The Caffeine-Free Jimmy Olsen

Hi, everyone! I’m Christopher, and apparently, this is my website.

You’ll have to forgive me. I decided on a lark this morning that I was going to skip out on having any caffeine today–marking the first time I’ve done that in… well, let’s just round it off to seventeen years–and I’ve been in something of a fog all day. In fact, to be honest, the past few years are all sort of a blur at this point.

But anyway, it seems I’ve got this website, and I vaguely remember something about updating daily, so I’d better get to it. It’s almost eleven, after all, and I’m starting to get awfully sleepy.

Fortunately, over here by the computer, there was a stack of… well, I guess they’re comic books, but they’re all in black and white and look to be the size of a phonebook. The one on top–Superman Family v.2–had a Post-It stuck to the cover (I’m assuming I wrote it) with “GOOD FOR THE BLOG” written on it next to a drawing of what I think is supposed to be Eddie from Iron Maiden using a “signal watch,” so I guess that’s what I’ll be posting about tonight.

Let’s see here…



From what I understand, this Jimmy Olsen character is Superman’s sidekick, so seeing him become any sort of “outlaw” would certainly be out of character, especially if it’s going to bring him into conflict with his “pal!” That’s definitely something you don’t see every day.

But still, I’m sure there’s a good reason for it. I mean, I wouldn’t be buying so many of these things if they were full of nonsense and explanations that were tenuous at best, right? Let’s press on!

The story proper starts Jimmy paying a visit to a recurring Metropolitan scientist named Professor Potter. The ol’ memory’s still a bit fuzzy around the edges, but I recall that this Potter is something of a genius inventor, with accomplishments ranging from computer science to time travel, so this visit should prove to be very educational.

Today’s invention? The Twin-Maker Ray!



Sadly, Potter’s invention is slightly flawed, and while I’m not sure why, I can’t shake the nagging feeling that I’ve seen a flawed duplicator ray somewhere before.

Either way, Potter’s produces copies that are visually identical, but differing in their qualities, to the point where they become opposites. In an interesting study in duality: An apple produced is sour rather than sweeet, a black rabit is reproduced from a white one, and an ostrich provides…



…a greedy ostrich?

The opposite of “ostrich” is “greed?” What an odd plot point.

Oh well. As you might expect, Professor Potter, who is turning out to be a very irresponsible scientist indeed, eventually turns the ray on Jimmy himself, using him to test the ray’s effectiveness on human beings, without even asking his permission first. I guess it’s obvious now just why he never got his doctorate.

The results are about what you’d expect:



Unlike the simple distinctions that mark the apple, rabbit and ostrich, Jimmy and his double (or as I’ve nicknamed him, “The Deuce”) appear to be exact copies.

The keyword, of course, is “appear,” as it quickly becomes evident that the Deuce is, in fact, evil. So evil, in fact, that he sends Jimmy home by telling him that he’ll cover his job, and then promptly starts doing crimes.

He starts by crashing through a skylight and using his connections with Superman to blackmail a thief into handing over half of his loot, but quickly moves on to more daring exploits, like… Wait.

This can’t be right.

It looks like the Deuce is climbing up a giant statue of Superman that serves as some kind of signpost in order to steal a safe using a giant magnet.



Well that’s just silly!

I mean, that’s not even the airport! It’s an apartment building! What kind of books are these?!

Maybe I should just get through this and move on. With his crimes escalating as he uses his connections to Superman to aid and abet them, the Deuce decides that it’s time to plot his big score: Discovering Superman’s identity and selling it to the mob. And in order to accomplish this task, he elects to take one of Jimmy’s chunks of Kryptonite–though I’m not sure why Jimmy hangs onto a fist-sized rock that can kill his best friend–and wander around the city waiting to see who is weakened when he passes by. The logistics of this plan are… well, it’s awful. Just awful.

Defying all logic–which I’m sensing is a trend in these stories–the plan works almost immediately, and the Deuce discovers that Superman is in reality Clark Kent, mild-mannered etc.

Before he can sell the information, though–thanks in large part to using a sentence so convoluted that it puts mine to shame–he pulls a fadeout, courtesy of Jimmy Classic:



Thus, Jimmy Olsen essentially murders himself with a radioactive meteorite.

Ridiculous. And looking around the house, I see that I’ve got stacks–stacks!–of the same, and I’m starting to get the feeling that I never finished college! Clearly, a change of lifestyle is in order.

But we’ll get to that tomorrow. For now, I’m getting awfully sleepy, and perhaps a trip to bed is in order. But first, I’m a bit parched.

What’s this…? “Starbucks Double Shot Espresso and Cream?” Sounds delicious!







In order to disguise himself while he commits grand theft magnet, the Deuce uses a hood that looks strangely familiar:



Let’s see. Between the hood, the bizarre crimes, and the fact that he’s running away, I think I might’ve stumbled onto something here. Could Evil Jimmy Olsen actually be… Cobra Commander?!




25 thoughts on “The Caffeine-Free Jimmy Olsen

  1. I’m scaping together the 3g’s u need I swear; I cant wait to see how the book of Cobratology’s true fact versions of these events; is Professor Potter God or just an Angel of Science? Did Deuce/Cobra Commander wonder the phantom zone for 30 years before switching universe entirely and forming the organised religion we know and love? Is Lady Jaye actual an reverse personality double of Lucy Lane (with a dye job)? I need to know.

  2. So, The Deuce is Cobra Commander AND The August Personage in Jade? Apparently Evil Jimmy Olsen is the coolest person in comics.

  3. Nice. This reminds me of a hilarious moment in Robert Hamburger’s “Real Ultimate Power” book where young Bobby starts taking Prozac and writes a typical A+ grade-school paper on Ben Franklin, juxtaposed against a really exciting story of murder and turtle-rape among our Founding Fathers in 18th Century Philadelphia, which he wrote while he was off his meds.

    Can someone explain Mort Weisinger’s obsession with ostriches? They show up all the freaking time in his books!

  4. I think the real question is why dont (didnt) ostriches show up more often in other peoples books, since clearly they’re narative gold.

  5. Y’know, Chris, I’m glad you had your non-caffinated experiment and all, but I’m glad you fell off of that wagon.

    Man, I shudder to think of what damage an evil Jimmy Olsen could wreak on the DC Universe had he not become Cobra Commander…

  6. cobra commander/destro ’08? it be better than what we got now. heck, evil jimmy olsen would be better than what we got now. the greedy ostrich would even be better.

  7. “I’m not sure why Jimmy hangs onto a fist-sized rock that can kill his best friend”

    I was wondering the same thing myself. Are we sure Jimmy Olsen wasn’t evil all along and the duplicate wasn’t good? It explains the Hitler’s henchman thing.

  8. I’d vote a Cobra Commander/Destro ticket in a skinny minute. However, I will admit that I voted for Destro in the Illinois primaries, so I’m still pulling for him to take the Cobra nomination (a long shot for sure, but if Major Bludd’s quixotic attempt to take the party splits the vote enough….).

    I tried giving up caffiene (I’ve been addicted for like 28 years), but it gave me a withdrawal headache so bad I seriously considered putting a steak knife into my temple to alleviate the pressure.

  9. Yes, knowing is half the battle, but do you know what the other half is?

    Ninjas. Lots and lots of ninjas.

  10. So why is it that Jimmy just “happens” to be carrying kryptonite in his pocket? It’s like, “Hey, look, I just happen to be carrying around a rock that’s deadly only to my ‘best friend’ Superman! But it’s not like I’m planning to murder him or anything! At least not until after I yank his chain with my signal watch a couple more times.”

  11. Wouldn’t Clark get hurt every time he’d go to work with Jimmy there if he’s carrying chunks of the stuff in non-lead-lined pockets?

  12. Christopher, we hardly knew ye.

    This is one of my favorite ISB posts of the year! Way to go, Chris(topher)!

  13. Jimmy Olsen is the John Constantine of the Silver Age.

    In that he is neither the property of Hell or Heaven.

  14. Webrinner, I should think it obvious after all the tomfoolery we’ve seen Jimmy involved in on this blog that we can naturally assume he’s wearing lead pants ALL THE TIME, just in case. And underpants as well, don’t want any kryptonite poisoning in the “Little Deuce” now, do we.

    No. We do not.

  15. The secret origin of the Cobra Commander.
    This is Comic Book Urban Legends material.

  16. I know the pain – I recently gave up caffeine for 10 long days after 25 years of pretty much non-stop swilling the stuff – espresso, cappuccino, starbucks, pots and pots of my own stuff, almost always black (except the capps of course). Took 4 days to get the headaches to subside.

    But man, I’m a lightweight now. Had 2 coffees and little to eat one morning and had such a buzz I thought I would vibrate Flash style right through the walls. I could taste colours. I think I even glimpsed my future self, typing away at the keyboard responding to this thread…

  17. Chris –
    I think you missed the most distressing part of this story. In the very last panel we see that Jimmy wears a CLIP-ON BOW TIE!

    I just don’t know who to believe in anymore.

  18. Is it just me, or does it look like that ostrich sucked that piece of kryptonite out of Jimmy’s pocket from a couple of feet away?

    That’s some serious lung power.

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