Legion of Super-Heroes Re-Read – “The World of Doomed Olsens!” (Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #72 – October, 1963)

The Collector has come for Jimmy Olsen!

 

No, not him

Nor him.

Certainly not him! I’m talking about this guy:

Not sure why he looks like a stereotypical devil, but that’s kind of a Curt Swan touch. Swan is on pencils for this story, with Jerry Siegel scripting. The Legion’s appearance is limited to a handful of panels at the end, this being primarily a Jimmy Olsen adventure. There are two significant Legion happenings here, however.

First, Jimmy is inducted as an honorary member—the first honorary member of the Legion in its history. He protests that he has no super powers. “Yes you do,” says Cosmic Boy, “as Elastic Lad!” Jimmy had adopted the occasional identity of Elastic Lad in Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #31, in 1958. Elastic Lad was created about the same time as the Legion, and by the same writer, Otto Binder.

And Chameleon Boy praises him for helping them “so often in the past.” That help must have come off-panel, for, other than encountering the Legion of Super-Villains a while back, Jimmy has had no Legion interactions. At least none that appear in the Legion Archives, or that are listed on comics.org.

The other significant happening in this story is the introduction of Proty II. The original Proty, Chameleon Boy’s shape-changing pet from Antares, had just died in the previous Legion adventure, saving Lightning Lad. (Or taking his place, if you believe later retcons.) I suspect that, rather than intentionally introducing a replacement, Jerry Siegel simply did not know that Proty had been killed by his creator, Edmond Hamilton, over in Adventure Comics. Did Editor Weisinger catch Siegel in an error, I wonder, or had he himself just suggested using Proty and then realized that it was too late? In any event, it’s nice that fans didn’t go even a month without the most interesting of the Super-Pets.

Firsts: Honorary member, Proty II

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