The Gorilla of His Dreamson August 19, 2006 at 1:43 am
Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #98, December 1966
Jimmy and Clark Kent are travelling through the jungle. They grow concerned when they see a bunch of natives hurling spears at a white guy — but quickly realise it’s just a movie. That night, as a reward for their services, the natives are shown King Kong on a giant screen. However, most deeply affected by the movie is Bruna, the tribe’s “sacred ape”: she has fallen in love with Kong!!
Jimmy wants to act in the jungle movie, but the director is having none of it. In order to try and impress him, Jimmy dons a leopard skin and swings from a vine. When a vine breaks, he ends up in a river.
Jimmy activates his signal watch, but before Superman can arrive, he is rescued by Bruna. The sacred ape is in love — and Jimmy is the object of her desire. “Bruna, why are you looking at me like that?” asks Jimmy.
Bruna carts Jimmy off to her lair, and offers him bananas. Clearly, this gal is serious!
Jimmy escapes, but Bruna soon comes after him. Clark Kent switches to his Superman identity and carries Bruna away, but the tribesmen are not happy: “It is evil luck to tamper with the sacred Bruna!” Luckily, having spied Superman’s great powers, the tribe consider him a witch doctor.
Elsewhere, the love-struck Bruna is creating havoc. Superman realises that she’s desparately in love with Jimmy, and the only thing that will calm her is allowing a marriage to Jimmy to go ahead.
“I won’t marry her,” cries Jimmy.
“Relax pal. She adores you,” reassures the man of steel.
As Bruna is declaring her love, with Jimmy sat on her lap, who should show up but Jimmy’s girlfriend, Lucy Lane!! “Who’s your hairy friend?” she asks.
Jimmy explains, and Lucy takes it surprisingly well: “I thought I’d be your bride one day. Sigh!” And, with that, she promptly makes a veil as a gift for Bruna!
Superman, in his role as witch doctor, officiates at the wedding.
“Groan! Married to a gorilla… by my best pal!” chokes Jimmy, his humiliation completed by the movie crew shooting these events for posterity.
Bruna takes Jimmy off to her cave for the honeymoon, but, as this is a Silver Age comic, it’s only noses that they rub…
Later that night, Superman rescues Jimmy as he falls from a cliff: Bruna has thrown him out. Jimmy explains that he showed Bruna another jungle movie — one where a giant ape threw a hapless explorer from a cave. Naturally, like King Kong had earlier, this gave Bruna ideas.
As Superman flies Jimmy home, the cub reporter hopes he can persuade the film director to kill the footage of the marriage.
Stirring stuff, I’m sure you’ll agree — they could certainly pack a lot of story into nine pages back then! This astounding piece of whimsy comes courtesy of writer Leo Dorfman and artist Pete Costanza. Editor Mort Weisinger doubtless had a strong hand too. The cover is the work of Superman artist supreme, Curt Swan.