I was reading a story reprinted from World's Finest back during the Robin-Olsen pairing, and it made me wonder: just how old was Jimmy supposed to be? He was dating an adult woman, but was also an honorary member of the Legion Of Superheroes, which means he could not have been older than 19 (unless there were different rules for honorary members I'm not aware of, you had to be a teen to join). However, one would assume from his solo adventures that he was in his early 20's.  Presumably he had at least graduated High School. So just how old was he supposed to be?

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Just when did Bucky call Cap "Pappy"?  That's insulting.

 

I recall that Harlan Ellison tribute issue of The Incredible Hulk, "The Beast Who Cried Love at the Heart of the Atom"... I'm pretty sure that it was the first issue where Jadella is introduced (and killed-- SPOILERS!) and was the second part of an Avengers tie in... But I don't recall which issues.  possibly Avengers #88  and maybe Incredible Hulk #140?

The Harlan trick was trying to work every title that Harlan had written into the dialog or captions within the same issue.

"Repent, Harlequin" was probably the worst one.  <Groan....>

I recall a back-up story in a Batman comic where Robin goes solo and has to solve or bust the "flowers gang".  At least, I think that was their name (no joke intended here), but through the entire adventure, Robin has to apply his physics that he's supposed to be studying for a test as Dick Grayson.  I recall vividly that he was confronted by a heavy trapdoor in a dock that he couldn't lift...until he used a block and tackle that was conveniently laying nearby, and then could continue the hot pursuit of the crooks.  I didn't understand that one as a kid, but when my dad showed me how pulley's worked in his woodshop, I suddenly got that it would really work.

Perhaps this adventure was an example of DC attempting to deflect concerns that comics couldn't or didn't educate.

Anyone remember what issue this was, or where this adventure appears?  (PS: I think Dick passes his test!)

Robin Olsen said:

I learned how to rob a jewelry store from an issue of JIMMY OLSEN (well, speak o' the devil!). I don't think I'll be sharing that one.

I was flipping thru the HULK index at the GCD the other day, and was reminded that Jarella was killed in HULK #205.  She was left behind in the original story, but Len Wein & Sal Buscema shrunk him down again at the end of HULK #200, and he was reunited with her.  She then came to our world, and following a story with Herb Trimpe art where Banner tried to change history so he would never have become the Hulk (of course it didn't work), the next issue Jarella was killed in a TOTALLY UNCALLED-FOR random incident involving some 5th-rate super-villain probably nobody remembers. (Don't you just wanna SLAP some writers???)

This reminds me of when my best friend and I used to make fun of Len Wein, when he was still doing MARVEL TEAM-UP.  The joke was (only it wasn't a joke), that Len had an encyclopediac memory for obscure trivia, and made a habit of bringing back totally forgotten characters who hadn't been seen in ages... and then, doing absolutely nothing interesting whatsoever with them.

The Robin block-and-tackle incident sounds like a prototype for the 1973 season of THE SUPER-FRIENDS!  (Hey, kids, look!  Superheroes standing around talking for a whole hour!  NO violence or excitement of ANY kind! And-- EDUCATIONAL values!! Just in case you didn't learn anything in school that week...)

Oh, yes, with a few exceptions, the early-70's was a terrible, dark time for Saturday mornings...

Ah.... thanks, Henry.  You're right.  A girl left behind is much better than a death...   LOL!

 

The issue with all the Elison title crammed in everywhere just seemed so.....unnecessary...

I don't recall the exact circumstances but while the Hulk was battling the Crypto-Man (whoever that is), Jarella pushed a child out of the way of a falling wall, only to be crushed herself. It was very similar to the death of Captain George Stacy.

If I may ask a question more to the actual topic?

The Good Commander Benson and I have debated a bit about why the Silver Age Superman was stuck with loved the Silver Age Lois, not once, but twice! But here's my question:

What compelled him to make Jimmy Olsen his best friend? Archie Andrews was busy? How many grown men have a teenager for a bestest buddy? (Sit down, Bruce!)

Oddly enough, the three best male friends of the Silver Age Superman were Jimmy who was much younger, Perry White who was much older and Clark Kent who was himself! Where's Inspector Henderson when you need him?

Personally, I think that Jimmy was Superman's version of Reality TV. Superman deliberately sets Jimmy up for some absurd plot or convienently leaves behind some alien artifact, machine or fruit then flies off to watch the fun. Of course, he always bails him out and makes sure he's not in real danger. In fact the same could be said about Lois!

So why IS Jimmy Superman's Pal?

While I hate to make any attempt to rationalize anything that probably wasn't thought about very carefully at the time, my guess would be that Superman wanted a little brother of sorts.  As you mentioned, Perry was considerably older, and his crimefighting peers were around his same age save for Robin. Supergirl wasn't around yet, and the radio program had just created this Jimmy character, so why not give them an older brother/younger brother dynamic. 

Think about it.  Jimmy was constantly in trouble, and when he got in over his head, the first thing he'd do would be to call his older brother to protect him, and his older brother would do so--unless of course, he had reasons not to.

Also, I don't remember whether Jimmy was an orphan or not back then (I think he was, but I'm not sure) so it could be that Superman felt some level of sympathy and connection with one James Bartholomew Olsen.

Or it could be that Mort had an idea, "hey, let's make this Jimmy character the star of his own book.  It'll sell millions!".

Philip Portelli said:


So why IS Jimmy Superman's Pal?

Yeah, I got to admit it... that does sound like an abusive-tormentor relationship.  Pretty sick by today's P.C. standards.

I'm willing to bet that Dr. Wertheim might have a field day with that one too!  (Sit down, Bruce!)



Philip Portelli said:

If I may ask a question more to the actual topic?

The Good Commander Benson and I have debated a bit about why the Silver Age Superman was stuck with loved the Silver Age Lois, not once, but twice! But here's my question:

What compelled him to make Jimmy Olsen his best friend? Archie Andrews was busy? How many grown men have a teenager for a bestest buddy? (Sit down, Bruce!)

Oddly enough, the three best male friends of the Silver Age Superman were Jimmy who was much younger, Perry White who was much older and Clark Kent who was himself! Where's Inspector Henderson when you need him?

Personally, I think that Jimmy was Superman's version of Reality TV. Superman deliberately sets Jimmy up for some absurd plot or convienently leaves behind some alien artifact, machine or fruit then flies off to watch the fun. Of course, he always bails him out and makes sure he's not in real danger. In fact the same could be said about Lois!

So why IS Jimmy Superman's Pal?

Maybe that's why it was done.... either to protest the stupid way that comic book deaths are arranged, or to mock the death of Capt. Stacy.

Philip Portelli said:

I don't recall the exact circumstances but while the Hulk was battling the Crypto-Man (whoever that is), Jarella pushed a child out of the way of a falling wall, only to be crushed herself. It was very similar to the death of Captain George Stacy.

The Psyklop story in Avengers and Incredible Hulk was based on a plot Ellison had contributed to the promotional magazine Marvelmania Magazine. More information about this can be found here.

Philip Portelli said:

So why IS Jimmy Superman's Pal?

In-story, because Jimmy was a plucky guy who helped him out, including by saving his life, any number of times. Also, because he had been Superman's babysitter.

Randy Jackson said:

 

Also, I don't remember whether Jimmy was an orphan or not back then (I think he was, but I'm not sure) so it could be that Superman felt some level of sympathy and connection with one James Bartholomew Olsen.

 

It was established fairly early on in Jimbo's own series that he was an orphan---"The Son of Superman", Jimmy Olsen # 30 (Aug., 1958).  Well, Jim-boy thought he was an orphan.  Dear old Dad Olsen was still alive and kicking, though Jimmy, and us readers, didn't find out about that for over ten years, real time.

 

 

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