Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Superman Comics of the Sixties: 'Jungle' Jimmy Olsen Marries 'Female King Kong'



Yeah. Did you know that the Superman comics of the 1960s features extremely wacky - and totally awesome - covers? (The stories inside are bizarre as well, but during this era DC apparently used to create the cover first, then use it as a springboard for the story, so the cover was in a sense the original "story".) Particularly disturbed are the covers for the spinoff books Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen and Superman's Bitch, Lois Lane. They always seem to pose a lot of questions, many of which aren't satisfactorily answered in the story.

Let's examine the Bad Craziness. This time we'll limit our investigation to Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #98 (published in December, 1966), pictured above.

Okay, first of all, how did Superman become a licensed witch doctor? Don't you have to study several years for that? Was this tale preceded by a few years worth of stories featuring Superman taking a break from crime fighting (or whatever it is he does) to go back to school? (No, probably not, because back then the kids wouldn't have sat still for it. Which is a shame.)

Secondly, Jimmy is wearing some kind of toga and he says "this joke has gone far enough", strongly suggesting that he either was into it at some point, or pretended to go along with the idea of marrying the "female King Kong", only to now back down. Maybe Superman is calling Jimmy's bluff? Could this actually be some kind of bachelor party? Then again, the chick to the left in the picture is probably Jimmy's (human) girlfriend, and she being there is against the rules. Also, doesn't Jimmy have any other friends than Supes (and Ms Kong)? What about Clark Kent? Shouldn't he be here?

Thirdly, is the apelike creature aware of what's going on? Does she really want to marry Jimmy, or just mate with him? Did she herself put on that veil? She appears to be nude. Does she have an anatomy similar to human females, and if so, is this cover really in accordance with the Comics Code (notice the seal in the upper right corner)?

Fourthly, assuming Superman is licensed to marry people and this is a real wedding, what kind of wedding ceremony is he performing? This is obviously not a traditional Christian wedding, as Jimmy says he doesn't want to be married and Supes still goes ahead with it (in Christian weddings, it's custom for both bride and groom to say "I do" before the witch doctor pronounces them man and wife). Also, you'll notice that, as of this cover, Jimmy and the gorilla (or whatever) are in fact legally married, so any further bitching from Jimmy's side is quite useless. Unless DC Comics are misleading their readers with the cover. But they wouldn't do that, would they?

There are tons of things to say about this cover and I've only scraped the surface. However, lest you think that Bad Craziness is absent from modern comic books, a recent hit from DC Comics, Identity Crisis, apparently features rape, murder, brainwash, and even a superhero physically walking around in someone's brain, leaving footprints. The comic is, at least nominally, aimed at children. I haven't read it (and don't plan to), but the poorly drawn covers makes it look extremely fucking boring, even for stupid little kids.

So take Superblog!!'s advice - if you want to subject your children (or yourself) to Bad Craziness, seek out the 60s variety, not the modern kind.

By the way, I just noticed that "Superman's Pal" is an anagram for "Sperm, Anus Pal". Is that a coincidence?

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