Buy Now!

Mild Mannered Reviews - Classic Pre-Crisis Superman Comics

Jimmy Olsen #44

Jimmy Olsen #44

Cover date: April 1960

"The Wolf-Man of Metropolis"

[reprinted in giant Jimmy Olsen #104 - Aug-Sep 1967]

Writer: Otto Binder
Penciller: Curt Swan
Inker: Stan Kaye
Editor: Mort Weisinger

Reviewed by: Osgood Peabody

Click to enlarge

Our tale opens with Jimmy & Lucy Lane in mid-smooch, but as Jimmy pleads for more, Lucy pulls away, saying, "No, you you wolf! Maybe tomorrow night, after our date at the masquerade ball! Now run along, Jimmy!" Jimmy acquiesces (probably used to this routine by now, the poor guy), and reminds Lucy that he ordered a costume for her, but won't tell her what is just yet.

The following day, Superman drops by the Daily Planet to show Jimmy & Lois a discovery he made in an ancient crypt - a chest full of potions supposedly concocted by the wizard Merlin. Due to the extreme age, all but one of the vials has dried up - the one conveniently labeled "Ye Wolfman potion". Jimmy assures Lois that this is nonsense, and just to prove it, he takes a swig to wash down with his sandwich (What the heck, there's no FDA warning on the label, right?). Naturally, that evening there's a full moon, and, you guessed it - Jimmy is transformed into a werewolf, as shown on the cover.

However, this being DC, not EC comics, he retains his personality and does not go on a murderous rampage. While Jimmy is at first shocked at his appearance, his first thought is how to keep his date with Lucy. Fortunately, the quick-witted reporter still has time to call the costume shop and change Lucy's order to complement his appearance (Little Red Riding Hood, of course!). As he arrives at her door, Lucy naturally assumes he's wearing a costume to match hers, and thanks to his gruesome appearance, they beat out other party-goers dressed as Batman, Robin, Green Arrow, and Speedy for best costume. As they're leaving, Jimmy remembers the bottle's inscription said only a beautiful maiden's kiss could break the spell, but he runs into a hitch - Lucy won't kiss him until he removes "that horrible mask!" After stammering out an excuse about it being stuck, he slips away into the night. But later, as Lucy tells her sister about the date, Lois becomes suspicious on hearing about Jimmy's costume and warns Lucy about the potion, "he may be a real Wolf-Man!"

Jimmy reverts to normal the next morning, as the potion only operates when the moon is out. But now he must play "cat and mouse" with Lucy and Lois, as they shadow him during the evening, and each time he must come up with another excuse for wearing his "costume" again. The next evening, the Lane sisters accompany Jimmy as he goes to a movie studio to interview a producer. As they pull up to "Mammoth Studios", Olsen dashes into the building just as the moon is rising. But - in one of those coincidences that could only happen in the Weisingerverse, the studio happens to be casting "The Hundred Horrors", and Jimmy is mistaken for one of the actors! The director is impressed with Olsen's wolfman impersonation, and wants to sign him up on the spot. Lucy & Lois are stymied as Jimmy looks to be trying out for the part (and why not? His reporting gig doesn't seem to be getting him anywhere!), but Jimmy doesn't want the part, since they'll soon tumble to the fact his "make-up" can't be removed. So he begins haggling with the director over his pay, finally telling him haughtily he won't work for under $25,000 a week (not a bad sum - even in today's dollars!), so the director angrily rejects this apparent prima donna, and Jimmy is once again off the hook.

The next day, we find young Olsen drawing his savings out of the bank, as he schemes, "I'll buy the kiss-antidote that will break the magic spell! I'll offer this money to a pretty girl tonight in the park!" And appallingly enough, that night, in the park, Jimmy actually accosts an attractive girl, "Look, miss! All this money is yours if you'll just kiss me once!" [Yikes! Mort - I thought this was a family magazine!] Needless to say, Mr. Olsen gets his face slapped by the young lady as she hysterically calls for the police. Jimmy finally signals Superman to bail him out, before he gets himself into further embarrassment. After explaining the situation to the Man of Steel, Superman tries to reassure Jimmy that he'll make every effort to find an antidote.

The following evening we find Jimmy in yet another pickle. Heavy wind prevents him from landing the Flying Newsroom on the Daily Planet roof, and as it's low on fuel he's forced to touch down at a nearby apartment building, just as the moon is rising. As fate would have it, this is the residence of the Lanes, who happen to be taking the air in the rooftop garden, and so Jimmy must once again explain why he's back in his werewolf "costume". But yet again, our fair- haired reporter is saved by another bizarre coincidence - another woman points out a billboard across the street advertising a play "The Boy Who Cried Wolf", so she immediately concludes that Jimmy has been hired to dress as a werewolf to get publicity for the show!

Superman then arrives to extricate Jimmy and his helicopter, but, better yet, he assures Jimmy he's got the antidote - a pretty girl waiting in his apartment to kiss him! And the Man of Steel reassure his pal, that he's taken the extra precaution of keeping the lights off, so Jimmy's appearance won't scare her away. In the blacked out apartment, we see the silhouettes of Superman, Wolfman-Jimmy, and the girl known only as "Miss X". Jimmy seems pleased with the treatment, but wonders if it will work. Sure enough, the kiss does the trick, and Superman quickly flies away with Miss X - who is now revealed to be Supergirl! Superman wanted the lights out, not for her benefit, but for Jimmy's, as Supergirl's existence on earth was still a secret at this time.

As our tale closes, Jimmy is out on another date with Lucy, and he gets his wish, as she's relieved he's not a werewolf, and invites him to kiss her. But she only gets a peck on the cheek, as Jimmy is haunted by the specter of his unknown benefactor, and can only wonder, "Will I ever meet and kiss Miss X again?"

5Story - 5: A wonderfully goofy story IMO full of those trademark Weisinger contrivances and coincidences, as Jimmy takes the torturously long, (yet hilarious) route to a cure. And of course, the irony - Jimmy gets the object of his desire at story's end, but he's no longer satisfied. One kiss in the dark shared with a beautiful unknown girl, and Lucy Lane is an afterthought - but can you blame Mr. Olsen for being tantalized? Many readers at the time must have been too, because Uncle Mort had further plans for "Miss X" and Jimmy as we shall see!

4Art - 4: Swan & Kaye do a wonderful job drawing the caricature of Jimmy as werewolf. The reaction shots to Jimmy's hairy predicament are priceless.

4Cover Art - 4: The cover by Swan & Kaye shows Jimmy, transformed into a werewolf, appealing to his pal, "Help me, Superman! This magic potion turned me into a Wolf-Man - and the spell can only be broken if a pretty girl kisses me! But my face shocks them!" while in the background, Lois & Lucy Lane, aghast at Jimmy's appearance, high-tail it away from him. How could you not want to pick it up?

Ah, the early 60s the Golden Age of Jimmy Olsen transformations - Giant Jimmy, 6-armed Jimmy, Giant Turtle Man, the Human Porcupine, so the Wolfman was par for the course! This story included the first of the aforementioned Jimmy/Supergirl "strange interludes", as Supergirl had a small but very influential cameo appearance, amidst her other Jimmy Olsen guest-shots during this era.

So far, we've seen Jimmy encounter the Girl of Steel twice on his turf - but the tables get turned next time around! Stay tuned for "L'il Orphan Jimmy" in the next installment of Jimmy & Kara!

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”




Compilation Volumes


Back to the Mild Mannered Reviews contents page.