Mild Mannered Reviews - Classic Pre-Crisis Superman Comics

Jimmy Olsen #146

Jimmy Olsen #146

Cover date: February 1972


Writer/Penciller: Jack Kirby
Inker: Mike Royer
Cover Artist: Jack Kirby and Murphy Anderson

Reviewed by: Charlie Niemeyer

Click to enlarge

After being reverted to a super-neanderthal at the end of last issue, Jimmy escapes from his bonds and begins using the machinery to attack Simyan and Mokkari before Mokkari is able to hit him with a tranquilizer. At about that time, the intruder alarm sounds, which the evil scientists go to investigate. Once they leave, Scrapper and the Scrapper Trooper see Jimmy's condition and resolve to find a way out of the Evil Factory.

Back in Metropolis, Dubbilex is practicing the use of his powers by lifting Terry Dean around the room of the dance club, which has been miraculously cleaned up (must have been Superman at super-speed). The Guardian emerges from the tunnels below stating that there is no one in them, but they seem to extend for miles. Dubbilex mentions that they connect to the Project, as that is how he got to the dance club last issue. Superman, now more worried and curious about war between New Genesis and Apokolips now involving the Project, enters the tunnels to investigate further. He flies down a tunnel until he comes upon a bright light that's glowing brighter and brighter.

At the Evil Factory, Big Words is trying to find a place to land the Whiz Wagon when it is suddenly stop and spun around by Simyan and Mokkari's repello-beam. Stunned unconscious, the Newsboys are not able to prevent the evil scientists from attaching a giant hook to the Whiz Wagon, which drags the vehicle towards the Evil Factory's atomic furnace! Simyan and Mokkari return to their lab to find that Jimmy is no longer there.

In an area of the Evil Factory that can only be described as a monster pen, Scrapper and the Trooper have loaded Jimmy onto a floor-car and are making their way to the exit when Jimmy wakes up and attacks them. They leap clear of the vehicle as Jimmy picks it up to use as a weapon. He swings it at them, but hits the console behind them instead, which shorts out the barrier of the pen. First to step out is a Sabre-tooth tiger which attacks Jimmy but is quickly put down with a KAARONTCH!

Back at the furnace, Flippa Dippa wakes up in time to see the predicament that he and his friends are in. After discovering that the large claw is stronger that the Whiz Wagon, he drops a mini-concussion under the vehicle. The explosion destroys the claw without damaging the Whiz Wagon, allowing Flip to drive out of the furnace. The rest of the Newsboys regain consciousness just in time for them to be met by a large stampede of escaping monsters. They pick up Scrapper and the Trooper while Jimmy leads the rest of the monsters to Simyan and Mokkari, who are attempting to hide behind the titanium doors of another section of the Evil Factory.

Using a metal bar, Jimmy is able to keep the doors open long enough for him to get through them before they close. Mokkari attempts to blast him with a proton blaster, but Jimmy easily evades the blast. Now annoyed, Jimmy attacks and destroys the blaster, then moves on to the other machines in this section, overloading them. However, a ray screen is also activated, which Jimmy leaps through. The Newsboys, who have somehow also gotten past the monsters and titanium doors, follow Jimmy through the ray screen just as the Evil Factory is destroyed by a great explosion.

Outside, Jimmy is unconscious, but alive. Elsewhere, the Newsboys are also unconscious but alive. The Evil Factory is now nothing more than a small crater.

Next issue, Superman goes to Supertown!

4Story - 4: This is a very interesting issue. On one hand, it feels like quite a bit happened, and yet, looking at it a second time, this whole story probably took place in a span of maybe 15 minutes. I liked how Simyan and Mokkari's plan with Jimmy ended up backfiring on them. I also like how Jimmy and the Newsboys, mostly just Jimmy, seemingly took out the Evil Factory without any help from Superman whatsoever. We also get an explanation for what happened to Guardian last issue, but it still might have been nice to have mentioned that last issue. On the other hand, I like how we can't tell if Jimmy back to normal or no at the end. Nice little cliffhanger.

Two side notes: First, I can now spell Simyan and Mokkari without having to actually refer back to the issue for the proper spelling, which will only really come in handy when reviewing comics. Second, there is a subscription ad in this issue that allows you to get 12 issues of "your favorite comics" for a whopping $3. Sigh!

This issue also reprints a golden age adventure of Guardian and the Newsboys from Star Spangled Comics #12, originally published in 1942.

4Art - 4: Notice something missing from the art credits above? No, your eyes are not deceiving you. Murphy Anderson is not in this issue (or he is, but he's also inked by Royer so it blends in really well). In any event, the art in this issue is great. Royer's inks are a little looser than Colletta's, but not so much that you really notice a big difference. The only character that looked bad in this issue is Superman, ironically. I don't know if it is Kirby or Royer, but all the extra lines on his face, plus the looser inks allowing more blue to show in his hair, really make Superman look old. I almost expected to see a caption that read "For this issue, the role of Superman will be played by the Superman of Earth-2, Kal-L." Otherwise, great job as usual.

5Cover Art - 5: I believe a comic book cover should depict one of two things, either a snapshot of a scene in the book, but maybe from a slightly different angle, or maybe summarize the main points of the story. This cover is a little more of the other. Jimmy never attacked all of the Newsboys, and Superman certainly was not with them at any point in this issue, but we did have Jimmy attacking, the Newsboys trying to escape, and Superman seeming to do nothing that deals with the A-plot. Nice job.

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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