August 1, 2021

Mild Mannered Reviews - Classic Pre-Crisis Superman Comics

Jimmy Olsen #145

Jimmy Olsen #145

Cover date: January 1972

"Brigadoom!"

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

Reviewed by: Charlie Niemeyer

Click to enlarge



In Lock Trevor, Scotland, Inspector Robert McQuarrie gives Jimmy Olsen and the Newsboy Legion a tour of the "special custodies" chamber at Scotland Yard. Inside, they are introduced to a Griffin, a Chimera, a Unicorn, Basilisks and "a beastie no label will fit," Angry Charlie. As they meet him, Charlie starts to wake up from his tranquilized slumber, but the other officers are able to tranquilize him again. Jimmy decides that they need to find out where these monsters came from, a place Scotland Yard refers to as Brigadoom.

The next day, Gabby, Tommy, Big Words and Flippa Dippa take the Whiz Wagon into the lake to look for the monster from last issue. When they finally find it, it begins to attack them, but not before the Newsboys fire a couple of mini-shock missiles. Meanwhile, on dry land, Jimmy, Scrapper and the mini-Scrapper Trooper make their way through the woods along a route mapped out by Inspector McQuarrie. Once they get to a clearing, they decide to rest a bit. After falling asleep, Jimmy and Scrapper are bombarded by Compressor Waves, which shrinks them so that they are the same size as the Scrapper Trooper. Since they now have to worry about big birds and bugs, they follow the Scrapper Trooper to a safe place. Following his instinct, the Scrapper Trooper leads them to Brigadoom, which looks exactly like the DNA Project, but is so small that it can be hidden under a rock. Jimmy figures that this must be the Evil Factory. Suddenly they are all hit by paralysis beams. Then, Simyan congratulates Mokkari on a job well done.

Back in Metropolis, or more exactly, under Suicide Slum, Superman, Dubbilex and Terry Dean have made it out of the wreckage of the discotheque using the mysterious tunnels they discovered last issue. By the time Superman and Terry catch up to Dubbilex, they see that he has used his developing kinetic powers to capture the six members of San Diego Five String Mob. When he tries to let them down, he ends up hitting them with some crackling energy that just seems to free them. They escape via boom tube, leaving the heroes with more questions than answers.

Back under the lake at Lock Trevor, the Newsboys are chasing the monster toward some strange waves being picked up by the instruments of the Whiz Wagon, when it suddenly disappears. Flippa Dippa leaves the Whiz Wagon to investigate closer, but also disappears when he hits the waves. The Whiz Wagon, moving with too much momentum to change course also hits the waves.

Inside the Evil Factory, Scrapper comes to see that Jimmy has been hooked up for gene induction experimentation. After bombarding Jimmy with regressive gene nuclei shot through his open pores, Simyan and Mokkari then send Scrapper and the Scrapper Trooper to another chamber where they are attacked by a dinosaur. Meanwhile, we learn that the other Newsboys and the Whiz Wagon have also been shrunk. They surface in the Submarine pens, only to be attacked by the monster. They take to the air to escape him, only to come across the army of foot soldiers Simyan and Mokkari have been using for grunt labor. Back to Scrapper and the Scrapper Trooper, who uses a mini-canister of mace from his helmet to stun the dinosaur so the Scrappers can escape. Back in the Evil Factory lab, Jimmy wakes up, super-strong and looking like a neanderthal.

To be continued...

4Story - 4: I like that cliffhanger. In fact, I liked this whole story, although I am wondering what happened to Guardian, who was with Superman, Dubbilex, Terry Dean and the musicians. I'm guessing he's okay since no one seems worried about it. I like how we've got Superman on a whole separate sub-plot to allow Jimmy and the Newsboys their time to shine, even though they aren't doing too hot this time around. And we get the first appearance of Angry Charlie, who I didn't realized was introduced Pre-Crisis. I hope we get to see more of him, as I enjoyed him in the Post-Crisis books.

I have to question what made Flippa Dippa want to check things out on his own, outside of the safety of the Whiz Wagon. It was really pointless and did nothing to help the story, other than give him some lines and some spotlight time. I just don't see the sanity of swimming into strange waves with nothing put a wetsuit for protection.

This issue also reprints a golden age adventure of Guardian and the Newsboys from Star Spangled Comics #11, originally published in 1942.

5Art - 5: Kirby does his usual great work. We finally get to see Flippa Dippa wearing something other than the wetsuit! Not much else I can really say here. I did notice that at one point, Angry Charlie's arm is colored green when he was previously shown to be pink, but I'll let it slide this time.

4Cover Art - 4: A great cover. Anderson's inks over Kirby's pencils look pretty good, and it helps the Jimmy and Superman heads blend in a lot better. Unfortunately, so much of the cover is taken up by words on a plain yellow background.


Pre-Crisis Superman Comic Book Reviews

1938-1949

1950-1959

  • 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”

1960-1969

1970-1979

1980-1986

Compilation Volumes

Miscellaneous

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