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Top Five Jimmy Olsen Transformations

Dan Larkin suggested this (and you folks can feel free to make your suggestions for future Top Fives here), and I thought it seemed like a fun topic, so here goes!

5. Jimmy as Wolfman

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This probably shouldn’t be THAT high on the list, as it’s a bit like one of those “cashing in on fads” transformations, but darnit, Jimmy looks really cool as a Wolfman, doesn’t he?

4. Jimmy as bizarre alien-like creature.

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You have to give it up just for the way Jimmy describes the transformation!

Jimmy’s become an alien before (he became a Jovian) but never as wacky as an alien as this one!

3. Jimmy as Bizarro-Jimmy

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Come on, it’s Bizzaro-Jimmy! What’s not to love about that?

2. Jimmy as Giant Turtle Boy

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This was a tough one. You HAVE to love Giant Turtle Boy, as Giant Turtle Boy is such a bizarrely awesome idea. There really is only one possible transformation that could beat this one…

1. Jimmy as Elastic Lad

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and it’s Jimmy as Elastic Lad.

Elastic Lad might not be nearly as creative as Giant Turtle Boy, but it is probably the single most used transformation of Jimmy.

In addition, as Elastic Lad, Jimmy joined the Legion of Superheroes.

Also, as Elastic Lad, Jimmy was involved in the story that I have the cover above, which is one of my favorite Jimmy Olsen stories of all time, a story where we see just how good a friend Jimmy Olsen is to Superman (by the by, how weird is Superman’s thought balloon on that cover?).

Those are my picks! Agree or disagree? Let me know! Thanks, Dan, for the topic!

35 Comments

What, no Porcupine Jimmy?

Also, yeah, Turtle Boy should totally be #1, man.

Kirby turned Jimmy Olsen into the Hulk, although the cover described him as a DNAlien…

I like how on two different covers there’s no hope that he could ever change back again. Didn’t Superman ever get tired of being wrong?

The only Jimmy transformation I have ever personally read is the latest one, into Doomsday. That’s pretty cool, actually.

I highly recommend Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #72.

In which Jimmy gets tormented by a group consisting of Wolf-Man Olsen, Giant Turtle Man Olsen, Human Porcupine Olsen, Fat Boy Olsen and Elastic Lad.

Pssst… in your #1 image, it’s Elastic Lad, not Boy!

I echo Paul’s comment. It’s the “World of Doomed Olsens!” from issue 72. Closely followed by the “World of 1000 Olsens!” in issue 105.

I was hoping for an appearance by Transvestite Jimmy or Nazi Jimmy.

Porcupine Boy was always my favorite. Jeez, I used to own all of those comics. Bought them at the drug store. ~sigh~

Hey, how about a Top Five Gender Switches? I always thought Martian Manhunter looked hot as a woman.

Great choices, Brian. When I suggested this I couldn’t decide whether Turtle Boy or Elastic Lad would come in at #1. You really can’t go wrong with either. I think I would’ve worked Jovian Jimmy and DNAlien Jimmy into my top five and rounded it off with Doomsday Jimmy from All Star, but these were all good picks. (Classic as they are, I don’t know if I’d count Transvestite Jimmy or Red Headed Beatle Wig Prehistoric Jimmy as “transformations”, otherwise they might’ve made the cut.)

I like how on the fat one they don’t even try to sugar-coat it: “Jimmy Olsen, Freak.” Pretty much sums him up, huh? Screw being pals, I’d read a monthly book called “Superman’s Freak, Jimmy Olsen.”

Paul: I highly recommend Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #72.

Ha! That’s the only issue of Jimmy Olsen I’ve got, and it’s beat to hell. Man, that was fun, and odd. Strangely enough, I think they used the exact same gimmick some issues later (or earlier). Mmm. Recyclable Silver Age.

I love the story where the aliens are stalking Jimmy and it turns out they want to recruit him as an actor in their film industry.
At first, Jimmy’s all about it, until he discovers that they want to use him as a monster because he’s so hideous.

The first one I thought of was Giant Turtle Boy (or man as it says on the cover)–I’d go with that as #1.

Future top 5’s?

Top 5 things Plasticman has morphed into.
Top 5 Spider-Man failures?
Top 5 Wacky things that happened to Spidey, Batman, Supes, FLash etc, etc…

Elastic Lad, not Elastic Boy. I mean, it’s only *written on the chest of his costume*!

“Top 5 Real-Life People Guest-Shots in Comics.” THey’re all so weird and wild, and the “Two Rickles” Kirby storyline would have to be in there somewhere….maybe at #1.

Tom, I was going to ask, “What was weirder? The fact that I said Elastic Boy, or that you’re the first one to notice!” but then I noticed that Michael had pointed out, but his comment was just stuck in moderation! :)

“Jimmy looks really cool as a Wolfman, doesn’t he?”

He’d look cooler if all his fur was ginger.

Oh, and I forgot to mention, in case you hadn’t seen it, the Giant Turtle Man Olsen cover is a swipe from an old issue of “Thrilling Wonder Stories” from 1940. Check it out here on Mark Evanier’s page.

I love how the spell can be only be broken by a ‘pretty’ girl.

“Jimmy From Jupiter,” Jimmy Olsen #32, October 1958. It don’t get no better than that!

“I echo Paul’s comment. It’s the “World of Doomed Olsens!” from issue 72. Closely followed by the “World of 1000 Olsens!” in issue 105.”

MUST. GET. ISSUE. #105!!!

“Tom, I was going to ask, “What was weirder? The fact that I said Elastic Boy, or that you’re the first one to notice!” but then I noticed that Michael had pointed out, but his comment was just stuck in moderation! :)”

Heh. Does being polite count?

“Ha! That’s the only issue of Jimmy Olsen I’ve got, and it’s beat to hell. Man, that was fun, and odd. Strangely enough, I think they used the exact same gimmick some issues later (or earlier). Mmm. Recyclable Silver Age.”

There’s a great interview I have somewhere…I think it’s the Jim Shooter interview in the Legion Companion…Where its commented on Mort Weisenger’s love of recycling ideas in the Superman titles.

And his love of “Super baby-transformation” stories.

Just checked….Yep.

Apparently it was Mort’s belief that the comic book audience turned over every two years and he would get the writers to recycle past ideas that he believed sold well. Shooter mentions the “being transformed into a Super baby” concept as one idea that would be recycled as well as the Super-Pets and the girl Legionnaires revolting.

I’m guessing the Jimmy transformations was another and, adding a guess of my own, Superboy meeting a super-powered teen from outer-space, as both the original Star Boy and Mon-El stories were recycled from earlier stories.

Re comment #2: Technically, that wasn’t a Jimmy transformation, it was a Jimmy clone. (I do love how casually Olsen took finding out that a secret government operation had stolen his DNA and made hundreds of duplicates.)

He did become a caveman (or “Homo Disastrous!” in a later issue of the Kirby run, though.

How about the Top Five Goofiest Team-Ups?

Those space-men look awfully handsome to be “jealous of Jimmy’s good looks.” Face it, Jimmy, they didn’t change you because they were jealous, they changed you ’cause it’s FUN!

There was an issue of Action in the 90’s where Jimmy turned into a blob after his Elasti-serum was tainted due to meteorite radiation.

How about the Top 5 Giant Brain stories?

I retract my own request, having read The Mutt’s “Goofiest Team-Ups” and Dwayne’s “Giant Brain Stories” suggestions. Those sound way more fun and interesting.

I had no idea that Jimmy transformed so often.

i like jimmy

‘Love ‘em or leave ‘em, one undeniable plus of many of the Silver Age Jimmy Olsen stories is that they’re only eight pages long, so even the lesser among them don’t wear out their welcome. Reading some modern story arcs running several issues and over 100 pages, I sometimes think there was more “story” in one Silver Age issue of JO than in entire “epics” today.
And I cast my ballot as well for the Giant Turtle Olsen, who I first encountered with dumb wonder in JO 104, a really keen 80-Page Giant chock full of altered Olsens.
My vote for the Olsen story that inspired the most ruminations-by-a-ten-year-old-on-things-it-is-not-meant -for-man-to-know is #98’s “The Bride of Jungle Jimmy.”
Surely, if we all wish real hard, we can make Brian Singer decide to adapt this gem as his next Super blockbuster!

lets go back to yhe simple games wear we had a lot of fun reading comic an playing marbles [ a marble nut ]

Turtle-Jimmy earns extra points for being referenced on JLU.

what drove me crazy about turtle boy (man?) olsen, aside from his extremely unturtlian eyes, was the ridiculous noise he made as he went on his half-shell rampages:”Crrrg … crrg!”
has anyone EVER heard a turtle go, “Crrg”?

me never saw bizarro olsen before! hate beauty! love ugliness!

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