Comic Book Questions Answered – where I answer whatever questions you folks might have about comic books (feel free to e-mail questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Reader Rob M. had a few Jimmy Olsen-related questions and I guess I’ll tackle them over the coming days and weeks or years or who the heck knows with me? The other day I answered some dude’s question from, like, 2013. I’m a wild card!
One of his questions was whether Jimmy Olsen really dressed up like a woman with any frequency. I had actually done an article for CBR about that topic a few years ago, so I sent him that link for that one.
Anyhow, another one of his questions sort of tied in with one of the go-to plot points of Silver Age Superman stories, which was a character traveling to Krypton before it exploded. It’s funny how many plots were used and reused on an on in the Silver Age Superman stories. Like his supporting cast getting superpowers, other super strong guys fighting for Lois Lane’s affection or even the classic “Superman is acting weird, he must be evil!” plot that showed up every other issue (I was just noting yesterday that it makes a lot of sense that Gunsmoke debuted on television right at the start of the Silver Age, because the people of Dodge City treat Matt Dillon the same way that Silver Age Superman is treated by the people of Metropolis. The slightest odd move and they all assume the worst of him).
So Jimmy ended up on Krypton for the first time in 1959’s Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #36 by Otto Binder, Curt Swan and Ray Burnley.
The story opens with Jimmy Olsen hanging out with some friends when Superman stops by to give Jimmy a new souvenir (he loved giving Jimmy souvenirs). His friends are all, “Man, how the hell did THAT dude end up becoming Superman’s pal?” leading Jimmy to a flashback sequence where he tells the story of how he became Superman’s pal. He did so by first becoming Superman’s BABYSITTER!
It all started when Jimmy first came to Metropolis…
So Jimmy ends up on Krypton. Luckily for him, they were doing a sort of science fiction type convention where people were cosplaying as Earthlings, so no one noticed Jimmy.
He ended up as baby Kal-El’s babysitter which, of course, led to him spanking Superman…
He then made sure that Superman escaped in his rocket and then his time ship took him back to his present (which was our past at the time, since this was actually time traveling within a flashback, which is a trippy concept, right?) and he gets a gig via Superman…
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