Snapshots of Jimmy Olsen #21: The Bird Boy of Metropolis

Source: Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #26 (1958)
Type: Hoax
In a story that makes you wonder what the hell the Silver Age Superman was thinking half the time (to keep this about Jimmy, I've decided to keep the Super-centric material for later posts), Jimmy finally earns his wings and flies. Well, not really.

It all begins when a meteoric emergency causes Superman to forgo the usual phone booth quick-change (usually time taken: 0.0000001 seconds) and fly up to meet the blazing rock as Clark Kent. For a guy who has heightened senses and spends the rest of the issue eavesdropping on Jimmy from afar, he sure misses the Flying Newsroom among the clouds!
Cover blown!!! There's only one reasonable way to explain this, and that's to say the archaeological find sent to the Daily Planet offices for safekeeping (because that's what archaeologists do, shhh, don't say anything, don't) was responsible for Clark's flying abilities.
Jimmy just couldn't see the wings because of the clouds, yeah, that's the ticket. I've seen less jumping to conclusions in an X-Files episode! Anyway, dumbass Clark MIGHT have added that he had to come back down because the wings had run out of magical charge, or even that it was wrong of him to use an ancient artifact that wasn't his, because Jimmy quickly puts the harness on and runs to the roof. Except there is no magic, and Superman is apparently unwilling to let him plummet to his death to protect his secret identity. So instead, he becomes a slave to Jimmy's whims, using super-breath to keep Jimmy aloft and keep the lie going.
No flamingo is safe. And Jimmy isn't just recovering escaped birds, he's using the damn thing to market the planet as well! Because this is Metropolis, and Metropolitans are always looking up in the sky. So when circulation is down, Perry has only one possible call to make:
Jimmy's skywriting COULD have been done with the Flying Newsroom, I suppose, but magic/super-breath costs less than gasoline. Superman is rapidly getting sick of this, because it's keeping him from other duties like giving the football team pointers and helping street sweepers (not kidding), so he blows Jimmy to a vultures' nest where Superman's Pal gets painfully pecked. It doesn't stop him. Because when a charitable organization asks him to deliver Christmas gifts to poor kids with the Flying Newsroom...
Abusing it, Jimmy! This time, Superman blows him over a missile test range (is my word choice pushing this article into PG-13?), but again, Jimmy isn't deterred. For his next trick, he's going to interview a visiting king WHILE HE'S STILL ON A PLANE! Ok, enough is enough, Superman gets the big guns out, and big guns, I mean giant batteries held up by giant kites. Then with his X-ray vision, he'll cause the battery to spark and make Jimmy think he could die from a lightning strike. SCIENCE!
In a panic, Jimmy slips out of his harness and buzzes Superman with his signal watch. The wings are obviously out of control.
And that's the way it ends. Now all Clark has to do is explain what the hell happened to the ancient artifacts entrusted to the Planet. Hey, maybe next time those archaeologists will send their stuff to a MUSEUM. Just a thought.



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