The Many Loves of Jimmy Olsen, Chapter 17

When it comes right down to it, the title of a story doesn’t really have to tell you anything.

Take Watchmen, for instance: It’s a great title for a great story, but by itself, without the quote from Juvenal or the actual themes to contextualize it, it doesn’t tell you anything about what’s actually going to happen.

With a title like this, though…

 

 

…you pretty much know you’re in for something awesome.

And awesome it is! Originally published in Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #69, my copy of this Leo Dorfman/John Forte masterpiece comes from the giant-sized #122, which also features a story where Jimmy Olsen makes out with virtually every girl in Superman’s supporting cast, up to and including Superman’s cousin, his childhood sweetheart, and his psychic mermaid ex-girlfriend.

You know, when dealing with any other genre, that would probably be the strangest sentence I’d type all night. And that, my friends, is why I’m thankful for Silver Age Jimmy Olsen comics.

Anyway, it all gets started, as you might expect if you’re familiar with the many tribulations of Jimmy Olsen’s love life, with Jimmy’s on-again / off-again total bitch girlfriend Lucy Lane giving him the cold shoulder on a ski slope:

 

 

Okay, seriously: I don’t want to harp on Lucy here or anything, but let’s take a look at the facts here. On the one hand, you’ve got Ron Baxter, who’s handsome, tall, well-built, and has the glamorous career of an Olympic skier. I won’t lie, folks, the guy’s a catch.

But Jimmy? Jimmy’s been to outer space.

He’s best friends with Superman.

He’s a member of a super-hero team in the motherfucking future.

That guy should wake up every morning on a pile of intergalactic supermodels. And yet, there goes the object of his affection, off to the Bunny Slope with Rex Squarejaw. What a world, folks. What a world.

But Jimmy, of course, is not deterred, and resolves to impress Lucy by leaping across “Daredevil Chasm.” As should come as no surprise, this doesn’t really go to well.

To be fair, Jimmy does make the jump, but thanks to a sudden avalanche, it’s the landing that presents him with a bit of a problem. Thus, Jimmy takes a rock to the noggin and wakes up a few minutes later, digging himself out of the snow to find that he’s inadvertently unearthed some red-haired Nordic hotness from the days of Leif Ericsson!

 

 

At this point, those of us who’ve been down this lonely road with Jimmy before might think that we’ve got it all figured out. After all, the last time Jimmy Olsen started ranting about vikings, it all turned out to be a hallucination, and what with the fact that he’s conked on the head right when all this starts to go down, it’s pretty easy to assume that this is all going to turn out to be a dream.

The truth, however… is far more radical:

 

 

Take a good hard look at the lousy buncha ingrates that comprise the Jimmy Olsen Fan Club. In a plot twist that cannot be explained without at least four notebooks full of complex math, Jimmy’s alleged “fans” decide to get back at him for ditching them to chase girls by unpacking their brand new automated RealDoll™ and using it to “make Lucy jealous.” And seeing as the control panel is emblazoned with functions like “Treat Jimmy Affectionately” and “Treat Jimmy Coldly,” it seems to have been made exactly for that purpose.

Something to consider here: Jimmy brought the kids along on the trip, which ostensibly means that he paid their airfare. And yet, they managed to sneak not only a life-sized, fully functional replica of a teenage Vikingess, but the control panel for same, which clocks in at about the size of a modest china hutch, apparently just in case they needed to pull a fast one.

And here’s the weird part: This goes on for days. Presumably, the kids can just set Holga to act idependently and get back to their lives, but leaving an experimental robot to its own devices might not be the most responsible thing to do. Especially if it were to, oh, I don’t know, gain access to the White House or something.

 

 

Fortunately, disaster was averted when Holga became preoccupied with shoving a plate of sandwiches directly into Jimmy’s face in a panel that’s equal parts hilarious and terrifying:

 

 

As you can see, Lucy has decided by this point that she can only be happy when Jimmy’s pining away for her, and when she finds out that Holga’s a robot–thanks to an amazing set of coincidences involving Jackie Kennedy’s model longship and a spare key to the Fan Club offices–she resolves to make him as miserable as possible by making Holga into her fickle, shrewish proxy.

 

 

I may have mentioned this before, but Lucy Lane is a terrible, terrible person.

 

 

Of course, Jimmy’s views on the situation are slightly different, as revealed when Lucy comes to the park to gloat and finds that what she thought was a present for Holga was, in actuality, Jimmy returning her gift with a note explaining that his heart belongs to another.

Thus, Lucy repents (for the two panels it takes to finish the story, anyway) and they get to making out. As for Holga–who, if you’ll remember, is a national celebrity at this point–she ends up getting disassembled and stuffed back in a box by Jimmy’s Amazingly Creepy Fan Club, who at this point have crossed the line from “youthful shenanigans” to “alarming sociopathic behavior” at least six times over:

 

 

Still, all’s well that ends we–hey, wait a second! You know, I’d been under the impression that they were monitoring Holga the Robot on that screen, but with her in the box, that must mean that they’ve actually got Jimmy under constant surveillance! They’re an even creepier fan club than I thought!

Man. That guy just can’t catch a break.

41 thoughts on “The Many Loves of Jimmy Olsen, Chapter 17

  1. At this point in the comic geek community’s re-evaluation of the Silver Age, I think we’ve all realized that its most prominent characteristic isn’t insane breakneck plotting or off-the-wall ideas, but the roiling cauldron of hatred and misanthropy that the stories barely conceal. I think some one aspect of the work environment back then must be responsible for all three of those properties.

  2. I think there is a bigger creepiness factor at play here. The entire plan rested on Jimmy being stuck in that avalanche after the ski jump. So either his fan club can see into the future somehow, or they caused the avalanche that could easily have killed their supposed “hero” just to fix him up with a remote controlled realdoll.

  3. Everyone seems to miss the point that a bunch of young male teenagers had access to a female robot that looked so real it fools a guy who hangs with robots on a regular basis and the only thing they do with said robot is…. play pranks? Wow the 1960s really were a more innocent time….I’m gonna go imagine how this story would turn out if written by Warren Ellis…

  4. “Holga”??
    “HOLGA”??
    This calls for some authentic Swedish cursing:
    “Va’ i helvete??”

    Take my word as a Scandinavian — there has never been a Norse woman named “Holga.” We have Olgas, Helgas, Elsas, guys named Helge… but we’re fresh out of Holgas.

  5. That should’ve been Jimmy’s first clue that something was amiss, but the guy’s so desparate at this point he’ll take a robot viking with a fake Norwegian name.

    And really, Jimmy, “creepazoid” Olsen deserves everything he gets at this point, considering his own actions.

  6. Seriously, why is Jimmy dating this woman? He should have a different supermodel for every day of the week.

    On an unrelated note, I would like to thank you, Chris. My life was a cold and dark place, though this unknown to me, for it lacked Scott Pilgrim. And then I saw a panel from Scott Pilgrim #4, and bought the first three volumes (my local comic store, which is pictured in the Encyclopedia next to “suck”, does not have any Scott Pilgrim, so I will have to order #4).

    Scott is my new hero. And I wish him great success in his endeavors to defeat Ramona’s evil ex-boyfriends… because this is a girl who uses Monkey Island comebacks while fighting. There is no length to which he should not go to keep her.

  7. I wonder if this isn’t a hint to the legion of ISB fans to make a sexy robot with huge mointoring station for Mr.Sims. . .

  8. “He’s a member of a super-hero team in the motherfucking future.”

    The line alone is capable of making innocent blog readers such as myself both collapse in TOTAL HYSTERICS and COMPLETELY FREAK OUT at the same time, which as we all know is a deadly combination. While I know your years of exposure to the awesomeness of Olsen have hardened you Mr Sims, some of us are not so resilient. Remember, disclaimer’s save lives.

  9. “…(T)hat must mean that they’ve actually got Jimmy under constant surveillance! They’re an even creepier fan club than I thought!”

    Little known fact: The bespectacled member of Jimmy’s Fan Club later grew up to be U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Look it up!

  10. Man! Can Olsen cram sandwiches down his pie-hole or WHAT! But he cuts a pathetic figure as a Viking – looking like that, he’d be the crew’s plaything on any self respecting longboat voyage…

    Cheers!

    Mal

  11. You’ll note they didn’t disassemble her, they just put her back in the box, hopefully after following their standard washdown and cleanout procedures. I’m guessing there’s more to that control panel.

  12. If I lived in Metropolis, I would make it my ultimate mission to stay on Jimmy Olsen’s good side, at any cost.

    Think about it – his girlfriend wanders off with other men, and then screws with his mind for being hurt about it; his fan club has him under omniscient, round-the-clock surviellance AND screws with his mind with Viking robot chicks; his best pal, silver-age Superman, is a tool who screws with his mind pretty much because he’s silver-age Superman, so there; and in the future, where he’s a superhero, HIS TEAMMATES screw with his mind to make his girlfriend jealous – the same girlfriend who is a well-known crazy person.

    When Olsen snaps, he will make enitre civilizations weep for it. When it all goes down, Jimmy, remember that I was ALWAYS there for you.

  13. I wouldn’t have thought it possible, but this is even creepier than that one Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode.

  14. Does Holga first show up in that sheer purple dress? And if so, did it never occur to Jimmy that this would be an odd way for a centuries-old Viking to have been dressed when she was suddenly frozen into suspended animation?

    Unrelatedly: was JFK the last President (and Jackie the last First Lady) to appear in comics regularly as a benign authority figure/ national symbol? I never remember appearances of LBJ like that, Nixon was head of the Serpent Society, Reagan ordered the Dark Knight captured and banned super-heroes in Legends, Bush was the former spy overseeing the Suicide Squad and Checkmate, I don’t remember any Carter appearances at all, etc.

  15. Clearly Jimmy’s fan club had prepared for all contingencies. It’s a rare situation you can’t resolve with one of the three actions: “Laugh”, “Cry”, or “Speak Norse”.

    Entire dating books have been written about the appropriate time to deploy each response.

  16. I… the… what?

    I totally agree with the sentiment on that last scan. Both the “fan club” and Lucy Lane are in desperate need of having their sectors wrecked by a rampaging OMAC.

    Good God y’all.

    -Nick

  17. Jimmy’s problem is not unlike Nick Cage’s problem. Cage so admired Elvis that he married Lisa Marie Presley, a cold hearted bitch who made him sell his comic book collection, but she was the ultimate link to Elvis – Cage was “The King’s” (well the other King’s) son-in-law even if Elvis was dead. Jimmy was desperate to be with Lucy Lane (objective, marriage) sure in the knowledge that Superman would marry Lois, making him Superman’s brother-in-law – the ultimate link. And for that he was willing to put up with that cold-hearted bitch Lucy Lane (but to be fair, how could she not be a cold-hearted bitch with Lois as her sister).

  18. Jacob T. Levy Said: “Unrelatedly: was JFK the last President (and Jackie the last First Lady) to appear in comics regularly as a benign authority figure/ national symbol?”

    No, I have at least one copy of Jack Kirby’s Secret City Saga that feature Bill Clinton, and he seems nice (i.e. not a secret terrorist agent) enough in them.

  19. Jacob T. Levy Said: “Unrelatedly: was JFK the last President (and Jackie the last First Lady) to appear in comics regularly as a benign authority figure/ national symbol?”

    In a Marvel Two In One issue, Mentallo and the Fixer used a mentally controlled Deathlok to (seemingly) attempt to assassinate Jimmy Carter at his inauguration. In truth, they were trying to implant a mind control device on him, but instead of Carter, the Impossible Man, who was living with the Fantastic Four at the time, was standing in for Carter.

    Here’s the thing though.

    Deathlok actually managed to shoot “Carter”-so shouldn’t Mentallo and the Fixer had control over the Impossible Man?

    Ahh, Marvel Two-In-One. What a book.

  20. the Clintons were in an issue of Supreme, I think, where an evil intergalactic conqueror type learned to fear Hillary.

  21. Wow. Actually, you know what Holga reminds me of? Lila, OMAC’s build-a-friend from OMAC #1. Maybe it’s because Kirby worked on Jimmy Olsen, though not till after this story.

    …and now I’m picturing the Jimmy Olsen fan club packing Holga away into that freaky box, and gahhhhh. Thanks, Sims.

  22. What most people don’t realize is that Holga the Viking robot gal actually played a major role in Alan Moore’s first draft of “Twilight of the Superheroes.”

  23. I think Lyndon Johnson showed up a couple of times in HERBIE.

    And of course, you had the Clintons speaking at Superman’s funeral.

  24. Wow. Actually, you know what Holga reminds me of? Lila, OMAC’s build-a-friend from OMAC #1.

    Hence the alt text on the final image. Believe me, brother: I compare everything to OMAC #1.

  25. Remember that 70s story where Spider-Man and the Black Widow team up with Nick Fury to stop villains from crashing the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier into Capitol Hill?

    Then-President Jimmy Carter appears briefly in the story’s climax as he holds a speech… not sure if the comic quotes an actual Carter speech, though.
    :-S

  26. Alt text . . what does he mean? . . .
    *Discovers alt text on picture*

    Does this mean I have to go back and re-read every post you have made?

    :(

    oh well, it isn’t as if I had a LIFE or anything.

  27. Think about it – his girlfriend wanders off with other men, and then screws with his mind for being hurt about it; his fan club has him under omniscient, round-the-clock surviellance AND screws with his mind with Viking robot chicks…

    When you think about it, Jimmy and Metropolis are the Patrick McGoohan / The Village of their age.

  28. You make Silver Age DC Superman family comix sound a lot like ‘House MD’

    Think of it: dire life threatening situations and challenges plus ongoing friendly mindfuck.