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.

2 comments:

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.

 

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