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Jimmy Olsen 53
"The Boy in the Bottle"

COVER IMAGE NOT FOUND reprinted in Superman #187 (80 Page Giant #23) June, 1966

Story: Unknown Art: Curt Swan

Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen, has known much fun and excitement as the cub reporter of The Daily Planet, but his friendship with The Man of Steel also leads him to the day when he becomes "The Boy In The Bottle!" On the splash page, Superman is viewing through a magnifying glass at Jimmy, who is caught by the coat between a pair of tweezers, and he has to decide whether to spend the rest of his life as a tiny reporter in Metropolis or in The Bottle City of Kandor! It all begins the day when Superman flies Jimmy to The Fortress of Solitude, with Jimmy wrapped in The Man of Steel's invulnerable cape to protect him from the elements. Within the Fortress, Superman tells Jimmy how he's being trying to find a way to restore Kandor to its former size...

Van-Zee, the Kandorian scientist who resembles The Man of Steel, can aid him in his quest to restore Kandor, and by using the exchange ray, he intends to bring him from the Bottle City, while someone takes his place there. Jimmy has agreed to trade places with Van-Zee, and so, the cub reporter bids farewell to his pal, then shrinks swiftly, while incredible forces project him through the glass bottle, and into the city! Jimmy arrives and meets a woman who resembles Lois Lane, but is really Sylvia, the wife of Van-Zee, who greets him and introduces him to her twin children, Lili and Lyle. Outside of Kandor, Superman greets Van-Zee, who has grown to normal size, and has gained super-powers, thanks to Earth's light gravity and yellow sun. In Kandor, Jimmy finds that his knees are buckling, and Sylvia tells him that it's due to the heavier gravity, and offers him a pair of anti-gravity shoes made by Van-Zee. Jimmy feels much better, and Sylvia hands him a memory-pillow, which will teach him Kryptonese and Kryptonian customs as he sleeps! (Holy Zzz, Batman! I could have used it in high school and improved my GPA!)

As he sleeps, Jimmy's subconscious learns about Kryptonian creatures such as: The Non-Breathing Gimzo, The Metal-Eating Rorrk, The Invisble Plonng, and The Deadly Yeeps, whose ultra-sonic twittering can shatter the atomic-structure of its victims' bodies! (Holy Yipes, Batman! I wouldn't want to live next door to one!) In the morning, Sylvia takes Jimmy to see such sites as the youth-pool, whose specially-treated waters can restore youth and vigor to the aged. (Holy Evian, Batman! Would that such a thing could be applied to Golden and Silver Age creators!) Jimmy receives an urgent call to report to The Earth Monitor at once! Onscreen, Superman tells his pal that he and Van-Zee were unable to find a cure to restore Kandor, and when he tried to return Van-Zee to Kandor, and Jimmy to Earth, he found out that the EXCHANGE-RAY NO LONGER WORKS!! A rare element, which is vital to the operation of the device has worn out, and after searching in space, Superman was unable to find any! (Holy Selegue, Batman!) Van-Zee is stranded on Earth, and Jimmy is going to spend the rest of his life in Kandor, to the combined dismay of the cub reporter and Sylvia! The next moment finds Jimmy caught in the grip of a pair of giant tweezers, and in The Fortress, the tiny cub reporter sees the giant forms of Superman and Van-Zee, with The Man of Steel asking his pal if he wants to stay on Earth in his small form or return to Kandor.

While Jimmy is trying to make up his mind, he is caught in the grasp of a caged Venusian Cat's tongue, but Superman snaps his fingers super-loud, and as the cat drops the cub reporter, Van-Zee catches him with his super-speed before he could hit the floor! Jimmy undestands that if he remains on Earth at his present size, he'll be easy pickings for every normal-sized creature, and he asks Superman to send him back to Kandor, where he'll be safe! As he is lowered into Kandor via the giant tweezers, he bids his pal farewell, and Van-Zee asks him to give his love to Sylvia and the kids, and that he'll never stop trying to return to them! Back in Kandor, Jimmy looks for a job, and not at a newspaper, where it would remind him of The Daily Planet, and make him miserable. His new job is as the Earth Monitor Operator, and he is to record any great discoveries made by Earth's scientists! When his boss asks him if he can handle it, Jimmy is sure the job will be a breeze!

Jimmy is bored from listening to all those scientific lectures, and is eager to see what his girlfriend, Lucy Lane, is up to. He's sure that the poor kid is missing him horribly! He sees Lucy with a prospective suitor, who tells her that whenever Jimmy's on an assignment, he hopes that the cub reporter will stay there forever, and wonders what a cute chick like her spends so much time on a creep like him, then asks Lucy to kiss him, with the cub reporter balling his fist, and urging Lucy not to do it! Jimmy seethes as Lucy kisses her conceited date, and he switches the monitor off, solemnly vowing never to think of her again. The following day, Jimmy's will dissolves, and he watches a handsome pilot kissing Lucy, while she's in the cockpit in her job as a stewardess, and the cub reporter decides to leave his Earth Monitor job before he goes crazy... CRAZY! Jimmy's next job is at a Kandorian garden, where he hopes to forget about Lucy, but in a few moments, he sees her standing before him, with her arms outstretched to greet him!

As he races forward in his eagerness to greet her, he is seized by the other employees, who place a helmet on Jimmy, so that he can see that the "Lucy" he was about to embrace was "OOOLP!"... a ferocious MAN-EATING PLANT! The creature is known as The Illusion-Trap Plant, which lures its prey with the mental illusion of the victim's loved one, and is kept in a forbidden area, where the employees wear special protective devices! Jimmy quits, and gets a job as a spaceship navigator, chatting with the passengers, one of whom is the creator of a 3-D IMAGE-ENLARGER, while the cub reporter's attentions are on a pretty stewardess named Lona Lemais, who he simply must meet! The rockets begin to fail, and the ship falls into the jungle, where the craft narrowly avoids a crash-landing!

Jimmy and Lona Lemais lead the passengers out of the wrecked ship, assuring them that a rescue-ship is on the way, but a passenger screams, and Lona tells Jimmy that the horror heading towards them is a Giant Fire-Breathing MINOBAT, but Jimbo has an idea, and asks the professor to aim his invention at him! The 3-D Image-Enlarger shines on the cub reporter, and Lona Lemais laughs (Holy Tongue-Twister, Batman! Say that three times fast!) as The Minobat flees at the sight of Giant-Sized Jimmy Olsen! As the rescue-ship arrives, Lona congratulates Jimmy on his brilliant manuever, and he sees how much she resembles Lucy Lane, then asks her if she'd be his girlfriend. She regrets to tell him that she's happily married, for in Kandor, rocket stewardesses can still retain their job after being married. Jimmy couldn't bear being near a girl who resembles Lucy, and is married to someone else. He decides to get yet another job!

Before he does, Jimmy decides to take in a Kandorian "Really" movie, which he hopes will help him forget Lucy Lane, and the film enables viewers to see and hear, as well as SMELL, TASTE, and FEEL what is being shown onscreen! To Jimmy's surprise, the "Really" movie is about him! He watches as Superman saves him from falling into a volcano, and like the rest of the audience, he can feel the heat, as well as The Man of Steel's lifesaving grip! Later, the screen shifts to a scene where Jimmy is kissing Lucy Lane, and he can feel her lips on his, and the cub reporter is in absolute bliss, that is until he realizes that others in the audience also feel the same sensation! Disgusted, he rips off the sensory-device, and leaves, unable to bear being haunted and mocked by the memories of Lucy Lane! In desperation, he visits a Kandorian Mind-Technician, who tells his assistant how young Olsen was pleased when he heard that they had perfected a method of deleting unwanted memories, and when he awakes, the cub reporter will no longer recall anything about Lucy Lane! Indeed, Jimmy feels swell, and he can't even remember what was bothering him, but then, a crimson beam catches him in its brilliance...

At that moment, Van-Zee arrives in his home, and he tells his family how Superman and he were able to find the rare element in a far corner of the universe, so that the exchange-ray would work! At The Fortress, Superman is pleased to see Jimmy again, and The Man of Steel takes his pal home to Metropolis, where the cub reporter drives past Lucy Lane, who wonders why he's ignoring her, and he's wondering if the girl mistook him for someone he knows? When she calls him several times, Jimmy tells her that he doesn't know a Lucy Lane, and for her to GET LOST! She gasps, and is intrigued by this new, nonchalant Jimmy Olsen, who is playing hard-to-get! Jimmy receives a visit from his pal, Superman, who gives him a potion to take, after learning from the mind-technician of the cub reporter's decision to delete an unwanted memory. Downing the potion, and his memory restored, Jimmy rushes over to Lucy's apartment, giving an explanation and an apology, then asking for a kiss, but Lucy, seeing that Jimmy is his old self, is no longer intrigued, and is frankly bored, then bids him goodnight!

Poor Tiny Jimmy Olsen has a lot of big trouble in this adventure.

Kandor would eventually be restored, and its inhabitants would settle on a planet, which would find its way into a different dimension, as to reduce the number of super-folk in the books. Nowadays, the super-books would seem to out-number the super-folk.

Sylvia's kids have a case of the "L.L.'s", in the case of Lili and Lyle, who remind me of other famous "L.L." siblings... Linus and Lucy Van Pelt!

It's gotta be the shoes, or maybe not, but do you think Michael Jordan owns a pair of Kandorian anti-gravity shoes? It would explain how he could get into a "space jam" over such a situation.

A rare element which can only be found on the other side of the universe, and by the end of the story, no less.

Superman obviously has been taking lessons from "Snapper" Carr, in the clever way he stopped The Venusian Cat, who got Jimmy by the tongue!

Poor Jimmy! As Earth Monitor, he probably wishes he were a Kandorian Hall Monitor.

Looks like Lucy hasn't been exactly faithful to Jimmy, or that the cub reporter had several not-too-serious rivals for her affections.

From a Venusian Cat to a Non-Venusian Illusion Trap, who to paraphrase Hall and Oates, is a real Man-Eater!

I admire Lona Lemais ability to maintain her composure and perfectly identify by name a Giant Fire-Breathing Minobat! Me, I'd be going something along the lines of "AUUUGGHHHH!!!," a sound which I would frequently utter when out of funds on new comics day, or when a convention doesn't open its door on precisely 12:00pm, but I digress. Ol' Jimbo is unfazed by the Fire-Breathing Minobat, as I can imagine what other threats he's faced, as well as become, from being a werewolf to being a Giant-Turtle Boy Olsen!

As an airline employee, I know that at the time of this story, married couples were not allowed to work together, or even at the same airport. Things have changed since then.

Seeing an example of a "Really" movie makes me think that The Kandorians are really sadistic in their entertainment, and the sight of the male Kandorians puckering to themselves, with headphones on is quite a sight. I can imagine the movies got the name when the Kandorian wife asked her husband where he was, and when he said "the movies," she undoubtably replied, "Really?"

The Kandorian Mind-Technicians remind me of the movie, "Total Recall." "Really?" Yup!

Lucy seems to be interested in men she cannot have, a trait she shares with her sibling, but when Jimmy lives only for her, she shows him the door. Sigh.

This Review Is Dedicated To Steve Chung's Pal, Jen Contino (a.k.a The Fastest Typist On Earth! She keeps The Pulse racing along!)

Steve Chung
"The Boy In The Review!"