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!::


Jim Perreault said...

Interesting story. I wasn't anticipating Lois getting turned into a cat. I was thinking maybe she and Lucy would merge. Or would that be too gross for a SA Jimmy Olsen story.

Anyways, I have a theory about the cabinet.

Jimmy walked in and turned into an old man.
Perry crawled in and turned into a baby.
Lois ran in and turned into a cat.

So clearly, what you are doing when you enter determines what you are turned into.

Either that, or Lois really is catty.

One more comment:

so we get a quick wrap-up by Lois (who wasn't even there!)

Well that's why she is an ace reporter! She instantly assessed the scene, using her knowledge of the messes Jimmy gets into. She problem knows Clark is really Superman and is just playing dumb. B^)

All in all, not a bad story. Even though the ending is so deux ex machina. It was nice to see Jimmy solve the problem and not have to rely on Superman.


Joanna Sandsmark said...

I'll admit that I thought Mxy was behind the cabinet all along. I figured that's why it hadn't turned to kryptonite. They surprised me, though.

As for the evolution theory, I thought it worked great for Jimmy (who was thinking about how he's no child) and Perry (who crawled in) but the catty Lois stumped me. She wasn't doing anything catty, she was trying to save her sister. Not sure what that was about at all.

As you noted, I did like Jimmy solving it. Usually, Superman always solves everything.

Thanks for sticking with me, Jim!

Anonymous said...

Oldie but a goodie...thanks for
posting this.

I kind of felt sorry for "Mxy"
THIS time,though....LOL!!

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Elliott Broidy said...

Good points!