Book of the Day - 1/28/04

Jimmy Olsen #139 Jul 1971

- Overstreet 2006 (9.2) NM- Price: $45 -

When artist Jack Kirby, rightly heralded as one of the fathers of what was to become known as the Marvel Universe, left the company in 1970 for the "Distinguished Competition", DC fans (and the management for that matter) probably expected some of that Marvel magic to come along.  What did they get?  Well for starters Kirby was assigned to the long suffering Jimmy Olsen title starting with issue #133.  It immediately became apparent that a Kirby comic, he was given both the writing and art chores, was unlike anything that could be found in a Marvel comic or for that matter any comic on the newsstands.  This issue is a good example.  It introduced "Goody Rickels", a lowly research assistant at the Galaxy Broadcasting System and, conveniently, a Don Rickles look alike.  Goody is sent to report on a mysterious UFO landing while meeting up with Clark Kent (Superman secret identity for the uninitiated), Olsen, and the Guardian along the way and cracking jokes a'la the real Don Rickles.  Definitely weird stuff for sure and typical of his other DC work on New Gods and Forever People.  Regardless of what you think of Kirby's DC work, there is a sense of fun associated with his obviously different take on superheroes.  Sometimes weird and "What the F*ck" type storytelling can make for decent comics if done without taking itself too seriously.  This is something some current writers should take to heart......

Also of note........It's common knowledge that DC didn't approve of Kirby's Superman  head and facial features and routinely had them redrawn by another artist.  Looking at this issue though suggests that not only was Superman's face redrawn but Olsen's as well.  I guess the DC editors were careful with not just their iconic characters.....