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Jimmy Olsen 113
"The Outlaw Jimmy Olsen!"

COVER IMAGE NOT FOUND (80 Page Giant #50) August - September, 1968

Story: Unknown Art: Unknown

Jimmy Olsen is known throughout Metropolis as Superman's Pal. But suddenly, the cub reporter has quit his job at the Daily Planet for a life of crime! Now, Superman has become Jimmy's enemy instead of his pal in... "The Outlaw Jimmy Olsen." On the splash page, the former cub reporter has just robbed a jewelry store and is brandishing a piece of green kryptonite to keep the man of steel at bay! It all began when Jimmy visited the laboratory of Professor Potter... who has called him over to show him his great invention, and offers the cub reporter to help himself to one of two apples. When Jimmy tells him that there's only one apple, the professor fires a ray which causes a second apple to appear next to the first!

It's a simple matter for Professor Potter to have invented a twin-maker ray, which instantly causes atoms to form into a duplicate of any object! The cub reporter chews on the apple and senses that it tastes sour instead of sweet! Unfortunately, the twin-maker ray creates a copy which is the opposite type. When the professor turned a white rabbit into twins, the duplicate was black! (Holy Motown, Batman!) Two ostriches are kept in a pen, with the copy being greedy compared to the original! The duplicate ostrich snatches the kryptonite from Jimmy's pocket! He was to get rid of it, and the professor points out that the ostrich has gotten rid of it for him! Professor Potter prepares for the big test, as he shines the twin-maker ray on Jimmy! The next moment finds the cub reporter becoming twins! (Holy DeVito, Batman!) The two can't agree on who's the copy and who's the original.

Both Jimmy has forty-seven cents in their pockets, and both are wearing the Superman Signal Wristwatch. Even the professor is unable to tell the two cub reporters apart. When the scientist prepares to shine the reversing ray at them, the duplicate will disappear... but it has burned out! He tells both to come back tomorrow when he's repaired it. Both Jimmys leave, with one realizing that they both can't go to the office! The other suggests that they flip a coin to see who goes to work, and who stays home. The coin is tossed, and soon, one of the two Jimmys is at home, enjoying a TV film of Famous Superman Feats, while his twin does his job. He wonders if he's the real cub reporter... or the twin. How can he tell when there's no difference between both of them?

There is a difference between the two of them, as distinct as good and evil... the coin was tails, but this Jimmy Olsen cheated his double in order to send the real one home! He is the duplicate, and he is aware of it! The evil Jimmy Olsen returns to the lab, where the professor has gone out, and the copy tips a jug of acid onto the reversing ray device! Professor Potter will think that this happened by accident, and dissolved the device! It will also mean that the scientist will never be able to make the copy disappear! Having all of the real Jimmy's memories, the twin goes to an underworld neighborhood, where he finds a jewel-thief! The dishonest Jimmy dives through the broken skylight, and greets "Sparkler" Smith. He tells the jewel-thief to split the loot with him or else he'll send the man of steel on his trail! Smith prepares to shoot, but Bad Jimmy tells him to drop the gun! His Superman Signal watch can reach Superman in an instant, and "Sparkler" Smith sees the red hair... and recognizes the man of steel's pal! The false Jimmy has become an outlaw, and plans to hide his loot at home!

In the apartment, the duplicate fools his double, and tells the real Jimmy that the jewels are just dime-store trinkets for Lois' birthday next week! While the real Jimmy enjoys being a couch potato, the evil copy prepares to commit another crime! In Metropolis Park, he dons a mask, and carries a large, powerful magnet! Climbing the statue of Superman, he recalls how the real Jimmy had interviewed a rich miser who lived high in an apartment building! The miser was safe from being robbed... until now! The magnet has attracted the steel money box through the window! As he climbs down the statue, the masked outlaw is spotted by a park patrolman! He is confident that he'll be able to escape the cop...

After a fruitless search, the patrolman fails to find his quarry! Unbeknowst to him, the bad Jimmy had been picked up by Superman, who had heard his signal-watch, and gave his pal a lift! Unaware that he is aiding a criminal, the man of steel falls for evil Jimmy's story about collecting funds for charity, and how the money-box was too heavy for him to carry! Superman delivers him to the charity headquarters, where the evil duplicate tricks the man of steel into opening the box for him! Superman uses his super-grip to crush the lock so that Jimmy can deliver the money to charity. The outlaw returns home with the money, and tells the real cub reporter that he didn't rob the money! It's really counterfeit money which the man of steel wants him to hold as evidence against a criminal gang! Seeing that his double has had a busy day, Jimmy knows that one of them will vanish when the professor uses his reverse ray! He'll hate to see him go -- but it will make life less confusing for the cub reporter! (Holy Dazed and Confused, Batman!) The following morning finds both Jimmys learning of the unfortunate accident on the professor's twin-maker ray! He can't make another one... since he's forgottten the formula! When the eccentric scientist offers to show them another invention, the real Jimmy can't stand not knowing if he's the geniune article or not! The Outlaw Jimmy smiles, especially since he can never be disposed of!

Professor Potter tells them that one of the ostriches has escaped from the pen! Jimmy wonders why there hasn't been any reports about the wild ostrich, not to mention where it could hide! At home, the real Jimmy begins to do some dusting, then tells his twin that perhaps they should dispose of the kryptonite souvenir! The man of steel let his pal keep it, knowing that the cub reporter would never use it on him... much less learn his secret identity! When his evil double asks how it would be possible, the true cub reporter tells him that all one would need to do is to carry the kryptonite around until someone became weakened... which would be Superman in his other identity! The fake Jimmy offers to get rid of the kryptonite, but instead, he carries it through town, concealed in his pocket! The Outlaw Jimmy Olsen intends to sell Superman's secret identity to the underworld, and keeps an eye for any man who weakens in his presence! When the evil Jimmy returns to the office, he sees mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent keel over! Seeing the kryptonite weakening him, the evil cub reporter soon sees Superman's emblem beneath his shirt! The dazed reporter plead with the evil Jimmy not to tell anyone! He tells the man of steel that he can count on him, but the outlaw plans to sell the secret to the underworld!

Outside, Superman runs into the real Jimmy Olsen, who has been shadowing his evil duplicate! Explaining to the man of steel about Professor Potter's invention and his double being a criminal, they follow him! Superman uses his x-ray vision to witness the outlaw Jimmy about to sell his secret to the gang kingpin! The man of steel is unable to stop him because of the kryptonite! When the gang boss offers the duplicate Jimmy 100 grand, the criminal begins to tell the secret identity of Superman when he begins to fade away! The real Jimmy tells his evil duplicate that it was the kryptonite which caused the duplicate ostrich to disappear! He trapped the outlaw into carrying the kryptonite all day, letting the rays work on him! The cub reporter bids goodbye to his disappearing twin! The loot is recovered, and Jimmy tells the man of steel how he knew that his double was a crook when he saw how the money had different serial numbers! Counterfeit money coming from one plate would have the same numbers! Superman is grateful that his secret identity is safe, and only the outlaw had found out, not the real one! The following morning, Jimmy is relieved to be the one and only cub reporter... but regets having to come to work himself today!

In the Silver Age, Lex Luthor used his imperfect duplicator machine to create Superman's imperfect duplicate... Bizarro! Bizarro was created by Alvin Schwartz.

Another comic book featuring an ostrich was Nevada, a Vertigo miniseries by Steve Gerber, Phil Winslade, and Steve Leialoha.

In "The Enemy Within," the transporter creates a double of Captain Kirk.

In "The Face and The Voice," a thug is subjected to plastic surgery, making him a duplicate of the man of steel.

In another episode of "The Adventures of Superman," the man of steel is able to split himself into two, leaving both with their super-powers at half-strength.

In the classic story, "Super-Red and Superman-Blue," an accident creates two men of steel!

In Action Comics #311, "Superman, King of Earth" had Red Kryptonite split the man of steel into both of his identities. A non-super powered Clark Kent and a super-powered Superman!

This review is dedicated to Jen Contino, who certainly does the work of two at The Pulse.

Steve Chung
"The Outlaw Review"