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"there's crazy, ther's legitimately insane, and then somewhere way past that is Jimmy Olsen"
July 12, 2011 8:39 AM   Subscribe

The 10 Most Insane Jimmy Olsen Moments of All Time!
posted by Fizz (60 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
You really can't whittle this list down to ten cause the answer is all of them.


I admire the dagger gang for a purity of purpose and commitment to the brand. They do daggers. Draggers is what they do. everything will be daggers.
posted by The Whelk at 8:42 AM on July 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


"As popular as Ringo" is a super insult.
posted by chavenet at 8:42 AM on July 12, 2011 [7 favorites]


Great Scott, he's as popular as Ringo, the Beatle everyone tolerates!
posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:46 AM on July 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


You really can't whittle this list down to ten cause the answer is all of them.

I remember I really liked Superman when I was about four, but by the time I was six, no way. The whole thing annoyed me, which being a six year old, I didn't bother to analyze. I just moved on to Batman and Dr. Strange. Now, I think I finally get it.

Superman (the whole enterprise) was STUPID.
posted by philip-random at 8:52 AM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


No list is complete without THE BEARD BAND.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:52 AM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think that the full formulation - "as popular as ringo, the beatle drummer!" - really gives it an extra kick.
posted by robself at 8:53 AM on July 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


I like how goofy and imaginative these are. Ultra-earnest agnsty comics of the modern era, take note.
posted by clockzero at 8:53 AM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nice to see Sean Connery moonlighting in the Dagger Gang.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 8:54 AM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Jimmy gets a hand

Great plan, Jimmy

He looks pretty bored for someone about to commit murder

Jimmy has an extensive wardrobe
posted by The Whelk at 8:54 AM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, these are awesome, thanks Fizz!
posted by clockzero at 8:55 AM on July 12, 2011


A while back, I read through the first few issues of Superman's Pal, and before it got batshit (right before Jack Kirby picked it up and it got totally batshit) it contained an amazing plot device that was unfortunately dropped: cub reporter Jimmy Olsen did not go an issue without clocking a motherfucker. Seriously, every one of those issues had Jimmy jumping out from behind a log or something to knock Pierre "Bananas" Flambe or whomever out cold. And I clearly remember that not every case was a sneaky sucker punch. Jimmy would just face off with some goon in a hat and suit and POW! right into a tree.
posted by griphus at 8:55 AM on July 12, 2011


With 163 issues of outright madness, "Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen" somehow managed to out-crazy every other DC comic in the Silver Age, and considering that there were issues of "Legion of Super-Heroes" that were actually written by a 13 year-old, that's saying something.
Is this true, or just a joke?
posted by Flunkie at 8:56 AM on July 12, 2011


That's right, everybody: Holga isn't an unfrozen viking princess at all, she's a robot created by the Jimmy Olsen Fan Club for the sole purpose of Making Lucy Lane jealous. We can learn two things from this:

1. Jimmy Olsen's fans are frighteningly devoted to him.

2. Lucy Lane is so awful to Jimmy that when a gang of teenage boys end up with an extremely lifelike sexy ladybot that will do anything they want, they elect to use it to teach her a lesson.


I just can't...can't stop laughing
posted by clockzero at 8:57 AM on July 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also, this doesn't include the time an issue began with Jimmy helping a bunch of boy scouts look for uranium in the desert.
posted by griphus at 8:59 AM on July 12, 2011


Dig the one off groovy typeface here

GIVE ME YOUR TEARS

I ...what?

You know what, I don't think you guys should be friends anymore.
posted by The Whelk at 8:59 AM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


OMG the slapping one is just unbelievable

ZOMG JIMMY OLSEN, PSYCHIC NAZI GENERAL

WHY DON'T THEY MAKE INSANE COMICS ANYMORE
posted by clockzero at 8:59 AM on July 12, 2011


Re: the 13-year-old Legion author - that's not true. Jim Shooter was 14 when he started writing Legion of Super-Heroes.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:00 AM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I ...I don't want to talk about this one.
posted by The Whelk at 9:02 AM on July 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


WHY DON'T THEY MAKE INSANE COMICS ANYMORE

Someone hasn't read Batman: Odyssey, I see.
posted by griphus at 9:16 AM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm still trying to wrap my head around the Nazi one and the time frame in which it was written -- I'm estimating 1965 or so. Often when writing about early Doctor Who, the TV historians discuss how traveling back to World War II in the 60s was considered out-of-line because it was far too recent to make into entertainment (and even making Nazi parallels with the Daleks was a line that needed to be treaded carefully.)

Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond, there's this -- aren't swastikas wacky and don't they totally remind you of your girlfriend?

It's like if in 10 years somebody writes "Jimmy Olsen, the 20th 9/11 hijacker!"
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:19 AM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I ...I don't want to talk about this one.

The Whelk earns the Jimmy Olsen Award for Most Crazy Thing Ever!

I can only assume that Jimmy had wished he could horse around like Weiner, but he forgot to add "without getting spread across the internet." Poor Jimmy, poor Gnor!
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:22 AM on July 12, 2011


I ...I don't want to talk about this one.

I relish that panel.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:26 AM on July 12, 2011


I've seen self-consciously ironic and kitschy web comics that try to be as surreal as these are, and they don't even come close.
posted by codacorolla at 9:48 AM on July 12, 2011


How did he build the statue?

Jimmy is friend to all children

Thankfully Jimmy has the memory of a goldfish
posted by The Whelk at 9:52 AM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


That was no more than a Human Hexapus. I want my ten cents back.
posted by Flunkie at 9:55 AM on July 12, 2011


Wow, I remember that Planet Transilvane one. I didn't even regularly read Superman, but I randomly had a comic with that story in it (as well as something about a Shark-Human hybrid, I think) when I was like 10, and I thought that whole miniature planet with vampires on it idea was The Most Awesome Thing Ever.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:58 AM on July 12, 2011


The answer is crack.
posted by The Whelk at 9:58 AM on July 12, 2011


The Brave and the Bold episode Battle of the Superheroes is packed with Superdickery references and is actually quite awesome. Sadly, the only clip I can find on youtube references something else altogether.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 9:59 AM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


For some reason I kept reading this post as the the top ten Jimmy Kimmel moments of all time, and couldn't figure out how that could possibly a) be amusing in the slightest, or b) involve a frozen robot viking sexybot.
posted by FatherDagon at 10:01 AM on July 12, 2011


Someone hasn't read Batman: Odyssey, I see.

I admit that I haven't. Based on the panels in that link, though, it seems more incoherent/random-type insane than these Jimmy Olsen comics, which are played pretty straight.
posted by clockzero at 10:02 AM on July 12, 2011


We are mere toys to Superman's whims

How does this even work?
posted by The Whelk at 10:04 AM on July 12, 2011


Reminds me as well of Lileks' fun comics covers
posted by antifuse at 10:30 AM on July 12, 2011


I'd like to give Comics Alliance props for putting these all on one page.
posted by DU at 10:38 AM on July 12, 2011


(as well as something about a Shark-Human hybrid, I think)

Mr Gerbik?
posted by Hoopo at 10:38 AM on July 12, 2011


"But shortly, in the distant past..."
posted by Paul Slade at 10:55 AM on July 12, 2011


"The wind blew that false beard and mustache I had lying around onto the face of that Luthor lookalike which reveals that he's actually Satan! He wants me to prepare him a romantic candlelight dinner for two while he takes a tour of my apartment! He was defeated when I accidentally fed him Angel Food Cake that I thought was Devils Food Cake! Oh! it's just a dream caused by falling out of a helicopter! Thanks, Superman!"
posted by straight at 11:14 AM on July 12, 2011


I am a fan of the child-like makebelive dream logic of the silver age comics. It's like Axe Cop.
posted by The Whelk at 11:18 AM on July 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


I admire the dagger gang for a purity of purpose and commitment to the brand. They do daggers. Draggers is what they do. everything will be daggers.

What's brilliant about the Dagger Gang is that they're unemployed circus performers. That's a trope you just don't see these days in the post-Miller era where everyone either is a ninja or becomes a ninja and ninja nature tends to overwhelm everything.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:27 AM on July 12, 2011


The Jimmy Olsen comics are psychologically kind of interesting, as they are so clearly pure wish fulfillment. Above and beyond "normal" superhero comics, I mean. Jimmy Olsen is the "regular kid" who pals around with Superman, time travels, makes out with robot vikings, defeats Hitler, etc.
posted by DU at 11:34 AM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


except for all the ones where Supers is punishing, tormenting, or killing Jimmy. He's like the worst older brother ever.
posted by The Whelk at 11:36 AM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


also -

Cub Reporter Jimmy Olsen is denied entrance to the Bearded Band — a mysterious club only open to men with beards — because he lacks a beard (well, he tried to sneak in with a fake beard, but it was quickly exposed). As he slinks away, a strange bearded man accosts him and offers him a bottle of special beard tonic. Jimmy chugs the strange brew1 and starts growing a thick beard almost immediately2.

I think we reason we don't have comics like this anymore is because all these writers are busy writing nifty.org stories.
posted by The Whelk at 11:40 AM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the NSFW warning.

The "tormenting Superman" ones are kind of a "I bet I could beat Superman, you know, if I had to" wish fulfillment. So Superman turns evil (or Jimmy does) and they duke it out.
posted by DU at 11:45 AM on July 12, 2011


Jimmy Olsen is the "regular kid"
How old is he supposed to be?

I always assumed he was something like early or mid twenties, but that "Beard Band" episode has him lamenting that he is "too young" to grow a beard.
posted by Flunkie at 12:02 PM on July 12, 2011


It varies. He's a "cub reporter", but I get the feeling he's supposed to be just out of high school rather than just out of college. Except when he's seemingly about the same age as Archie and Jughead.
posted by rmd1023 at 12:08 PM on July 12, 2011


I was relieved that the dagger gang used knives. I thought that name might be referring to daggering (NSFW).
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:42 PM on July 12, 2011


Even though many of the silver-age story lines and arcs are crazy and ridiculously out of this world, I miss it.
posted by Fizz at 2:10 PM on July 12, 2011


So what's the story with this series? Why was it so nuts? Did the editors tell the writers to only turn in the craziest shit they could think of? Was it considered a joke series so the writers just turned in whatever ridiculous thing that popped into their head because no one cared?
posted by Sangermaine at 2:43 PM on July 12, 2011


Also, let's not make the mistake of considering Jimmy Olsen strictly being weird in the 60s and 70s. As late as three years ago, not only was he a human puddle and transformed once more into Giant Turtle Boy, but he was bumping (very) uglies with a pink alien insect.
posted by delfin at 3:08 PM on July 12, 2011


Chris Sims writes some of my favorite things on the Internet. Really need to read more Kirby Olsen.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:18 PM on July 12, 2011


the real Beard Band
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:21 PM on July 12, 2011


A large part of it is that the age was cheesy as heck to start with. Television Batman wasn't that far off in tone to the comics. But most superhero comics had some set plots and a good handful of plot devices that writers depended on.

But Olsen was already something of a comic relief character, didn't have any consistent powers or identity, and wasn't even a full sidekick. So he was a perfect everybody blank slate for whatever weirdness couldn't be shoehorned onto one of the traditional capes. Have a superpower that you can't develop into a full character? Give it to Jimmy.

Still, most of the stories referenced seem to be variants of ____ with Jimmy. Most of the time travel stories sound like A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court with Jimmy. The satan story is a variant on The Devil and Daniel Webster with Jimmy. Some of the relationship strife episodes could be variants on The Honeymooners with Jimmy. Kirby contributes Dracula vs. The Wolf Man with Jimmy (albeit with his own completely weird take on vampirism.) And there's Robot Impersonator, a well-established superhero trope, with Jimmy.

But a part of what makes Jimmy stories so surreal is their Jimmy nature that always returns Jimmy back to being just Jimmy. He's Lucy McGillicuddy Ricardo or Charlie Chaplin's Tramp with occasional superpowers. His foolish attempts to beat Superman out of envy come to naught because Jimmy just isn't that bright or mean. As a superhero, he tends to win by being Jimmy and blundering into a solution. And if all else fails, you bring in Superman as the deus ex machina to fix or explain everything.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:56 PM on July 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


So what's the story with this series? Why was it so nuts? Did the editors tell the writers to only turn in the craziest shit they could think of? Was it considered a joke series so the writers just turned in whatever ridiculous thing that popped into their head because no one cared?

Fifty years from now, people will asking similar sorts of questions about superhero comics published today.
posted by straight at 4:18 PM on July 12, 2011


Well part it was the intended audience of these comics where just learning how to read and expected to turn over every 3-years, your 6-9 year olds, so there wasn't any idea of making continuity or sense. They also came out very fast, very cheap, often by freelancers or contract writers working on 10 different titles at once. The crazy dream-logic is the result, stuff made quickly, for little pay, expected to be thrown out.
posted by The Whelk at 4:26 PM on July 12, 2011


The Whelk: There is a certain sort of charm to material that is obviously written by people who were well past giving any sort of fuck at all.
posted by Grimgrin at 4:44 PM on July 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


delfin: Also, let's not make the mistake of considering Jimmy Olsen strictly being weird in the 60s and 70s. As late as three years ago, not only was he a human puddle and transformed once more into Giant Turtle Boy, but he was bumping (very) uglies with a pink alien insect.

In Jimmy's defense, she was smoking hot...
posted by mikelieman at 4:47 PM on July 12, 2011


I just like giddy surrealism.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:58 PM on July 12, 2011


In Jimmy's defense, she was smoking hot...

In Jimmy's prosecution, he was a bugfucker. And it wasn't even Insect Queen.
posted by delfin at 5:57 PM on July 12, 2011


"Beautiful woman with insect for head has relationship with human man"? Was that stolen from Perdido Street Station?
posted by DU at 5:22 AM on July 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


It took me a while but I realized what had subtly bugged me about the "Giant Jimmy" image. It was ripped off of a pulp magazine cover. A mister Rip Jagger noticed as well.
posted by Grimgrin at 4:04 PM on July 13, 2011


Lines Inspired by a Jimmy Olsen Caption
Shortly, in the distant past,
The first thing came behind the last,
The evening's early, morning's late,
Your history fills a future date,
Time's arrow turns the other way,
And June surrenders unto May,
Slow progress circles backward fast,
Shortly, in the distant past.
posted by Paul Slade at 9:56 AM on July 15, 2011


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