Legion of Super-Heroes Re-Read – “Elastic Lad Jimmy and His Legion Romances!” (Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #76, April, 1964)

Jerry Siegel Returns to tell the tale of Jimmy Olsen—Stud of the 30th Century. Okay, it doesn’t say that, but still…

As a tremendous snowstorm barrages Metropolis, Jimmy prepares for a date with Lucy Lane. He’s spent pretty much his entire paycheck on a gourmet meal, and purchased a dressing gown that he’s sure will impress her. Ah, remember the days when a young man entertained a girl in his apartment, dressed in a bathrobe, and it wasn’t creepy and inappropriate? No, neither do I.

Now, let me make it clear that I always liked Lucy Lane. She seemed pretty sweet-natured, and she wasn’t especially bothered that Jimmy seemed to throw her over every month for some exotic, alien girl he’d met. And, since Lucy was a stewardess (yes, that was the job title at the time) you just assumed that she had her fair share of suitors around the world, and she figured she and her sometime boyfriend just both liked their space, and nobody needed to be a bitch about it.

Well, in this story, Lucy decides to be a bitch about it. True to her genetic heritage (because Lois was pretty much intolerable in the Silver Age!) she’s shrewish and mean to Jimmy as he tries his best to bring on the romance and act like the boyfriend she wants him to be. Every move he makes is greeted with a comparison to some Sultan she recently had a date with.

So Jimmy told Lucy she’d be happier with the Sultan, called Clark Kent and asked him out on a date, just as Clark woke up and realized that he was tired of the treatment he was getting from his Lane sister, and the boys lived happily ever after.

No, that was just an imaginary story that never got published.

Sun Boy and Ultra Boy arrive on the balcony of Jimmy’s apartment (did anyone else ever wonder how a kid photographer afforded an apartment to himself with a balcony?) They announce that Jimmy is needed in the future, and off they fly with him, leaving Lucy to watch his exploits on the time monitor, since she’s now snowed in at his apartment.

Ya know, Lucy intentionally went for a date at Jimmy’s place in the middle of a snowstorm, surely knowing they’d be stranded. She must think he measures up against the Sultan at least to some degree!

In the 30th Century, Jimmy is told that, as an honorary member, he needs to annually perform good deeds to prove his loyalty to “the Super-Hero Club.” Edmond Hamilton weaned readers off that term, but Siegel always used it.

As Jimmy performs his missions, one each with Triplicate Girl, Light Lass and Saturn Girl, each of the Legionnaires displays sudden romantic interest in him. When his missions are complete, the girls actually begin to fight over who gets to be with Jimmy. No sooner does Jimmy depart in a time bubble, however, than we learn that the Legionnaires were faking the whole thing, hoping to make Lucy Lane, who had been “treating Jimmy like dirt,” jealous.

Yep, it’s a Siegel script. No qualms about trying to change the course of history! But the plans go awry. Lucy, bored by the very thought of watching Jimmy be super-heroic, has taken a nap instead of watching. Nor does she believe a word Jimmy tells her about his Legion romances. She just demands he call her a cab so she doesn’t have to be stranded in a snowstorm with a crazy person.

Roll Call: Sun Boy, Ultra Boy, Saturn Girl, Triplicate Girl, Light Lass

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