Adventures of Superman #487 (February 1992)
A story about Bibbo and Jimmy Olsen discovering the true meaning of Christmas… with some giant explosions thrown in to keep things interesting for those who think that’s not reason enough to read a comic (who are these monsters?!). As seen over the past six months, Jimmy has been going through some tough times after losing his job at the Daily Planet, getting kicked out of his apartment, and ending up fighting hobos in a shelter. Now he’s living at Bibbo’s bar and lying to his mom about his situation (she thinks he’s traveling the country on exciting photo assingments) because he’s ashamed of being such a loser.
Oh, right: Bibbo and Jimmy dress up as Santa and an elf to celebrate Christmas with the lovable winos of Suicide Slum. When they see something on the news about the Santa visit that Superman and Batman put together for some kids (Superman #64), Bibbo’s piano delinquent friends High Pockets and Lamarr get the idea of throwing a party like that for the children of the local orphanage. They even know where to get some presents! Bibbo is like “You’re not gonna steal those presents, are you?” (but in pirate voice) but the drunkards assure him they won’t… and then proceed to try to break into a toy store, at which point they get caught by Superman.
Superman turns High Pockets and Lamarr over to the police, and they spend the rest of their lives rotting away in Stryker‘s Island… or they would have, if Bibbo hadn’t explained to Superman what the knuckleheads were trying to do. Superman is moved by their good hearts and impressive stupidity and lets them go, plus helps them organize their party by giving them the rest of the Batman-bought presents. While Superman, Jimmy and the three drunkards are entertaining the orphans, Jimmy’s mom shows up – Bibbo figured out what’s going on, looked her up and called her so she could be with Jimmy at Christmas.
Awwww. Then we see Clark Kent and Lois Lane exchanging gifts, with Clark awkwardly pretending to be surprised by his new sweater because he already looked at it with X-Ray vision. Anyway, Rao bless us, everyone!
- As for the promised explosions: I lied, there’s only one explosion, but it’s a huge one. The issue opens with one Congressman Caldwell, a kindly old guy, receiving a special Christmas present: a bomb that blows up his entire mansion. Agent Liberty investigates the site of the explosion and tells his shady superiors it was probably terrorists from Qurac. His bosses are like “Yes, terrorists. It was definitely that.” and go like this:
- Meanwhile, the governor assigns a replacement to serve out the rest of Caldwell’s term on Congress: some junior politician called Pete Ross who recently got enganged. (Yes, this is where that long “Pete and Lana in Washington” plot finally starts going somewhere.)
- Oh, almost forgot to mention: JIMMY OLSEN TURNS INTO A GIANT TURTLE! In a TV commercial for a local pizzeria that he shot for quick cash (they never paid him). Lois Lane and Clark Kent see the ad on TV and realize how desperate Jimmy’s situation is. If I was Lois, I’d be more shocked that someone is disrespecting the memory of the giant ape she befriended years ago by opening a business in his name, Titano’s Pizza.
- The orphanage where the touching reunion happens is, of course, the same one where lil’ Keith lives and big Myra works. Apparently, this is also where Guy Gardner dropped his illegitimate child:
Don Sparrow makes a great point: “I know it’s for comedic effect, but the idea of a Santa reeking of booze (especially one so quick to raise a hand to a child, no matter how much he may resemble Guy Gardner) is a little disturbing to me, especially since some of the kids served at the orphanages may have come from homes with parents struggling with substance abuse issues. I’m glad to know this is only a pit stop on Bibbo’s road to rehabilitation.”
Read more of Don’s thoughts about this issue (including how it got him a non-Baldy Award) below the cut!