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!


Mac Man said...

Joanna- you actually took a bad comic and made it fun a la "Mystery Science Theater 3000." Congrats!

Joanna Sandsmark said...

Thank you! To be honest, it's the 'bad' that makes me love them. They're such great stories for kids and such a hoot as adults. Thanks for commenting!