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Author Topic: Jimmy & Kara - 1959-61  (Read 27541 times)
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Aldous
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« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2003, 06:27:58 AM »

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Yeah - sorry if I spoiled that one for you Aldous.


On the contrary!

I'm just glad you told me who she was... If you hadn't, I'd probably be on the boards anyway, asking if anyone knows who the old lady from JIMMY OLSEN is.
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Osgood Peabody
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« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2003, 03:18:01 AM »

1961 was the year the concept of the “imaginary story” really blossomed throughout the Weisinger fiefdom.  Earlier in the year, a series of imaginary tales had run in Lois Lane, relating the trials and tribulations of the married Mr. & Mrs. Clark Kent.   This was followed by the grand-daddy of all imaginary novels “The Death of Superman” in November.  

The first imaginary Jimmy Olsen story was in JO #56 (Oct. 1961) and it was called “The Son of Jimmy Olsen”.  This story followed the adventures of Jimmy Olsen, Jr., the offspring of Jimmy & Lucy Lane.  But I think it’s interesting that this tale began with the couple already middle-aged with a grown-up son (as if relating the actual fruition of a Jimmy & Lucy romance was too unbelievable even for an “imaginary” story  Wink) and it ended on a semi-tragic note.

Ironically, the very next issue would see a very different brand of “imaginary” storytelling, with a far different outcome:

Part 6 "Jimmy Olsen Marries Supergirl"



from Jimmy Olsen #57 (Dec. 1961) by Mort Weisinger, Jerry Siegel, Curt Swan & Stan Kaye [reprinted in Action #351 & 352, and again in Superman Family #181]

(Apparently, Mort thought enough of this story to grant it the honor of being the very first 2-part (17-page) Jimmy Olsen tale!)

We begin with a beautiful 2/3 splash page, with the caption reading: “Here it is, at last…the story thousands of readers have demanded…an imaginary tale in which young Daily Planet newshawk Jimmy Olsen marries – Supergirl!”  A wedding scene is depicted, showing Jimmy slipping a ring on a beaming Linda Danvers. A stoic Superman stands in as best man, while in the background stands a grinning Perry White, and a more somber Lois Lane, accompanied by her sister Lucy (ah, well, always a bridesmaid as they say…).  

The story unfolds one morning (on a day which may or may not ever happen we’re told), with Perry once again challenging young Olsen to come up with an unusual news story.  On reflection, Jimmy remembers his previous adventure where he had to stay at the Midvale orphanage, and decides to go back there for a human interest story on the orphans.  [Another point of interest here:  This may be the only “imaginary” Weisinger tale that actually refers back to events that took place in a “real” story!]

At the orphanage, Jimmy impresses the children with various trophies of his adventures with Superman.  But he makes the biggest impression on Linda Lee Danvers, who happens to be staying at the orphanage while her new foster parents are traveling in Europe.  Linda is fascinated by Jimmy’s memorabilia, and even thinks the young reporter is cute!  Jimmy is likewise captivated by Linda, and even offers to give her one of his trophies.  To Linda’s dismay, Jimmy’s gift happens to be a chunk of Red Kryptonite, but her fearful expression mysteriously vanishes right away.  Why?  The narrator relates that the Red K immediately effected her, not only removing her super-powers, but any memory of having ever been Supergirl!

Encouraged by Linda’s interest in him, Jimmy immediately asks her on a date to the amusement park.  At the park, the couple enjoy themselves at the attractions.  Later, at a dance hall, Jimmy spots Lucy Lane with a pilot and thinks, “Who cares?  I’d be a chump to chase her now, after I’ve met a living doll like Linda!  Lucy’s never appreciated me, but Linda thinks I’m great!”  In the tunnel of love, the young couple kiss passionately (as passionately as the CCA allowed back then, anyway), and Linda thinks “Jimmy’s kissing me…I’m so happy!,” while Jimmy is thinking “Gosh, she’s wonderful!”.  Overcome with elation, Jimmy blurts out “I know this is real sudden, Linda, but…I’m crazy about you!  Please say you’ll marry me!”  Without hesitation, Linda accepts!!

The next day, Superman returns from a space mission, and is stunned when his pal announces his engagement, and even more shocked when he meets his intended.  At the first opportunity, he takes Linda aside, “What are you doing?  How can you be my secret emergency weapon now?”.  Linda is confused, and as she fumbles with her purse, Jimmy’s gift of red K tumbles on the floor, and Superman immediately pieces together what happened to her.  But, to his credit, he thinks, “They’re so happy…I’ll keep mum, and do nothing to spoil their happiness!”  As depicted on the splash page, the couple weds, and we skip ahead in time to after the honeymoon, as the newlyweds grapple with bills as they furnish their new home.  Jimmy demands a raise from Perry, and when he’s denied, he storms out saying, “Then… I quit!  I’ll get a job where I’m respected!”  

As Jimmy struggles to find new employment, Linda is rearranging the furniture at home when she suddenly flies into the air holding a sofa!  Her powers and memory have finally returned!  [It was later established by Mort that Red K’s effects would wear off after 48 hours – at the time of this writing, either that rule hadn’t been in place, or it was conveniently ignored!]  “Oh, dear,” thinks Linda, “I can’t tell Jimmy right away he’s married to a Supergirl!  Heaven knows what the shock might do to him!  I – I need time to decide what to do!!”  

Jimmy returns, and despondently tells his wife that he must sell off his Superman trophies to raise money.  Suddenly, an earthquake strikes the area!  Sirens blare from a nearby airport, and Jimmy and Linda speed there by car to see if they can lend a hand.  Linda advises Jimmy to use one of the space-jewels in his trophy collection to magnify his voice, and he shouts emergency instructions to a plane to avoid a runway that has caved in – unknown to Jimmy, it is in reality Linda’s super-shout that saves the day, but she happily lets her husband take credit, and he accepts a $5,000 reward from the airline, as Lucy Lane looks ruefully on.  After reading Jimmy’s account of the incident, Perry promptly rehires Jimmy with a higher salary.  But Linda is still stymied – how does she break the news of her super-identity to Jimmy?  She decides to let Jimmy know of a Supergirl’s existence, and get him to fall in love with her as Supergirl!

As Part II begins (entitled “Jimmy Olsen’s Two Brides”), Linda follows Jimmy via super-vision while he's on the job, knowing his knack for getting into trouble.  Sure enough, the young reporter is sent flying as he’s inspecting an amusement ride, and Linda promptly switches identities to rescue him.  Supergirl introduces herself, and indicates that being Superman’s pal, she trusts him to keep her existence a secret.  [Déjà vu!  This reminds me of their very first encounter!]  Jimmy is naturally skeptical, but Supergirl relates her origin story, and how she came to Earth in a rocket after Argo City’s demise.  Supergirl then leaves Jimmy all pumped up by saying “You’re smart, cute, and loads of fun!  Just the kind of man I’d like for a husband!”. Jimmy thinks, “Golly, what a girl!  She’s not only pretty, but super-powerful, too!”.  But, to his credit, on returning home and greeting Linda, says to himself  “Linda isn’t super-powerful, but she’s the sweetest wife any fellow ever had!”  Linda, for her part, is impressed that Jimmy proves worthy of her trust, not revealing Supergirl’s existence even to his own wife!

Later, Jimmy is on his way to go bowling with the boys, when Supergirl stuns him by flying down to meet him and promptly proposing marriage.  Jimmy tries to spare her feelings, and indicates that he can’t really answer her, as he really doesn’t know her that well.  Supergirl quickly responds by suggesting they fly off to another world to get better acquainted.  On the alien planet, she has to save Jimmy from a weird creature (thus satisfying the need to match this issue’s cover!).  Upon their return to earth, she urges Jimmy to consider her proposal.

Now really conflicted, Jimmy the next day stumbles into more trouble.  Falling into a bottomless pit while covering a story, he falls and encounters a subterranean civilization and their powerful queen.  Supergirl flies after him, and promptly rescues him once more.  After again urging Jimmy to marry her, Jimmy finally decides enough is enough – “Forget me Supergirl!  I must never see you again!”  Supergirl is distraught that Jimmy doesn’t care for her dual identity, but in actuality, Jimmy thinks “Poor kid!  I care a lot for her!  In fact too much!  But she’ll have to learn how to live without me!”  On returning home, Jimmy’s conscience troubles him, and he confesses to Linda of his feelings for Supergirl.  Overjoyed, Linda changes before Jimmy’s eyes into her Supergirl costume, and reveals the reason for concealing her predicament.  Jimmy can’t believe his good fortune that both of the girls of his desire are in fact one person, and the happy couple ride off into the sunset!


It’s easy to see why JO readers loved this story.  Their hero gets the girl of his dreams, who adores him – the fact that his love happens to be the most powerful woman on the planet is just icing on the cake!  And Supergirl, for her part?  Well, let’s look at Jimmy’s competition at the time – Dick Malverne?  Jerro the Mer-boy?  And I won’t even mention the rather disturbing relationship she had with Biron, the centaur who was transformed into Comet the Super-Horse!  

In reading this as a series of stories, this final tale brought the Jimmy/Supergirl relationship to its most satisfying conclusion for both, and as I stated earlier, would not have worked IMO as a stand-alone story.  And perhaps they had to leave it there, having said all there was to say.  The pair would never encounter each other romantically again.  Yes, there would be other sporadic appearances (Klar-Ken already mentioned one above), but Supergirl would go on to be revealed to the world 2 months later, and perhaps knowing her to be his pal’s cousin would subsequently serve as a deterrent to any romantic advances from young Olsen.  

It’s tantalizing to imagine what could have been.  But there’ll always be this story to memorialize the path not taken.

Thanks for indulging this little retrospective – hope you enjoyed it.
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Aldous
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« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2003, 10:20:56 AM »

Quote
The next day, Superman returns from
a space mission, and is stunned when his pal announces
his engagement, and even more shocked when he meets
his intended. At the first opportunity, he takes Linda aside,
“What are you doing? How can you be my secret emergency
weapon now?”. Linda is confused, and as she fumbles with
her purse, Jimmy’s gift of red K tumbles on the floor, and
Superman immediately pieces together what happened
to her.


What? Superman didn't lose his powers and memory??

I'll go for a No-Prize and guess that Superman had previously
been affected by the same chunk of Red K... and as we all
know, (sometimes) he cannot be affected by the same
chunk twice.
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Lee Semmens
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« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2003, 12:31:51 PM »

Quote from: "Osgood Peabody"

But he makes the biggest impression on Linda Lee Danvers, who happens to be staying at the orphanage while her new foster parents are traveling in Europe.


Jerry Siegel and/or Mort Weisinger apparently made a boo-boo in the plot here so big you could drive a truck through it.
We are supposed to believe Linda is so young she has to stay at an orphanage while her foster parents are overseas, on the other hand she is old enough to get married - or is Jimmy a cradle-snatcher?
Weisinger seems to have ignored Linda/Supergirl's youth when it suited him as far marriage or possible marriage was concerned.
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Osgood Peabody
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« Reply #20 on: August 11, 2003, 02:14:00 PM »

Aldous - you're correct.  I should have mentioned that Jimmy felt OK to give Linda that particular Red K chunk, as his pal had already been exposed to it!

Lee - I'm not sure it's as big a plot hole as you say.  Linda had been established to be 16 at this time, not quite a "child bride", and since she had been at the orphanage recently, it's quite plausible I think for her to stay over again while her parents are away.

On the other hand, her foster parents the Danvers are conspicuously absent at the wedding, and are not even mentioned for the rest of the story.  That clearly should have been addressed, if only for one panel, to assure us that Jimmy got the old parental blessing!
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Osgood Peabody
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« Reply #21 on: August 12, 2003, 01:49:53 AM »

I went back and looked at the panel in the story that depicts the actual wedding ceremony, and there is a tiny head-shot of someone in the church who resembles Fred Danvers, so I may have to retract my earlier comment.  A woman standing beside him (presumably Edna?) is obscured by Jimmy's shoulder, so I can't be positive.  

Nonetheless, it would have been better to have a panel or two introducing Jimmy to the Danvers.
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Brainiac44
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« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2003, 08:20:48 PM »

I haven't read all of this thread yet (oof - lots of text...) but let's not forget the Supergirl movie in which Jimmy Olsen is the only reccuring character!
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Osgood Peabody
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« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2004, 08:27:15 PM »

I'm going to bump this, as there was some interest in Lucy Lane on the Supergirl forum.

I also took the opportunity to reformat that second page to make it easier on the eyes.
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