First Published: April 2013
Contents: Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #45 (June 1960) to #53 (June 1961); and Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane #17 (May 1960) to #26 (July 1961)
Key Creator Credits: Curt Swan, Otto Binder, Jerry Siegel, Kurt Schaffenberger, and others
Key First Appearances: Miss Gzptlsnz
Story Continues From: Showcase Presents Superman Family Vol. 3
Overview: On the off-hand chance that you are a first-time reader of this blog, or that this is your first encounter with Showcase Presents Superman Family, then welcome to the ongoing adventures of Superman’s pal, Jimmy Olsen, and Superman’s girlfriend, Lois Lane.
Each comic contains three 8- to 10-page stories that followed predictable formulas from one story to the next. As with any of theses stories from DC’s Silver Age, there is no continuity between titles and stories. The Daily Planet remains the greatest place in the world to work, as they have a very generous vacation policy; they allow you to use the paper’s helicopter for personal travel; and they will throw a party to celebrate any and all events in a person’s career, be it birthday, anniversary, or 100th story scoop.
There is an ongoing series of stories in the Lois Lane issues that starts in this collection. We get to see a series of “imaginary adventures” that give us a look into the lives of Mr. and Mrs. Superman, as Lois and Clark Kent/Superman finally marry. (For the record, ALL COMICS ARE IMAGINARY ADVENTURES!) Most of these Mr. and Mrs. Superman stories involved Lois staying home to tending to their house or their children, while Clark Kent continues his successful journalism career, not to mention his extraordinary moments as Superman. Lois finds herself unhappy with her life because she always imagined that being married to Superman would be the greatest accomplishment ever. Thankfully, we are reminded that these stories are imaginary, and everything reverts back to normal with the next story.
Why should these stories be Showcased?: With this series, I find that the most current volume is the best one of the series. So Volume 4 is better than Volumes 1, 2, and 3, and Volume 3 is much better than Volumes 1 and 2; and of course Volume 2 is better than Volume 1. But these are still not great stories. So many of the stories repeat themselves, like Jimmy getting into trouble with one of the items from his Superman trophy collection, or Lois trying to figure out if Clark is secretly Superman. Your best bet is to jump around and read the stories that most interest you. (Actually, your best bet would probably be to find a different set of Superman comics to read.)
Footnotes: The “Jimmy Olsen, Orphan” story from Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #46 and the “Girl with Green Hair!” story from Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #51 are also reprinted in Showcase Presents Supergirl Vol. 1.
If you like this volume, try: watching the 1990s Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman television series starring Teri Hatcher and Dean Cain. Running on ABC for four seasons, the series took a fresh look at the Superman mythos but using the story elements introduced by John Byrne in the post-Crisis DC Comics. While the show generally featured Superman fighting the generic villain of the week, we were treated to the slowly developing relationship between the two title characters, matching what was going on in the Superman comic book titles of that same era. In season three, Lois discovers Clark’s secret identity, opening up the door for the two characters to marry. This series is available on DVD.