The Deadly Precision Of… The Olsen Thrust!

You know, the ISB’s been here at the new site for a few days now, and while things finally seem to be settling down with WordPress and the new design, it just doesn’t quite seem like “home” yet. I don’t know why, but it feels like I’m missing something…

Something… awesome.

Oh, right: Jimmy Olsen stabbing people with a sword while riding a horse.

For the record, that all happens in Otto Binder and Curt Swan’s “Jimmy Olsen, The Boy Swordsman” from Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #108, which also includes a Brewster’s Millions-esque tale wherein everyone’s favorite cub reporter has to spend a million bucks in order to get another million from an eccentric miser and, as you might expect, spends the whole time dressed like a red-headed Thurston Howell.

This one, however, opens up with Jimmy in a museum that apparently lets anyone with a signal watch waltz in and start pawing the merchandise, which is how he ends up accidentally preventing a robbery by slashing a would-be crook’s belt. The fact that he nearly kills a man while swinging a three hundred year-old rapier in a crowded room doesn’t stop anybody from applauding his quick thinking, which probably sent the wrong message to the kids of the Silver Age, but hey, look on the bright side: Jimmy’s got a new hobby!

Through a series of amazing coincidences–which, really, is how everything happened back in Metropolis in 1968–Jimmy impresses Lois and Perry to the point wher ethey introduce him to a visitor from Valdania, “the tiny kingdom where Swordsmanship has never died out.”

At this point, you can probably see where this is going.

Jimmy ends up heading out to Valdania, one of twenty-six Silver Age monarchies whose citizens have steadfastly refused to adopt modern technology to make for a more interesting story, where he hooks up with Prime Minister Kandu and performs a few sword tricks for the king, which is right about the time the sotry takes a sharp left into crazytown.

See, while he’s performing, the notorious criminal swordsman known as “The Ace of Swords” busts onto the scene, completely bypassing the King’s security guards depsite the fact that he’s wearing a purple jerkin and an orange hat with a big white feather, waving his sword around, and threatening to assassinate the king.

So Jimmy kills him.

Under normal circumstances, a hero killing someone in the Silver Age DC Universe was a pretty grim situation, usually resulting in exile from Earth or being drummed out of the Legion or something. For Jimmy, though, the thrill of taking another man’s life is instantly addictive, and with some encouraging words from Kandu, he agrees to hunt down and murder the enemies of the kingdom for money.

What follows is the Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen equivalent of that scene in Tombstone where Kurt Russel and his moustache go on a rampage, but with more windmills and slightly less Sam Elliot. Jimmy takes out “Black Blade” and “Flashing Saber,” which results in the King rewarding Jimmy with the entire treasury and sending him off to the airport.

But then, surprising… well, nobody, it turns out that the whole thing was a sham cooked up by Kandu to steal the country’s money. So let’s check the ol’ scorecard here. This Sinister Master Plan required Kandu to..

  1. Travel to America from a country that doesn’t believe in modern technology, like, you know, airplanes.

  2. Locate a suitably gullible patsy who was under the impression that he had natural talent for swordplay.
  3. Stage the deaths of three notorious outlaws.
  4. Convince the king to reward said patsy with the entire treasury.
  5. And finally…

  6. Team up with outlaws to murder said patsy, who will hopefully not be the best friend of someone who can fly and shoot death rays from his eyes.

Clearly, there is no other possible way that Kandu, the Prime Minster of Valdania, could’ve gained access to his country’s wealth.

Needless to say, Superman ends up showing up to save Jimmy from being skewered, everything works out okay, and Jimmy vows to give up swordplay. But he’ll always remember that it’s the Olsen Thrust… that really drives you insay-ay-ay-ane.

That joke sent in by Mark Hale, age 29! Let’s give him a big hand, everybody!

19 thoughts on “The Deadly Precision Of… The Olsen Thrust!

  1. I must say, the criminals of Valdania seem to have amazing sportsmanship, considering their final words.

  2. I love the Michael Scott comparison:

    “Olsen Thrust Exposes Thief” – that’s what she said!

  3. I love that really convenient tree branch in the first panel, meaning that they can show Jimmy Olsen stabbing someone and still get comics code approval. Its reminiscent of that story from the first Showcase Presents…Superman where Superman was mauled by a guy with a sword, but it all, very conveniently, happened in the shadows or in the distance.

  4. Wow, Jimmy Olsen’s one stone-cold killer. Punisher’s got nothing on Olsen.

  5. This once again teaches us the valuable lesson, everyone outside of America is out to get you. Never leave America, kids, it’s just not worth it!

  6. Why does the phrase The Olsen Thrust make me think of the titles of really bad paperback porn novels from the late sixties? Is it just me, or were those old comic books filled with sly double meanings? And Isn’t that the name of a nuclear reactor? Or a killer whale? My brain is melting! Good stuff!

  7. Does Jimmy show them his “O Face” when he’s about to use the “Olson Thrust?”

    Congrats on the new digs :D


    *sings to the tune of “Timewarp”*

    Let’s do the Olson Thrust again…
    Let’s do the Olson Thrust again!

    It’s just a jump to the left
    And then a step to the right
    With your hands on your hips
    You bring your knees in tight
    But it’s the pelvic thrust that really drives you insane,
    Let’s do the Olson Thrust again!

  8. Oddly enough, that elaborate plan is less absurdly convoluted than Morgana’s “Hawkeye’s Magic Arrows” scheme from Chuck Austen’s Avengers run.

  9. I may be wrong, but it appears Jimmy is weilding two swords in the first panel. You know, like Kratos.

  10. I love that Jimmy took the Ace of Swords life “without *really* meaning to.” I mean, y’know, if he happened to take his life, that’d be cool and stuff. But it’s not like he *really* meant to.

  11. I like how the one guy says “I am done!” instead of “I am undone!” It sounds manlier. Speaking of Scandinavian- sounding fencing maneuvers, Jimmy should have a crossover with the Warriors Three.

  12. Sorry, what? I didn’t get past “my Olsen thrust never fails”.

    And I’m likin’ the new site, Chris.