There's only one way I can end Olsen Vs. Superman week. I mean, there's lots and lots (and lots) more I could share with you...but the only true, perfect way to end the week is:
My friends, that might be my absolute favorite cover ever. EVER. It just so perfectly encapsulates so many things I love about late Silver Age DC: the attempts to be hip (while disapproving of of such hipsters), Jimmy's resentment of authority figures, the amazing title...this cover sends me into paroxysms of glee. Chris Sims has Rom, I have Hippie Olsen's Hate-In!! Even the blurb in the first panel of the story is perfect--perfect!!--as middle-aged white collar writers try to capture the "lingo" of that baffling youth culture:
Anyhoo, our sordid tale gets started when Perry White assigns Jimmy a hot story:
Jimmy's method-dressing gets him with Guru Kama, but wait--the guru is really a hood hiding out from the police!! What are the odds??
Realizing he's stumbled into a goldmine by having Superman's "best friend" in his commune, he convinces Jimmy (and the other hippies) of the power of dreams. And because Jimmy Olsen is the dumbest lad on God's green Earth, he can't tell the difference between when he's dreaming and when he's not:
So what is the first thing Olsen does in his "dream?": That's right, aggravated assault on his employer!
Well, things continue in this vein for several pages, as Jimmy uses his "dreams" to avenge himself on Perry, Lucy Lane, Superman...Now, most of us, if we had dreams about hurting those closest to us, we might become a tad bit concerned. But not Jimmy, as the "guru" eggs him on.
Sure, why not kill my best friend in my dreams? So Jimmy gets a box full of kryptonite marbles that he has in his souvenir room (?!) and makes up a bunch of kryptonite love beads for his hippie cohort. The inevitable result?
Fortunately, Jimmy comes out of his solipsistic haze long enough to spot a clue that maybe, just maybe, he's not dreaming (Gee, you think??). Which leads us to this panel, which I teased last week:
And of course, we have to have Kal-El deliver the stern moral:
Superman solves the culture wars. Beautiful.
And so ends Olsen Vs. Superman Week. This week we've learned that best pals constantly turn on each other; that it's OK to fool your buddies into thinking that you're dying; that it's OK to abuse or kill your friends, as long as it's only a dream; and that DC was certain that sold comic books, because even when that stuff didn't actually happen in the story, they'd put it on the cover. But most importantly we learned this:
Jimmy Olsen is a big big baby.
Jimmy Olsen's Hippie Hate-In took place in Jimmy Olsen #118. It's my scene, and it freaks me out, baby! Speaking of which, Jimmy as a baby is from Jimmy Olsen #78