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!

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