Snapshots of Jimmy Olsen #50: Computer-Brain Jimmy

Source: Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #86-87 (1965)
Type: Transformation
This one goes out to all the students doing their finals this week. Don't you wish you had a computer brain? Well, be careful who you get it from...

This particular Silver Age classic starts with Jimmy getting into the back of an armored truck made of Vulnite, which should be impregnable. He can get all the cool pictures from inside, you know? At about the time he surely realizes it's dark in there, criminals with a bazooka attack the truck and prove Vulnite (patent pending) isn't that great after all.
These guys are poster children for gun control because a) they got their hands on a bazooka and b) their reaction to seeing the Man of Steel is "It's Superman, stop him!" Uhm... Anyway, not only did they blow the truck open, but they also gave Jimmy deadly brain damage, and his only option is to be shunted to the Phantom Zone where brain damage doesn't matter. Uhm... But before he can go and join Mon-El, Jimmy is saved by Brainiac, who shows up in his flying saucer and proposes to cure his ailing brain on the condition that Superman not spy on the surgery.
Jimmy's brain goes in a jar and is replaced by a computer programmed to make Jimmy obey Brainiac's will. (It's also revealed that Brainiac is himself a machine, and Superman will learn this later in the story. Crazy to think this revelation occurred in the pages of Superman's Pal and not one of Superman's core books!) Superman is happy to see his chum safe and sound, but also surprised. Brainiac tells him about the "regrettably sentimental streak in his otherwise implacable nature", but thinks "There really isn't a shred of sentiment in my electronic mind." Brainiac - one man double act. Anyway, now Jimmy is super intelligent. What does he do with his smarts?
Count grains of sand, apparently. But his talents come in handy the next day when Perry White tells him to drop a bag of money - the Daily Planet's Fresh-Air Fund (which sounds like laundering to me) - at the bank while he goes down to the horse races, but Jimmy goes to the races too, and multiplies the fund by betting it all on a horse based on his calculations. Look, kids! Gambling! Brainiac implements the next stage of his plan: Taking Superman's place in the boy's heart.
The bedeviled and reprogrammed Jimmy next calls Superman  with his signal watch and lures him into one of Brainiac's traps. It's a bit of a bust and Superman defeats Brainiac who trades the Last Son of Krypton Jimmy's return to normal in exchange for his freedom. Superman agrees.
Hey, I sure hope the Coluan put the right brain in Jimmy's head. He seems to have a fair few lying around! But yes, Jimmy's all fixed up. Not brain damaged or anything. Presumably. Next, Brainiac calls on Superman's other big enemies, Luthor from Luxor and the adult Legion of Super-Villains from the future (in other words, Superman's local rogues gallery SUCKS) and Jimmy spends the rest of the story moaning about being under Saturn Queen's mind control. You can't win, Jimmy!

Don't worry. It's the Silver Age and Superman tricks the villains with some silliness or other. It's not important. Get back to your exams, kids.


Brendoon said...

Never Knew
Jimmy had been a Jar head!


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