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Mild Mannered Reviews - Classic Pre-Crisis Superman Comics

Jimmy Olsen #51

Jimmy Olsen #51

Cover date: March 1961

"The Girl with Green Hair"

Writer: Otto Binder
Penciller: Curt Swan
Inker: John Forte
Editor: Mort Weisinger

Reviewed by: Osgood Peabody

Click to enlarge

Nowadays, go to any dance club or college campus, and you're bound to run into one. But back in 1961, if you saw a girl with green hair, it could only mean one thing - she must be from another planet!

Our story begins with Jimmy meeting his gal Lucy Lane at the airport for a date, but he is upset to see her arm-in-arm with the famous singer Ricky Avalon. Ricky tells Olsen to get lost, and zooms off with Lucy in his sports car, as he quips, "What's that thing you drive, Olsen, a coffee grinder?" Jimmy fumes, "Jeepers, Lucy is some girl friend! Whenever she meets a glamour-boy, she stands me up! This time it's that conceited crooner!" Later on, Jimmy's luck gets even worse as he blows a tire, and while attempting to flag down someone for help, Ricky & Lucy pass by, subjecting him to further taunts from the suave singer. Suddenly, Ricky must jam on his brakes as a rather large flying saucer is landing on the street. Jimmy, Ricky, and Lucy are further stunned as out pops a beautiful green-haired woman who flies effortlessly down to greet them. Dressed in a stylish purple and yellow costume, this alien superwoman calls herself Ka-Ra (hmmm sounds familiar) and says she's found just the handsome person she needs to guide her on a tour of earth for the week. Immediately, Rick steps forward to offer his services, but no! The emerald enchantress is speaking of our pal Jimmy, "I mean this boy with the handsome red hair! He makes my heart beat wildly!"

Astounded, Jimmy is apologetic to Ka-Ra as he can't take her around at the moment with a flat tire. Not one to be trifled with, the alien bombshell immediately takes hold of Jimmy's car, yanks out the faulty inner tube and seals up the hole with heat vision. Ka-Ra explains that all inhabitants of her planet are gifted with super-powers, and further demonstrates by hurling her spaceship into orbit so as not to block traffic (very considerate, as she was in fact double-parked!). As she steps into Jimmy's jalopy, Lucy Lane changes her tune, stammering, "Wait, Jimmy! Don't go with her! Maybe she's uh a spy or something!" To which Jimmy wittily responds, "I'll take my chances, Lucy! You're in worse trouble! You have to spend a whole evening listening to Ricky Avalon brag about himself!"

Jimmy treats Ka-Ra to a burger (what a guy!), and as the green-haired gal is drawing a fair amount of attention, Jimmy suggests doing an article on Ka-Ra, but she discourages him, saying, "Wait a few days I want to have privacy and spend cozy evenings with you!" Lucy sees Jimmy & Ka-Ra again later in the evening, and is now seething with jealousy as the mystery woman promises to see Jimmy every evening during her one week tour of Earth. But after her date, Ka-Ra secretly parks her spaceship near the Midvale orphanage, and (surprise!) she removes her disguise (burning off the green dye in her hair with a blow-torch no less(!!)) to reveal to the reader that she is, in fact, Supergirl. Apparently, she has observed by telescopic vision the poor treatment Lucy had been giving Jimmy, and she hatched a plan to make Lucy jealous by romancing Mr. Olsen as the alien superwoman. As she now spies Lucy complaining to her sister Lois from afar, she is delighted to see that the scheme appears to be working.

The next day, as Lucy is getting off an airplane in her stewardess job, Jimmy arrives - but to her disappointment not to see her, but to interview Professor Potter, who's arriving as well. Naturally, Potter's invention, a mechanical dragon, promptly runs amok, and as Jimmy and Lucy are backed into a corner, Jimmy activates his trusty signal watch. But to Lucy's further dismay, it's not the Man of Steel but Ka-Ra who arrives to save the object of her affection. Jimmy explains that his pal is out of town, and Ka-Ra told him he could signal her any time. After disposing of the menace, Supergirl really lays it on thick, kissing Jimmy's hand saying, "On my world, when a girl likes a boy, she will do anything he commands! Name your wishes master!" [Now that's my kind of planet!] Jimmy asks her to fly him to the Daily Planet to write up the runaway robot story, leaving behind the flustered Lucy once again. That night, Potter stops at Jimmy's apartment to present a gift for him to present Ka-Ra for helping him out - a robot duplicate of Ka-Ra (rather an odd gift - but perhaps it's better not to dwell on this point ;)). Jimmy thanks him and stores it away in his closet.

The next evening, Lucy goes to Jimmy with a homemade dinner to try and win him back, but finds once again the green-haired gal has beaten her to the punch. Ka-Ra's spaceship is parked in front of Jimmy's apartment, and Lucy peeks in to find her serving him Venusian dragon-tail roast! Even more exasperating to Lucy, Ka-Ra then proposes marriage to the young reporter! Lucy stammers, "But nice girls don't do that, you you shameless hussy!" But Ka-Ra points out that it's customary on her planet for girls to propose marriage. Lucy has now reached the breaking point - she practically begs Jimmy to reject her, and promises to be faithful to him. At first, Jimmy is rather cool to Lucy's overture, but after being informed by his alien paramour that his offspring will all have green hair and super-powers, turns her down much to Lucy's relief. Supergirl/Ka-Ra now feigns a tearful farewell, explaining that the warp leading back to her world is closing, and she can never return.

After her departure, Supergirl looks back to see Lucy showering Jimmy with kisses while promising a romantic dinner at her place, and is delighted to see her stratagem pay off. But, unfortunately for Jimmy, as he stops back in his apartment to grab his hat, Lucy spots Prof. Potter's Ka-Ra robot, and is enraged to think that Jimmy and the professor were in cahoots to come up with the robot hoax (complete with matching spaceship) to make her jealous. She promptly slams Jimmy over the head with one of the robot's arms, and storms away, vowing to return to Rick.

Later on, Jimmy is nursing a headache, and much to her chagrin, Supergirl observes via telescopic vision that her plan failed after all, thinking, "Goodness! My attempt to play Cupid got Jimmy nowhere!" As the closing caption reads, "Poor Jimmy! What will Supergirl do to help him now? See a future issue!"

3Story - 3: Probably the least satisfying of these Jimmy/Kara tales, as just when you think Lucy will get her deserved comeuppance, Jimmy is humiliated once again! Supergirl had also played unsuccessfully at matchmaker before with Superman & Lois a couple of times, so that was also getting old by now.

4Art - 4: As usual, another top-notch effort by Swan & Forte. Their depiction of the mechanical dragon is especially comical.

4Cover Art - 4: Jimmy is being literally swept off his feet by an emerald-haired damsel in a strange costume, who is flying off with our freckled reporter, as Superman and Lucy Lane look on. Lucy, rather distraught at this, says, "Jimmy, forget that green-haired witch! I realize now how much I've always liked you!" While Jimmy responds, "Sorry, Miss Lucy Lane, but you've had your chance! And don't insult my Super girl friend! She may soon become Mrs. Jimmy Olsen!"

Perhaps by now readers were demanding to have Supergirl herself be a true rival for Jimmy's affections - would Mort try that next? Tune in to our next installment of Jimmy & Kara as we get the second of our "strange interludes" with the return of the Wolf-Man!

Pre-Crisis Superman Comic Book Reviews



  • Superman #76 (May/June 1952) - “The Mightiest Team in the World”
  • Superman #80 (January/February 1953) - “Superman's Lost Brother”
  • Superman 3D (1953) - “The Man Who Stole the Sun”, “Origin of Superman” and “The Man Who Bossed Superman”
  • Superman #87 (February 1954) - “The Prankster's Greatest Role”
  • Superman #88 (March 1954) - “The Terrible Trio”
  • Superman #89 (May 1954) - “Captain Kent the Terrible”, “Superman of Skid Row”, and “One Hour to Doom!”
  • Superman #91 (August 1954) - “The Superman Stamp” and “Great Caesar's Ghost”
  • World's Finest #88 (May/June 1957) - “Superman and Batman's Greatest Foes”
  • Superman #115 (August 1957) - “The Midget Superman!”
  • Superboy #65 (May/June 1958) - “The Amazing Adventures of Krypto Mouse”
  • Action Comics #242 (July 1958) - “The Super-Duel in Space”
  • Superman #123 (August 1958) - “The Girl of Steel”
  • Superman #127 (February 1959) - “Titano the Super Ape”
  • Action Comics #252 (May 1959) - “The Menace of Metallo” and “The Supergirl From Krypton”
  • Superman #129 (May 1959) - “The Girl in Superman's Past”
  • Superman #130 (July 1959) - “The Curse of Kryptonite!”, “The Super-Servant of Crime!”, and “The Town that Hated Superman!”
  • Jimmy Olsen #40 (October 1959) - “Jimmy Olsen, Supergirl's Pal”




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