Friday, August 10, 2007

Jimmy Olsen of Oz?

Okay, comics have, over the past few years, favored the Oz series. It's not a new trend, but, while looking the letters column of an old issue of Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen, a reader compared the story of issue 151 to The Wizard of Oz. The story in that issue featured Jimmy and his new co-workers (and Superman, of course) investigating and fighting giant locust creatures from outer space. (Uh... yeah...) The editor could not resist and responded:

Let's see if we can follow your reasoning: Meg is Dorothy; Superman was in the cornfield as a Scarecrow; Percy, of course, is the Cowardly Lion; and that leaves Jimmy as the Tin Woodman. (You didn't think he was Toto, did you?) The Locust Creatures would have been the Winged Monkeys--though they look more like Prof. H. M. Wogglebug, T.E., the Highly Magnified and Thoroughly Educated insect who was introduced in "The Land of Oz."

Let's see, what's the date on this thing? November, 1972. Comics have the month listed a bit ahead, so... probably really August or September.

Three years later, DC would team up with Marvel to create the first comics adaptation of the MGM film version of The Wizard of Oz. Sadly, though, this meant that a Marvel-only version, based on the book, was dropped. (I found an example of John Buscema's artwork for it on his Wikipedia page.) DC wouldn't get to Oz on their own until the 80's, when Captain Carrot & His Amazing Zoo Crew would wind up in Oz, trying to rescue it from the Nome King, using Wonderland as a refuge. (I've read this mini-series, too. But when is DC doing the reprint?) Marvel had many Oz references in their comics, but bringing them up now would go too off-topic.

Of course, one may wonder, with the comic's campy stories and the traditional Oz in public domain, why didn't DC send Jimmy Olsen to Oz?


Glenn Ingersoll said...

Intrigued, I checked the Buscema Wikipedia entry and there's no Oz art on it now.

Jared said...

It was taken off, but I'd downloaded it, and here's a link to it on my Photobucket account: