The Adventures of Chameleon-Head Olsen !

"Is it a fat-head? Is it a bubble head? Is it a double-header? No, dear reader...the hilarious, yet exciting tale you are about to read concerns reporter Jimmy Olsen..."

So begin "The Adventures of Chameleon-Head Olsen," and for anyone who's been following the Silver Age adventures of Superman and friends, it will come as no surprise to find the author of this "laugh fest" is none other than Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel, the Ralph Malph of comics, the Fozzie Bear of the four-color world, a comedy legend in his own mind whose prior work on "Funnyman" made that character the biggest thing in comics since...oh, lets say Marvex the Super-Robot.

"You'll'll howl..." is the promise of this classic tale from Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #85 (June 1965). At least we know it will look funny, since it's penciled by John Forte (with inks by George Klein).

We open in the 30th Century, where Jimmy Olsen has been invited to stand with the Legion of Super-Heroes as they are applauded and cheered by an assemblage of heroes from around the cosmos. Apparently this is what they do with their afternoons. Although he's only an Honorary Legionnaire, Jimmy takes the acclaim as his due, and wastes no time mooching yet another favor off his "teammates."

Wow, you can almost HEAR the "dot-dot-dot" at the end of Jimmy's sentence as awkward silence fills the room. Don't look now, guys, but Jimmy's hitting us up for another freebie. Luckily, Chameleon Lad keeps serum-filled test tubes in his pocket all the time.

Hitching a ride back to the 20th Century in Cham's time bubble, Jimmy turns on his radio to hear a vital news flash: "Astronomers sighted Superman flying away from Earth, early this morning...probably on a mission!" (And in other news, Batmobile spotted heading in direction of Burger Chef. Experts agree: Batman probably hungry)

Superman's absence is good news for a thug who suddenly appears in Jimmy's apartment and holds the cub reporter at gunpoint. We learn the Anti-Superman Gang has offered a bounty for Jimmy as a way of hurting Superman: he's worth $20,000 alive, $10,000 dead.

Thinking fast, Jimmy decides he'll use the serum to turn into a kangaroo and leap to a nearby building (because a bird or other winged creature would be too obvious, right?). "I th-think I'm going to faint!" he says, Chameleon Boy's test tube shaking his quivering hand. "May I drink this nerve tonic?" Amused, the gunman answers, "Go ahead!"

With only his head transformed, Jimmy has to abandon his otherwise flawless plan of hopping across the tops of tall buildings. Spotting a nearby statuette of Aquaman, he gets a new idea. He wishes for his nose to become "long and sharp like that of a swordfish."

Get it, "something fishy"? Stick with us, kids, Uncle Jerry's got a million of 'em!

Jimmy uses his sword-nose to knock away the thug's pistol, then dashes outside to seek the aid of a passing patrolman. Unfortunately the cop turns out to be a disguised crook -- also after the bounty on Jimmy's head -- and charges at him with a billy club. Jimmy turns his head to stone, breaking the club, then knocks out the fake cop with a vicious headbutt.

"Rock" you to sleep! I get it! Stop it, Jerry, you're killing me. No, seriously.

Jimmy escapes to a taxi, only to find the cabbie is yet another crook, and the cab itself a death trap. Black widow spiders crawl up his suit, but he deals with them quickly by adopting anteater powers.

Okay, I'm no expert on the animal kingdom, and especially not anteater/cub reporter hybrids, but even if you could catch a bunch of black widow spiders on your tongue, wouldn't you still be killed when you swallowed them down your human throat to your human stomach?

At any rate, the cab driver flees, and Jimmy spots a man with a walkie-talkie on a nearby rooftop. Eager to know what's going on, he grows a "radar ear" to listen in.

Remember today's science lesson, kids: bigger ear = better hearing. Taking advantage of a sudden, thick fog (what, NOW you're going to expect logic?), Jimmy ducks into nearby museum. Spotting him, two thugs give chase, being sure to stop first to put on suits of armor from a medieval history exhibit (your guess is as good as mine). They corner him at the dinosaur exhibit, but he takes inspiration from a skeleton on display and grows mastodon tusks to flip the "knights" away. ("Get the point?" he quips. Is this the part where we laugh or howl?)

Running outside, Jimmy is relieved to spot a youth dressed just like him and riding a motorcycle. Because of his garb, Jimmy assumes the rider is a member of the Jimmy Olsen Fan Club:

As has been remarked elsewhere, the only thing dorkier than being Jimmy Olsen is being a Jimmy Olsen Fan Club member. Here's our proof that even Jimmy knows the only people on Earth who would dress the way he does are himself and a bunch of losers trying to look like him (okay, and maybe Pee-Wee Herman...but then he may be a member...?).

Oh yeah, so Jimmy turns his head into a fleshless skull and the malevolent motorcycle midget speeds off in a panic.

Finally Jimmy makes his way to the front gate of Metropolis Airport, from which he presumably plans to escape the city, but at the last moment he's slugged from behind and taken to the headquarters of the Anti-Superman Gang, where the big boss prepares to shoot him. As he rubs his hands over his face, Jimmy's features disappear, replaced by those of Superman. Thinking they've accidentally brought the Man of Steel into their midst, the panicked thugs make a run for it.

Swooping down from the sky comes the real Superman, returning from his space mission and eager to figure out what's been going on (someday he'll learn not to ask). Proud of his latest adventure, Jimmy thinks to himself, "Superman and I will laugh over the way I outwitted those mobsters for a long, long time!"

Yep, you could swap funny stories all afternoon, Jimmy. Or here's an idea; maybe you could point Superman in the direction of those fleeing mobsters while there's still time to catch them. After all, they still have a contract out on you, dead or alive. Hello? If it helps, you could make a crack about how a turn in Sing-Sing will change their tune. Get it? Sing-Sing...tune? Or something about how you have a "head for crimefighting", or managed to "save face "in the end. The comedy potential is endless.

But seriously, catch those guys or they'll eventually kill you. And trust me, you do not want to be caught dead in that suit.