Jimmy Olsen #79

Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen, September 1964

“The Red-Headed Beatle of 1,000 B.C.!”

Our story begins as Jimmy prances around his apartment in a ginger Beatle wig. He looks a complete dork, but seems happy enough. “Man! Those Beatles are a blast! And I always seem to enjoy their music more when I wear my personal Beatle wig!” he thinks.

Jimmy's wig

The doorbell rings and, answering it, Jimmy finds Kasmir, “a time policeman from the future,” standing there. The Legion of Super-Heroes have sent him to pick up Jimmy for a vital time-mission into the past. Jimmy readily agrees to go, and he quickly sets the controls of the time bubble for 3000 years ago.

When they arrive in the distant past, however, it transpires that Kasmir is really a criminal from the future. Unable to operate the time bubble’s controls, he was lucky to find the machine automatically set for 1964. There he knew he could pick up honorary Legionnaire Olsen, who’s apparently a dab hand at time travel. Not needing the red-headed reporter any longer, Kasmir shoots at Jimmy with a heat blaster — and damages the time bubble.

Suddenly, a local, turban-wearing youth appears and punches out Kasmir. He’s very strong. So strong, in fact, that Jimmy assumes he must be “super!”

Might Youth

The newcomer is kind of super-hero of his day called Mighty Youth. The turban is to hide his true identity from his enemies (which, one would have thought, is an even flimsier disguise than a pair of glasses!). Jimmy explains the situation, and Mighty Youth carries the time bubble to his secret hideout. Realising that he is stranded in ancient times, Jimmy decides to find job to pay his way. He quickly finds a situation with the local shepherd, but is less than impressed at being “a sheep barber! What a revolting development!”

Jimmy the sheep barber

Fearing that the meagre sheep-shearing income will not keep him in the lifestyle to which he has become accustomed, Jimmy decides to go into business for himself. He has a startling plan. He picks up some wool and dyes it black. He dons his ginger Beatle wig and performs a routine in the town centre. The kids lap it up, and are soon clamouring for Jimmy’s home-made Beatle wigs! He’s started Beatle-mania 3000 years early!

Beatle-mania

Meanwhile, Kasmir has woken up and tells the local big chief about Olsen’s wigs being made from stolen wool. Jimmy is arrested and slung in clink. He uses the shepherd’s horn to summon Mighty Youth (yep, just like the signal watch, eh?).

Jimmy's horn

Mighty Youth breaks Jimmy out of prison, but, in doing so, his turban falls off. His long hair is revealed and, just from that, Jimmy deduces that Mighty Youth is none other than Samson — of Biblical fame! Soon after, a local girl shows great interest in Mighty Youth — but he has “no time to waste on romance!” Her name, it turns out, is Delilah. Cue Twilight Zone music…

Samson and Delilah

Kasmir has overheard this conversation and deduced the same thing. He grabs a pair of shears and follows Jimmy and Samson to Mighty Youth’s secret lair. In the darkness of the pre-dawn, Kasmir cuts the hair of the sleeping Samson. With Samson sapped of his strength, Kasmir will be able to force Jimmy to repair the broken time bubble.

Snip, snip

Alas for Kasmir, he’s punched to the ground by a mighty fist. It turns out that all he cut was one of Jimmy’s Beatle wigs — Jimmy saw him coming and slipped a wig on the sleeping Samson.

At that moment, Superman arrives. He’s tracked the missing time bubble in search of Kasmir. Kasmir throws a “vibro-grenade”, and the building starts to crumble. Superman grabs two support columns and holds the ceiling up while everyone escapes. Superman ties up Kasmir, and he and Samson shake hands. Just before he leaves, Jimmy gives the local kids one final Beatle performance. “You’ve really started a “Beatle” fad here, Jimmy! You seem to be as popular as Ringo, the Beatle drummer!”

Ringo

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Clearly, this story was inspired by the Beatles’ legendary appearance on the Ed Sullivan show in early 1964 which triggered Beatle-mania. There are Beatle wig appearances in numerous comics of then period — even the Fantastic Four’s Thing got in on the act over at Marvel.

An amazing piece of lunacy from writer, Leo Dorfman, and artist, George Papp. Curt Swan drew the cover.