Weirdness from Yesteryear 1: Jimmy Olsen's Private Monster

I like nothing more than those crazy short stories that authors like Otto Binder used pack two to an issue. Sure, some of them are terrible, but when you’re dealing with so many, there are quite a few strange gems. Even though my focus here has been on our most recent age of comics, I’d like to start looking back at some of those books. After all, there’s no question that the two most important writers in modern comics, Alan Moore and Grant Morrison, have been. This week, we’ll take a glance at Jerry Siegel and Curt Swan’s JIMMY OLSEN’S PRIVATE MONSTER from Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen 43.

After narrowly escaping an attack from the TNT Gang (yes, a bunch of villains whose modus operandi is throwing TNT at things), Jimmy activates his signal watch so that Superman will come and help – but it malfunctions and summons a grotesque monster instead!

The monster saves him – and then won’t leave him alone. It shows up when he’s on a date, communicating by using its powers of “mental telepathy”!!

It looks a little like Krang, I guess?

Jimmy’s girlfriend, Lucy, wants nothing to do with him now. He can’t even grab a bite to eat anymore because waiters know that robot brain squids don’t tip well, I guess.

I’m not sure why the creature’s lips seem to move when it uses mental telepathy. At any rate, it also shows extraordinary aptitude at disrupting football games.

No, not the hot-dog vendors! I love the creepy smirk on the creature’s face, as well as the positioning of the tentacle in the foreground as it slowly inches around Jimmy’s shoulder. Maybe it really likes Jimmy? If I have to prove the creature’s creepiness any further, consider the following panel:

It’s been hanging around in Jimmy’s room while he sleeps, watching horror movies! This is a piece of foreshadowing, it turns out, because we later learn that the creature actually doesn’t like Jimmy at all and ruining Jimmy’s life was all part of the plan. The creature ‘s a film maker from another dimension, and it tells Jimmy that it’ll leave him alone only if he agrees to be in a movie. . .a horror movie.

You see, in their dimension Jimmy is the hideous monster! All things considered, it could have been worse. Jimmy could have been just as super-sexy as the creature was leading us to believe, and it could have wanted Jimmy to star in some hyper-dimensional version of Boogie Nights!

(yeah, I messed up the scan)

Superman shows up at one point to try to help Jimmy, though his powers prove ineffective against the robo brain squid. But he really doesn’t try very hard. Sometimes he’s kind of a dick.

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