Jimmy Olsen #93 “The Batman-Superman of Earth-X!”

From October 1954 until March 1974, just shy of two decades, DC Comics published a series titled Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen, detailing the exploits of Superman’s alleged pal, Daily Planet photographer and cub reporter Jimmy Olsen. As a monthly series about a young, somewhat dopey guy who occasionally hangs out with a superhero, you might think the writers were hard pressed to come up with enough material to last 20 issues, let alone 20 years.

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You’d be right, of course; There’s really nothing a writer can do with a character as useless as Jimmy Olsen. Instead, they churned out 163 issues full of the most preposterous situations they could think of to stick Jimmy Olsen into. Over the course of this series, Jimmy found himself at one time or another crossing over into parallel dimensions, getting grotesquely fat overnight, growing extra limbs, swapping brains with a gorilla (twice), transforming into a giant turtle-man, taking up the black art of voodoo, visiting the Phantom Zone, getting prematurely aged, becoming a 50-foot tall superhero, traveling back in time to the days of the Roman Empire, marrying an ape, and being briefly sold into white slavery. And would you believe that this was all pretty much par for the course back in the Silver Age of comics?

Between this and “Batman Becomes Bat-Baby”, I really don’t know what the heck was going on with comic book storylines back in the ‘50s and ‘60s. I can only assume that because comics were regarded as disposable kids’ fare at the time, there wasn’t a whole lot of quality control going on.

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Tag: Bizarre Silver Age Comics

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