you weren't in the past! You see, Sitting Bull's pipe was stuffed with a dried plant resembling loco-weed, and when you smoked it, the fumes gave you hallucinations!"

Adding to the explanation and in a desperate attempt not to make the readers mutiny due to a plot twist that is despised by most writers, Jimmy says, "Then it was a nightmare! (note how he avoids saying the words, "Then it was all a dream" and opts instead for the 'nightmare', a form of dream but since he didn't use the exact word, perhaps you won't notice.) You wouldn't believe it! Sitting Bull looked like Luthor and Buffalo Bill looked like you!" (and the guy from the nickel was there, and you, and you, and you, and oh, Aunty Em, I'll never leave home again!)

Superman throws a final volley just in case there's one 8 year old left who doesn't quite understand. "No doubt it was your visit to Frontier City which caused you to have a dream (there's that word!) about Custer's last stand!" Ya think, Supes? Could Jimmy having just stared at a diorama of Custer and then smoked Sitting Bull's pipe have put those people in his psyche? I suppose it's possible...

The next day, a frustrated Jimmy tears up his story. He tells Clark that "no matter how I write it up, that pipe-dream doesn't make sense!" Heh. Pipe-dream. Clever, Jimmy. After a recap of the story we just read as proof that it doesn't make sense (roflol – what message is THAT sending?) Clark agrees that it all sounds far-fetched. Bwa ha ha ha. They're putting down their own comic for the silliness and it's all done with a 'straight face', so to speak.

The final panel has Clark staring at the torn piece of paper and noting that Sitting Bull ends with two 'L's so hmmmm.... "I wonder!" he thinks. But Clark, maybe Sitting Bull was really Lois Lane? Or Lana Lang? Or Lori Lemaris? Or...

Thanks for reading along, everyone! If you liked this story, let me know. And please stay tuned for the third and final adventure, THE CABINET FROM KRYPTON! Ooh, the cover story. This one looks great!

NOTE: Although I have been posting every day, I need to switch to posting on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. These crazy write-ups take a lot of time and my other work was suffering. I hope you'll stick with me, read along and have a good time here on Comic Books Revisited! If you like what you see, please consider linking to it on your blog.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #66 (Story Two, Part 4): JIMMY OLSEN'S LAST STAND!

The tank now finished, the men roll across the plains shooting out of slits and praising Jimmy for his ingenuity. They can now advance against the Indians without danger (or propulsion. Okay, I'll stop). But oh no! Sitting Bull finds a bunch of perfectly round, green boulders on a hill and rolls them toward the "moving fort" full of soldiers. Do the boulders smash the tank? Nope, better. "Those green boulders! They're lodestones, often found in these hills! Their magnetic power is drawing the spikes out of the logs! Our moving fort is falling apart!" Yes, kids, Buffalo Bill is right. The boulders didn't have to hit them at all. Instead, we are treated to the far more complicated "magnetic lodestone" device. And there's a bonus! Jimmy thinks, "::gulp:: Those lodestones look just like green kryptonite!" Apparently, part of Krypton beat Superman to earth in the form of giant, round, green, lodestone boulders that just happened to be at the top of the very hill where the ghost-powered moving fort was headed! What are the odds??

Deary me, things are really going downhill (heh) for our troops. When the green lodestone that looks just like kryptonite rolls past Buffalo Bill, he gets an arrow in the leg and starts weeping like a fanboy who can't find the latest hot comic at less than cover price. Weakling Bill asks Jimmy for help and despite arrows raining down them like, well, rain, everyone escapes alive (just as they have in every panel since the one where Jimmy lands and sees legs sticking out from under a wagon. Of course, we never met the owners of those legs, so those people don't matter. But Jimmy's boys do, so despite arrows in nearly every panel, no one is ever killed. Buffalo Bill is the first injury we've seen. And to be fair, the Indians never die, either. None of these people are good shots.)

Night falls and Custer fears a nighttime invasion. Future-boy is, as always, standing right next to him whenever Custer mentions a problem, and is quick to remind everyone that he's from the future. "Col. Custer, in the time era I come from, soldiers have one sure-fire method for foiling a night attack!" And now we get, what I like to call, the giving birth list (like in the movies when someone always rattles off a list like, "We need towels, a bowl of hot water, and a pair of scissors!"). "We'll need all the captured bows and arrows we can find! Then I want some old rags, lamp oil, and gun-powder!" Neato. Wonder what future-era-but-in-the-past scheme he's got up his sleeves?

From Bulluthor's POV we see the Indians mocking the soldiers. "Wugh!" proclaims one brave, "Soldiers running out of bullets! See! They shoot fire arrows at us!" Chief Bull replies, "Ha! Soldiers have poor aim! They miss us in dark!" Did Jimmy's plan fail? Flaming arrows aren't very 1960s. Surely there is more to it than that?

Oh-ho! What's this? Tiny parachutes are opening on the ends of all the arrows (no, that wouldn't have ruined the aerodynamics of the arrows at all. Stop being to practical, dear reader). Suddenly, "the battlefield becomes bright as day" and ole J.O. is once again the savior. Parachute flares show all of the Indians clearly and the battle begins anew.

Sitting Bull, however, doesn't sit (heh) idly by. He has them throw flaming torches into a black pool. When the pool of oil lights, it throws off thick, black smoke that masks the actions of the Indians. They attack and Buffalo SuperBill states the obvious, explaining how the smoke has obscured the flares. Good thing Jimmy needs everything explained or it could leave those 8 yr. olds with questions. Jimmy has to punctuate the explanation with a thought balloon and some exclamation points: "A smoke screen! Hmm... Sitting Bull is a master of modern warfare! He's every bit as cunning and dangerous as Lex Luthor!" (Lest we forget that no mere Indian could possibly outsmart the white guys unless he was identical to an evil genius white guy.)

Despite "Custer's gallant resistance" driving the Indians back, our boy Jimmy is captured. Oh, no! Worse yet, Lex Bull recognizes him as the guy showing Custer how to make "big war medicine". (I'm not sure how that works. It's not like Sitting Bull's stolen binoculars have an audio function and can hear Jimmy's ideas and instructions. Jimmy himself didn't appear to do any of the work – Buffalo Superman did most of the heavy lifting. Nope, I'm stumped as to how Lexbull knew that Jimmy was behind the fox-holes, tank, night flares, etc. Perhaps he's just really, really, really good at guessing).

Once in the Indian camp, Lexbull makes a big speech to his men describing exactly when they'll attack. Jimmy overhears (of course. Hey Bull, don't give away your battle plans in front of the prisoner who shows "big war medicine" on a constant basis. Most likely he has another trick up his future-boy sleeves).

But wait, what's this? The Indian guarding Jimmy looks really familiar. No, not another character from the Superman mythos, something else. Did he cry about pollution? No. Who is that guy? He doesn't look like any of Lex's other warriors. He's not wearing a Halloween costume headband and single feather like Lex. In fact, this guy is actually drawn to resemble a more realistic Native American. How spooky that this portrait is right on the money. Betcha a nickel I'll figure it out soon. Hmm... I think I need your help, dear reader: who is that guy?

And if you can't figure it out, the answer will be in tomorrow's thrilling conclusion to: JIMMY OLSEN'S LAST STAND

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #66 (Story Two, Part 3): JIMMY OLSEN'S LAST STAND!

When last we read, Jimmy had taught Custer's men how to make fox-holes. Everything seems to be working out, but someone is about to spoil things yet again.

The futuristic fox-holes are being spied upon by none other than Lex Bull. Like a boxer, he refers to himself in the third person. "Our arrows cannot touch soldiers when they hide in holes! Make big medicine to drive enemy into open! Quickly! Gather wood! Build big fire!" (Now that is some first class exclamation point use! Gather wood! Yeah, that's something to exclaim as opposed to say, state. You wouldn't want to tell your men to gather wood without the proper amount of excitement in your voice. They'd think you were lame! Not a good leader! Unexcited about wood!) His minion replies, "At once, Great Chief!" Too bad the role is already cast as Lex Luthor because there could have been a great joke had it been Perry "Don't call me Chief!" White. Ah, the missed opportunities.

Please note also that Sitting Luthor's syntax is reminiscent of every bad portrait of Native Americans from Hollywood to other comics with Indians in them. Not that we would expect anything different, of course. We're talking 1963 here. Enlightenment came later.

Speaking of enlightenment, someone enlighted the Wood! and now there's a lovely fire. Custer spies on Bullex and watches as "those redskins" do something very odd. Great Chief is throwing leaves on the flames. Oh my God! Run for the hills! Not leaves! Anything but leaves! (I believe I've caught the exclamation point sickness! Must... resist! Must... phew. There. Much better now, thanks.) The leaves are making a lot of smoke and it looks a little like a tornado, but it's not supposed to. It's supposed to look like smoke rising straight up to the sky in a funnel-shaped cloud and then turning the skies dark, as if it were a storm. And there's lightning, too. Apparently, Bulluthor used "Indian magic" and created a storm. That is some powerful Great Chief. He can control the weather? I've heard of rain dances, but this was done with just some leaves.

As rain floods the soldiers out of their fox-holes (and I mean it literally fills the holes completely with water, like little swimming pools, all within the space of a panel) Jimmy figures out what happened. Jimmy's thought balloon is too good not to quote.

"I get it! History reports that Sitting Bull was a Medicine Man! Those strange leaves he threw in the fire brought on a storm, just like modern, rain-making chemicals! In a way, Sitting Bull is a scientist – just like Luthor, whom he resembles!"

Wow. That's not reaching at all. He went from medicine man to scientist and was able to seed clouds from the ground (he doesn't need a pesky flying machine) using a handful of leaves. Why, Sitting Bull and Lex Luthor are almost identical! Well, other than the fact that Lex usually wears a shirt. Gee, I wonder if there will be other comparisons between the two as the story progresses? Nah, it's been established. No comic would drive the point home with tunnel-visioned, excessive – what am I saying? Of course there will be. After all, we may not have noticed the resemblance between Lex and Sitting during the several times it's already been mentioned, not to mention that Mr. Bull is drawn identically to Mr. Luthor (minus that suit). But I digress. How long can this horrible storm last?

In the next panel, the storm is gone. Phew! But uh-oh, the fox-swimming-holes are useless now. Luckily, future boy is right there with a new idea stolen from his era. Jimmy explains to Custer what a tank is, and points to a convenient stand of trees. A wooden tank should stop the arrows, so Custer agrees to the plan. It's lucky that they have time to build one, though to be fair, there are arrows flying through the air as the men hammer a bunch of logs to a wagon frame. Still, they had to cut down the trees, trim all the branches, find those hammer and nails they happened to have brought to their battle, and carry all the logs into the open where the arrows could find them.

But what's this? Buffalo SuperBill is "carrying those heavy logs as if they were matchsticks!" Hmmm, he keeps behaving in such super ways. It's almost as if the man who looks exactly like Superman and keeps doing superfeats is hiding some super secret! Nah, it's just a coincidence.

Now they've got their tank. A moment while we think this through. Their tank is a bunch of logs nailed onto a wagon frame. Let's forget about what it would actually take to construct such a thing and figure Buffalo "I'm not really Superman" Bill did it all with his superstrength. Cool, they have a tank. But what's missing? Hmmm... the tank is shown traveling nicely across flat terrain. They've got slits for their guns, which they're shooting out of from the front of the... wagon... Where are the horses? This isn't a real tank, with a motor, this is a wagon. Wagons are not self-propelled vehicles. Horses or oxen are needed to pull the wagon. And yet, miraculously, Jimmy's brilliant tank not only protects them from arrows, it rolls happily across the plains without any need of propulsion. No horses, no motor, no wind sail, no Kryptonians, just rolls along. My confidence in the accuracy of this comic is severely shaken! There's no explaination! No long, convoluted "he seeded the clouds with leaves" type thought balloon! We're just supposed to believe that the wagon can suddenly propel itself across the plains without horses or oxen or Flintstone feet underneath or anything!

Oh, DC... how could you betray me so? How could you not include some bizarre explanation that solves nothing but sounds good to an 8 yr. old? ::sniff:: I can't go on. I'm afraid you're going to have to tune in tomorrow to find out more about JIMMY OLSEN'S LAST STAND.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #66 (Story Two, Part 2): JIMMY OLSEN'S LAST STAND!

When Jimmy regains his senses he's at the site of a "an Indian massacre". All we see are an overturned wagon and some legs wearing cavalry boots. Man, it's such a coincidence Jimmy was forced to wear a costume to the opening. His green suit would've been an instant give-away that he was from another time and place. And yet in his fake cavalry costume he blends in perfectly.

At that moment, who should ride up (wait for it...) but Col. George Custer! What are the odds? Of all the old west time lines, in all the old west locations, in all the world, Custer rides into Jimmy's. Here's looking at you, cub reporter.

Despite the fact that Jimmy knows you can't change the past (how many billions of times has he learned that, anyway?) he decides to try to warn Custer of him impending doom. (Yeah, that'll work. "Hi, I'm from the future and you're about to be massacred. Skip that whole Little Big Horn thing and let's play cowboys and Indians among ourselves.") Oh, but Jimmy wouldn't be stupid enough to announce that he was from the future. That would be an automatic excuse not to listen to him. No, he'll be far more clever and find a way to tell him that will be believed.

"I come from the future! I've read all about your coming battle with Sitting Bull! You and your men will be wiped out unless you turn back!" (DC sure did love the exclamation mark.) Oh, Jimmy. Dear, sweet, loveable, idiotic Jimmy. What do you suppose Custer's reaction to that exclamation-marked speech is going to be? I'm guessing a mention of insanity, some leg irons, and some exclamation points.

"The poor lad is out of his mind... probably as the result of the Indian attack on this wagon train!" Two out of three. Perhaps the leg irons will come later. Jimmy then tries to prove he's future boy by reciting Custer's past accomplishments. His past accomplishments, as in stuff that's already happened and therefore everyone knows about it in that timeline. Personally, I'm not sure how one could persuade others that one is a time traveler, but I'm guessing that would not be the number one choice. "Hi, Joanna, I'm from the future. I can prove it by telling you that you added something to your blog yesterday." Uh huh, no one of this time period could have possibly known that! Actually, it would be rather effective since very few people read my blog. Hmm... how do I know those of you who've posted here aren't from the future? Prove it!

After dismissing Jimmy's proof, Custer and his men continue on and surprise, surprise! Thousands of Indians block their way. (In fairness, the doomed patrol does acknowledge Jimmy's warning was the truth. Good lad!) Then Sitting Lex, er, Sitting Bull rides up under a white flag to have a chat. To the writer's credit, Sitting Bull does not say "Ugh!" To the writer's discredit, Sitting Bull does say "Wagh!" I think I prefer "Ugh!"

Meanwhile, Jimmy gets his first look at SB and is shocked into several more exclamation points. His thought balloon proclaims, "Good Grief! He looks just like Lex Luthor! If he's half as cunning as Lex, Custer hasn't got a chance!" Let's take a moment now to reflect. Jimmy is from the future. He knows that Custer and his men were massacred. He knows he can't change the past. But none of this matters in light of Sitting Bull's appearance being similar to Lex. No, nothing else could possibly predict the outcome of the battle. The Lex thing trumps it all. That's some first class thinking there, Jimmy!

When Custer refuses to surrender, Sitting Bull does a perfect net forum flounce, leaving Custer making ready for battle and Jimmy bemoaning the fact that everyone's about to die. He simply has to do something to save them! Surely this once history can be changed! If only bullets were exclamation points, they'd never run out!

True to form, the Indians begin their attack and Custer is immensely outnumbered. Future-Boy decides to use his knowledge of 20th century army tricks to help the cavalry. "Col. Custer, in my time era of the future (just keep mentioning that, Jimmy and I'm sure they'll come around), soldiers under attack dig deep pits for protection! They're called fox-holes!"

Custer continues to think Jimmy is a loon with his future talk but does cotton to the idea of the fox-holes. This gives us a chance to be treated to yet another incongruous sight. The soldiers are complimenting Buffalo Bill, who is uncommonly strong and digs 10 fox-holes to everyone else's one. Jimmy is startled as 1) Buffalo Bill was never with Custer during Little Big Horn and 2) imagine that! He looks just like Superman, were Supes to have a skinny moustache and wear a cowboy hat (which he did sport at the beginning of the story. The hat, not the moustache. And this hat doesn't have a disappearing brim!). The resemblance is even better because Bill is wearing a skin-tight red deerskin shirt as opposed to all the blue cavalry uniforms. Yup, it's quite a mystery. Sitting Bull is Lex Luthor, Buffalo Bill is Superman, and things aren't following the history books. What is going on? If you haven't figure it out yourself you'll either have to read a lot more silver age DCs or better yet, come back tomorrow for more of JIMMY OLSEN'S LAST STAND!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #66 (Story Two, Part 1): JIMMY OLSEN'S LAST STAND!

Jimmy Olsen has made many thrilling time trips into the past! The gallant cub reporter has matched wits with famous villains in the age of Vikings, in colorful biblical times and in the stone age: but now comes the time-adventure that tops them all! You'll be holding your breath until the last page as you read about: JIMMY OLSEN'S LAST STAND!

Wow, now that's a build-up! Not only is it going to top every Jimmy Olsen time travel story, but you'll put yourself in mortal danger by holding your breath until the last page (and because you'll be reading this in separate parts posted over several days, you'll be dead before we get to the end from lack of oxygen. Sorry about that. Still, with that write-up I'm thinking it might be worth it. Death by silver age Jimmy Olsen comic would look cool in an obituary). I don't know about you, but I'm all atwitter at even the thought of reading this story! I'm also atwitter that Microsoft Word knows the word atwitter. I wasn't expecting that. See? Already this story is giving unexpected thrills! Let's get to it, shall we?

WARNING: From the splash page, we can already tell that this is not going to be a PC (politically correct) story when it comes to Native Americans. For starters, Sitting Bull is apparently a dead ringer for Lex Luthor. In all the photos I've seen of Chief Sitting Bull, he doesn't look a thing like Lex. Not even close. Not even... what am I doing? I'm looking for historical accuracy in a Jimmy Olsen comic! Have I gone mad? Are the men with the white coats mere steps from my front door? Of course Chief Sitting Bull looks like "evil Lex Luthor". It makes all the sense in the world.

Okay, with that out of the way, let's see how this historically accurate Jimmy Olsen story unfolds. Hmmm... wonder which side he'll be on – evil Sitting "Lex" Bull or the white guy, General Custer? Can't wait to find out.

Right off the bat we get one of those fantastically strange Silver Age panels. It's the opening of "Frontier City, an exhibit of life in the old west" and Superman is there to cut the ribbon with his heat vision. Ole Supes, however, is a wee bit miffed. Apparently, everyone had to come in western costume to the opening, including the Big Red S. According to his thought balloon, he feels silly wearing "an old-time cavalry uniform." Okay, I could see that. The only problem is that Superman is not wearing anything close to an "old-time cavalry uniform." No, he's wearing his usual super suit with two adornments: a gun and holster belt plus a cowboy hat. Quite frankly, if old-time cavalry units wore only those items, the west would have been filled with naked guys on horses with very sore, er, manly bits. Can you picture it? Between the sunburn and the embarrassment, they would have been called the red men and the Native Americans would have been called "the ones with some common sense."

Okay, go wash that image out of your brain. I'll be here when you get back. Ready? Let's move on. The next panel shows Jimmy (who's dressed conveniently in an actual cavalry uniform) and Superman looking at a display showing Custer getting wiped out by Indians. I do believe we're about to find out who's side Jimmy is on. "What a shame a hero like Custer had to go like that!" Oh, Jimmy, must you? Must you believe the propaganda that has been handed down the generations about the arrogant and cocky Col. Custer?

(For those of you who want to read about Custer and the battle of Little Big Horn, I have two suggestions beyond, of course, this entertaining and educational comic book. One is Black Elk Speaks the story of a Lakota holy man, told in his own words. Utterly fascinating. It starts with Little Big Horn and ends with Wounded Knee. Definitely worth a read. The other is written by Custer's wife, Libby: "Boots and Saddles" Or, Life in Dakota With General Custer -- it's another fascinating look at frontier life. She's a good writer and although Custer is written as the most perfect human being who walked the planet, it is a wonderful look at what life was like for the cavalry in that time period. Both are worth a read, especially if you want to see things from both sides of the battle. Okay, back to Jimmy.)

Jimmy and Superman (who appears to have lost the front brim of his cowboy hat and now looks more like a lumberjack) stand in front of a teepee. There's a sign that holds a peace pipe. But this is not so peaceful at all. It's a warning: Sitting Bull's peace pipe! Beware! Do not touch! Anyone who smokes this pipe goes to the happy hunting grounds. (Those anti-smoking people are everywhere.) Jimmy sees the sign as more of a challenge than a warning. He hatches a plot to smoke the pipe when no one is watching. Nice, Jimmy. You want to defile a valuable artifact, break non-smoking laws (although there probably weren't any anti-smoking laws then, it still seems an odd thing to do in a museum) and risk your health because your readers might get "a good laugh" out of it? That is one tenacious cub reporter!

Jimmy smokes and he's suddenly swirling around in a colorful tunnel (as established in the last story, the time stream is rainbow-colored). He feels as though he's "spinning dizzily through space." What are the odds? If you and I were to feel dizzy, we might fall flat on our dignity, but not much else would happen. Jimmy's wacky tobaccy has a more interesting effect. He gets the rainbow ride to unknown destinations. Now I'm not certain, of course, but I wonder if this story will have anything to do with Col. Custer and the Sitting Bull and the Little Big Horn? Wherever the swirly rainbow dizziness leads, you'll have to wait. So come back tomorrow to find out what exactly is JIMMY OLSEN'S LAST STAND? Can you stand it? (you may now curse my name for the horrendous pun.)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #66 (Story One, Part 3): THE BURGLARY KIT FROM THE FUTURE

When last we read: Jimmy, high on the success of his burglar tools from the future, sees a slick character with radioactively burned hands named Count Slade. The FBI can't get the evidence they need but Jimmy has a plan. Now back to our story:

Naturally, Jimmy decides that he's the man who can get the goods on Slade and keep that radioactive fuel out of the hands of America's enemies. After following him, Jimmy overhears Slade mentioning that he's having his penthouse redecorated by The La Paree Company. Ooh la la! This'll give Jimmy a chance to wear a disguise! He loves wearing disguises.

And lookee here, it's a man with brown hair and a goatee. He's wearing a blue suit. I didn't think Jimmy owned any suits that weren't green. Learn something new every day. Jimmy talks his way in the door and when left alone goes right to work with his X-Ray specs. He instantly finds the radioactive fuel capsule hidden in a lead box in the TV set. This gives Jimmy a chance to feel superior to Superman because ol' Supes can't see through lead.

Instead of using his fourth dimensional tongs, he wraps an anti-gravity belt around the entire TV so he can float it out the window into the hands of the FBI. Personally, I think the tongs would've been a better choice, but this way it's far more dramatic when he gets caught next to a floating TV. Yup, the Count knew Jimmy was a fake and set him up. How did he know? Because all the decorators at La Paree are women. At this point, with Slade holding a gun on Jimmy and telling him how lame he is, our Jimmy thinks "I'd better put down that TV set or he'll plug me!" Now he decides that? Maybe he just wanted to be sure Slade noticed his burglary tools from the future.

Slade uses his radiation burned hand to slap the wig off of Jimmy. Apparently, Jimmy is the only redhead in Metropolis because Slade instantly recognizes him as the snoopy reporter. That gets Jimmy ulp-ing. Then comes another favorite moment. Slade looks at the open case of tools and says, "What's this? A burglar kit from the future, with full instructions!" No hesitation. He just instantly recognizes that a) it's a burglary kit, b) it's from the future, and c) it has instructions. So far, we've seen some of the tools and they're things like tongs and a belt. Personally, I doubt I'd instantly recognize these items as being from the future. I suppose Jimmy left the instruction book right on top (we have to assume it isn't labeled "How to use these burglary tools from the future" because if you print the booklet in the future, it's not the future, it's the present). But how on earth did Slade know exactly what everything is with a mere glance. Not that I don't understand why he instantly understands how useful they'd be. After all, if you're smart enough to recognize tools from a thousand years into the future, you can probably figure out that, being a crook yourself, they'd come in handy.

So Slade then decides to push Jimmy off the balcony, but ole Red quickly tells Slade that he won't be able to use the tools with one hand. He'll need Jimmy to help. Slade sees the logic. Jimmy brings out a teleporter and thinks he can transport some FBI guys into the room. Slade wants him to transport his buddy, who's on death row. Jimmy does as he's told cuz the gun is right in his face. (I still think the FBI guy idea was a good one. How was Slade going to know? Then again, an FBI guy who standing around on the street suddenly finding himself in the middle of a hotel room with an armed thug, well, he might spend a couple of seconds wondering what in blazes had just happened instead of drawing his weapon).

Meanwhile, Mitch Baron is in his cell being served his last meal. Sounds tasty, too. But suddenly, "...a giant transparent cocoon" forms around him. The guards figure out it's an escape attempt, shoot at the cocoon, but it's not good. Mitch is now in the apartment with Jimmy and Slade.

The two thugs discuss the teleporter, deciding they can loot every safe in town from the comfort of their living room. But since the FBI has the place under surveillance, they decide to do the looting from another location. Jimmy is wishing he could signal Superman, but of course that thief stole his signal watch. (Nice bit of continuity there. Plus it makes Jimmy's usual easy out impossible.)

Onto Slade's private yacht they go. Once at sea, Jimmy is told to set the teleporter to rob some gold bars from a bank. Jimmy does as told and then is put in a rowboat and sent his way because they're beyond the 7 mile limit. Nice of them not to kill him. After all, he knows their entire operation now. But no, that magic 7 mile limit will keep him from talking, I guess.

But what's this? Jimmy is cackling, very proud of himself. He watches at the gold bars continue to land on the yacht in a huge, never-ending stream. (When Jimmy teleported Mitch, he didn't fly through the air to the apartment. He disappeared in a cocoon. But for some reason, the bricks appear to be traveling through the air in a long line. I take back what I said about continuity.) Jimmy tricked them by teleporting from Fort Knox instead of the local bank. He's so clever!

The thugs can't reach the machine and it becomes obvious that the gold is going to sink the yacht, which it does. Finally, superman makes his entrance (did he follow the flying yellow brick road?) and he saves Jimmy, the crooks, and the gold.

Jimmy explains how smart he was with his whole Fort Knox thing. Superman decides to take the burglar kit to his Fortress of Solitude and invites Jimmy to come along. Jimmy, however, has a date with Lucy, so no thanks, big blue. "Later, at the end of a perfect evening..." Jimmy the burglar "steals" a kiss. He's so smug about it he straightens his bowtie (which is what the instruction booklet told him to do were he to be on a date with a beautiful blonde).

And that's the end of THE BURGLAR KIT FROM THE FUTURE! Did you enjoy the story? Want more silver age Jimmy Olsen? Let me know. If you said yes, you're in luck because there are two more stories in this issue and they'll be coming to this blog next. Stay tuned!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #66 (Story One, Part 2): THE BURGLARY KIT FROM THE FUTURE

So what do you do when you spot a futuristic thief in the next room? Jimmy, Lucy and Clark saunter into the room to confront him. Luckily the green-skinned future-thief speaks English. Jimmy threatens to call Superman with his supersonic signal watch. The thief drops the vibrating gun and picks up a black-out gun which knocks the earthlings out. Clark, of course, pretends to be knocked out (and we get a large thought balloon explaining the weapon, his fake black-out, and why in truth it doesn't affect him. What would silver age DC's have done without thought balloons?)

While the thief steals Jimmy's watch from his unconscious body (he appears to have a swarm of flies above his head. It's really that swirly "I’m unconscious" effect but just in case, I hope Jimmy closes his mouth. I wonder if he has sleep apnea? Oh, but I digress yet again), Clark sneaks out to change into his costume.

Superman catches the thief off-panel. Next thing you know he is flying the thief home in greenhead's time bubble (while centuries pass below their rainbow-colored flight. The only way to time travel is to do so in rainbow colors). Because he knows him, he calls the thief by name: Graxton 4-K. Apparently, in the future, green-skinned people will have bizarre last names. 'Graxton' is okay (in a Jerry Springer kinda way: "Graxton, you isn't the daddy of my baby! I bin sleepin' wif your brother Braxton! We's gonna name him Kraxton, after yo mama!") but 4-K? Is that the Delaware 4-Ks or the ones from Arkansas? The Delawares don't speak of the Arkansas branch of the family, y'know.

Meanwhile, Jimmy and Lois wake up and the Jimster sees that the thief left his burglary kit behind. Aha! Now we're heading into our plot. My favorite part of this whole story is, as Jimmy says, "That burglar left his tool kit! It's full of burglar tools from the future! And this booklet tells how to use them!" Yes, not only did he leave his tools behind, but he conveniently left the instruction booklet! You can hear the discussion on this between the writer and the editor. "But how does Jimmy know what these things are or how to use them?" "Oh, um, er, the thief left the instruction booklet." "Brilliant! Write it up!"

With the booklet instantly memorized, Jimmy dives into the bag and puts on the X-Ray glasses. (I don't know why he needed a burglar kit from the future for those. The same specs were sold in the back of many of his comics.) He tests them out by staring into his safe. Two problems here. The most obvious is that he never even glances at Lucy (who, I might add, beats a hasty retreat. She looks like she's worried that Jimmy will lose interest in staring at stuff he already knows is there and will turn his attention to what's under that spiffy red dress). The second is that we just saw his safe destroyed a few panels ago. How can he be looking into an intact safe if it was just crumbled to pieces? Although it appears he's looking at the side of the safe. Maybe it was only the door that crumbled. However, since the door did crumble, why not look into the gaping front to see what's there? Why use X-ray glasses to see inside something that is wide open yet not glance at the lovely Lucy? That Jimmy is one mixed-up kid. (And before you say anything, I get it – he wanted to test out the glasses on the "hardest metal in the universe". Still, is that what you'd look at?)

Jimmy escorts Lucy to her car but oh, no! She's locked her keys inside. All is lost. After all, how could Jimmy possibly find a way to... wait a minute! What about that burglary kit from the future? There happens to be a spiral magnetic beam in it that can open any lock! Phew! "Oh, Jimmy, you're wonderful!" Ain't he though?

As Lucy drives away Jimmy decides to write an article for the Planet about his new toys. Great idea! Let the entire criminal world know that you posses the ultimate set of burglary tools. Perfectly safe thing to do. No one would want to, you know, steal it or anything, right?

Luckily, Perry White has other plans. Perry wants Jimmy to get the goods on "Alibi Al", a bank robber who always has a perfect alibi. Jimmy figures he can crack the case with his new tools.

Jimmy pays a visit to Al and inspects the man's empty (but weird-looking) safe. No evidence there. Still, Jimmy has his suspicions. When Al is away, Jimmy breaks into his room, uses his fourth dimensional tongs (that can "slip through the hardest surface like butter!") and finds that Al has hidden his loot in the thick walls. Not sure how Al gets in and out of those walls. I think we can assume he's fresh out of fourth dimensional tongs, but ya never know.

Jimmy turns the loot over to the FBI, they arrest Al, and Jimmy is the hero of the day. But as he's leaving, he sees a "slick character". Obviously, looking slick means you have to be a bad guy. Surprisingly, slick is a bad guy! He's Count Slade and he stole radioactive fuel. The FBI guy says, "We have no evidence except for radioactive burns on his hands!" (I suppose there are tons of people walking around with radiation burns, so that's not the least bit suspicious.)

Looks like Jimmy is about to tackle yet another difficult case. I wonder if his burglar tools from the future will play a role? Tune in tomorrow to see the thrills and danger as Jimmy Olsen goes after Count Slade, a bona fide slick character who might be the end of Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen!