Thursday, 12 May 2016

KIRBY 'KOCK-UPS' - PART ONE: "WHERE DID THE TIME GO?"


Images copyright DC COMICS

Having dug out my JIMMY OLSEN back issues recently
for the purpose of illustrating the preceding post, I decided to
re-read the complete 15 issue run and re-acquaint myself with the
awesome adventures first published in the early '70s.  I reached for
my handy, two volume collected set from 2003/'04 (which every
true JACK KIRBY fan should have on their bookshelves),
rather than risk damaging the original comics.

Here's the final page of Jimmy's and the Legion's adventure which
took place between the previous page shown and this one

Look at the first page above. See SUPERMAN zooming
towards that materializing BOOM TUBE?  In between scene-
switching to what was simultaneously happening to his best pal
Jimmy and The NEWSBOY LEGION at LOCH TREVOR over
in Scotland in this ish, a whole ten days had elapsed by the time
Olsen's adventure was over in the next, and the scene switched
back again to show ol' Supes' encounter with whoever was
arriving on Earth from (as yet) parts unknown.

As you can see from Tommy's speech balloon, ten days are supposed
to have elapsed between this issue and the previous one...

There's no way Superman took ten days flying through the
secret tunnels under The COSMIC CAROUSEL nightclub 'til
meeting MAGNAR, so it just goes to show that even the fabulous
Jack Kirby sometimes took his eye off the ball when relating his
FOURTH WORLD epic.  One thing puzzles me 'though - why
did it take me so long to spot this Kirby 'kock-up'?

...yet here's Supes still heading towards that Boom
Tube - just where we left him in the previous issue

Next time I re-read these epic issues, I'll pay far stricter
attention and see what bumblin' boo-boos I can spot that
Jack missed.  Not that anybody can blame him overmuch -
after all, he had at least four different mags on the go at
the same time.  Overall, 'the boy done good'!

4 comments:

Rip Jagger said...

Clearly Superman merely diverted his journey into the light so that he could appear in that month's issues of his own self-titled book, Action Comics, World's Finest, Justice League of America, and Lois Lane.

These kinds of time jumps used to annoy me in old issues of Spider-Man books when they tried to blend it all together. DC for the most part didn't bother.

Rip Off

Kid said...

Thing is, Rip, the time discrepancy could easily have been avoided by simply saying something like:

'But though Jimmy's mystery has been solved in Scotland, let's jump back ten days to the depths of Suicide Slum, which have been hiding a secret of their own!! When last we saw Superman, he was streaking down the length of a dark tunnel of unknown origin, hurtling towards a strange light...etc., etc.'

See? Problem solved.

Rip Jagger said...

True enough. But the slam bang of monthly comics production often played havoc with these kinds of continuity details and they only really stand out now years later when we read these stories, delivered weeks apart all at once in a single trade. Like watching old serials or television shows which likewise seem to have no memory of what came before, reading comics back in the day was a "now" thing. We later bring other concerns to the table but the creators didn't have the time nor interest in that sort of thing.

Rip Off

Kid said...

Well, I think an internal consistency helps a story, Rip, although it's doubtful that Kirby ever thought that his Olsen strips would ever be remembered (never mind collected in deluxe editions) 40-odd years later. I think Mark Evanier believes he did, but I'm skeptical. It was just a job to Kirby, a means to an end in order to provide for his family. Remember 'though, that the 'ten days' reference comes just a few pages (in the same issue) before Jack returns (from the previous issue) to Superman hurtling towards the Boom Tube, so it's quite a careless error within the space of pages 1 & 7. If he hadn't specified a period of ten days, it's doubtful whether anyone would ever have noticed the discrepancy.

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