Friday, September 08, 2006

Everything's worse with Jimmy Olsen!

I don't mind impossible physics, unlikely coincidences and other scene devices in comic books, but I do want a little bit of story-telling logic. Just because it is a comic book doesn't mean it won't sell if the star isn't shown leaping buildings, y'know?

One of my pet peeves is when non-super characters clearly do super-duper things, like in this panel from Superman Family #191 (Sept-Oct 1978) featuring professional idiot Jimmy Olsen. I hate him so much.

A decidedly non-super Jimmy punches a villain so hard he doesn't just stumble and fall back, he is actually lifted off the ground to a height of about 6 feet. The villain (who's costume resembles that of Jimmy's bestest pal) flies back hard enough to smash his head through a death trap prison bubble that is filling with water without shredding the guy's face off or pulping the skull. Getting hit that hard would tear someone's head off...unless the costume was reinforced and armored somehow...but then how did Jimmy...No...I'm over-thinking this. It was just a bad story and lazy art.

So to recap, Jimmy's Non-Super Super Powers are:

  • Super-Strength
  • Super-Hit Someone And They Become Airborne And Accelerate At Right Angles punch
  • Super-Give Someone The Power To Speak Clearly With Head Submerged Under Water
  • Super-Charlie's Angels Wardrobe Wearing Ability
  • Super-Calkboard Eraser Cleaning


  1. Also, the ability to hit someone six feet up - into the bottom of a sphere which rests on the ground.

  2. I don't see why Superman needed to give him a signal watch. Maybe it should have gone to the president or mayor of Metroplis or someone.

  3. You forgot to mention the ultranifty leisure suit.

  4. I do loves me some Kurt Schaffenberger art. Lots of texture-shading, and yet each object is lit from every possible angle. It's like everything is happening in one of those "what's wrong with this picture" pictures.

    But I grew up on his art, so I always cut him a lot of slack. Especially since I believe it was he who first put Supergirl in the red hot-pants and puffy sleeves. Have a trophy, KS!


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