Wednesday, June 08, 2005

ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #458 DC Comics, 1989



Oh, man. Just looking at the cover - stretchy Jimmy Olsen -- you know this is going to suck. Which begs the question: why did you buy this, Dave? Even back in 1989, surely you knew this wasn't going to be a good comic. I honestly don't know what I was thinking.

I really am just reviewing this so I can make fun of Jimmy Olsen. Is he anybody's favorite character? I'm sure he's somebody's favorite - even the lamest character has a #1 Fan. I call this "The Night Ranger Factor." To this day, there are people out there in the world who, defying all reason, are HUGE fans of the band Night Ranger. Judging by the results of a quick Google search, there are quite a few people who can claim to be Night Ranger's #1 Fan. My point is, no matter how ridiculous or suck-ass a character, movie, book, or band is, there's always somebody out there who totally digs it. I believe this is a universal truth. Somewhere in our great nation there lurks a guy (come on, you know it's a guy) who can accurately call himself Jimmy Olsen's #1 Fan.

I am not that person.

Jimmy Olsen is the Jar Jar Binks of the comic book world - looking at him just makes me angry. Jimmy Olsen is the Avatar of Uncool. He's just -- just-- GOD, HE IS SUCH A TOOL!!!

Case in point: Adventures of Superman #458, wherein Jimmy Olsen suddenly develops uncontrollable stretching powers similar to the Elongated Man. You see, there's this virus... ah, screw it. I'm not here to explain the plot, I'm just here to mock Jimmy Olsen.

Jimmy is sprung on Daily Planet reporter Cat Grant, and in an effort to convince her he's cool, he joins her aerobics class. Clark Kent, Lois Lane, and half the staff of the Daily Planet also attend this class because... well, because the plot demands that they be there. Jimmy has no hope in hell of ever getting anywhere with Cat, but his complete lack of self-awareness shields him from this brutal truth. It's almost as if Jimmy comes from the alien world, not Clark -- an alien world where the concept of "cool" doesn't exist.

So anyway, Jimmy shows up at this aerobics class to impress Cat, and things go horribly wrong. Check it out (click to enlarge):



Sweet Moses, what is he wearing?! Borrowing the Hulk's color scheme, Jimmy wears a purple leotard with green briefs. That'll get the chicks, Jimmy. Tool. I like the little inset panels of Jimmy's face on this page - it looks like he's trying to pass a kidney stone or something.

Jimmy's weird stretching powers manifest themselves suddenly and painfully in the aerobics class. Some well intentioned gym-goers try to help him while Clark dashes out and changes into Superman. Observe:



Cat Grant's kid sees the elastic chaos and says: "What's all the noise about -- Wow. For cool!" Yeah, I don't know what that means, either. Maybe the kid is an adopted Russian orphan who is charmingly mangling American slang or something.

All right, that's it. The comic goes on, but really, who cares? Jimmy lives to annoy another day and stalk more Daily Planet staff in the future. I just wanted to show everybody Jimmy's neat leotards, which are truly "for cool."

36 comments:

Dave said...

Hey! I happen to like Night Ranger! =)

David Campbell said...

Damn! I'm alienating my readership! I knew I should have picked Right Said Fred instead of Night Ranger...

OK, pretend it reads: "The Right Said Fred Factor"

Dave Lartigue said...

Who's the artist on that? Every single line looks like it was drawn with a ruler.

gorjus said...

Looks like the Jergens/Art Thibert combo.

Dork knowledge for thou: Jimmy was once, back in the pre-Crisis heyday, also known as Elastic Lad. He'd drink a special serum and . . . yeah. In fact, Alan Moore actually killed him in the "Last Superman Story," when him & Lana Lang (in her Insect Queen guise) fight to help Superman.

Anyway, he had a purple costume with ELASTIC LAD written on it in big all-caps, and, YEESH, but it was awful. Apparently this was a terribly misguided attempt to evoke "nostaliga" in a post-Crisis way, which also leads to . . . a Superboy with a bowl-cut and an earring. GRODY.

gorjus said...

Or, Klaus Janson on inks? Can't tell. The Sucking is TOO STRONG.

SwanShadow said...

In keeping with the "Right Said Fred Factor," Jimmy's too sexy for his purple leotards.

Joe Shakespeare said...

For cool? For shame...

Johnny B said...

Art-wise, my guess is Jon Bogdanove (sp?) and Janson. Seemed like he was always drawing Superman back then.

Martin Wisse said...

Jimmy was always annoying, but no more so after the Superman reboot, when the writers seems to have this odd compulsion to re-tell those "classic" Silver Age Jimmy Olsen stories, but realistically: in other words, with all the fun sucked out of it...

This is one of those stories and instead of Jimmy reveling in his new found powers, he just wninges for pages and pages and pages.

Anonymous said...

I'll go on record as a Jimmy Olsen fan. Why? Because insane shit happens to this kid on almost an hourly basis.

You can't leave him alone for 5 minutes without him either mutating or becoming unstuck in time.

The kid's seen it all and done it all. I imagine him writing Robert Evans - style memoirs in 10 years.

"Did I turn into a giant turtle monster? I sure did. Did I drink the elastic serum? You bet. Did I marry a gorilla? And how. Do I regret any of it? NOT ON YOUR LIFE, PAL."

Dave said...

Who's the artist on that? Every single line looks like it was drawn with a ruler.

If I recall correctly, that was actually Jurgens' first issue on the book. I think that Thibert was his inker; but I can't remember.

Dave said...

Or, Klaus Janson on inks? Can't tell. The Sucking is TOO STRONG.

Good call. According to this site, it's Jurgens/Janson.

http://tinyurl.com/cm8vr

Konstantinos Stamoulis said...

All these people work at the 'Daily Planet', not at the 'Daily Bugle' .

David Campbell said...

Cripes! Thanks Konstantinos, good save! How embarassing... I'm changing it from Bugle to Planet pronto.

And yes, it was Jurgens with Janson on inks. I didn't mention that in my post because it really fucks up my whole "Klaus Janson is the best inker EVER" theory.

David said...

No. Kevin Nowlan's the best inker ever.

Kevin Church said...

I love Right Said Fred and Jimmy Olsen, so eat it, Campbell.

OK, I think Right Said Fred were a genius one-album band. I do not know their names or anything. Ignore the fact I own a huge collection of gay-friendly dance records, mmmkay?

Milo George said...

Jimmy Olsen is my favorite human member of the Superman supporting cast. [Krypto reigns supreme.] Those Weisenger JIMMY OLSEN comics are gloriously, gleefully moronic, yet it takes like 20 minutes to properly read an issue. They're dense in nearly every sense of the word, so I refuse to believe that Dave doesn't own them all.

Most of the rock journalists and musicians I know respect the guys in Night Ranger -- especially the band's guitarists -- even if they don't want to ever listen to NR's music again. Virtuosic performances, despite vapid content; just imagine Alex Toth at 120 decibels.

David Campbell said...

All right! Fine! I admit it - I have a Night Ranger album. And yes, Brad Gillis is a bitchin' guitarist. I may have a Weisenger issue or two as well; I'll be coy about that.

Right Said Fred, however, are no damn good. I'm sticking to my guns on that one, Kevin!

Anonymous said...

For the sake of completeness: Here's that google search.

Anonymous said...

And yet nothing on this.

N said...

"Tired already, Clark? And yet, even through that bulky sweatshirt you're wearing, I can tell that you're built like a god damn Mack truck. Cripes, Kent, are you on 'roids?"

Anonymous said...

Yeah, how does he fool anybody with a build like that? "Boy, I'm bushed from all these aerobics. Now I'm going to go pull a tractor with my teeth."

Anonymous said...

The kid's seen it all and done it all. I imagine him writing Robert Evans - style memoirs in 10 years.

"Did I turn into a giant turtle monster? I sure did. Did I drink the elastic serum? You bet. Did I marry a gorilla? And how. Do I regret any of it? NOT ON YOUR LIFE, PAL."


Sounds like the beginning of the Funniest Blog Ever.

G. Bob said...

Martin Wisse said...

Jimmy was always annoying, but no more so after the Superman reboot, when the writers seems to have this odd compulsion to re-tell those "classic" Silver Age Jimmy Olsen stories, but realistically: in other words, with all the fun sucked out of it...


Bing. Hit the nail on the head. At least in the 50's a Jimmy Olsen story was worth the money just for the pure free-form poetry of it all.If you wanted to see something nutty happen, then Jimmy was the man to turn to. If you lose the insanity, all you're left with is the worst frickin' sidekick in history.

RobB said...

Ahhh...Elastic Lad. Am I the only one who has one of the last issues of DC COMICS PRESENTS whereing Superman Teams up with....THE ELASTIC FOUR (they are so ultra cool* I reserved bolding, italicising, and capitalizing for them, and them alone in this post.)

As for Bogdanove, I tend to think he is the only artist worse than Rob Liefeld to at one time, consistently get work, and on SUPERMAN no less. God his art was like a sharp, jagged piece of ice in my eyes.

**and by ultra cool I mean incredibly lame

G. Bob said...

So in the process of seeking out why Jimmy used to be cool, I stumbled upon this classic. Look folks, rave all you want about people like Bendis but I dare you to find a single panel of his that approaches the cool of a line like "So that's what used to be in the bottle I sniffed!" That's why kids used to read comics folks. Modern writers take note. Look at the comic and tell me it doesn't give a heck of alot of value for your dime. You have Jimmy stretching himself into the Phantom Zone. Jimmy facing a moral crisis. Jimmy fighting a criminal gang. Jimmy getting run over by a steamroller!!! Just try to tell this story in less than 6 issues today. I dare you. They did it in a mere 8 pages.

David Campbell said...

OK, I suck for not picking up that Jimmy's work-out garb was actually his Elastic Lad costume, sans logo.

I don't suck as bad as Night Ranger, though...

Dave Carter said...

Oh, c'mon man, Jimmy Olsen #141 had one of the coolest non-monkey covers ever.

Kirby on JO was one long super-hero head-trip!

David Campbell said...

That is a thing of beauty.

SW said...

WTF? Why are Superman and Guardian carrying a picture of Don Rickles?

Anonymous said...

Maybe it has something to do with the greatest climax in comic's history.

Yail Bloor

Brad Curran said...

"WTF? Why are Superman and Guardian carrying a picture of Don Rickles?"

Do you have reading comprehension problems. Kirby said just buy it. damn you!

losergeekneil said...

Don"t forget that Jimmy Olsen ACTUALLY did have a fan club in the comic books. There was a Silver age comic where he actually dressed up as a woman to trick the fan somehow (vague on plot I know, but does anyone else know this story?)

Scipio said...

You know what, Dave?

I absolutely LOVED that issue...

lazy_cg said...

http://www.tgfa.org/comics/jimmy_olsen/jimmy_olsen.htm

nuff said

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