Monday, February 11, 2008

In Response to Kalinara.....'s my favorite Superman-in-a-phone-booth scene in honor of her latest column.

Top that, Mad Thinker Scott!

This Nick Cardy cover comes from the classic Jimmy Olsen#162 (January 1974), featuring the lead story "1 By 1 My Brothers Die", written by Leo Dorfman and drawn by the great Kurt Schaffenberger. The plot involved Lex Luthor masterminding a series of robberies using mind-controlled Jimmy Olsen clones created from skin cells Luthor obtained by blackmailing Olsen's dentist.

No, I am not making this up.

And by the way, the scene above sort of appears in the book, except there's no super-speed involved; "Supes" just walks into a booth and changes into "Olsen" while the real Jimmy secretly spies on him. And, as a bonus, the editor's notes gave us the origin of the word "cloning".

Plus, there was a great backup story, "The Savage Who Stalked Mr. Action", also by Dorfman and Schaffenberger, in which our red-haired hero found himself hunted on the streets of Metropolis by a hitman named Savage, who dressed up in jungle gear and used Kravenesque traps to attempt to snare Jimmy. Savage's facial features were concealed by shadow up until the moment our intrepid reporter finally turned the tables and the trapped assassin was revealed to be...gasp!!... a woman named Diane Savage. (Let's hear it for early 70's comics feminism!) I enjoyed how she taunted him that he wouldn't have captured her without Superman's help, only for Jimmy to reveal that he hadn't called for Superman until after she was captured.

I was always disappointed that Diane Savage never returned to plague Jimmy as a recurring foe. Who knows, maybe some future Superman writer will use her in the new continuity.

One can always hope.



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