Jimmy Olsen 131
"The Cabinet From Krypton!"
(80 Page Giant #74)
August - September, 1970

Story: Unknown
Art: Kurt Schaffenberger

As a cub reporter, Jimmy Olsen often finds curiosity to be a good quality, but in some cases, he can carry it too far! On this occasion, he, Perry White, and Lois Lane are changed in a situation which even the man of steel may not be able to save them from! This is a review of the strange threat which came out of... "The Cabinet From Krypton!" On the splash page, a now elderly cub reporter strives to hurry as fast as he can walk for a scoop, while his pal sees that Jimmy is having trouble holding his job! One day, the cub reporter finds that the man of steel hasn't answered his signal-watch for help with a deep-sea dredging he's about to cover! Superman can't help because he has his hands full trying to undo the pesky tricks of Mr. Mxyzptlk! The cub reporter turns and sees that the imp has reversed every sign on the street, while the man of steel must change back before there's a traffic accident!

After landing the Daily Planet helicopter aboard the dredge-ship, he and a scientist see a hundred-year old object being pulled to the surface. The scientist sees that it is some sort of scientific equipment, but it is of an unearthly nature. It is the cub reporter who sees the inscription written in Kryptonese. "This is the evolution cabinet of Zan Zoll, scientist of Krypton..." Jimmy is unable to read the rest of the corroded text. The cub reporter finds it strange that it wasn't changed to Kryptonite, so his pal can examine it at his leisure. Both men load the cabinet aboard the helicopter, and at the Daily Planet offices... Jimmy tells his editor that when Superman is done with Mr. Mxyzptlk, he'll be able to examine it and the cub reporter will have a real scoop! Perry advises him not to touch the cabinet and to work on a racket story, but when the others have left him alone, the cub reporter plans to look the machine over... and hopefully impress Lucy Lane tonight!

Entering the cabinet, Jimmy begins feeling strange and when he emerges from it, it is as an elderly man! The cub reporter looks into a mirror and sees the long white beard... regretting that he didn't heed Perry's advice. Knowing that the man of steel and the Daily Planet editor will be upset with him, Jimmy sees a Christmas wreath, which gives him an idea... After making a quick trip to a costume shop, the cub reporter returns... dressed as Santa Claus, and explains to the editor that this old man disguise will keep the fur racketeers from suspecting a thing! Jimmy leaves, while Perry sees that the cub reporter has left the notes in the cabinet...

The gruff Daily Planet reporter enters the cabinet... and when Jimmy returns, he finds that the evolution cabinet has turned Perry White into a baby! The baby begins to bawl and the cub reporter tries to quiet him down by offering him a cigar! When the baby spits out the cigar, Jimmy realizes that Perry has become a baby mentally as well as physically! Lois Lane enters the office and when she asks the cub reporter what's happened, he explains that he's wearing the disguise for a story... and the baby is one of Perry's relatives! He is wearing the suit as a...er... joke! Jimmy asks if Lois will help him babysit, but she is off to see the editor about a feature!

As Jimmy wonders how to get himself and Perry back to normal, he sees that the baby has spilled ink all over! For once, it is the cub reporter who is giving the gruff editor the orders, as he must take the baby along on the assignment. After purchasing a baby carriage and some infant clothing for Perry, Jimmy heads off on his assignment! As a woman pauses to admire the baby being pushed by his grandfather, the cub reporter knows that he'll be a dead duck if Perry remembers this ever happened! At Peerless Furs Inc., Jimmy uses his midget camera to take pictures of the ex-convicts using the store to sell off stolen furs! He sees a clock and knows that it's time for his date with Lucy Lane... and if he stands her up, he'll be an old man before he gets another date... then realizes that he is already old! At a downtown night club... the stewardess sees that her date has aged some since she last saw him!

He orders a steak for Lucy, while he has a soft-boiled egg and crackers... his editor... his baby will have a bottle! Seeing that everyone is staring at them, Lucy tries to pull off the silly beard, but realizes that it's as real as the pain Jimmy's having from it being tugged! He prepares to tell her the story, and she nonchalantly warns him that it had better be good! The cub reporter is really an old man... a Kryptonian cabinet has changed him and made Perry White into a baby! They leave the night club and head for the Daily Planet, where he shows her the cabinet! Lucy remains skeptical about Jimmy's story...

Baby Perry is about to crawl out a window, but while Jimmy catches him before he does, Lucy heads for the cabinet... determined to expose his story! Just then, Lois returns from not finding Perry, and sees her sister about to enter the cabinet! Rushing to protect Lucy, the girl reporter falls into the cabinet! The force of the evolution cabinet flashes on... and Jimmy uses his signal-watch repeatedly to contact Superman! The man of steel answers the call... with the cub reporter telling him what's happened to himself and Perry, while wondering what will happen to Lois. Superman's x-ray vision has shown him what she has become, and when the cabinet door opens, they see that Lois Lane has become a cat! Jimmy is grateful that Lana Lang isn't here... because she has always claimed that her rival for Superman's affections was always catty.

Using his microscopic-vision, the man of steel knows that the cabinet can't return them to normal, and reads the rest of the corroded inscription: "This is the evolution cabinet of Zan Zoll, scientist of Krypton.." "Which changed his victims in strange ways but could not change them back! Therefore we sentenced him..." For his experiments, the scientist was placed for 20 decatrons into the Phantom Zone! The cabinet was fired off into space so that it could no longer change other Kryptonians. This occurred before Krypton's destruction, and is why it was not turned into Kryptonite! Lucy asks if there's any way to reverse the effects, but Superman knows of no other way to... but is interrupted by the reappearance of Mr. Mxyzptlk! Seeing the imp gives the cub reporter an idea... When Mxyzptlk asks if the man of steel is tired of his latest mischief, Jimmy tells the zany imp to stop bothering them because an greater magician than him has made trouble for them... the great magician of Krypton whose magical cabinet has changed them in ways which no one can reverse... not even him! Mr. Mxyzptlk is confident that his fifth-dimensional magic is far greater than the Kryptonian ham's and tells him to watch as he changes them back to normal! The next moment finds Perry, Lois, and Jimmy restored to normal!

The man of steel compliments the imp on his display of magic and tells him that he can rightfully boast that he is a greater magician than the one whose name is on the cabinet! Mr. Mxyzptlk knows that this is so and reads the name... Kltpzyxm... and having said his name backwards, he fades away into the fifth dimension! The cub reporter compliments his pal on using his heat-vision to inscribe his name backwards, and getting rid of the imp! The Daily Planet editor wonders why he's wearing baby clothes, while Superman points out that the effects of Mxyzptlk's magic disappear when he does... but since he made them normal, they will remain that way! After learning the truth, Perry tells them what he thinks... they're fired! Everbody is fired!... Everybody!

I used to have a Mego action figure of Mr. Mxyzptlk in the '70s. I couldn't say his name at that early age, so I compromised with "Mr. Mix."

Artist Kurt Schaffenberger drew himself into the story, as the scientist who dredged up the cabinet from Krypton.

The cub reporter is wearing a red jacket instead of his customary green one, while Perry White favors a yellow jacket and trousers. (Holy Pym articles, Batman!)

Many regard Kurt Schaffenberger as the definitive Lois Lane artist. His work on the other characters ain't too shabby, either.

In the Marvel Universe, the High Evolutionary is a scientist whose experiments include the New-Men of Wundagore and Counter-Earth.

Greer Grant Nelson was once the heroine known as the Cat. Her life was saved by the mysterious Cat-People and she became the were-woman known as Tigra (Holy Tony The Tiger, Batman!)

A Weisinger-edited story doesn't have to worry about being logical and proceeds from any point in an imaginary or non-imaginary story. A Kurt Schaffenberger-drawn story doesn't fail to bring a smile to this reader, as well as others. Such is the charm of many a Silver Age D.C. story.

This story, as well as "The Burglar Kit from the Future!" originally appeared in Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #66, January, 1963.

Steve Chung
"The Cabinet From Review!"