Snapshots of Jimmy Olsen #22: The Human Porcupine

Source: Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #65 (1962)
Type: Transformation
Mort Weisinger pitched his Superman comics at a very specific readership, namely, pre-pubescent boys who thought girls were unfathomable creatures, both clingy and icky when it came right down to it. So women are always throwing themselves at the male leads in these comics, leads who CAN'T YOU UNDERSTAND DON'T WANT TO GET MARRIED!!! It's true of Lois&Lana/Superman, inverted with Lucy/Jimmy, and again true in the 5th Dimension, where Mr. Mxyztplk is also forced to rebuff the advances of HIS love interest, Miss Gzptlsnz. Oh really? If you're not going to marry me, Mxy, I'm just going to have to try my luck on a foolish mortal. Did you say... foolish?
And foolishly, though Jimmy politely declines her invitation, he later tells Superman he would rather marry a zoo animal than "that beast". 5th Dimensional beings hear everything you say, dummy! She casts a spell on him that will give him the qualities of whatever animal he next sees.  You've seen to book's cover. You know where this is going. But it doesn't mean we can't imagine some other interesting transformations...
So Jimmy becomes the inspiration for Porcupine Pete, and as on the cover, almost takes Lucy's head off with a quill when he gets, hem hem, "excited". She tears off, he runs after her looking for a hug, and just as stupidly, she hides in a hot air balloon. I mean, what do you think will happen when your prickly beau jump aboard, looking for love?!
Superman comes to their rescue, but simply refuses to help Jimmy lift the spell. So Jim has to call in a favor from a Chinese restaurant he's given good reviews to (oh so THAT'S how it works?). He invites Gzptlsnz to dinner, pretending he's had a change of heart, and tries to make her read her name backwards in a cookie fortune. But she's smarter than Mxyzptlk. The date is ruined, as are the egg rolls...
 ...and my tolerance for puns. Terrible. Just terrible. The next day, Jimmy is fired from his job at the Daily Planet for quilling holes into valuable photo negatives, and ends up working in a circus side-show.
At least he's compatible with other acts! Gzptlsnz drops by to enjoy his misery, but he again tells her he's changed his mind, and to prove it, he's had her name tattooed on his chest. Well, not QUITE her name.
You know, my mind reads words whole without sounding them out. So I would immediately see that my name wasn't spelled right. That's what does her (and Mxy) in, bad reading skills.

And don't worry, kids. That wasn't a real tat. It washed right off.


Andrew Gilbertson said...

Presumably, future issues of the Jimmy Olsen comics featured Miss Gzptlsnz returning every 90 days to make his life miserable? I'm pretty sure that seeing off a jilted, ticked-off, super-powerful stalker that can return in three months with the phrase 'good riddance' more or less guarantees a lifelong vendetta...

Siskoid said...

She wasn't that frequent an antagonist, appearing twice more in Jimmy's book, and one last time in Lois', for a total of, I believe, 5 Silver Age appearances.


Blog Archive


5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Class Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers FW Team-Up Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Shut Up Star Boy Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Streaky Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Orville The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zero Hour Strikes Zine