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

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

To make it worse, custard kidd looks like he's holding a semi...