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CSBG Archive

I Love Ya But You’re Strange – A Strange (but Touching) Super-Tribute to John F. Kennedy

Every week, I will spotlight strange but ultimately endearing comic stories (basically, we’re talking lots and lots of Silver Age comic books). Here is the archive of all the installments of this feature. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have a suggestion for a future installment!

Today we look at a touching (if odd) tribute to John F. Kennedy from 1965’s Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #89!

In the story “The Infamous Four” by Jerry Siegel and Kurt Schaffenberger, Jimmy Olsen is given an unusual assignment (which is what Jimmy Olsen does best, of course)…

So OF COURSE Jimmy gets sent into the future. The year is 2063.

Jimmy ends up in a high school class where the students use animatronics to piece together pieces of history…

It’s a cool idea, but it is kind of hilarious to note that Siegel figured 98 years was enough time for kids to completely forget even the most famous and basic parts of American History.

I love how jerky the teacher is to Jimmy here.

The other students all got their things wrong, too, but they weren’t suspended for LYING! Cripes!

Anyhow, Jimmy then stumbles upon a bunch of bad guys (of course he did, he’s Jimmy Olsen!) and they begin chasing him into a strange scene…

He escapes back to the present but doesn’t get why the crooks were captured. And then there’s the twist…

That’s actually a pretty darn good twist and quite a tribute to President Kennedy. I imagine Mort Weisinger was behind it.

If you can think of a strange comic book you’d like me to feature in the future, e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com


Yeah, I don’t think that Kennedy hologram is wearing pants.

Nice ethnic slur Jimmy!

I love the sign on the totem pole about its being the only one ever found in the northwest. You can practically imagine Mort Weisinger telling the letterer, “Put it in, so some smart-ass kid doesn’t write me a letter about it.”

Spirits from the magic pipe, eh, Jimmy? Is that what the youngsters were calling it back then?

“I imagine Mort Weisinger was behind it.” Any particular reason to assume that? Sure, it could have been Mort…but it seems perfectly in keeping with Jerry Siegel’s writing style, whereas it doesn’t seem like it would fit in as well in an Ed Hamilton or Otto Binder or Al Schwartz story. While it’s true that Weisinger was notorious for taking ideas from one writer and passing them to another as his own invention and this makes it hard to tell who was responsible for what, each writer had particular quirks that came through in their scripting. This kind of heartstring-tugging, blatantly sentimental twist reads to me like pure Siegel…but I base that on nothing more than having read a big bunch of Silver Age Superman over the years.

P.S. But I’ll bet Matthew Johnson is exactly right about that sign on the totem pole.

Today’s Comic Book Legends Revealed discusses Weisingers’s support of the Democrat Party and Kennedy.

nice and another crazy super man adventure from the old days mostly jimmy using tobacco to time travel with the totum and also how even in the future that kennedy was still remembered as a the superman of the piece

Any particular reason to assume that?

As kdu2814 noted, Weisinger was particularly interested in JFK.

Brian and kdu2814: okay, that makes sense. I hadn’t seen the other post when I raised my question, so I was thrown off by the way credit to Weisinger seemed to come out of the blue. In context I see exactly what you’re saying!

At least Jimmy didn’t promote smoking. He hated it everytime he tried it.

You just don’t see Jimmy smoking a peace pipe these days.

Damn. That is actually a pretty good little story.

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