Mild Mannered Reviews - Classic Pre-Crisis Superman Comics
Jimmy Olsen #147Cover date: March 1972
"A Superman in Super-Town!"
Writer/Penciller: Jack Kirby
Inker: Mike Royer
Cover Artist: Neal Adams and Murphy Anderson
Reviewed by: Charlie Niemeyer
In a hospital in Trevor, Scotland, we learn (thanks to plenty of expository dialogue) that it has been 10 days since the end of last issue, Jimmy returned to normal once he returned to his normal size, and the police placed "Angry Charlie" in the custody of 5 teens from the USA. We also learn that "Angry Charlie" likes to eat furniture because he likes the chemicals used in the manufacturing process, and that Gabby has been given tranquilizer pills to put AC in dream land. So, now that Jimmy has recuperated, he and the Newsboys decide that it is time to go home.
Meanwhile, underneath Suicide Slum, Superman has apparently taken 10 days to fly toward the same light from the end of last issue. It is a Boom-Tube, and exiting the tube is Magnar. Superman flies up to Magnar and attempts to subdue him, but Magnar simply flips Superman over, sending him flying through the Boom-Tube. When he exits on New Genesis, he is mistaken for a creature from Apokolips and is attacked by Magnar. Superman tries to explain, but Magnar isn't listening. Fortunately, Superman is ready for him this time and is able to withstand Magnar's punch. This just makes Magnar mad, and he belts Superman even harder, sending the Man of Steel flying.
Back in Scotland, Jimmy and the Newsboys, with Angry Charlie in tow, head out for Metropolis. After a few hours, they suddenly come upon some volcanic activity, which suddenly causes Angry Charlie to wake up. While he's busy tearing up the Whiz Wagon, a volcano rises up out of the ocean below, with a landing platform rising up from the volcano. As they near the platform (being drawn in by a form of tractor beam), a squad of pseudo-men emerge from a hatch in the platform and blast the heroes with an immobilizer.
On New Genesis, Superman finally gets a chance to explain that he is Superman of Earth, and while Magnar is skeptical, in the next panel he completely believe him. By that point, Superman has spotted Super-Town flying by and everyone decides to go up to the floating city. Superman offers to take Magnar's friends up by having them hold on to his cape, but they decline and head up by riding Magnar's magna-trail. As Superman reaches the city, he notices that no one is paying any attention to him except for a peace guardian, but he just waves Superman on as a "friendly."
On earth, Jimmy and the Newsboys awaken to find themselves in the presence of Victor Volcanum, who takes the opportunity to take a swig of his liquid-fire drink. He shows them that they are actually inside the platform from earlier, and he explains that he will soon be King of the World.
In Super-Town, Superman flies around, attempting to perform his usual quota of super-feats, but finds that he really isn't needed because everyone in Super-Town has superpowers. Finding it difficult to adjust, Superman sits down to mope and ends up sharing a bench with Highfather (although he does not introduce himself, so Superman does not realize who the old man is). He helps Superman realize that while he isn't needed in Super-Town, he is badly needed on Earth. To help him get there, he tells Superman to grasp his wonder staff (Steve, if you can figure out a better way to word that, be my guest). As he grabs the staff, he suddenly finds himself transported to the inside of a volcano, where he sees Jimmy and the Newsboys locked in a cage. As he steps toward them, the stone walls quickly close in on him, pinning him.
To be continued...
Story - 4: Ok, I really like this issue. It was just a lot of fun to read. Sure, there were some things that irked me a little, which is why I knocked it down to a four, but they didn't kill the issue for me or anything. Jimmy and the Newsboys were completely in character the whole time, the action was well paced, and I just found my self unable to put the issue down.
Now for the negatives. First, in the last issue, Superman was flying toward the light that we find out here was created by a boom-tube. He was doing that while Jimmy and the Newsboys were taking down the Evil Factory. This issue opens up 10 days later, but Superman is still flying towards the light. Whoops! Also, on page 15, the first panel finally begins his explanation of who he really is, and Magnar is skeptical. By panel 2, he completely believe Superman. Now if there had been a caption somewhere on the 2nd panel that simply said, "LATER," I wouldn't have any problem with it. And finally, I have a problem with Superman basically moping because he isn't "special" on New Genesis. Superman does not mope. He realizes that his abilities are basically a gift. If anything, he'd be overjoyed to be in a place where he isn't really needed.
Also, as a side note: this issue has a letter written by Bob Rozakis, who just a few years later, would not only go on to become the Answer Man, but also a comic writer in his own right.
This issue also reprints a golden age adventure of Guardian and the Newsboys from Star Spangled Comics #13, originally published in 1942.
Art - 5: Kirby's work is great as always, other than the hands. Apparently, they aren't his strong suit. This hands in this issue, for the most part (there are a few instances where the hands look great), are mostly fingers with very little palm.
Royer's inks this issue were vastly improved from last issue. They are much tighter where needed, and yet seem to be very true to Kirby's pencils. Two things I noticed though:
1. While the characters themselves have Kirby's usual "carved out of rock" look, their hair looks like it's really soft, which is not something I noticed with Colletta.
2. In several instances, the characters look more like they were drawn by Steve Rude rather than Kirby, which I know was not the case (this is an original issue), but never the less I can clearly see how Rude was influence by Kirby in this issue.
Cover Art - 4: The cover does a very good job of summarizing the Superman half of this issue very well, however I knocked a point because, other than Jimmy being on the cover, there is nothing on the cover at all about the Jimmy/Newsboys half of the issue. Anderson inking Adams is very interesting, but just not for me. The crispness of Adams' work during this period is almost softened by Anderson's softer inks. Having said that, the artwork still looks great and is very dynamic.
Pre-Crisis Superman Comic Book Reviews
- Action Comics #1 (June 1938)
- Action Comics #2 (July 1938)
- Action Comics #3 (August 1938)
- Action Comics #4 (September 1938)
- Action Comics #5 (October 1938)
- Action Comics #6 (November 1938)
- Action Comics #7 (December 1938)
- Superman Archives: Volume 1 (1939)
- Superman #1 (Summer 1939)
- Action Comics #8 (January 1939)
- Action Comics #9 (February 1939)
- Action Comics #10 (March 1939)
- Superman #13 (November/December 1941) - The Archer
- Superman #19 (November/December 1942) - Case of the Funny Paper Crimes
- Action Comics #60 (May 1943) - Lois Lane - Superwoman
- Superman #30 (September/October 1944) - The Mysterious Mr. Mxyztplk
- Action Comics #80 (January 1945) - Mr. Mxyztplk Returns
- Superman #38 (January/February 1946) - The Battle of the Atoms
- Superman #42 (September/October 1946) - The Death of Clark Kent
- Superman #45 (March/April 1947) - Lois Lane, Superwoman
- Superman #53 (July 1948) - The Origin of Superman
- Action Comics #124 (September 1948) - A Superman of Doom
- Superman #60 (December 1949/January 1950) - The Two Identities of Superman & Superman Fights the Super-Brain
- 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
- Superman #134 (January 1960) - The Super-Menace of Metropolis
- Jimmy Olsen #42 (January 1960) - The Big Superman Movie!, Perry White, Cub Reporter!, and Jimmy the Genie!
- Jimmy Olsen #44 (April 1960) - The Wolf-Man of Metropolis
- Adventure Comics #271 (April 1960) - How Luthor Met Superboy
- Jimmy Olsen #46 (July 1960) - Jimmy Olsen, Orphan
- Superman #141 (November 1960) - Superman's Return To Krypton
- Superboy #85 (December 1960) - The Impossible Mission
- Jimmy Olsen #51 (March 1961) - The Girl with Green Hair
- Jimmy Olsen #52 (April 1961) - Jimmy Olsen, Wolf-Man
- Superboy #89 (June 1961) - Superboy's Big Brother!
- Action Comics #279 (August 1961) - The Super-Rivals
- Superman #147 (August 1961) - The Legion of Super Villains
- Superman #149 (November 1961) - The Death of Superman!
- Jimmy Olsen #57 (December 1961) - Jimmy Olsen Marries Supergirl
- Superman #155 (August 1962) - Superman Under the Green Sun and The Downfall of Superman
- Justice League of America #13 (August 1962) - Riddle of the Robot Justice League
- World's Finest #129 (November 1962) - Joker-Luthor, Incorporated
- Superman #158 (January 1963) - Superman in Kandor
- Superman #160 (April 1963) - The Mortal Superman
- Superman #161 (May 1963) - The Last Days of Ma and Pa Kent
- Superman #162 (July 1963) - The Amazing Story of Superman-Red and Superman-Blue
- Superman #163 (August 1963) - Wonder-Man, the New Hero of Metropolis and The Goofy Superman
- Justice League of America #21 & #22 (August/September 1963) - Crisis on Earth-One! and Crisis on Earth-Two!
- Superman #164 (October 1963) - The Showdown Between Luthor and Superman
- Superman #165 (November 1963) - The Sweetheart Superman Forgot
- Superman #166 (January 1964) - The Fantastic Story of Superman's Sons
- Superman #167 (February 1964) - The Team of Luthor and Brainiac
- Superman #168 (April 1964) - Luthor - Super Hero and Lex Luthor, Daily Planet Editor
- Superman #169 (May 1964) - The Man Who Stole Superman's Secret Life
- Action Comics #314 (July 1964) - The Day Superman Became The Flash
- Justice League of America #29 & #30 (August/September 1964) - Crisis on Earth-Three! and The Most Dangerous Earth of All!
- Superman #173 (November 1964) - The Triumph of Luthor and Brainiac
- Action Comics #318 (November 1964) - The Death of Luthor
- Action Comics #319 (December 1964) - The Condemned Superman
- Superman #175 (February 1965) - Clark Kent's Brother
- Superman #181 (November 1965) - The Superman of 2965
- The Legion of Super-Heroes - Archives Volume 4 (1965)
- Superman #184 (February 1966) - The Demon Under the Red Sun
- Action Comics #338 (June 1966) - Muto - Monarch of Menace
- Action Comics #339 (July 1966) - Muto versus The Man of Tomorrow
- Superman #189 (August 1966) - Krypton Lives Again
- Action Comics #346 (February 1967) - The Man Who Sold Insurance to Superman and The Case of the Superman Imposter
- Superman #194 (February 1967) - The Death of Lois Lane
- Superman #196 (May 1967) - The Star of Steel
- Superman #199 (January 1967) - Superman's Race With The Flash
- Superman #200 (October 1967) - Super-Brother Against Super-Brother
- The Flash #175 (December 1967) - Race to the End of the Universe
- Justice League of America #63 (June 1968) - Time Signs a Death Warrant for the Justice League
- Superman #211 (November 1968) - The Name of the Game is Superman!
- Superman #215 (April 1969) - Lois LaneŠ DeadŠ Yet Alive
- Superman #224 (February 1970) - Beware the Super-Genius Baby
- Action Comics #393 (October 1970) - Superman Meets Super-Houdini! and The Day Superboy Became Superman!
- Jimmy Olsen #133 (October 1970) - The Newsboy Legion
- Action Comics #394 (November 1970) - Midas of Metropolis and Requiem for a Hot Rod!
- World's Finest #198 (November 1970) - Race to Save the Universe!
- Action Comics #395 (December 1970) - The Secrets of Superman's Fortress and The Credit Card of Catastrophe
- Jimmy Olsen #134 (December 1970) - The Mountain of Judgement!
- World's Finest #199 (December 1970) - A Race to Save Time!
- Superman #233 (January 1971) - Superman Breaks Loose!
- Jimmy Olsen #135 (January 1971) - The Evil Factory!
- Superman #234 (February 1971) - How to Tame a Wild Volcano
- Jimmy Olsen #136 (February 1971) - The Saga of the D.N.Aliens
- Superman #235 (March 1971) - The Sinister Scream of the Devil's Harp
- Superman #236 (April 1971) - Planet of the Angels and The Doomsayer
- Jimmy Olsen #137 (April 1971) - The Four-Armed Terror!
- Superman #237 (May 1971) - The Enemy of Earth
- Superman #238 (June 1971) - Menace at 1000 Degrees
- Jimmy Olsen #138 (June 1971) - The Big Boom!!
- Superman #240 (July 1971) - To Save a Superman
- Jimmy Olsen #139 (July 1971) - The Guardian Fights Again!!!
- Superman #241 (August 1971) - The Shape of Fear
- Superman #242 (September 1971) - The Ultimate Battle
- Jimmy Olsen #141 (September 1971) - Will the Real Don Rickles Panic?!?
- Jimmy Olsen #142 (October 1971) - The Man from Transilvane!
- Jimmy Olsen #143 (November 1971) - Genocide Spray
- Jimmy Olsen #144 (December 1971) - A Big Thing in a Deep Scottish Lake!
- Superman #247 (January 1972) - Must There Be A Superman
- Jimmy Olsen #145 (January 1972) - Brigadoom!
- Jimmy Olsen #146 (February 1972) - Homo-Disastrous!
- Jimmy Olsen #147 (March 1972) - A Superman in Super-Town!
- Jimmy Olsen #148 (April 1972) - Monarch of All He Subdues!
- Superman #292 (October 1975) - The Luthor Nobody Knows!
- Action Comics #458 (April 1976) - Make Me a Super-Hero! and Masquerade of the Nutty Kid!
- Action Comics #484 (June 1978) - Superman Takes a Wife!
- Superman #328 (October 1978) - Attack of the Kryptonoid
- Action Comics #489 (November 1978) - Krypton Dies Again and Where There's a Will... There's a Fray
- Superman #329 (November 1978) - I Have Met The Enemy... And He Is Me! and The Secret of the Talking Car
- Superman #330 (December 1978) - The Master Mesmerizer of Metropolis!
- Action Comics #490 (December 1978) - No Tomorrow For Superman
- Action Comics #491 (January 1979) - A Matter of Light and Death
- Superman #331 (January 1979) - Lockup at 20,000 Feet
- Action Comics #492 (February 1979) - Superman's Secret Afterlife
- Superman #332 (February 1979) - The Eternity Cage
- Action Comics #493 (March 1979) - The Metropolis UFO Connection
- Action Comics #494 (April 1979) - The Secret of the Super S
- Action Comics #495 (May 1979) - Attack of the Ultimate Warrior
- DC Comics Presents #14 (October 1979) - Judge, Jury... and No Justice!
- The Superman Story (1979) - The Life Story of Superman
- DC Comics Presents #57 (May 1983) - Days of Future Past
- DC Comics Presents #67 (March 1984) - 'Twas the Fright Before Christmas
- DC Comics Presents Annual #3 (1984) - With One Magic Word
- Superman: The Secret Years #1 (February 1985) - Dreams and Schemes and Feeling Proud!
- Superman: The Secret Years #2 (March 1985) - Reach Out and Touch
- Superman: The Secret Years #3 (April 1985) - Terminus
- DC Comics Presents #80 (April 1985) - A World Full of Supermen!
- Superman: The Secret Years #4 (May 1985) - Beyond Terminus
- DC Comics Presents #85 (September 1985) - The Jungle Line
- Superman Annual #11 (1985) - For The Man Who Has Everything
- World's Finest #323 (January 1986) - Afraid of the Dark
- DC Comics Presents #97 (September 1986) - Phantom Zone: The Final Chapter
- Superman #423 & Action Comics #583 (September 1986) - Whatever Happened To The Man of Tomorrow?
- Showcase Presents: Superman Family - Volume 1 (October 2005)
- Superman/Batman: Saga of the Super Sons (December 2007)
- Not Brand ECHH #7 (April 1967) - The Origin of Stuporman
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