Thursday, January 14, 2010

How'd He Tie That Bowtie Without Opposable Thumbs? Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #24


You didn't need to offer me free ice cream, you had me at gorilla!

This time, it wasn't really Jimmy's fault. Usually Jimmy Olsen is transformed into something else due to sheer stupidity or negligence, but this time, it was a fluke.

While helping Professor Thorne with an experimental "telepathy helmet" (to read the minds of animals- like THEY have anything to say!) Jimmy Olsen has an accident. After numerous failed attempts to read the minds of giraffes, rhinos and finally a gorilla, the professor is ready to give up. But Jimmy supposes that Superman, with his superior mind, may be able to make the machine work. Jimmy turns on his signal watch just as the gorilla reaches through the bars of it's cage and punches a few random buttons on the device. Blammo! Jimmy and the gorilla switch bodies a'la Freaky Friday.

Prof. Thorne lets Gorilla Jimmy out of the cage, but Jimmy's real body is running amok, swinging from trees and such. Gorilla Jimmy attempts to apprehend his wayward, gorilla- controlled body, just as Superman shows up. Thinking his pal is being attacked by a gorilla, Supes takes a swing at Jimmy.

After explaining the situation to Superman, Professor Thorne explains that it would take 100 years to try all 56,786,934 different button combinations. Superman runs through them all in no time, but Jimmy doesn't change back.

Prof. Thorne heads back to the lab to work on the problem. Superman takes custody of the gorilla in Jimmy's body and Jimmy goes home to put on some clothes.

Jimmy heads to the office, where he scares the Hell out of Lois Lane and Perry White. I don't know about you, but if I were turned into a gorilla, I'd call in sick. Normally, when this stuff happens, Jimmy runs off and joins a freak show. To prevent further incidents of gorilla-induced terror, Perry hangs a sign around Jimmy's neck that reads" 'Bonzo' Intelligent Gorilla! Tame! No Danger!". Personally I don't see why it couldn't have read " 'Jimmy' Intelligent Gorilla! Tame! No Danger!". Also, the word tame isn't very reassuring when followed by an exclamation point.

"Bonzo" decides to go out on the town, having a lunch of bananas at a fancy restaurant and taking in a wrestling match featuring wrestler known as "The Gorilla". The next evening he goes to the movies to see "Patrolman Gorilla" a movie about a gorilla who becomes a cop. Maybe this like how when some folks come out about being gay, all they talk about for a while is gay stuff. Like George Takei or Ellen DeGeneres. It took Ellen a while to get back to just being funny. Once the novelty wears off, I'm sure Jimmy will go back to finding non-gorilla -themed entertainment.

In no time, Jimmy is depressed about his new body. Superman tries to cheer him up by taking him on patrol. Jimmy's new abilities prove useful and he stops a crime and saves some kids from a fire. He even saves Clark Kent from suffocating in a time-lock vault at the bank (of course, Superman was perfectly safe, but his all-important secret identity was in danger!).

Checking on Professor Thorne's progress, Superman finally figures out that the missing element is Jimmy's ultrasonic signal watch. Activating the watch, Superman restores Jimmy to his own body- unbeknownst to Perry White who is suddenly attacked by the typing gorilla who was, seconds ago, Jimmy.

Of course, Superman and Jimmy save the Chief and the gorilla returns to the zoo.

This story was so awesome that it was not only reprinted in Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #116, it got the cover AGAIN!:

6 comments:

  1. The original cover on issue 24 is much nicer I think, simply because it's funnier to see Supes just sitting there while Jimmy-Gorilla types away.
    Again, Aaron, your comments are as entertaining as the cover and art you're reprinting. Your lines about what to "put on the sign around the Gorilla's head" and the gay-coming-out/Gorilla-coming-out entertainment choices WAS HILARIOUS!! An Aaron Bias 'quip' is always a "keeper."
    best,
    r/e

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  2. R/E: I'm torn. The original cover is a better lay-out, but the later one was better executed. Thanks! I was a little leary of making the gay/gorilla comparison, but hopefully people who remember what the afforementioned celebrities were like immediately after their self-revelation will get it.

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  3. I can already hear gay gorillas the world over yelling "jihad"

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  4. I like the multi-font typewriter on the cover!

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