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Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Mind-Shattering Madness of Jimmy Olsen #86, Part Two

If any of you were paying attention to the cover that accompanied last night's post, you may have noticed the fact that it contains one of the greatest plot elements in the world of fiction: Jimmy Olsen's Brain In A Jar:

The fact that this single image did not immediately spawn a hundred-issue run of Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen's Brain In A Jar may have been the biggest missed opportunity in comics history, but it did give us the story I'll be focusing on in the second installment of my spine-tingling exposé of Jimmy Olsen #86!

Ah, the friendship of Jimmy Olsen and Superman! Kinda brings a lump to your throat, doesn't it? But what happens when Jimmy replaces his dynamic pal with a bald green man in a pink polo shirt, tiny shorts, and white go-go boots?

Well, truth be told, I have no idea, because this is a two-part story and I wasn't able to track down a copy of the next issue. But fortunately for our purposes, there's enough in the mere six pages that this thing runs to keep us here all night.

It all gets started when Jimmy goes on a ride-along with an armored car carrying the phenomenal sum of one million dollars. Fortunately for Jimmy, the armored car is composed of a new alloy discovered by one of the city's roughly sixty-eight thousand eccentric professors, the indestructable Vulnite.

Unfortunately for Jimmy...

...Vulnite isn't quite as tough as previously advertised, which puts it right alongside most of the inventions of Professor Potter or Professor Lang in terms of effectiveness. Really, though, what else can you rightfully expect from a bunch of scientists who never bothered to get their doctorates?

Anyway, the explosion quickly attracts the attention of Superman, who shows up just in time to pimp-slap the living bejeezus out of the thugs, but alas, it's too late for Jimmy, as the explosion has resulted in potentially fatal brain damage.

Superman's solution to this? Simple:

Stick 'em in the Phantom Zone!

For the record, this is also Superman's solution to unforgivable crimes against Krypton, dealing with childhood friends with allergies, and especially malicious midgets.

Before Superman can go grab his projector and condemn his best friend to a thousand years in a dismal, shadowy hell where he'll be picked on by a guy who looks like Dr. Phil for being retarded, though, Brainiac--"the most terrible of all space villains!"--shows up and offers to save Jimmy's life.

Music, please:

And all that happens on one page. Suck it, decompression.

Once on board the ship, of course, Brainiac does save Jimmy's life by extracting his damaged brain and replacing it... with a computer! Thus, the world's first Terminator is born. But once he's released upon an unsuspecting Metropolis, where even his best friend doesn't know that he's a murderbot programmed for Superman's ultimate destruction, what unstoppable horrors will his emotionless robot mind unleash upon the world?!

Ant Farm Sand-Counting!

Charity Horse-Racing!

Phenomenally Disturbing Innuendo!

And that, along with forcing Jimmy to throw away all of his Superman merchandise and replace it with memorabilia relating to his own accomplishments, is apparently the full extent of Brainiac's sinister master plan. Well, that and turning some farm equipment invisible and waiting around for Superman to show up, but I think it's safe to say that Superman foils his dastardly schemes and returns Jimmy to his bowtie-sporting status quo.

What Happens Next? Who Cares!
I don't, and neither will YOU if you're here tomorrow night
when The ISB takes on the most brain-melting historical saga of the Silver Age!

If You're Thinking Of Missing It...



Blogger Erin Palette said...


Also, your picture of "Superman's solution to this" is the same as "pimp-slap the living bejeezus".

Fun fact: "The Living Bejeezus" would be an awesome name for a prog-rock band.

4/09/2007 12:36 AM

Blogger Chris Sims said...

No it isn't.


4/09/2007 12:57 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you're thinking of buying Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen...Don't!

If you're thinking of opening this comic...Don't!

If you're thinking of reading the ISB alone...Don't!

4/09/2007 1:21 AM

Blogger Mike Podgor said...

Did someone see "Grindhouse"?

They should make a Jimmy Olsen motion picture series. He's like, ten times more exciting than Superman. He's Mister Action, after all.

4/09/2007 2:21 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

After reading the last two posts, and keeping in mind the issue of All Star Superman that featured Jimmy, I can only conclude that Grant Morrison's next project NEEDS to be "All Star Jimmy Olsen" I'd buy that and the trades to boot!

4/09/2007 8:45 AM

Blogger Art Williams said...

This phrase puzzles me...

"with a compute!"

I'm thinking its a typo, however, I'm sure that if I check back later, that I was mistaken.

4/09/2007 9:20 AM

Blogger SallyP said...

He tipped his head. He TIPPED HIS HEAD! My mind is completely boggled. As is Jimmy's apparently.

4/09/2007 9:34 AM

Blogger A.R.Yngve said...

This post made me laugh very hard. It made my day.

Chris, you really ought to write scripts for Marvel or DC. Or television.

4/09/2007 9:46 AM

Blogger Edward Liu said...

In the panel of the Phantom Zone criminals, I have to say that the guy talking looks like Dan Didio to me.

I'm not one of those Internerd people who thinks he's the anti-Christ. I'm just saying.

4/09/2007 9:54 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's G. Gordon Liddy, who probably ended up exiled in the phantom zone at some point in his career, and would have no trouble taunting the brain-damaged.

4/09/2007 10:02 AM

Blogger Stephan said...

For a man who has sworn never to cross the line Superman suuuuurrre seems eager to condemn people to eternal imprisonment.

4/09/2007 10:18 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you actually own this in color or are you scanning a store copy?

Cuz what with the B&W Showcases reprints, if you actually OWN this issue, I tip my head to you, sir,

4/09/2007 12:27 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Jimmy Olsen replaced Stephen Colbert, he could do "Tip of the Head, Wag of the Finger"...

4/09/2007 8:02 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't begin to get my mind around all the ramifications of Jimmys brain being replaced by a computer! No way can Superman fix THIS shit!

4/09/2007 10:41 PM

Blogger Jon Hex said...

Now THAT'S mindbottling!

4/09/2007 11:18 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for putting up my favorite Jimmy Olsen story, because I lost the 80 page Giant I had that in. My favorite detail is the 8 by 10 glossy that Brainiac gave Jimmy to replace Superman's picture, which implies Brainiac went and posed pleasantly for a photographer. Everything about this one is a jewel.

Dare I hope "Jimmy Olsen, Soda Jerk" is coming up next?

4/09/2007 11:43 PM

Blogger Tom Clancy said...

Regardless of who the Phantom Zone criminals look like, I hope that's the outskirts where the weiners have to hang out. Because it looks like Jimmy could run that place, even without a brain. No tougher than the local Elks Club.

4/11/2007 1:11 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the conclusion to this story involves things being made right after the Jimmy-bot is derailed by a fatal flaw in its Arithmetic Processing Unit. Because you sure as heck don't get the number of sand grains in an ant-farm by multiplying the average size by the volume. You gotta bust out your division module:

Grains = (Cubic Vol. - Tunnel Vol.)/Avg. Size

Take that, machine man!

4/11/2007 5:45 PM

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