Jimmy Olsen 131
"The Animal Master Of Metropolis!"
(80 Page Giant #74)
August - September, 1970

Story: Unknown
Art: Curt Swan

There comes a day when the cub reporter gains the ability to command four-legged animals! They all obey Jimmy's orders! The citizens of Metropolis watch in amazement, the cub reporter demonstrates his new mastery over the animal kingdom! What is the secret which makes Jimmy Olsen... "The Animal Master of Metropolis!" On the splash page, the cub reporter is placing his head into the mouth of a circus lion, while the man of steel watches from hiding, and intends to keep an eye on his pal! Outside of the cub reporter's apartment, the Daily Planet staff is getting ready for the civic parade, and as Lois calls up to Jimmy from the car, the cub reporter has his bass drum, but loses his grip on his drumstick... which falls from the window and breaks! (Holy Ringo, Batman!)

Jimmy searches for a replacement in his apartment... and finds a stick he can beat the drum with, from his Superman trophy collection! At the wheel, Perry White covers his ears as Jimmy and the Daily Planet staff practice their notes for the parade! Soon, they are marching down the main street of Metropolis... with Perry carrying the Daily Planet sign, Lois playing a triangle, two others playing a flute and saxophone, while a certain cub reporter beats the band's drum. The parade ends... with Perry offering Jimmy a ride home, but before the cub reporter can accept, a float runs over his drum! Clutching what's left of his drum, Jimmy declines the ride, and begins to walk back for home!

He soon comes across a group of people holding a blanket for a scared kitty trapped on top of a telephone pole! It refuses to climb down after being chased by dogs, and the men fear that it will starve if it remains there! (Holy Nine Lives, Batman!) Seeing the kitty shivering with fear, the cub reporter mentally persuades the cat to jump down into the blanket! The cat does just that, and Jimmy realizes that the animal read his thoughts! The two men slowly place the blanket on the ground, as the cub reporter finds it odd that the cat obeyed his command! Just around the corner, a policeman's mount has become frightened, and Jimmy uses his signal watch to call Superman! He then tells the horse to stop scaring the children, especially since a trained police mount would never behave this way! (Holy Mr. Ed, Batman!)

The man of steel arrives... just as the horse calms down. The cub reporter tells him how the horse quieted down when he spoke to it, just as a cat obeyed his thoughts to jump off a telephone pole. Seeing the stick in Jimmy's hands, Superman recognizes it as Circe's magic wand! He gave it to his pal about a year ago for his trophy room, after finding it on an uncharted Greek island! (Holy Temptation Island, Batman! Was it Fantasy or Paradise Island?) The man of steel knows about Circe from greek mythology, how the sorceress could change men into animals (Holy FHM, Batman!) and after the transformation, she would use the magic wand to control them! Now on his way to a galaxy far, far away, Superman tells his pal to put the wand back in his trophy collection... before something else happens! (Holy Trophy Wife, Batman! There's still five pages to go!) At the Daily Planet, Jimmy finishes typing up what happened, and the gruff editor finds his account ridiculous! The cub reporter sees a new flash which has just come over the teletype about wild animals loose at a circus!

On the roof, Perry is still skeptical about Jimmy's claim to be able to control animals, but the cub reporter is set on proving himself! (Holy Dr. Do-Little, Batman!) After landing the helicopter on the circus grounds, Jimmy sees a tiger and tells it to behave itself! (Holy Animal Crackers, Batman! Jimbo's one tough cookie!) Riding the tiger, he orders a lion, leopard, and other animals to fall in line behind him! The cats and elephants return to their cages, while the circus attendants watch in disbelief! A fellow reporter asks the cub reporter about the secret of his control over animals, but Jimmy just smiles, and keeps Circe's wand a secret! The following morning... Perry praises the cub reporter for his circus adventure, and Jimmy prepares for his next assignment at Metropolis University!

At the lab, the intelligence of a wild gorilla is being measured by scientists. Having heard of Congorilla, they want to compare it to that of an average gorilla. (Holy Yogi, Batman! He's probably smarter than the average bear!) Two armed crooks enter the lab and demand that the professor hand over the uranium used for nuclear reactor experiments! (Holy Selegue, Batman!) The professor complies, and Jimmy tells the scientist to unshackled the gorilla so that he can stop the crooks! A fellow reporter knows about the cub reporter's control over wild animals, and both men watch as the gorilla follows Jimmy! In the outside corridor, the cub reporter tells the gorilla to climb to the top of the elevator shaft! The two crooks in the elevator car wonder what's happening when they begin to go up instead of down! (Holy Upstairs, Downstairs, Batman!)

The elevator car is now suspended between floors, thanks to Jimmy, and two helping hands from the gorilla! In the Metropolis Jail... one of the crooks tells a crony about what's happened, and this gives the visitor an idea! The following morning at the Daily Planet... two men are keeping an eye out for the cub reporter! Presenting themselves as an on-the-spot TV crew, they ask Jimmy to step inside the van for a close-up! The cub reporter straightens his bowtie and is eager to tell the TV audience about his latest exploits, but it is he who is in for a surprise... Inside the truck, he is surprised to find himself at gunpoint, and the boss tells the cub reporter that they are taking a trip to the race-track, where he is to tell the favorite to lose! (Holy Candid Camera, Batman!)

At the track, the TV sound-truck passes through security, and as the race begins... Blue Boy takes the lead... and Jimmy is told to make him lose... or else he will take some hot lead! The cub reporter talks to the horse to lose, but issues a mental command to all of the horses... and thirty seconds later... All of the horses cross the finish line together in a dead heat... and there's no winner!

The announcer tells the audience that all bets are off, and the angry boss tells Jimmy to get into the truck, but he sees a familiar flying figure overhead... Calling out to Krypto, he tells the Super-Dog that some crooks want to kill him! The canine scatters the crooks by circling them at super-speed, but Circe's magic wand has been knocked from the cub reporter's hand! Krypto retrieves the stick, believing that Jimmy is playing fetch with him, but the super-dog is moving so fast the wood is beginning to burn! (Holy Hot Dog On A Stick, Batman!) The friction of Krypto's super-speed burns Circe's magic wand, while the cub reporter notes that the super-dog's cape does not because it has been chemically treated! Days later, the man of steel has returned from his outer space mission, and answers the latest call from Jimmy's signal-watch... He sees that the cub reporter is cornered by a small barking dog. Without the magic wand of Circe, Jimmy couldn't master a mouse, much less a harmless dog!

Animal Man is a forgotten hero who can use the powers of animals.

Former JLAer Vixen is also able to draw on the strength of animals and add them to her own.

The D.C. Universe is home to Thomas Blake, better known as the Batman villain, Catman!

Thanks to a mysterious ring, Congo Bill is able to exchange bodies with Congorilla.

Gorilla Grodd is an escapee from Gorilla City.

The Marvel Universe is home to villains such as Sub-Mariner foe, Tiger Shark and Flying Tiger, who fought such heroes as Spider-Woman and Iron Man.

The Ringmaster And His Circus of Crime made their first appearance in Incredible Hulk #3.

Gorilla-Man is a member of the 1950's Avengers from an alternate reality first featured in What If #9 (First series). This story was lettered by SAR member Tom Orzechowski and the hirstute hero made his firstappearance in the 1950's.

Interesting that mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent wasn't present for the Daily Planet's participation in the civic parade.

In the 1978 Superman movie, Christopher Reeve saves a small kitty from a tree.

Circe has appeared in the Silver Age. She helped the centaur who became Comet The Super-Horse into becoming human whenever a comet passed overhead. On another occasion, it appeared that she changed Superman into a Super-Beast. In recent years, she has been seen as a foe of Wonder Woman.

In the Eddie Murphy movie, "Dr. Dolittle," a group of racehorses refuse to budge from the starting line.

Steve Chung
"The Animal Master of Review!"