Thursday, June 18, 2009

Single Issue Review: Jimmy Olsen #46

Although nobody would think of it today, these were DC's top teen stars of the time, the only minors holding down featured spots in the superhero pantheon as of July 1960, when this issue was published. Jimmy gets the assignment to cover a flood in Midvale, the hometown of Linda Lee (Supergirl, although this was during those few years when her existence was not yet known to the world. We see some evidence of his heroic side here:

Unfortunately, Jimmy also conks his head on a log in the process and finds himself in the Midvale Orphanage, considered just another waif of the flood. Of course, Linda Lee recognizes him, but as Superman is away she cannot solve matters quickly without revealing herself. At first she limits herself to preventing a couple from adopting Olsen (as they'd just be heartbroken to learn that he was secretly an "adult"), but then he regains his memory and things get even dicier for her:

But she still can't resist "helping" Jimmy out:

Let me tell you, anybody adopting a teenaged boy had better assume that he's going to suck down food in amazing quantities, whether he's chubby or not. When I was 16, my dad would always ask me if I wanted five or six hamburgers from the grill, and I could not gain a pound; I think my first driver's license showed me as 6'1" and 139 pounds.

Eventually Superman returns and convinces Jimmy that Perry's about to hire another young man for his cub reporter position.

The second story is The Irresistable Jimmy Olsen. Jimmy gets what seems like a dream assignment: To cover the opening of a swanky resort with lots of actresses and models flown in to help promote the gala. What's more, Lucy Lane will be there too, but Jimmy soon finds himself playing the usual second banana routine:

However, a mix-up results in all the gals believing that Jimmy is secretly a VP of a major film studio, out to discover new talent, and so there becomes something of a competition for Jimmy's attentions:

Indeed, Lucy remains the only gal unimpressed with Mr Olsen, perhaps because she knows he's really just a cub reporter. But note this rather odd and somewhat bitter comment from Lois:

Yes, and if only Angelina Jolie loved me half as much as Roseanne Barr loves you.... Note also the non-committal signature on the portrait of Supes; "As Ever?" How about "Still Here," or "Not Destroyed by Green Kryptonite Yet," Okay, maybe Lois does have something to gripe about.

But in the meantime, we do get some more rather amusing situations:

Jimmy eventually gets even with Lucy by declaring her the least attractive woman at the hotel. But she turns the tables on him by pretending to be a real gone gal:

The final story features Elastic Lad and the Jimmy Olsen Fan Club. This latter group often appeared in the early 1960s, expressing their appreciation for the cub reporter. Superman decides that he'd better stick around in case Jimmy gets overconfident in his powers. He helps the youngster out of a couple of jams, but does not reveal himself so that Jimmy can get credit from his fanboys:

It's a cute little story and both Superman and Jimmy are portrayed in a positive light.

Overall comments: The issue is 100% Swan (with Forte on inks), and it's the usual mix of wacky but entertaining stories that you find in Jimmy Olsen.