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June 17, 2008

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John Nowak

>Powers and Abilities: Possessed the human intelligence ... of Jimmy Olsen.

Dang. Talk about being short-changed.

Pat Curley

That first Titano cover is one of those covers that gives away the ending to the story. I have to admit, I did not realize that the ape story in Jimmy Olsen #116 was a reprint; I'd always assumed it was just a swipe.

ShadowWing Tronix

Titano showed up in the last Animated Series, sans Kryptonite Vision. Titano (no former name) made friends with Lois when she was a child, and she knew how to quiet him down. I think he showed up again in one of the AS-based "Superman Adventures" comics. Yay, I know something!:)

Super(boy) Ape's story gives me a headache.

Mark Engblom

"Dang. Talk about being short-changed."

Well, I had added "such as it is" in parenthesis, then decided against it. Jimmy's been through so much over the years, I didn't feel right insulting his intellect.

"That first Titano cover is one of those covers that gives away the ending to the story."

Yeah, shocking twist endings weren't too high on the priority list back then, were they? I know over in the Julius Schwartz stable of titles, he was all about the "stunt cover" that would really grab your attention (which was usually echoed in a single panel on the inside story). Weisinger's titles seemed to be essentially straight-forward representations of the general direction of the story, with nothing really mindblowing

"Titano showed up in the last Animated Series, sans Kryptonite Vision. Titano (no former name) made friends with Lois when she was a child, and she knew how to quiet him down."

Yeah, I remember that episode. They did a good job of "translating" that old Silver Age story to a modern context.

"Super(boy) Ape's story gives me a headache."

It's truly one of the most surreal Silver Age stories I've ever read....and THAT'S saying something. It was one thing for Superboy to turn into a giant ape, but for Beppo to turn into not only a human, but Clark Kent specifically was enough to implode my frontal lobe. Deliciously loopy stuff.

Pat Curley

"Weisinger's titles seemed to be essentially straight-forward representations of the general direction of the story, with nothing really mindblowing."

Weisinger favored what I like to call the "Puzzle Cover", which can be summarized as "How can this possibly be happening?" The idea seemed to be that if you could get the kid in the store to actually pick up the comic to flip through and find out, you were halfway to a sale. So we'd see Superman with an ant-head, or Jimmy battling Supes or Lois as a baby, or a Legion of Super Heroes rejecting Superboy for having ordinary powers, or... you name it. Indeed, I often think that many Superman stories of the time seem constructed to justify the cover, rather than a key moment plucked from the story to be the cover.

But covers where the hero's salvation is given away are actually pretty rare; that's sort of an anti-puzzle cover. There are only a couple of those that I can think of offhand. Flash #150, for example:

http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=18942&zoom=4

And that's exactly how the Flash beats Captain Cold in that issue.

I guess they thought that just having Superman getting the rays from Titano's eyes wasn't dramatic enough.

John Nowak

>"Dang. Talk about being short-changed."

>Well, I had added "such as it is" in parenthesis, then decided against it. Jimmy's been through so much over the years, I didn't feel right insulting his intellect.

There is that.

Still, I have in my hands the greatest comic event of 2007 -- the "Amazing Transformations of Jimmy Olsen" reprint. On p69, Superman brings Jimmy and Lois a chest of medieval potions made by Merlin. In this chest, they find a werewolf potion. Jimmy's line is:

"They're just silly supersitions, Lois. I'll prove it by washing down my sanwich with this ... ha, ha ... this wolf-man potion!"

I'm trying to imagine a universe or context where that would be a good idea, but I can't.

I mean, even if Jimmy had the powers of Matter-Eater Lad, you'd think he'd want to preserve the stuff for historical research, right?

Mark. Engblom

You're right John....Jimmy *IS* a dunce! Beyond even the historical value, what idiot is going to drink a 500 year old vial of liquid?

John Nowak

To be fair, I think that moment was sort of a low point for Jimmy. Otherwise, he tends to be rash and accident prone, but not stupid.

He should also take a basic safety course (Do not put alien plants on the same table as your food, or you may accidentally bite the wrong thing and grow four more arms) but you can nail most superheroes on that; Tony Stark killed someone once because he never read the NRA's gun safety literature.

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