Mild Mannered Reviews - Classic Pre-Crisis Superman Comics

Jimmy Olsen #144

Jimmy Olsen #144

Cover date: December 1971

"A Big Thing in a Deep Scottish Lake!"

Writer/Penciller: Jack Kirby
Inker: Vince Colletta
Superman and Jimmy Olsen Heads: Murphy Anderson
Cover Artist: Jack Kirby and Neal Adams

Reviewed by: Charlie Niemeyer

Click to enlarge

We begin our tale at the lake in Lock Trevor, Scotland as Ian MacGregor pilots a motorboat over the water searching for what he refers to as a beastie. Suddenly, the water in front of him boils up and something erupts from the water, destroying MacGregor's boat. He escapes, but not before glimpsing the very monster he was looking for, a story he tells to newspapers all over Scotland.

Speaking of news, at Morgan Edge's office at WGBS, Jimmy and the Newsboys meet with Edge, but due to the secrecy over the Hairies and the Project, they are unable to reveal all that they learned during the last several issues. So, Edge sends them to Scotland to investigate the mysterious monster. The Newsboys are eager to go, so Jimmy reluctantly agrees to go with them, but promises himself to check into Morgan Edge when he gets back. After they leave, Edge activates the secret communications array hidden in his desk to inform someone we don't see that our heroes are on their way and to not screw this up.

Meanwhile, in Suicide Slum, Superman and Guardian make their way to the "Cosmic Carousel," a discotheque that they were invited to by some kids through an ad in the paper. Inside, after signing some autographs, they meet up with Terry Dean, who shows them around, including introducing them to the "San Diego Five String Mob," a music quintet who just showed up one day offering to perform with their weird instruments. We then learn that they have been sent on a mysterious mission by Darkseid. As Terry tries to get Superman to dance with her, Superman is surprised to see Dubbilex. He explains that he has been doing some research and asks Superman to use his X-ray vision on the floor.

Before we find out what Superman sees, we join Jimmy and the Newsboys in Edge's super-jet as they make their way to Scotland. It has been a short flight of only two hours, but our heroes have not been able to talk to the crew and have noticed the definite lack of stewardesses, food and seats. They then get into the Whiz Wagon to be dropped over Lock Trevor. As they land, they almost run over their contact, Felix Macfinney.

Back in Metropolis, Superman's X-ray vision reveals a tunnel under the discotheque. Apparently, this blows the musicians' cover, so they harmonize their instruments to Barriboy, the Sixth String. His instrument takes the harmony from the other five and magnifies it, causing the discotheque to collapse.

In Scotland, Jimmy and the Newsboys meet Felix's daughter, Ginny, who serves them some dinner. Felix them reveals his invention, the Sonic Whistle, which is designed to attract the monster the way dog whistles attract dogs. The next morning, Jimmy, Felix and the Newsboys head out to the lake. Flippa Dippa dives down to see if he can find the monster, but about 50ft down, he is attacked. The others are about to dive after him, but Felix pulls a weapon on the boys, revealing himself to be an Inter-Gang assassin. At this moment, the little Scrapper trooper sneaks from his hiding place under Scrapper's hat and runs over to the Sonic Whistle. Suddenly, the Lock Trevor monster erupts from the lake, destroying the boat and sending its occupants scrambling. As it crashes back into the water, the monster takes Felix down with him. Jimmy and the remaining Newsboys swim to shore where they meet up with Flippa Dippa, who reveals that he survived being attacked by Ginny, another Inter-Gang assassin.

Jimmy realizes that this is the second time that Inter-Gang has attacked them and declares that they are going to stay in Lock Trevor until they get to the bottom of things!

3Story - 3: This issue was pretty good, but not as good as the last few issues. This was another one of those issues where Kirby apparently had things he wanted to introduce into the story, but just didn't have room to set them up naturally. Examples are the fact that Scrapper takes a panel to tell Jimmy that he's going to bring the Scrapper trooper. We also have the musicians revealing their Apokoliptan origins in word balloons while Superman (owner of super-hearing) is on the same panel (they do this not once, but twice). Then there is the fact that Felix invents a working Sonic whistle, even though his entire mission was to kill Jimmy and the Newsboys. And it just so happens to be Felix's undoing. However, I should point out that this is a very entertaining issue. I was not expecting Felix and Ginny to be the Inter-Gang assassins. Also, Kirby's grasp of the characters is getting stronger. And, I love the way Superman and Guardian are just as uncomfortable at the discotheque as the patrons are to have them there. This issue also reprints a golden age adventure of Guardian and the Newsboys from Star Spangled Comics #10, originally published in 1942.

5Art - 5: Kirby's art in this issue was his usually great work. I really don't know what else I can say about it that I haven't already said. The characters look consistent, I like the little expressions on the characters' faces and Superman and Jimmy don't look too out of place.

4Cover Art - 4: A great cover. I really love Adams' inking over other artists, including Kirby. We get an action-packed scene that basically takes place in the story, and Superman is on the cover. The only problem is that Scrapper's outfit is miscolored, which makes it look more like a dress than a Scottish outfit.

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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