We’re back again with another edition of Jimmy Olsen, Life Wrecking Idiot where we prove that Superman’s pal is a complete idiot. You can read past editions here. This time we’re looking at Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #3 published in January 1955.
The Boy Millionaire!
In this story, Jimmy Olsen is interviewing Agatha Ames, a millionaire and crazy cat lady. Why? It must be a slow news day in Metropolis, probably. That’s the only explanation as to why they’re sending one of their reporters to visit a woman who is probably breaking every municipal bylaw regarding pet ownership.
Look at that cat in the second panel grabbing for money. Some might think it’s cute, but I think it’s part of an escape plan.
Also, who keeps cat photos in a safe? If this woman existed today her head would explode looking at the #catsofinstagram hashtag. Also, this woman is so out of it she accidentally locks one of her cats in the safe. Instead of calling animal welfare, Jimmy calls Superman for help instead.
Old lady Ames freaks out because she is afraid her precious Sassafras might suffocate in the safe. Do we even know if this safe is air tight? Why waste Superman’s time when they could have hired someone to open the safe without ripping it off its hinges.
Anyway, this is all besides the point, since this is all a set up for Ames giving Jimmy Olsen a 1 million dollar reward for saving her beloved cat. That’s 9.5 million in 2019 money. Naturally, this sudden wealth goes right to Jimmy’s head and he turning into the type of rich asshole you hate.
Jimmy quits his job at the Daily Planet then puts a classified ad looking for a valet. This is seen by a crook named Slick Slade, who decides to exploit Jimmy in order to steal his wealth…
Slade convinces Jimmy that he is on the up-and-up by exposing some phony investors. These are actually Slade’s henchmen playing a role. With Jimmy completely fooled, Slick has a fake note from Superman asking Jimmy to meet with him with all of his money.
Jimmy gathers all his money and goes to the abandoned house with Lois Lane to meet with Superman. Of course, this is a trap and when they are captured by Slade and his gang, Jimmy insists that he doesn’t have his money on him. They lock them in a room and Jimmy reveals to Lois that he actually stashed his money in his coat. However, when he tries to signal Superman, he discovers that the rain outside broke his watch.
In order to signal the Man of Steel, Jimmy burns all of his money in a fireplace so he and Lois can send smoke signals to call Superman for help. Naturally, Superman arrives in the nick of time and saves the day, but Jimmy burned every last dollar.
Jimmy Olsen is pretty dumb to begin with and a sudden cash infusion of a million dollars doesn’t help this disposition. Early on in the story he orders a replacement car because the one he is being driven around in has a scratch on the fender, then later tosses away a $1000 bill because it is dirty. Keep in mind, this is how Jimmy thinks rich people act. That can’t be correct, can it? Who does stuff like that?
Then, when he is looking for a valet he asks for some really absurd credentials.
Jimmy, you’re only a millionaire. Any royal — even in the 1950s — was worth billions back then. I think that anyone who driven royalty is probably out of your pay grade.
Not only that, Jimmy completely buys Slick Slade’s story about working for all sorts of royalty (more on that later).
Then there’s the fact that Jimmy takes a note written by “Superman” at face value even though it’s sketchy as fuck. Superman usually comes flying in through a window to tell you things Jimmy, he’s not the type to leave notes.
Then, when Jimmy and Lois are held hostage, the only way he can think to call Superman is to burn all his money and send smoke signals? That’s relying on a lot of variables, not the least of which is the hope that Superman is looking in the direction of the smoke signals and recognizing them for what they are.
Also, Superman has super-hearing, if he was anywhere nearby he could have probably heard you calling for help, dumb ass.
The crooks in this story aren’t any brighter than Jimmy Olsen, and it is only the fact that Jimmy is an idiot that any of this even happens.
As shown above, Slick Slade manages to trick Jimmy into thinking he is a qualified valet because of his forged credentials. How do you forge references from royalty?
Then, when they capture Jimmy and Lois, they look in his briefcase and discover…
Not once does it dawn upon Slick or his men to actually search their hostages for the money. These crooks are just as inept as Jimmy Olsen.
The Fastest Gun in the West
Jimmy is sent to the town of Tumbleweed to cover a rodeo for the Daily Planet. As a story like this goes, Tumbleweed is still stuck in the days of the American Frontier. Also, since this story is devoid of any originality it is also terrorized by an outlaw calling himself Gunsmoke Gus.
When Jimmy asks the sheriff to do something about this outlaw, the lawman is apparently shot dead. Seeing how many people were allegedly killed by Gunsmoke Gus, Jimmy decides to do something about it by disguising himself “Kid Olsen” to try and catch Gus in a crime.
When Jimmy discovers that Gunsmoke is cheating in a card game, the poor dope is told to get out of town or he will be shot. On his way out, Jimmy then discovers that Gunsmoke Gus and his gang have been faking the shootings in order to trick people into thinking Gus was more deadly than he appears.
Jimmy decides to face Gus at high noon in a gunfight figuring he can expose the “gunslinger” as a fraud. Unfortunately, Jimmy doesn’t consider the fact that Gus has loaded his gun with live rounds this time intending to wing the boy so he can continue terrorizing the town.
As you’d expect, Superman arrives in the nick of time and saves Jimmy’s ass. With his entire scheme exposed, Gunsmoke Gus is told to leave town since, he hasn’t actually committed any crimes.
So let’s see here: Jimmy Olsen, who has never shot a gun in his life, decides to try and catch a crook that shoots anyone who stands in his way. Even though it turns out that Gunsmoke is a terrible shot, Jimmy doesn’t know this and goes out of his way to make himself a target to this criminal instead of, you know, calling for help.
Jimmy is willing to summon Superman to help get a cat trapped in a bank vault, but decides against it when dealing with a gun-toting outlaw.
Then there’s taking the unnecessary risk of getting toy guns for the gunfight. If Jimmy was smart enough to figure out that Gus was firing blanks and that his “victims” were really stooges, why can’t Jimmy consider the fact that this time Gunsmoke would be using live rounds?
The Man Who Collected Excitement
During a slow news day, Jimmy Olsen gets a phone call telling him about a fire in a nearby neighborhood. While Superman saves those endangered by the fire, Jimmy notices a strange man who is taking pictures of people fleeing from their homes. Searching the area, they quickly discover a small brushfire in a backyard and that the fire was not as serious as it appeared.
Other reporters on the scene suspect that Jimmy staged the whole thing since he arrived ahead of everyone.
Later, Jimmy gets an advanced tip about a UFO that has landed on a nearby rooftop. However, upon arrival, Jimmy and Jumbo discover that it is actually an inflatable prop. Once again, the strange man is around to snap photos of the panic that was caused. This time, the Metropolis police take Jimmy in for questioning as they also become suspicious as well.
Suspecting that the strange photographer might be responsible, Jimmy disguises himself as a member of the “Candid Camera Club” and tracks him down. The guy turns out to be Alphonse Baker. Baker’s hobby is taking photos of dangerous situations that he considers exciting. Learning that Alphonse gets tips from a mystery caller as well, Jimmy isn’t sure if he can believe the photographer.
Later, Jimmy gets a memo from Perry White informing him that a wealthy miser, who lived at the scene of the fire, was robbed earlier that day. When Olsen gets another phone tip, he realizes what’s going on. Getting Superman to help with flood relief, Jimmy uses the flying newsroom to nab a crook who has been staging these disasters in order to turn attention away from his nearby robberies.
The people of Metropolis really showcase how stupid they are in this story. For example, when a group of citizens are made to think that their house was on fire, they are more concerned about their valuables than their own safety.
Then there is the flying saucer scare people couldn’t tell that this UFO is actually an inflatable device.
Even in this situation, people are depicted rushing out of their homes carrying their valuables. Which makes even less sense than the fire.
Then there’s Alphonse Baker…
He’s a guy who likes to photograph “excitement”, look at how much joy he is having photographing people fleeing for their lives. Granted there was never any real danger, but the fact that this is Alphones’ hobby is pretty fucking creepy.
Look at all of these pictures…
If there is a version of Alphonse Baker in the re-re-re-rebooted DC Universe, he probably is sexually turned on by car crashes and autoerotically asphyxiates himself while jerking off to pictures of accidents.
Jimmy uses his stalking skills to find Superman, a dumb plot about book thieves, and Jimmy becomes king for a day.