Mild Mannered Reviews - Classic Pre-Crisis Superman Comics
Jimmy Olsen #142Cover date: October 1971
"The Man from Transilvane!"
Writer/Penciller: Jack Kirby
Inker: Vince Colletta
Superman and Jimmy Olsen Heads: Murphy Anderson
Cover Artist: Jack Kirby and Neal Adams
Reviewed by: Charlie Niemeyer
It is midnight, and we see a very Kirbyesque version of a vampire and a wolfman (there is a reason they are so Kirbyesque). The vampire is searching for Laura Conway, who just so happens to be Morgan Edge's secretary. Focusing on her, beams of power emanate from the vampire's eyes crossing the many miles to Miss Conway's Metropolis apartment. The beams hit her in the neck, leaving what appears to be bite marks while also changing her body chemistry.
The next morning, Clark and Jimmy are at Miss Conway's desk demanding to see Edge, who has been successfully avoiding them since the end of last issue. The reporters notice something is not right with Miss Conway, and when she tries to send them away with a smile, they see that she now has fangs. Suddenly she faints, but Clark catches her, noticing the marks on her neck. Suddenly noticing the mirror behind Miss Conway's desk, Clark and Jimmy are startled to see that Miss Conway is not casting a reflection. They lay her on a sofa in Edge's office and are about to call a doctor when a bat suddenly enters the room and transforms into Count Dragorn from Transilvane, the vampire from earlier. He wishes to see Miss Conway, and when Clark and Jimmy attempt to protect her, he sends them reeling with his power beams.
Picking up a plot-thread from 2 issues ago, the Newsboys are still trying to find their way out of the tunnels under the Project. Flippa-Dippa, who dives into the water to try investigating below the surface, finds an underwater door and begins working on getting it open.
Back in Edge's office, Jimmy is still out cold, but Clark quickly recovers in time to hear Dragorn ask Miss Conway the current whereabouts of Dabney Donovan. It turns out Miss Conway was Donovan's personal secretary at the NASA Science Research Center outside Metropolis, but she never actually met the man. She only ever transcribed notes he dictated from a tape recorder. Clark jumps at Dragorn to tackle him, but the Count disappears in a puff of smoke. At this point Jimmy regains consciousness while Miss Conway comes out of her trance, losing both her vampire characteristics and the neck marks.
That night, Clark and Jimmy drive up to the Science Research Center, which used to be a major place back in the 50s at the dawn of the space race, being used to reproduce the atmospheric conditions of other planets. When they arrive, they notice that there is no guard and the front door is open. As they enter, they are attacked by the wolfman, who springs at Clark first. Fearing for his friend's life, Jimmy uses a nearby loose, steel fence post to ward of the wolfman, but it just angers him and he goes after Jimmy. After a brief chase, the wolfman pounces at Jimmy, but ends up ramming into Superman's chest instead. Suddenly, Dragorn appears and hits the heroes with his power beams, but this time they just blind them instead of knocking them out. In any event, this gives Dragorn and the wolfman time to disappear, although Superman says he saw something before they disappeared that makes him think that instead of disappearing, they just got smaller.
Superman and Jimmy then rush up to Donovan's office and begin searching for whatever it is that Dragorn is after. Finding a poster of a strange looking planet, Superman uses his microscopic vision to check out the poster and sees the "BLOOD MOOR DESTRUCT DATE 1971" inscribed on the grains of the picture. This apparently indicates that the Bloodmoor Cemetery will be destroyed sometime in 1971.
Meanwhile, below Metropolis, Flippa-Dippa has finally opened the underwater door, which apparently also extends above the water since the other Newsboys see the door open, and drive their boat through. They exit their boat and enter a high-speed lift that takes them to another room with a ladder. Tommy climbs the ladder and carefully opens the vent cover to see a man on a phone at the other end of the vent. The man is scared and says he plans to stay in the hideout. We then learn through the phone conversation that the man is scared because the Guardian has been spotted in Metropolis which means Jim Harper is alive, but that can't be possible because he is the man who shot and killed Jim Harper (dun-dun-dunnn!)!
Up above, Superman and Jimmy arrive at the Bloodmoor Cemetery and head for the Mausoleum. The Mausoleum is closed in by a stone wall so heavy that it "would take 40 men to move" it, unless you were very, very small and could go under it. Superman then theorizes that Donovan wanted to simulate cosmic matter on a small scale. Then they enter a large room to see a small planet. The planet Transilvane!
Story - 5: This was a pretty solid issue. The story made sense, I didn't spot any glaring loopholes (although I failed to mention it in the synopsis, Superman did hide the car before he saved Jimmy, and explained that Clark has taken the car to get medical help, and yes, he thought it was pretty thin too), and we got a cliffhanger to both of the plots running through the issue. At this point, I'm thinking that Kirby is starting to get a real handle on the characters, and it is showing. Also, I believe this is the first time we get Miss Conway's first name, although I can't stop calling her Miss Conway for some reason. This issue also reprints a golden age adventure of Guardian and the Newsboys from Star Spangled Comics #8 in 1942.
Art - 5: Again, the art was great this issue. I liked how Kirby only subtly changed Miss Conway's facial features during her "vampirism" and yet it was easily noticeable. Meanwhile, Anderson's inks on the Jimmy and Superman heads are getting less and less jarring. In fact, in a couple of instances, it looked like Anderson actually kept some of the Kirby features, but just softened them up a bit.
Cover Art - 5: This is a great, moody cover perfect for an issue with an October cover day. And Adam's inks seem to bring another dimension to Kirby's pencils. I'm not sure what it is, but I sure wish we could have seen some interiors by this team.
Pre-Crisis Superman Comic Book Reviews
- Action Comics #1 (June 1938)
- Action Comics #2 (July 1938)
- Action Comics #3 (August 1938)
- Action Comics #4 (September 1938)
- Action Comics #5 (October 1938)
- Action Comics #6 (November 1938)
- Action Comics #7 (December 1938)
- Superman Archives: Volume 1 (1939)
- Superman #1 (Summer 1939)
- Action Comics #8 (January 1939)
- Action Comics #9 (February 1939)
- Action Comics #10 (March 1939)
- Superman #13 (November/December 1941) - The Archer
- Superman #19 (November/December 1942) - Case of the Funny Paper Crimes
- Action Comics #60 (May 1943) - Lois Lane - Superwoman
- Superman #30 (September/October 1944) - The Mysterious Mr. Mxyztplk
- Action Comics #80 (January 1945) - Mr. Mxyztplk Returns
- Superman #38 (January/February 1946) - The Battle of the Atoms
- Superman #42 (September/October 1946) - The Death of Clark Kent
- Superman #45 (March/April 1947) - Lois Lane, Superwoman
- Superman #53 (July 1948) - The Origin of Superman
- Action Comics #124 (September 1948) - A Superman of Doom
- Superman #60 (December 1949/January 1950) - The Two Identities of Superman & Superman Fights the Super-Brain
- Superman #76 (May/June 1952) - The Mightiest Team in the World
- Superman #80 (January/February 1953) - Superman's Lost Brother
- Superman 3D (1953) - The Man Who Stole the Sun, Origin of Superman and The Man Who Bossed Superman
- Superman #87 (February 1954) - The Prankster's Greatest Role
- Superman #88 (March 1954) - The Terrible Trio
- Superman #89 (May 1954) - Captain Kent the Terrible, Superman of Skid Row, and One Hour to Doom!
- Superman #91 (August 1954) - The Superman Stamp and Great Caesar's Ghost
- World's Finest #88 (May/June 1957) - Superman and Batman's Greatest Foes
- Superman #115 (August 1957) - The Midget Superman!
- Superboy #65 (May/June 1958) - The Amazing Adventures of Krypto Mouse
- Action Comics #242 (July 1958) - The Super-Duel in Space
- Superman #123 (August 1958) - The Girl of Steel
- Superman #127 (February 1959) - Titano the Super Ape
- Action Comics #252 (May 1959) - The Menace of Metallo and The Supergirl From Krypton
- Superman #129 (May 1959) - The Girl in Superman's Past
- Superman #130 (July 1959) - The Curse of Kryptonite!, The Super-Servant of Crime!, and The Town that Hated Superman!
- Jimmy Olsen #40 (October 1959) - Jimmy Olsen, Supergirl's Pal
- Superman #134 (January 1960) - The Super-Menace of Metropolis
- Jimmy Olsen #42 (January 1960) - The Big Superman Movie!, Perry White, Cub Reporter!, and Jimmy the Genie!
- Jimmy Olsen #44 (April 1960) - The Wolf-Man of Metropolis
- Adventure Comics #271 (April 1960) - How Luthor Met Superboy
- Jimmy Olsen #46 (July 1960) - Jimmy Olsen, Orphan
- Superman #141 (November 1960) - Superman's Return To Krypton
- Superboy #85 (December 1960) - The Impossible Mission
- Jimmy Olsen #51 (March 1961) - The Girl with Green Hair
- Jimmy Olsen #52 (April 1961) - Jimmy Olsen, Wolf-Man
- Superboy #89 (June 1961) - Superboy's Big Brother!
- Action Comics #279 (August 1961) - The Super-Rivals
- Superman #147 (August 1961) - The Legion of Super Villains
- Superman #149 (November 1961) - The Death of Superman!
- Jimmy Olsen #57 (December 1961) - Jimmy Olsen Marries Supergirl
- Superman #155 (August 1962) - Superman Under the Green Sun and The Downfall of Superman
- Justice League of America #13 (August 1962) - Riddle of the Robot Justice League
- World's Finest #129 (November 1962) - Joker-Luthor, Incorporated
- Superman #158 (January 1963) - Superman in Kandor
- Superman #160 (April 1963) - The Mortal Superman
- Superman #161 (May 1963) - The Last Days of Ma and Pa Kent
- Superman #162 (July 1963) - The Amazing Story of Superman-Red and Superman-Blue
- Superman #163 (August 1963) - Wonder-Man, the New Hero of Metropolis and The Goofy Superman
- Justice League of America #21 & #22 (August/September 1963) - Crisis on Earth-One! and Crisis on Earth-Two!
- Superman #164 (October 1963) - The Showdown Between Luthor and Superman
- Superman #165 (November 1963) - The Sweetheart Superman Forgot
- Superman #166 (January 1964) - The Fantastic Story of Superman's Sons
- Superman #167 (February 1964) - The Team of Luthor and Brainiac
- Superman #168 (April 1964) - Luthor - Super Hero and Lex Luthor, Daily Planet Editor
- Superman #169 (May 1964) - The Man Who Stole Superman's Secret Life
- Action Comics #314 (July 1964) - The Day Superman Became The Flash
- Justice League of America #29 & #30 (August/September 1964) - Crisis on Earth-Three! and The Most Dangerous Earth of All!
- Superman #173 (November 1964) - The Triumph of Luthor and Brainiac
- Action Comics #318 (November 1964) - The Death of Luthor
- Action Comics #319 (December 1964) - The Condemned Superman
- Superman #175 (February 1965) - Clark Kent's Brother
- Superman #181 (November 1965) - The Superman of 2965
- The Legion of Super-Heroes - Archives Volume 4 (1965)
- Superman #184 (February 1966) - The Demon Under the Red Sun
- Action Comics #338 (June 1966) - Muto - Monarch of Menace
- Action Comics #339 (July 1966) - Muto versus The Man of Tomorrow
- Superman #189 (August 1966) - Krypton Lives Again
- Action Comics #346 (February 1967) - The Man Who Sold Insurance to Superman and The Case of the Superman Imposter
- Superman #194 (February 1967) - The Death of Lois Lane
- Superman #196 (May 1967) - The Star of Steel
- Superman #199 (January 1967) - Superman's Race With The Flash
- Superman #200 (October 1967) - Super-Brother Against Super-Brother
- The Flash #175 (December 1967) - Race to the End of the Universe
- Justice League of America #63 (June 1968) - Time Signs a Death Warrant for the Justice League
- Superman #211 (November 1968) - The Name of the Game is Superman!
- Superman #215 (April 1969) - Lois LaneŠ DeadŠ Yet Alive
- Superman #224 (February 1970) - Beware the Super-Genius Baby
- Action Comics #393 (October 1970) - Superman Meets Super-Houdini! and The Day Superboy Became Superman!
- Jimmy Olsen #133 (October 1970) - The Newsboy Legion
- Action Comics #394 (November 1970) - Midas of Metropolis and Requiem for a Hot Rod!
- World's Finest #198 (November 1970) - Race to Save the Universe!
- Action Comics #395 (December 1970) - The Secrets of Superman's Fortress and The Credit Card of Catastrophe
- Jimmy Olsen #134 (December 1970) - The Mountain of Judgement!
- World's Finest #199 (December 1970) - A Race to Save Time!
- Superman #233 (January 1971) - Superman Breaks Loose!
- Jimmy Olsen #135 (January 1971) - The Evil Factory!
- Superman #234 (February 1971) - How to Tame a Wild Volcano
- Jimmy Olsen #136 (February 1971) - The Saga of the D.N.Aliens
- Superman #235 (March 1971) - The Sinister Scream of the Devil's Harp
- Superman #236 (April 1971) - Planet of the Angels and The Doomsayer
- Jimmy Olsen #137 (April 1971) - The Four-Armed Terror!
- Superman #237 (May 1971) - The Enemy of Earth
- Superman #238 (June 1971) - Menace at 1000 Degrees
- Jimmy Olsen #138 (June 1971) - The Big Boom!!
- Superman #240 (July 1971) - To Save a Superman
- Jimmy Olsen #139 (July 1971) - The Guardian Fights Again!!!
- Superman #241 (August 1971) - The Shape of Fear
- Superman #242 (September 1971) - The Ultimate Battle
- Jimmy Olsen #141 (September 1971) - Will the Real Don Rickles Panic?!?
- Jimmy Olsen #142 (October 1971) - The Man from Transilvane!
- Jimmy Olsen #143 (November 1971) - Genocide Spray
- Jimmy Olsen #144 (December 1971) - A Big Thing in a Deep Scottish Lake!
- Superman #247 (January 1972) - Must There Be A Superman
- Jimmy Olsen #145 (January 1972) - Brigadoom!
- Jimmy Olsen #146 (February 1972) - Homo-Disastrous!
- Jimmy Olsen #147 (March 1972) - A Superman in Super-Town!
- Jimmy Olsen #148 (April 1972) - Monarch of All He Subdues!
- Superman #292 (October 1975) - The Luthor Nobody Knows!
- Action Comics #458 (April 1976) - Make Me a Super-Hero! and Masquerade of the Nutty Kid!
- Superman vs. Muhammad Ali (Spring 1978)
- Action Comics #484 (June 1978) - Superman Takes a Wife!
- Superman #328 (October 1978) - Attack of the Kryptonoid
- Action Comics #489 (November 1978) - Krypton Dies Again and Where There's a Will... There's a Fray
- Superman #329 (November 1978) - I Have Met The Enemy... And He Is Me! and The Secret of the Talking Car
- Superman #330 (December 1978) - The Master Mesmerizer of Metropolis!
- Action Comics #490 (December 1978) - No Tomorrow For Superman
- Action Comics #491 (January 1979) - A Matter of Light and Death
- Superman #331 (January 1979) - Lockup at 20,000 Feet
- Action Comics #492 (February 1979) - Superman's Secret Afterlife
- Superman #332 (February 1979) - The Eternity Cage
- Action Comics #493 (March 1979) - The Metropolis UFO Connection
- Action Comics #494 (April 1979) - The Secret of the Super S
- Action Comics #495 (May 1979) - Attack of the Ultimate Warrior
- DC Comics Presents #14 (October 1979) - Judge, Jury... and No Justice!
- The Superman Story (1979) - The Life Story of Superman
- DC Comics Presents #57 (May 1983) - Days of Future Past
- DC Comics Presents #67 (March 1984) - 'Twas the Fright Before Christmas
- DC Comics Presents Annual #3 (1984) - With One Magic Word
- Superman: The Secret Years #1 (February 1985) - Dreams and Schemes and Feeling Proud!
- Superman: The Secret Years #2 (March 1985) - Reach Out and Touch
- Superman: The Secret Years #3 (April 1985) - Terminus
- DC Comics Presents #80 (April 1985) - A World Full of Supermen!
- Superman: The Secret Years #4 (May 1985) - Beyond Terminus
- DC Comics Presents #85 (September 1985) - The Jungle Line
- Superman Annual #11 (1985) - For The Man Who Has Everything
- World's Finest #323 (January 1986) - Afraid of the Dark
- DC Comics Presents #97 (September 1986) - Phantom Zone: The Final Chapter
- Superman #423 & Action Comics #583 (September 1986) - Whatever Happened To The Man of Tomorrow?
- Showcase Presents: Superman Family - Volume 1 (October 2005)
- Superman/Batman: Saga of the Super Sons (December 2007)
- Not Brand ECHH #7 (April 1967) - The Origin of Stuporman
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