Mild Mannered Reviews - Classic Pre-Crisis Superman Comics

Jimmy Olsen #139

Jimmy Olsen #139

Cover date: July 1971

"The Guardian Fights Again!!!"

Writer/Penciller: Jack Kirby
Inker: Vince Colletta
Superman and Jimmy Olsen Heads: Murphy Anderson
Cover Artist: Jack Kirby (and Murphy Anderson [Superman and Jimmy heads only])

Reviewed by: Charlie Niemeyer

Click to enlarge

Guardian gets a complete physical and, other than some unidentified brain activity, is cleared to leave the project and go to Metropolis. However, Gabby has apparently come down with a cold, so all of the Newsboys have to stay in quarantine at the Project to prevent further spread until Gabby is cured. Superman, Jimmy and Guardian leave the project, and see, for the first time, the aftermath of the attack of the 4-Armed Terrors. Habitat has been destroyed, the Outsiders are gone and the magnetic rock is out of commission. Once they have left the Wild Area, Superman zooms ahead at faster-than-light-speed to Clark Kent's apartment. Jimmy and Guardian land the Whiz Wagon on the roof and head to Clark's apartment. Jimmy introduces Guardian to Clark, then fills Kent in on what has been going on the last few issues. Clark and Jimmy decide to go see Morgan Edge.

Meanwhile, the Newsboys voice their frustrations at being stuck at the Project. As the doctor, adult Tommy, leaves, a miniature Scrapper Trooper reveals himself. Turns out he had somehow been hiding in Scrapper's hair and wants to help them get out.

At the WGBS building, Morgan Edge returns to his office after the events of last issue. Miss Conway informs him that Clark and Jimmy wish to see him. Also, we learn that Edge is trying to get Don Rickles under contract with the network, and that there is a man in the WGBS research department named Goody Rickels who looks just like the famous celebrity. Just then, by some kind of huge coincidence, Goody bursts into Edge's office in a super-hero costume, apologizing and explaining that he was tricked by employees in another office into thinking he was meeting with a producer to star in a TV pilot. He uses the opportunity to beg Edge for a promotion outside of the research dept, even offering to try reporting. Edge, who has come to the brilliantly thought-out decision that Goody must be killed, quickly comes up with a plan and gives Goody an assignment that could be a page-one story.

An hour later, Clark and Jimmy are outside Edge's office. Miss Conway explains that he has stepped out again, but has left an assignment slip for the reporters to cover a UFO landing in Crown Park. Soon, in Crown Park, the Whiz Wagon, carrying Jimmy, Clark and Guardian, makes a landing near the UFO. As they approach on foot, Goody exits the UFO. Surprised to see him there, Clark asks Goody what he found inside. As Clark enters the UFO, Goody explains that all he found were a bunch of buttons. He then pushes a button to prove his point, but it causes the door to close and the UFO disappears in a flash of light. While Goody just sits there, shocked, trying to figure out what just happened, Jimmy and Guardian are attacked by armored storm troopers. Eventually, Ugly Mannheim makes himself known and takes Jimmy hostage to force Guardian to surrender.

In other dimensional space, Clark is still in the UFO trying to figure out how to escape. Back in Edge's office, Edge tells Mannheim to take care of the others while also fuming because the UFO trap only caught Clark. At the Project, the mini-Scrapper trooper picks the lock on a back door and the Newsboys use an underground river to escape. At the Inter-Gang mobile headquarters, Mannheim is forcing Jimmy, Guardian and Goody to eat. When they finish, he reveals that their food contained Pyro-Granulate which will cause their bodies to ignite within the next 24 hours. Then, the three heroes are thrown out of the mobile headquarters.

4Story - 4: This was a pretty fun story that again sets up our heroes in terrible situations where you can't immediately see a way for them to get out. Kirby crams a lot of stuff into this one issue without it seeming like it was crammed. I could easily see this issue being turned into a 3 issue story if it was told today. We also see more of Kirby's funny side. The character of Goody Rickels, which seems like a bad idea in theory, was quite humorous. A perfect example of this character is after he's been kidnapped by Inter-Gang at the end. Jimmy and Guardian have guns to their backs and are being forced to eat. Goody, on the other hand, is complimenting Mannheim for feeding them so well, and is so oblivious to what is happening, that there are no troopers with guns trained on him. He is no danger.

Two gripes I have. First, Goody has never been mentioned anywhere before. Yet, four panels after his first mention, he just happens to barge into Edge's office. Also, if Edge is actively trying to get Don Rickles to sign with WGBS, how is it possible that he could forget the man under his employ that not only looks exactly like Don, but also chills Edge to the bone.

Second, Gabby gets a cold. We have yet to see him act sick at all. He does not seem to be sick at the start of the issue. But suddenly, he's sick. Also, why are all of the Newsboys in quarantine, but no one else. Guardian, Jimmy and Superman had just been confined in a room with him and he's been all through the Project over the past few issue. Yet only the Newsboys are in quarantine. Strange.

4Art - 4: Kirby's art is really growing on me. Somehow, even the "quiet" scenes in Edge's office and at the Project, still seem to be full of action.

I have two nit-picks though. Why is Flippa-Dippa still wearing his full scuba outfit, including the mask, under his hospital gown? Also, the "armored" troopers look like they're only wearing a T-shirt, shorts, gloves, boots and a helmet. However, since their legs are brown while their arms and faces make them appear to be caucasian, they may have pants on too, although the artwork under the colors does not support that theory.

Also, this time, after a few issues of selectively inking the Jimmy heads, the only image of Jimmy that Anderson does not ink in this issue is Curt Swan's rendition of Jimmy that is used at the top of the letters page. I wonder if this will last.

3Cover Art - 3: This time, we get Kirby art, with Anderson inking Superman and Jimmy's heads. Plus what appears to be a painted black and white image of Don Rickles. This would all look really great if it wasn't for the jarring, bright yellow background. It actually hurts the eyes. Maybe some kind of background, or a more muted yellow would help. The only good thing about the all the yellow is that it definitely makes the issue stand out. I doubt anyone could have possibly missed seeing this issue on the newstands. Also, Goody's costume is not colored correctly on this cover, but it kind of makes sense since it would probably get lost in the yellow background.

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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