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Jimmy Olsen 113
"King of The Giant Ants!"

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

Story: Unknown Art: Curt Swan

This is a story of how a young cub reporter betrays the human race and joins forces with those who seek to esnslave the very planet! Amazing as it may be, Jimmy has become a villain, as evil as any historical one when he abandons his fellow man and becomes... "King of The Giant Ants!" On the splash page, his royal highness urges a giant ant to topple an army tank, while his army of ants is also toppling the U.S. army! At Jimmy's apartment, the cub reporter is taking inventory of the costumes in his disguise trunk, and sees that he could use some new hats for future assignments. He makes a list and goes shopping at a masquerade costume shop... Jimmy tells the proprietor to add any type of hat he overlooked to the list.

Once the order has been filled, Jimmy has the proprietor place the box of hats in the back seat of his jalopy, but just then, Mr. Mxyzptlk has arrived from the 5th Dimension, and has returned to Metropolis in search of its hero... Superman! With his mind on plans to bedevil the man of steel, the imp fails to notice when a gust of wind blows his derby away, and it begins floating... floating... floating... down towards Metropolis' streets. It lands on the box of hats in the back seat of Jimmy's car! At his apartment, the cub reporter tries on a gaucho sombrero, which makes him feel like dancing a tango!

When he turns on a radio, the cub reporter has a musical background for his hat parade... the large hat is just the thing for doing a fast Russian cossack dance! (Holy Zhivago, Batman!) The next hat to be tried on is a small derby, which Jimmy doesn't know belongs to Mr. Mxyxptlk... and thinks is just a party hat, which he could wear to Lucy Lane's birthday party! When he wishes that he had enough money to buy her a present, thousands of dollar bills begin to fall from out of thin air! His wish granted, Jimmy then wishes to know what made his wish come true! The tiny hat falls from his head and into his hand, where he reads the name on the hat-band... Mxyzptlk! The derby has the same magical powers as its owner!

Not knowing how the hat came to his possession, the cub reporter wishes for having super-powers like Superman's for a while so that he can surprise the folks at Lucy's party! The next moment finds Jimmy flying, and his next wish is for immunity from green kryptonite, which is deadly to his pal! When his wish is made, he overhears a radio report about Professor Lang's disappearance while on an expedition in the Brazilian jungle! The radio broadcast ends with a worried plea that the man of steel is listening and for him to investigate, but it is Jimmy Olsen who answers the call! Wishing that his clothes were immune to speed-friction, he neglects to wish for the tiny hat to be immune as well, and it burns up from the friction! With no wishes to come true, he soars through the Brazillian jungle, and comes upon Professor Lang's camp! Jimmy doesn't need his super-vision to see the giant ants who are surrounding the professor's shack! Bursting into the shack, the cub reporter ask Lang about the giants ants...

The professor had discovered them a week ago, and his last radio message alerted the man of steel, but he never arrived! The radio had broken down in that time, and he's been unsuccessful in repairing it. He had come to learn about a race of giants who had lived in the valley, and was investigating the ruins! (Holy Ho-Ho-Ho, Batman!) Inspecting the footprints, the professor theorized that the monster-sized men must have eaten something which stimulated their pituitary glands! It was last week when he learned that the giant men were gone, but not the giant ants! (Holy Pym, Batman!) It was then that Professor Lang contacted Superman, for if the ants continued to multiply, they would conquer the planet! In the present, he shows Jimmy an glass ant farm he made, where the tiny ant can move a match-stick, which is the equivalent of a human being pushing a ton! Ants are the strongest creatures on Earth for their size! Lang describes normal ants as killers who use their instincts to colonize and communicate with one another via telepathy! If their minds were enlarged to match their frame, they would be evil despots who'd threaten the world! Just then, the head ant instructs his army to destroy the shack! CRRASHHH! Professor Lang stares in shock as the giant ants make their way through the wooden shack, but the cub reporter is confident that his super-powers will make a difference!

He is able to scatter the ants with his super-breath, but the main ant instructs the others to burrow under ground for some kryptonite meteors which had fallen in the area in years past! Mgoro, the leader ant, orders Jimmy to surrender or else he'll command his men to attack him with the kryptonite! The cub reporter is immune to the deadly substance, and wonders how Mgoro knows about the deadly effects of Kryptonite! He tells Jimmy that he learned about kryptonite from Superman, and instructs him to use his x-ray vision on the mountainside! Jimmy sees his pal in a cave, and held prisoner by a giant ant holding a kryptonite meteor on him! The man of steel flew in answer to Professor Lang's radio message, only to get caught in a death trap! Mgoro refuses to tell how he knew that the kryptonite would weaken Superman, and tells Jimmy to surrender or else he'll telepathically order the ant to finish off his pal! The cub reporter does so, and Mgoro asks him to lead them, for they have incredible intelligence, and by using their instinct, they learned to speak English! (Holy Esperanto, Batman!) Even so, they are unfamiliar with the outside world!

With his super-powers and super-knowledge at their disposal, the giant ants could easily rule the Earth! Llanix would be his personal steed! Professor Lang begs for Jimmy not to obey, but with Superman as their prisoner, he has no choice! Mgoro has Jimmy lead them to a nearby military outpost, where they will receive valuable training for the battles to come! At the U.N. outpost, soldiers watch as the giant ants begin to attack their base, and destroying their communications transmitter! Jimmy orders them to wreck the helicopter and all vehicles so that the soldiers can't escape! The giant ants then destroy the bridge, which links the base to outside aid. As the soldiers fight back in vain, Jimmy has the giant ants knock over a tank, while one of the soldiers, who is from Metropolis, recognizes the cub reporter for the traitor he now is!

The next moment finds Jimmy leaping from his "steed" and into a chasm, where he digs a chasm to isolate them from the jungle, and heads to free Superman! He knocks the insect aside, and intends to take his pal and Professor Lang to safety, then return to save the U.N. soldiers from the ants! In the air, a weakened man of steel sees that the ants have formed a bridge to reach the other side, and even worse, Jimmy's super-powers are wearing off! Once they land, they are surrounded by the giant ants, and Mgoro reveals to Jimmy that they used their fantastic power of hypnotism to have Superman reveal his weakness! The ant leader intends to hypnotize Jimmy into killing his pal! Now under the ant's control, the cub reporter commands Llanix to get closer to the man of steel with the kryptonite, and the "steed" eagerly obeys! With Superman's doom at hand, the next sounds which Jimmy hears is a distant voice which orders him to wake up! It is a Superman robot sent by the real man of steel, who has awoken him from his nightmare! Still wearing the imp's derby, the cub reporter can only stammer in disbelief at the robot about being king of the giant ants!

While on his patrol, Superman had spotted the fifth dimension imp flying over Metropolis, and saw that when the magical hat was blown off by a breeze, Mr. Mxyzptlk had placed red kryptonite powder under the hat-band! It was the imp's intent that he expose the man of steel to the Red K, but instead it was Jimmy who was exposed to it when he wished for super-powers... by giving him hallucinations -- and removing his super-abilities -- even though the cub reporter didnt' realize that he lost it in his dream! Superman saw Jimmy getting the hat, but couldn't warn him about it since he had to deal with other emergencies, so he sent the robot to destroy the hat because the Red Kryptonite doesn't affect him! Seeing the Red K dust in his hair, Jimmy decides to shave his hair! Once the robot barber has finished his work, he uses his heat-vision to burn the heat, while the cub reporter fully realizes that after recieving his super-powers, he was affected by the Red K, and then went into a trance! The radio report... the giants ants... were just hallucinations of his imagination. The robot tells him that he may look funny after the haircut, but think of how funny Mxyzptlk looks without his hat!

Red Kryptonite played a part in giving Superman an ant's-head and making him King of The Super-Ants!

Holy Dana Carvey, Batman! Jimmy Olsen is the original master of disguise!

The ants were the allies of the Silver Age hero... Hank Pym, aka Ant-Man, Giant Man, Goliath, Yellowjacket, etc.

Interesting that the ants are able to speak with each other telepathically, but speak English aloud to Jimmy!

Giant ants have appeared in the movies, "Them!" and "Empire of The Ants!"

As far as Silver Age stories go, this one was a hoax, a dream, and an imaginary tale.

Steve Chung
"King of The Giant Reviews!"