Reign of the Supermen #292: Steel-Man

Source: Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #93 (1966)
Type: Alternate EarthAmalgamondays present: "The Batman-Superman of Earth-X!" That title will be your only warning.

So our pal Jimmy Olsen visits Professor Potter's new lab atop Mount Tipton one day, and the ol' Prof shows him his new inter-dimensional travel machine. Within minutes, Jimmy hits the wrong button with his elbow, making the top of Mount Tipton explode and sending him to "Earth-X". One of myriad Earths in the DC multiverse, this Earth is hard to categorize. Benedict Arnold was the second American president, but it's not exactly a morally reversed Earth like Earth-3. The vegetation and architecture is alien. Rembrandt somehow painted the actor Mickey Mantle as Hamlet. And bulls go after the color blue. It's just a crazy mixed-up Earth. And most importantly, when Jimmy's there, he's got Superman's powers. He soon meets retired matador Perry White and saves his life. Perry unofficially adopts him as his own son, and Jimmy helps out around the ranch.
Days pass and Jimmy is more than happy to stay on this Earth, though he doesn't really have a choice. Then, Perry has a heart attack and his dying wish is for Jimmy to get a job with his nephew Clark Kent, custodian of the World' Fair in Metropolis (where Potter is the boss and Lucy Lane works the computers). Clark is perfectly human and as a hobby, writes short stories that feature superheroes he made up... including Superman!
Jimmy is inspired by another creation, Steel-Man, to give Clark his signal watch and reweave his suit'n'bowtie into that alternate identity and fight crime. Crime here seems to be the purview of an organization known as LUTHAR (League Using Terror, Havoc And Robbery; no relation) led by a guy who looks a lot like the Joker!
Things go well for Steel-Man. Lucy falls in love with him (though not with Jimmy, check). He's give the key to the city. Etc. Clark even uses the signal watch for trivial stuff just like he used to, such as making Steel-Man get a chunk of molten lava to that he can feel inspired to write a Lava-Man story. Things go well, that is, until LUTHAR use his only weakness against him - Tiptonite!
Yep, when Mount Tipton blew, some chunks wound up on Earth-X and became deadly poison to Jimmy. Clark saves him by moving those rocks, and soon, our Professor Potter shows up in a second travel machine to get Jimmy. But Jimmy doesn't WANT to leave! Potter tries to convince him, but Steel-Man is called away by the signal watch. It leads him to the Joker fiddling with some kind of machine. "Joker? Never heard of him."
Clark is the leader of LUTHAR! And the machine just transferred Jimmy's powers to Clark! With them, the evil Clark Kent becomes king of the world. But with Lucy's help, Jimmy figures out how to take away his powers with a simple gas (in Silver Age fashion, all it takes is Lucy imputing "factors" into a computer, off-screen). The now powerless Jimmy agrees to return to Earth-1, but gets his mack on with Lucy-X and lays some massive "ironies" on us:
Editors' notes - they were the original Wikipedia.


Wayne Allen Sallee said...

What remains great about these Silver Age reigns you describe, particularly the Jimmy Olsen ones, is that one can see how much effort was put into writing a story back then.

Beagle Boy said...

I booed out loud.


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