Superman #38 (December 1989)
Remember that time Metropolis got hit by a tsunami? I didn’t! It’s weird that when Metropolis had an earthquake in 1994 it was a huge multi-part storyline, but when a huge wave inundates half the city, I’m pretty sure it was forgotten within two issues. (Or maybe I’m forgetting that too.)
The freaky weather isn’t exclusive to Metropolis: the issue starts with Superman looking for Brainiac (after the events of Action #647) in the circus where they first fought, which has now moved to Wisconsin. Superman is having some fun with the same asshole elephant trainer from that old issue by wrapping him in his own whip and then making him spin at super-speed, when an earthquake hits the city, followed by a thunderstrorm. Superman saves the circus and heads back to Metropolis, only to run into this fine mess:
Once again, Superman saves a bunch of people by leaving them on rooftops, but then they’re like “How are we gonna get our cars down from here?!” Dude, Superman could have left your car at the bottom of the river. Five hundred people probably died because Superman took the time to carry and organize all those cars on that roof. Show some respect.
At the Daily Planet, Alice the Intern answers Clark Kent’s phone and when they ask who she is, she says “No one important.” Awww. That’s totally foreshadowing for her upcoming spotlight issue. Also, that Colin Thornton fellow is still looking for Clark to offer him a fancy job in his magazine, but obviously Clark is kinda busy fighting the weather right now.
We’ll find out on the next issue of Adventures what’s behind this climate change (is it those shoes with lights all the kids had back then?). Obviously, they couldn’t fit that little detail into this issue because then everyone would complain that there wasn’t enough Jimmy Olsen. Last we saw Jimmy, the guys at Project Cadmus cured him of his painful elastic powers, but it turns out there’s a little side effect to the medicine:
"Now I’m not a ginger anymore! How am I gonna continue to not get laid?!"
Professor Hamilton puts Jimmy inside that isolation chamber from a few issues back to see if there are any other side effects he should worry about — just at that moment, a lightning bolt hits the lab and electrocutes the chamber, replacing Jimmy with a muscular Egyptian-looking dude (Husque from Adventures #443, who recently contacted Jimmy telepathically). The confused Husque escapes the lab as the even more confused Hamilton wonders what the hell happened to Jimmy. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t “he died.”
I never noticed this before, but I’m pretty sure Jimmy losing his hair and blaming Superman for it is a reference to Lex Luthor’s Silver Age origin, which was literally that. Will Jimmy be putting on a purple armor next?
When Superman arrives at the circus in Wisconsin he notices that “The Amazing Brainiac” is still listed as an attraction, which leads to this truly awesome sequence:
See, it’s for stuff like this that we need Jerry Ordway in more comics today.