Posts tagged ‘Jimmy Olsen’

Detective 495 – The Crime Doctor vs Sterling Silversmith, the importance of a mattress, Batgirl goes after a gang boss, and Black Lightning and Robin end

tec_495

Michael Fleisher, Don Newton and Frank Chiaramonte conclude the Crime Doctor storyline in Detective 495 (Oct. 80).

tec_495_001

Picking up from where last issue left off, the Crime Doctor is amazed that the men who hired him would want to kill him, and works with Batman to escape the building before it blows up.

tec_495_002

It was the bloodthirsty and greedy Sterling Silversmith who ordered his men to turn on the Crime Doctor, just so he could avoid paying for his services.

tec_495_003

Silversmith has his men kidnap the Crime Doctor, while Batman hunts them both.  Silversmith gives Thorne quicksilver to drink.  Batman captures Silversmith, but is too late to help Thorne.  He is still alive, but mentally fried, and confined to a hospital.

This is the final appearance of both Sterling Silversmith, and this incarnation of the Crime Doctor, although another one will pop up in the pages shortly after Crisis on Infinite Earths.

tec_495_004

Bob Rozakis and Dan Spiegle share this brief Tales of Gotham City chapter, which deals with a small time gangster who has been stealing from the mob, stashing the money in his mattress.  They are on to him, and he has to pay them back that evening.  Returning home, he finds his apartment on fire.

tec_495_005

He winds up trapped in his burning suite, and uses the mattress to break his fall when he jumps.  The money stuffed mattress winds up with the mobsters, and the man has his life, but nothing else.

A good one.

tec_495_006

Batgirl is after a mob boss in this story, by Cary Burkett, Jose Delbo and Frank Chiaramonte.

tec_495_007

Barbara is having her own romantic troubles, as office geek Richard Bender tries to make a date with her, while she still longs for the father of the girl she rescued.

tec_495_008

But the bulk of this tale follows her efforts as Batgirl to find proof linking the man, Beeler, to the crimes she knows he is guilty of.  She succeeds, but overall, this story is kind of flat.

tec_495_009

Jean-Marc deMatteis scripts this final Black Lightning story, which deals with street gangs and the crappy life choices for slum kids.

tec_495_010

Inspector Henderson and Jimmy Olsen both guest star – both were supporting characters in Black Lightning’s old book.

tec_495_012

The story gets quite violent and intense.  Even after Black Lightning wins, he has to talk the young hood out of killing himself rather than head to prison.

tec_495_013

While Henderson and Jimmy Olsen both next appear shortly in Superman titles, Black Lightning does not return again until the launch of Batman and the Outsiders, three years down the road.

tec_495_014

Harris, Nicholas and Colletta bring Robin’s series to a close with another story about his stresses at university.

tec_495_015

As before, he is getting barked at by Jennifer, and is in academic trouble.  At the same time, he is trying to track the shipment of drugs into the college from Gotham.

tec_495_016

He gets Jennifer’s blessing to spend the night working on an essay, but winds up heading out as Robin.

tec_495_017

He stops the bad guys, but blows his university career.  Without even saying good-bye to Jennifer he leaves Hudson University, riding off into the pages of New Teen Titans.

Dick Grayson would not get a solo series again for many years.  Tim Drake would get a series before Dick Grayson does.

 

 

Adventure 342 – Star Boy is expelled for murder

Adv_342____LSH

Another rarity in comics from this era, Star Boy murders a man in self-defense in Adventure 342 (Match 1966), in a story by Edmond Hamilton, with art by Curt Swan.

Adv_342___LSH

Kenz Nuhor is a rejected suitor of Dream Girl, who blames Star Boy for that.  He hunts down the hero, and equips himself with a shield that reflects Star Boy’s density increasing power, so Star Boy simply incapacitates himself.  In desperation, Star Boy grabs a gun and kills Nuhor before Nuhor can kill him.

Adv_342___LSH_001

Star Boy is acquitted by the Science Police, who have no problems accepting his self-defense explanantion, but Brainiac 5 is having none of it, and holds a trial among the Legion to determine whether his explanation is adequate justification for breaking the Legion code against killing.

Superboy acts as defense council for Star Boy, believing that the Legionnaires who are not, like him, invulnerable should have the right to defend themselves this way in extreme circumstances.

Brainiac 5 leads the prosecution, and uses a nifty little model to illustrate how Star Boy could have saved himself, using his powers on the tree Nuhor stood under, without killing him.

The vote is close, 10-9.  Invulnerable heroes Mon-El and Ultra Boy support Superboy’s side, agreeing with his views, while most of the female Legionnaires do as well.  But their views are kind of appallingly attributed to voting to acquit Star Bay because of his romance with Dream Girl.

Jimmy Olsen even gets to vote, and votes guilty.  What a jerk.  And as Star Boy gets expelled as a result of this, we can all blame Jimmy Olsen for it.

Adv_342___LSH_002

Although he gets booted from the Legion, Star Boy is accepted into the Subs, which Dream Girl has recently joined as well.

As a side note, early in the story another hero is rejected by the Legion and sent to the Subs, Color Kid.  Just hate spelling it that way, but it’s his name so I will follow the spelling the comic uses and not call him Colour Kid as I so desperately want to.

Adv_342__LSH

In such a usually positive and light-hearted series, this story comes as a real shocker.  And there is no obvious right or wrong decision on Star Boy’s plea of self-defense.  A landmark for the Legion.

Adventure 323 – Legion leadership is left up to Proty II

Adv_323____LSH

OK, sure, Saturn Girl rigged the first leadership election the Legion held, so I can see that she would not suggest another one at the end of her term.  But leaving it up to who can figure out a bizarre puzzle by Proty II?  May as well use the Planetary Chance Machine.

Nevertheless, that is what happens in Adventure 323 (Aug 64), in a story by by Jerry Siegel.

Adv_323

First off, we get two more Legion rejects, though.  Spider Girl and Double Header are turned away, despite Spider Girl having a far more useful power than some of the other members of the Legion, even if she needs to hone control of it.  Spider Girl would return later in the Adventure run, while Double Header would not be seen again until the 80s.

Adv_323__pro

Now, to be fair, Saturn Girl does suggest having a computer pick the new leader, and while one cannot fault Brainiac 5 for modestly suggesting that would give him an unfair advantage, allowing Proty II to play his weird game hardly seem like he best possible solution.

After writing his name backwards and impersonating a Bizarro, Proty II sends various Legion members out on a variety of tasks.  Some are extremely dangerous, like having Element Lad stand next to a big block of uranium.

Adv_323__urainmiu

Others are just odd, like having Jimmy Olsen take his Elastic Lad serum and entertain the team.

Adv_323__jimmm

Honourary member Pete Ross makes one of his rare appearances with the team, but none of these unusual challenges seem to have much of a purpose, or even be clues to a puzzle.

Adv_323_001

In the end, it’s Saturn Girl who “figures out” that it’s a giant word game.  But seriously, could anyone have figured this out?  Isn’t it far more likely that she simply read Proty II’s mind, and scammed her way into a second term as Legion leader?

Adv_323___saturn

 

Adventure 287 – The origin of Dev-Em, and Jimmy Olsen visits Bizarro World

Adv_287___Superboy__Dev-Em

Adventure 287 (Aug 61) begins a 2-part Superboy story, spending its time by giving an extended backstory to Dev-Em, the Knave from Krypton, in his debut appearance.  As a result, Superboy is really only a supporting character in this tale.

Adv_287__Superboy

Dev-Em and his parents live next door to Jor-El and and Lara, and he is shown as a rowdy and criminally irresponsible teenager.  He almost runs over baby Kal and Krypto with his car, steals, vandalizes, and even breaks into Jor-El’s home.  Though it’s because of that that Dev and his parents wind up surviving the destruction of Krypton.

Adv_287___Superboy

After reading Jor-El’s notes, Dev converts a backyard bomb shelter (ah, peaceful Krypton, where families have big bomb shelters in their backyards), preparing it to block the deadly kryptonite radiation that Jor-El theorized.

Dev-Em convinces his parents to go into suspended animation with him, but awakes before them.  He must be near Earth, because his powers have kicked in, and by using super-vision he spots Kal on Earth, receiving a trophy as Superboy, and decides to head there and get rid of him.

The story concludes in the following issue.

 

Adv_287___Bizarro

After being yelled at by Perry White for not getting any good stories, Jimmy sees a spaceship, apparently being boarded by Superman, and stows away.  Of course, it was not Superman, it was Bizarro, and Jimmy winds up on Bizarro World.

Adv_287___Bizarro_001

He starts working at the Daily Htrae, under Bizarro Perry White, but has even less success than he does on Earth, as he cannot grasp what makes news on Bizarro World.

It’s a fun little tale, but again I find it curious that Otto Binder wrote the serious Sueprboy story in this issue, and Jerry Siegel the silly Bizarro one, rather than the other way around.

Jimmy just wants to head back to Earth, but as long as he keeps bombing out with his news stories, the Bizarros have no intention of returning them.

Finally, Jimmy creates a Bizarro version of himself, and is punished by being sent back home.

Adv_287___Bizarro__Jimmy_Olsen

Adventure 216 – Superboy and Superman, and the Wizard City

Adv_216___Superboy

A kind of  forerunner of the bottle city of Kandor, the Wizard City is a lost city, deep in the African jungle, and is introduced in Adventure 216 (Sept. 55).  Although the city itself is not Kryptonian, this tale highly resembles the one in issue 232, which does have a Kryptonian city.  So this is sort of the forerunner of the forerunner of Kandor.

Adv_216__Wizard_City

Superboy heads to the jungle in search of a missing explorer, and after some introductory action with the descendants of some (very) lost Crusaders, the two of them come across the “Wizard City”, a place of marvels.  Superboy  cannot approach it because it’s on a base of kryptonite.

The plot,  by Bill Finger, gets very complex here, as there is a criminal, Vedders, pursuing the explorer, so Superboy disguises him as an older version of himself (ie – Superman), using the “concentrated kryptonite” as an explanation.

Adv_216___Superboy_001

The little shown of the city is tantalizing, but almost feels like a tease.  And the great art by Curt Swan really makes you want to see more of it. The city gets buried near the end of the tale, though.  No such luck.

Adv_216___Superboy_002

There is an enjoyable twist at the end, as we learn that the explorer, whose name was not given throughout the adventure, is in fact the father of Jimmy Olsen, who appears as a young child.

Tag Cloud