"I’ll pretend I enjoy kissing her…!"

§ January 3rd, 2005 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on "I’ll pretend I enjoy kissing her…!"

That’s the opening panel for “Jimmy’s D-Day Adventure,” from Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #86 (July 1965)…how does Jimmy find himself in such an unusual predicament? Well, lemme ‘splain….

The story beings with our intrepid Daily Planet reporter at the Pentagon, watching vintage World War II films from a recently-opened Nazi archive. Jimmy looks admiringly at the canisters of film on the table next to the projector: “Those cans of film contain the greatest untold stories of the war!”

The next day, Jimmy opens up his carrying case, which he had conveniently left on the table next to the canisters while watching the film, and sure enough: “Oh, oh! One of the cans of film accidentally slipped inside my case!” Yeah, sure, Jimmy.

Anyway, he pops the film into his projector for his own private viewing, and what does he see but…someone who looks just like him, hanging with Hitler!

How to solve this mystery? Delve into old military records? Do actual reseach? Not in a Superman comic, mister! Fortunately for Jimmy, 1) he was able to get an authentic military outfit from a nearby costume shop, 2) he took German in high school, and 3) his scientist pal Professor Potter just happened to have given him an experimental time machine. The time machine, by the way, is a “time-bomb,” which apparently explodes and sends you hurtling back in time:

Seems like that would be slightly dangerous, but apparently it works, as Jimmy finds himself back in World War II. Although he spots General Eisenhower, Jimmy decides that it’s more important to go looking for his Nazi doppleganger, so he heads off to get behind enemy lines.

Eventually, Jimmy gets in over his head and finds himself pinned down in a battle zone with a paratroop squad. Disguising himself as a German soldier, Jimmy leads the squad to the enemy lines, telling the Nazi forces there that he has captured the Americans and that he’s “take the prisoners to the woods and execute them!” Of course, it’s just a ruse to allow the American soldiers to escape. Jimmy, however, sticks around, as he figures this is the best way to infiltrate the enemy army and find his mysterious double.

The German general confronts Jimmy (or “Von Olsen,” as he is now known) and asks how he “captured” the squad. For some reason, Jimmy claims that the “crystal ball” part of the time machine he’s lugging around is, in fact, a real crystal ball, allowing him to see the future and predict the movements of the enemy! In short order, Jimmy’s supposed clairvoyant powers (actually, a cheat sheet of WWII events and battles that he has hidden in his sleeve) are exploited by the Nazis. However, the story carefully notes, Jimmy never gives the Nazis enough information or time to really act on his predictions, so I don’t know why they put up with him for so long.

But put up they do, and it’s not long before Jimmy is brought before Adolph Hitler himself! Seeking to prove his “powers” to Hitler, Jimmy predicts another attack:

Again, the prediction comes too late to really be an advantage to the Nazis, and this pattern continues for several weeks:

Finally, the Nazis are fed up. They finally realize there’s something fishy with this Von Olsen guy, since all he ever does is predict Nazi defeats. Hermann Goering decides to test Jimmy’s loyalty….

Hitler and his entourage (including Jimmy) stop in at a Belgian farmhouse for a lunchtime meeting, and are waited upon by a peasant girl who is very obviously upset at having to serve her “guests.” As she is setting out the meals, she drops a piece of paper that, Jimmy discovers, is a message to the Allies reporting on German troop movements! Surprisingly, Jimmy rats her out…only to be told that this was a test of his loyalty, that this girl is in fact Lotte Lutz, a Gestapo agent!

Jimmy laughs to himself as he reflects on his vast breadth of knowledge: “She gave herself away! Belgian peasant girls usually wear wooden shoes, like the Dutch, not fancy high-heeled ones like this dame!”

Lotte Lutz is impressed with Jimmy, even as he reflects on the odd coincidence of her name while stretching his acting skills to the limit:

His loyalty proven, Hitler promotes Jimmy, and the ceremony is filmed…providing the very footage Jimmy saw on his “accidentally” acquired film reel! What a surprise, if you happened to miss the very first panel of the story.

Shortly afterwards, Hitler asks “Von Olsen” to predict the outcome of their next battle…which, as it turns out, is the Battle of the Bulge! “There will be a big break-through,” Jimmy responds ambiguously.

However, the next day as Jimmy returns to the Nazi headquarters, Hitler is pissed! Jimmy has failed to predict an assassination attempt on Hitler’s life by Hitler’s own officers! Believing Jimmy to be in on the conspiracy, Hitler orders him searched and Jimmy’s cheat sheet is discovered:

The jig is up…Jimmy beats feet, with Goering and Himmler hot on his tail. As he charges out of the headquarters, Lotte Lutz is waiting outside with her gun drawn. “Maybe this L L will be my doom, after all,” thinks Jimmy. “Usually L Ls bring me luck!” he adds, though I don’t think that particular assertion is supported by any other Superman family story, ever.

However, fortune does fall Jimmy’s way, as Lutz is the worst shot ever (or, perhaps, has fallen head over heels in love with the young time-travelling reporter and secretly decides to help…we never know for sure) and manages to shoot off pieces of the giant blue swastika over the headquarter’s entrance:

An S.S. guard throws a grenade at Jimmy, but as it goes off, Jimmy is whisked back into the future as the “time-bomb’s” energy supply has expended itself. Also, the film Jimmy acquired though unseemly means has disintegrated due to exposure to the time-bomb’s effects, destroying all evidence of his collusion with the Nazi forces.

The story wraps up with Jimmy extending his particular “L L = luck” delusion to ridiculous extremes:

Not shown: Jimmy getting hauled off by the feds for stealing and destroying U.S. government property.

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