First Published: February 2008
Contents: Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #23 (September 1957) to #34 (January 1959), Showcase #10 (September-October 1957), and Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane #1 (March-April 1958) to #7 (February 1959)
Key Creator Credits: Curt Swan, Otto Binder, Wayne Boring, Kurt Schaffenberger, and others
Key First Appearances: Elastic Lad
Story Continues From: Showcase Presents Superman Family Vol. 1
Story Continues In: Showcase Presents Superman Family Vol. 3
Overview: In the 1950s, Superman-related comics helped fill the newsstands. Titles such as Superman; Action Comics; Adventure Comics; Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen; Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane; and World’s Finest all featured characters from the Superman Family.
This volume collects Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane stories from their respective titles. Each issue contained three 8-page stories that followed predictable formulas from one story to the next. Jimmy is working on a story, gets in trouble, but finds some way to save the day before calling in Superman. Lois Lane frets over her unreturned love for Superman, and looks for ways to discover his secret identity.
The one item added to the Superman Family mythos in this volume is Jimmy Olsen becoming Elastic Lad for the first time. He would use this identity on and off for the next 20 years, helping out Superman, Lois Lane, and even the Legion of Super-Heroes with his stretching abilities.
Why should these stories be Showcased?: You have to be a die-hard fan of the Silver-Age of comics to appreciate the stories told in here. Most Silver-Age stories do not hold up in comparison to current stories. These stories were truly written for and generally sold to kids. The stories are fun to read, provided you keep them in the context of the era in which they were first published.
Footnotes: Showcase Presents Superman Family Vol. 2 was released in February 2008. That book featured the Superman Family logo on the front of the book in red and yellow. After the release of the book, DC realized that several pages were accidentally swapped in Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane #2. DC corrected the mistake and released a new volume in April of that same year. To differentiate between the two volumes, the Superman Family logo on the corrected version was changed to red and white (pictured at the top of this post).
The full review can be found at EssentialShowcase.com.
To find the original issues, or reprints, of Jimmy Olsen’s and Lois Lane’s early appearances, check with your local comic book. In the Midwest, I strongly recommend Clint’s Comics in midtown Kansas City. Clint’s has been in business for nearly 50 years at the intersection of Main St. and Westport Rd. The back-issue selection is incredible, and what you see in the store is just a small fraction of their total inventory. In addition to the back issues, Clint’s stocks current issues, trade paperbacks, toys, T-shirts, and more. Check out Clint’s Comics to build your own essential collection!