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Kal-El, your tears are so delicious! – Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #125

October 25, 2010

Just look at that red-headed little bastard on the cover. There have been many times in the history of comics where that freckled twerp’s deserved a good punch in the face, but this might take the checkered flag. Making Superman cry to harvest his tears? Dirty pool, mister. Dirty pool. That seems like something more up Eric Cartman’s alley:

At least young Olsen never utters the phrase “tears of unfathomable sadness” in these pages.

Leo Dorfman and Pete Costanza bring us the tale of “Superman’s Saddest Day.” It starts with Jimmy off on vacation, where he discovers an old sunken ship while scuba diving and there makes an improbable discovery:

Yes. The book was underwater, but the pages are only “faded.” I could get hung up on this, but let’s move on. The book contains a “prophecy” from Nostradamus that reads more like a witch’s spell:

Jimmy launches into fantasies of what this strange power could be — of course it would only be something good. Right? Sure.

He immediately sets out on this quest for treasured tears. His first stop is a minor monarch, and Jimmy plans to use a position in the kitchen to make the head of state weep:

Unfortunately, the father is just as much of a porker as his reubenesque daughter, and gobbles up the spicey, oniony food without a bit of precious moisture flowing. He looks like the king in this old Looney Tunes short, “Shishkabugs”:

Bring me my hossenfeffer!

Jimmy’s luck turns — when the daughter falls for this magnificent cook (the way to a fat princess’ heart is, after all, through her stomach), the father loses it:

One down. And Jimmy escapes without getting married.

Next is the clown, and Jimmy crosses paths with another DC bigwig:

I’m not sure what to make of Batman being a rental bodyguard, but maybe he’s been blowing through the Wayne fortune a little too fast.

Jimmy’s plan to sabotage the clown’s performance and make him cry is itself sabotaged when another clown grabs the lady’s diamonds. I’ll give you one guess as to the identity of this clown. Here’s the unmasking, though it really isn’t necessary:

Ah, the days when the Joker’s calling card was jokes and not brutally murdering Batman’s sidekick — a simpler time. And since the Joker passes for a clown, that means that Jimmy’s halfway done.

For the tears of a killer, Jimmy travels to a “near-east” nation, where he hopes to get the tears of a hopefully remorseful political assassin. The condemned man is unrepentant, but another gent is obliging — the executioner:

Last we have the Kryptonian. Supes obliges, though he can’t help but inwardly roll his eyes at his pal:

Remembrances of Superman’s Kryptonian heritage don’t start the waterworks, but an old film of Smallville does the trick:

Jimmy mixes the tears and…

The tube glows. That’s it. Jimmy thinks it’s just a light bulb, and doesn’t take a whole lot of consolation when Superman points out that light bulbs were a “power unknown” in Nostradamus’ time. Jimmy had to be thinking “Nostradamus? More like Nostra-dumb-ass!” He lets Superman have the vial, and the big guy keeps the its true nature secret:

So Jimmy, in his mad yearning for personal gain, created a pocket atom bomb. Olsen certainly isn’t at his most sympathetic here. He’s a jetsetting (where does he get the money?) jerk who looks to profit off of the misery of others, and in the process he creates something that could have killed millions. Yikes. Just stick to the minor misadventures and photojournalism, okay?

Let’s just hope Osama never finds a formula like this one. Lucky for us, I don’t think there’s a lot of scuba diving in Northwest Pakistan.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Dave B permalink
    January 21, 2013 10:54 am

    Nothing can beat Silver Age Superman family covers for sheer wackiness.

    I’m pretty sure Nostradamus wrote his “predictions” in Latin, not in modern English, but I guess I’m picking the nits here, considering.

    This is sort of a neat story, in spite of all the goofiness, as Jimmy gets his tears, but not from whom he, or we, had expected in each case except Supes, but yeah, Jimmy O does come across as a grade A jerk here.

    By the way, nice youtube links.

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