Thursday, December 12, 2013

Rare 1970 Robin Solo Tale! JIMMY OLSEN Strikes Again! DC Comics!

It feels like a lost "New Look" tale from the mid-60s, but it's really a 1970 Robin solo story, tucked discreetly in the tacky back pages of JIMMY OLSEN #130! Drawn wonderfully by Murphy Anderson (one of the artistic architects of the mid-60s "Batmania" period), this wacky tale gets extra points for featuring Batman's sidekick in his then-current "Teen Wonder" persona, working solo and sporting a slightly "mod" outfit (longer cape and hair, modified mask, etc.), and a more "Marvel-like" attitude! Click below to enlarge and enjoy this "lost" adventure!

So, it's OK for a well-known superhero to win public contests? It's OK to spy
on competitive businesses? It's OK to send a non-super powered Jimmy Olsen
 out into a world where Robin's (and Batman's) foes will be gunning for him?

Hardcore SUPERMAN fans will spot this page's
tip-off on things to come later in the tale!

So, the mysterious  "flying man" wasn't Superman, huh? How about Hawkman,
Green Lantern, Dr. Fate, or one of the other 623 flying superheroes that
populated the DC universe then?

Exactly how do the crooks check on Batman's whereabouts? Did
they glimpse his latest FaceBook status update?  And, instead
of using his deductive abilities to realize it was Jimmy subbing as
Robin, Clark simply uses his x-ray vision to peek under Olsen's
disguise! Does he do that with everyone, superhero or not,

just to always be on the safe side?

So, once again, Superman has to save Jimmy's hash, when he coulda
simply let the cub reporter get all the glory and learn from his mistakes.
It's 1970 DC, where adult "authority figures" are still in full sway!
Meanwhile, over at rival Marvel Comics (where they're rapidly
overtaking DC in sales and popularity),  youth (embodied especially

in their SPIDER-MAN) was being portrayed as in  charge, and fully 
competent, tho maybe not fully confident!


Rockett Davey said...

Not being a Jimmy Olsen fan, but a Big Bronze Age Robin fan. I'd never seen this story. With great Murphy Anderson art!
Thanks for posting this.
All The Best,

Al Bigley said...

You got it!

That was the reason I posted it! I was also surprised this existed, and I'm a 40 (plus) year comics fan!


Al Bigley

Richard Bensam said...

Just for historical context: after this there would be only one more old school issue of Jimmy Olsen -- and one all-reprint issue of early Jimmy stories -- before Jack Kirby came on the scene to usher in a new era for Jimmy as an adult reporter with youthful sidekicks of his own. This story is right on the edge of a transition it has no way of knowing is about to happen.

Al Bigley said...


Correct! I meant to feature that in the post...

Can you imagine? You're a young reader of the innocuous OLSEN book then, with Jimmy worrying about his bow-tie collection, then, the next issue, Kirby is there, blowing your mind with concepts and ideas at a breakneck pace...?

Al Bigley

Richard Bensam said...

Al, I don't even need to imagine it: I was that young reader. I loved the Jimmy Olsen book before, and then all of a sudden I loved the Jimmy Olsen book even more.

david_b said...

WOW, this is great. I'd love to pick this up. Any decently-drawn Robin stories in the '70s are rare.

I had to suffer with the Heck-drawn Batman Family stories for so many years.

Al Bigley said...

Are you kidding? I'll take Heck over any artwork from the last 25 years!

Funny how those artists we disliked then are now seeming more and more like masters, as time goes by! :)

Al Bigley