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Mild Mannered Reviews - Classic Pre-Crisis Superman Comics

Jimmy Olsen #52

Jimmy Olsen #52

Cover date: April 1961

"Jimmy Olsen, Wolf-Man"

Writer: Jerry Siegel
Penciller: Curt Swan
Inker: Stan Kaye
Editor: Mort Weisinger

Reviewed by: Osgood Peabody

Click to enlarge

As we begin this story, Mr. Mxyzptlk, the imp from the 5th Dimension, drops in to visit Metropolis and to seek refuge from his girl-friend Miss Gzptlsnz. Spotting Jimmy & Lucy on a date, he immediately falls in love with Lucy, and (perhaps with some justification) thinks to himself "what a crime to waste such beauty on a young idiot like Olsen"! Afterward, Mxy attempts to romance Miss Lane himself by offering her a gigantic emerald, but Lucy gives him the brush-off, recognizing him as "that awful 5th Dimensional pest Lois told me about".

The jilted Mxyzptlk goes to Jimmy's apartment, and in a pique of jealousy, compels him to take another swig of the Wolf-man potion left over from his previous adventure. But as Olsen is about to drink it, Mxy secretly changes the potion to ordinary water, thinking, "it will be my magic, not the potion, which will change Jimmy into a wolf-man!" Jimmy immediately signals his pal Superman, and after hearing what happened, the Man of Steel reassures him that he'll arrange for Miss X to kiss him again in a darkened room, just like before. As evening falls, Jimmy is transformed once again into the Wolf-Man, but his pal soon returns with Supergirl, and Superman thinks how good it was of Linda to take time out for this "errand of mercy"(!). Just as in the previous story, Superman arranges to have Jimmy keep the lights out to preserve Supergirl's identity, although Jimmy thinks it's to keep his appearance from scaring her away.

That brings us to this interesting panel - the caption: "a kiss in the dark!" The silhouettes of Wolf-Man Jimmy and Supergirl in mid-smooch. Jimmy thinking "Hmm, whoever Miss X is, I like her kisses! I've always hoped we'd meet again some day". Supergirl, on the other hand, is chaste in her thoughts: "Jimmy's nice! I'm glad I can help him!"

Unfortunately for Jimmy, this time her kiss fails to break the spell (as it's Mxy's magic, not the potion that's ailing him), and after "Miss X" departs, Superman returns to reassure his buddy that he'll try to help him, but he has a few emergencies to handle first (funny how these unidentified crises were not urgent until now!). The following day, Jimmy tries to take his mind off his troubles by accompanying Lois on an assignment to interrogate a proprietor of a wax museum on the whereabouts of a criminal known to associate with him. This criminal is none too swift, as he gets the brilliant notion of hiding out by imitating one of the wax images, and even Olsen is able to see through his "disguise" immediately as everyone knows "wax figures don't sweat!" Lois is grateful for the assist, and that night, as Jimmy accompanies her back to the Daily Planet office, when Lois sees him undergo the wolfman transformation, she pities him and offers up a kiss to break the spell. But even Superman's gal can't smooch it away, and Jimmy is left more desperate than ever.

The next evening, Jimmy takes Lucy Lane to the park, and once again, the transformation takes place. Lucy now steps up to the plate, "Lois told me everything! I know I refused to kiss your wolf-face last time this happened to you but please let me kiss you now!" Lucy then puckers up, thinking, "I've closed my eyes! I'll think of somebody real handsome!" [I guess it should come as no great surprise, that, alas, Olsen does not appear to be the subject of her fantasy!] But, Lucy also strikes out, as she blurts, "Gasp You're as repulsive as ever!" [Probably the last words you want to hear from your girlfriend during an intimate moment!]

Wretched as ever, Jimmy walks along a lonely trail by the ocean, and as he slips on a rock, thinks, "Maybe I'll be lucky and crack my skull on some rocks!" But as he falls into the water, Lori Lemaris immediately approaches, and without any explanation (having sized up the situation telepathically, no doubt) kisses the distraught reporter. However, Lori's kiss fares no better than the other ladies, and Jimmy thinks, "Golly I'm running out of girls to kiss! Who's left? Lana Lang... perhaps!" [It doesn't say much for poor Lana that Olsen thinks of her as a last resort, does it?] But, naturally, Lana's kiss also fails to cure Jimmy, as Mxyzptlk looks on, thinking, "I'll say this much for Jimmy-boy! He's persistent!"

However, after leaving Lana's apartment, a veiled, miniature woman approaches Wolfman-Jimmy, and assures him that her kiss will break the spell. Sure enough, Jimmy is stunned as he changes back to normal. Curious to see who his benefactor, is, he pulls back the veil, but to his horror, "Yipes! She's a homely hag!" Mxy himself then pops in to reveal that this woman is in fact Miss Gzptlsnz, the girl he came to Earth to hide from! She secretly followed Mxy from the 5th Dimension and, observing his plot to impress Lucy, worked her own magic to cure Olsen. She then tricks Mxyzptlk himself into saying his name backwards by having him read the "magic brand" of lipstick which saved Jimmy (conveniently labeled "Kltpzyxm"). After filling in Olsen that it was, in fact, her own 5th-Dimensional magic that cured him, not the lipstick, she happily follows the imp back home by saying her own name backwards. Our story ends with Jimmy trying to steal another kiss from Lucy, but she fends him off, saying, "You got enough kisses in the last few days to last you months, you wolf!"

4Story - 4: It's somehow fitting that this tale, where Jimmy follows a more logical path to a cure, is just not as satisfying as the first Wolf-Man tale's labyrinthine plot-twists.

4Art - 4: Swan & Kaye do another comical rendition of Jimmy as wolf-man, although, once again, it seemed funnier when everyone was afraid of his appearance.

4Cover Art - 4: On the cover, Jimmy the Wolf-man appeals to Lois, Lana and Lucy to kiss him again to break the spell. But as Superman, looking on, notes, "Poor Jimmy! This time, Nothing can help him! Not even a kiss from Supergirl! He's doomed to stay that way for keeps!" [Interesting that Supergirl's kiss here is deemed the ultimate cure, - - I guess her smooch was indeed something special!]

So like most sequels, this Wolf-man tale doesn't measure up to the original, but buried in this story is another tantalizing interlude in a darkened room, and by now the readers must have been clamoring for more of Jimmy & Kara. Editor Mort Weisinger would respond with one of the most fondly remembered tales of the Silver Age, not to mention Jimmy Olsen's finest hour but that'll have to wait for another review!

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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