Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #115

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #115 (On Sale: August 27, 1968) has one of my favorite Neal Adams' covers of all time. I know that so much of my appreciation is due to the masterful color work on this, but I also like the almost Wally Wood inspired Superman figure and the wonderful staging of the scene fore which Adams was so well-known.

"Survival of the Fittest" is by Leo Dorfman and Pete Costanza, In a very rare-for-the-time crossover, Aquaman guest-stars. In some even rarer-for-the-time continuity, Aquaman's quest for Mera (Aquaman #40-#48) is mentioned. DC was changing folks, slowly but surely. While reporting on the maiden voyage of a new atomic submarine, Jimmy Olsen rescues the crew when the sub is caught in a whirlpool. Aquaman then arrives to help save the submarine. The whirlpool was caused by Captain Bane, the disguised identity of the Old Man of the Sea.

Seeking revenge against Aquaman and Jimmy, the Old Man of the Sea arranges for Jimmy to gain Aquaman's powers. Then disguised as Superman he arranges for Jimmy and Aquaman to prove which is the best by taking them into the desert. Jimmy is barely able to stay alive, but Aquaman appears to die. The Old Man then strands Jimmy in the middle of the ocean without powers.

When he returns to Earth, Superman apprehends the Old Man, taking the trickster to a lifeless water world where he can't trouble Earth again. Superman also reveals that Aquaman survived when his body was returned to the ocean, the water revived it. Jimmy is also still alive having found a life preserver from the Titanic floating in the ocean.

The back-up is "The Kid Who Unmasked Superman" by Dave Wood and Pete Costanza. Duncan Brite joins the Jimmy Olsen Fan Club with the intention of discovering Superman's secret identity. When Superman visits the club, Duncan gets an impression of Superman's ear, a footprint, and a strand of his hair. Duncan then compares the evidence to men at the Daily Planet. He suspects Clark Kent, but Clark realizes that Duncan's motives.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

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