Superman 30 – Jimmy Olsen wears a bowtie, Lois goes off the bridge, and Mr. Mxyztplk debuts


The cover of Superman 30 (Sept/Oct. 44) unmistakably deals with the first story in the issue, by Cameron, Yarborough and Stan Kaye.


Jimmy Olsen dons his classic bowtie for the first time, as he suggests to Clark that he pretend to be a timid Superman, in order to improve Lois Lane’s view of him.  It’s yet another set-up for a comedic romp of Clark-Kent-as-Superman, though not as much fun as the last one.

Lois overhears the two men scheme, and when some gangsters kidnap Lois, we are well into familiar territory, with Superman playing both sides to conceal his true identity.


Clark Kent is also the driving force in Lois Lane’s story, by Cameron, Dobrotka and Roussos, as he goads her about needing Superman’s help to break her stories.  It backfires on him rapidly, as Lois walks into a trap laid by a group of swindlers, refusing to let Clark come along to protect her.


Once again it’s more luck than strategy that allows Lois to survive being driven off a bridge.  But she keeps her cool, and takes the credit for helping the police crack the case.


Mr. Mxyztplk makes his debut appearance in the final story in this issue, created by Siegel and Shuster, with Yarborough on the inks.  Inspired by Joe Btfsplk, the human jinx, from the L’il Abner comic, the character also followed a number of magical and mischievous characters that had appeared in Superman stories in the past couple of years.


This debut story gives Mxyztplk more space than Superman, as he goes around Metropolis creating all sorts of bizarre situations.  Nothing criminal, and often not even creating real problems, his motive is largely amusing himself.


Superman is more distressed at the seeming omnipotence of the little man, and his potential for destruction, as opposed to his actions.  And for his part, Mr. Mxyztplk is quite open and friendly in this story.


He explains that he was a court jester in his dimension, and recently discovered a book that revealed to him the existence of the third dimension. His chatty nature causes him to carelessly reveal that if he says his name backwards he will be sent back home, and even says Klptzyxm without any prodding.

The story closes with a request to the readers to write in if they wanted to see more of this oddball villain.  Clearly the response was positive, as Mr. Mxyztplk returns in a few months in Action Comics.


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