Jimmy's D-Day Adventure!

After you've established Jimmy Olsen as a part-time werewolf, a sometimes-porcupine, a stretchable super-hero and a frequent cross-dresser, I guess you've pretty much covered all the wish-lives of your young readers, so where to go from here? Luckily someone at DC had a brainstorm and decided to help Jimmy make the next logical career move and become a Nazi officer in the inner circle of Adolph Hitler.

In Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #86 (July 1965), writer Leo Dorfman and artists Curt Swan and George Klein take Jimmy -- and us -- to the Pentagon, where films captured from the Nazi archives of World War II are being shown to members of the press. When he gets home, Jimmy opens his briefcase to find that "one of the captured cans of film accidentally slipped inside!" (Uh-huh. Try using that explanation on the FBI, Jim).

Playing the film on his home projector (or maybe it "accidentally" loads itself onto the projector and starts playing, it's not quite clear) Jimmy gets a huge shock:

Determined to solve this baffling mystery, Jimmy buys a vintage WWII combat correspondent's uniform from a costume shop, grabs his German-English Dictionary and sets off for the year 1944 with an experimental "time bomb" developed by crackpot inventor Professor Potter.

Sure enough, Jimmy arrives on the Normandy beachhead in the midst of the D-Day invasion. Now, you might ask yourself why -- if Jimmy can set his "time-bomb" for any time and place -- he doesn't simply set it for Berlin, and dress in a Nazi uniform, rather than dress as an American soldier and land himself in one of the most hellish conflagrations in human history, with a loosely-formed plan to "slip behind enemy lines" later on. That is, you might ask that question if you'd never read a Jimmy Olsen comic before. The short answer is, as Hank Hill would say, the boy ain't right.

Luckily for Jimmy, we learn D-Day wasn't nearly as dangerous as Steven Spielberg and the history books have made it out to be. In fact, we see that General Eisenhower himself has strolled onto the beach, pausing to conduct a press conference in the middle of the battle.

Flash forward and soon enough Jimmy is hopelessly trapped in a battle zone with a squad of American paratroopers, surrounded by Nazi troops. Thinking fast, he disguises himself as a German soldier and marches his fellow Americans to the German lines, pretending to have captured them. Then he volunteers to execute them himself, and uses a smoke bomb (pretending it's poison gas) to cover their escape. Completely fooled, a German general congratulates him.

When the general asks for another demonstration of his "clairvoyance", Jimmy says the crystal ball has predicted the Americans will soon blow up a nearby bridge. "Presently," that's exactly what happens, convincing the general of the fortune-telling powers of the crystal, because let's face it, there's no other way anyone could have guessed in a million years that an invading army might blow up a bridge, right?

Hugely impressed, the general promotes Jimmy to the rank of captain on the spot, making him his personal aide. As the days wear on, Jimmy continues to predict the actions of the Allies with perfect accuracy. Of course, he's always careful to predict the events just a bit too late to prevent them, but the general remains a fan nonetheless.

At this point in the tale, every reader over the age of 6 has figured out the solution to Jimmy's "big mystery", but as we've already established, our boy isn't the sharpest tool in the shed, so this drama has a few pages to go, yet.

Jimmy suggests that with his abilities, he ought to be working for Adolph Hitler himself, and the general agrees, so it's off to Berlin. When Hermann Goering scoffs at his claims of clairvoyance, Jimmy "proves" his powers by predicting the bombing of the submarine pens at Kiel, and sure enough a call comes in moments later reporting the attack.

As the weeks wear on (yes, weeks...and Jimmy still doesn't get it), "General Von Olsen" makes one successful prediction after another, but Hitler eventually realizes he's only predicting defeats, and no victories. Suspecting he's a spy, the Gestapo sets up a test for him: When he and other Nazi officers force a Belgian family to prepare them a meal, the family's pretty young daughter drops a note meant for the underground. Jimmy reads the note and exposes the girl as a spy, passing his test of loyalty. But never fear, fans, he hasn't turned evil, just observant:

Notice Jimmy says, "usually," acknowledging the possibility that she could have just been an authentic farm girl who happened to have a thing for fancy shoes, but it's best not to dwell on that, now is it. Lotte offers to kiss Jimmy, and he accepts "pretending" to enjoy it, and noting that, "like so many other people I know," she has the initials LL.

His fears laid to rest, Der Führer promotes Jimmy to the rank of Marshal, and at last the truth penetrates his concrete cranium:

The next day, July 20th, 1944, Hitler is nearly killed by a bomb. He's understandably peeved that Von Olsen failed to predict the assassination attempt, and decides he must have been in league with the conspirators. Jimmy makes a run for it, with no less than Goering and Heinrich Himmler themselves pursuing him on foot. Lotte shows up and takes a shot at Jimmy, but he ducks and the bullet strikes a large Swastika hanging over a doorway; two pieces of it break off and knock out Goering and Himmler. An SS guard throws a grenade at Jimmy, but in a "lucky break," the power supply for Professor Potter's "time-bomb" runs out at that very moment, returning Jimmy to 1965.

Jimmy's mystery is now officially solved, but the archival film has crumbled to dust, possibly from "being too close to the time-bomb when it went off." Thus he notes, "the evidence of my life as a Nazi officer is gone for good!" Bet there were a few other guys who wish it had been that easy.

Well, there is one last bit of evidence, and that's the Nazi uniform, which he's taking off when he has a revelation...

I hadn't realized the "LL" motif was a big deal in Jimmy's stories, though of course it figures in many a Superman tale.

This is one of those stories that's pretty much review-proof, as it's so patently daft from Square One that it defies rational analysis. It's interesting that they chose to call it "Jimmy's D-Day Adventure," since only two or three panels of his two-month stay in 1944 are spent at Normandy. But then I guess it sounded better than "Jimmy Olsen: Hero of the Third Reich" or "Hitler's Pal, Jimmy Olsen."