Tuesday, August 02, 2016
Someone has to have blogged this before, but I can't let that stop me. From 1964, Jimmy Olsen #74, "Jimmy Olsen's Secret Love!" Written by Jerry Siegel, pencils by Curt Swan, inks by George Klein. Reprinted in 1976's Superman Family #177.
The story opens with stewardess Lucy Lane getting an assignment from her boss: take a flight and report on the staff's performance...and narc out the slackers. Since Lucy might be recognized, the boss suggests a disguise and gives her a camera to document any goof-offs or malingerers. At the last minute, she realizes she had a date with Jimmy that night, and tries to call to cancel, but the phones are out. (Attempting to call is still the most considerate thing I've ever seen Lucy do, however.)
Meanwhile, Jimmy is getting his own assignment from Perry White: try and spot an incognito jewel thief rumored to be taking a flight...you can probably guess which one. Jimmy decides he's famous enough to be recognized--maybe, but don't get a swelled head, man--and disguises himself, as a somewhat buff magician. He also tries to call Lucy to cancel their date, but doesn't get through either. (Nobody had answering machines back then, so I'm not sure who would've answered for either of them!)
Of course, "Magi the Magnificent" and "Sandra Rogers" are seated together, and hit it off immediately, by bagging on their respective others. Asked what she thinks of Jimmy Olsen, Lucy point-blank calls him conceited and too dependent on Superman. For his part, when Lucy accidentally drops a blonde wig from her bag, Jimmy turns his nose up at it, for reminding him of a fickle ex. (Why would Lucy, a blonde, have a blonde wig?) Both Jimmy and Lucy are already planning on kicking each other to the curb and moving on up. During an unscheduled layover in Metropolis, they manage to tear themselves away from each other, go to a masquerade party with outfits inspired by each other, then both ditch out early to go see their new things. Why do their disguises work, even after they take a break and see each other normally? Jimmy and Lucy may be kind of shallow, or, in their defense, they do live in a world where the greatest disguise ever is a pair of glasses and some combed hair.
Later, their flight resumes, briefly: the plane's fuel tanks spring a leak, and the plane has to land on a glacier/iceberg! Jimmy and Lucy share a kiss, but the plane is shortly rescued by Superman, with the jewel thief captured to boot. But "Magi" and "Sandra" were separated, and didn't exchange numbers! The caption box assures us they would meet again, because they kind of deserve to. And now I'm thinking this song has a very similar plot to Rupert Holmes's execrable "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)" a song I hate to pieces.
Turn that nonsense off! I don't care if it was in Guardians of the Galaxy...
A couple other points: Lucy is impressed by Jimmy pulling an inflatable chicken out of his sleeve, yet not impressed with Jimmy, who at this point, had had legit superpowers like a dozen times. Sure, he was a giant turtle guy once, but if that doesn't get her attention I can't help you. Lucy also catches another stewardess flirting with a passenger described as a famous actor, and if Lucy had never done the same, I'll eat this damn comic. Jimmy's "Magi" disguise includes shoulder pads and lifts, so I'm not sure what his plan was going to be if his slighter build was exposed to his new beloved; it was a bit more involved deception than wearing a pair of Spanx. Also, Jimmy dresses up in drag for the masquerade party, which was maybe a thing back then? (Aside: I used to work next to a grocery store, where most of the guy employees got done up in drag on occasion. Not in a weird way, just something they did for laughs. Still, the amount of tweezing, waxing, shaving, general hair removal involved had to make it a much more labor-intensive project...)
There's also a Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation this issue: Paid circulation, actual number of copies of single issue published nearest to filing date, 149,005. Compared to June 2016, that would just edge out Civil War II for the number five spot. And lastly, the back cover is a Jack Davis Spalding ad, the longtime Mad cartoonist passed away last week.