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Remember When: Superman and Batman Wanted to Kill Jimmy Olsen and Robin?

Superman and Batman both have a no-killing policy but that didn't stop them in this issue of WORLD'S FINEST from 1970.

You have to love the old classic comics. Every once in a while when searching the quarter or dollar bins at comic shops and conventions, you can find some pretty ridiculous comics. They are ridiculous in terms of the plot and how entertaining they can be to this day.

One such comic comes from the classic series teaming up Superman and Batman, WORLD'S FINEST. In issue #195 from 1970, the story was entitled, "Dig Now, Die Later!" With a cover image of Jimmy and Robin forced to dig their own graves while a menacing Superman and Batman (with a machine gun) stand over them, you know this is a moment in comic book history that should not be forgotten.

== TEASER ==

The story begins with a strange scene (apparently picking up from the previous issue). Superman and Batman apparently wanted to put a stop to a supreme mafia boss, Karl Lukaz. Without any evidence, Superman went undercover as a "bald crook" called Alonzo "The Peniman" Scarns. To prove his loyalty, he was to kill an enemy of theirs, the "do-gooder president of the Anti-Crime Foundation," Bruce Wayne. Superman dissevered that Lukaz kept incriminating evidence against his "employees" and figured that'd be a great way to take down the organization but he couldn't find any sign of the hidden collection.

Superman then decided to enlist Batman's help again. Batman posed as "Doc" Danner, aka "Danner the Planner" but even Batman's detective skills couldn't find the stash. Superman decided to give Lukaz a time out and kept him at the Fortress of Solitude so Batman could assume his identity as the head of the Mafia.

The plan started to crumble as Batman entered a meeting in which Superman attended as Scarns. He then removed his cowl before and revealed himself to be Lukaz. Carrying a Green Kryptonite funeral wreath, Superman's identity was revealed. Superman tried to convince them the Green K scrambled his brains into thinking he really was Scarns. Batman, as Lukaz, still wearing the Batman suit, realized how perfect it would be to use Superman if he actually did believe he was "Scarns." This also worked for Superman because he needed to figure out how to bring Batman back to his right mind.

Batman/Lukaz didn't completely trust Superman's act. Showing him a display of their enemies, he wanted him to take out Superman's pal, Jimmy Olsen. Batman/Lukaz informed him that he wouldn't be having all the fun as he planned on taking out Batman's sidekick, Robin, himself. This brought more concern to Superman. He was freaked out by how Batman truly believed he was the mafia boss but knew he couldn't do anything until he could locate the hidden evidence.

Superman contacted both Jimmy and Robin and arranged for them to meet at a junkyard in a "ghetto section of the city." The two youngsters were surprised to see Superman and Batman there. This joyous reunion didn't last long as Batman revealed himself to be Lukaz the suspected mafia overboss.

Batman/Lukaz gave the two shovels and, with a gun pulled on them, ordered them to begin digging their own graves. Robin wanted to rush them but Lukaz quickly pointed out that "Scarns" possessed Superman's powers so there was no hope for them.

As their graves were deep enough, Robin had one last request. He wanted Batman to know that he died thinking of him, he was brave to the end and loved him as he loved his own father.

It was these words that caused Batman to come to his senses. Everything appeared to be resolved. Unfortunately, the real Lukaz appeared. One of the robots at the Fortress malfunctioned and Lukaz was able to get it to bring them back to Metropolis. As he planned to expose Superman as not really being Scarns, he argued against this and vowed to prove his loyalty by using his heat vision to blast Robin and Olsen. When Batman objected, Superman knocked him out.

Robin and Jimmy were fried and he gave the real Lukaz the hearts of the two as souvenirs for his collection. This freaked out the newly revived Batman as Superman carted him off to "get rid of him for good." What Superman really did was plan a tracker in the "hearts" of Robin and Jimmy so he'd be able to locate Lukaz's secret collection of incriminating evidence.

What about Robin and Jimmy? Did they really die just so Superman and Batman could bring down a mafia ring? Of course Superman didn't really kill them. As they stood in their graves, right before Superman executed them, he carried them off at super-speed and replaced them with the wax figures from the "gallery of enemies."

Superman and Batman won this battle. They knew someone else would try to take Lukaz's place so the fight wasn't over yet. There wasn't an explanations as to why Batman believed he was actually Lukaz or the fact that he brought a Kryptonite wreath to expose Superman. While he believed he was Lukaz, he was set to kill Robin and Jimmy. If Superman was there, who knows if Robin would have thought to express his feelings for Batman and break him from the 'spell' he was under.

Batman and Superman may not have actually wanted to kill Robin and Jimmy but, in a way, they did want to. We can bet this wasn't the only time it almost happened. I wonder if they ever sit around and laugh at how big of a mess this almost became.

Tony Guerrero is the Editor-in-Chief of Comic Vine. You can follow him on Twitter @GManFromHeck. He's thought about keeping a wax figure of himself, just in case, for situations like this.

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Edited by moywar700

why didn't jimmy Olsen diiiiiie...

Posted by cameron83

@moywar700: holy batman holding a gun batman....you said robin,but gee willikers this shovel is heavy

Posted by Miss_Garrick

At least Robin got cool when he became Nightwing.

As for Olsen... THE CHOP!

Posted by Phaedrusgr

I think it goes straight to my definitive stories!

Posted by JohnnyWalker

the good old days. sigh

Posted by impudence

I simply can't read these older stories. Maybe its too many texts or cheesy dialogues. Is it because of me or I'm not the only one?

Posted by crestfallen

Please!! Kill Jimmy Olsen!! Now!! For real!

Posted by Dark_Vengeance_

Wow, why do people hate the ginger kid?

Posted by Mbecks14

The silver age was a...strange and confusing time.

@DarkKnightDetective: seriously! I love Jimmy Olsen!

Posted by DocFatalis

Great article Mr Gman. Great article.

Posted by p_rixx
@impudence: it is definitely cheesy dialogues. they work only in spider-man.
Posted by G-Man

@DocFatalis: Thanks. I'm thinking of doing this with more 'classic' comics if there's interest.

Posted by DocFatalis

@G-Man: There will be from me, you can be sure.

When those were translated in French, I was too young to buy my own comics and relied on my brother and uncle's purchases, but they were both Marvel fans (plus Strange was really good) so I never got to read those. What you are doing here is like helping me to catch up with my childhood. Thanks again.

Posted by NightFang

@Mbecks14 said:

The silver age was a...strange and confusing time.

Like Supergirl kissing a horse.

Posted by G-Man
Posted by Danial79

@impudence: You're not the only one. I find it really hard to read anything pre-90s due to the excessive thought balloons and over-exposition.

Edited by NightFang
Posted by Green ankh

I really do miss the tone of the old books. Before Superman got HUGELY powerful and the crossover hell....

Posted by One_Eye

Wow....Comicbook plots were wacky and far-fetched back in the day....though the same thing can be said of todays' comics really.

Posted by sho3s22

@impudence said:

I simply can't read these older stories. Maybe its too many texts or cheesy dialogues. Is it because of me or I'm not the only one?

i have a hard time reading classic spidey because of this

Posted by JoseDRiveraTCR7

This sounds awesome. Why can't we have issues like this today?

Posted by jinxuandi

@Green ankh said:

I really do miss the tone of the old books. Before Superman got HUGELY powerful and the crossover hell....

Yeah, the Silver Age wasn't perfect but at least authors could develop a story for 6 issues if they wanted to without being forced by the editor to insert a crossover from that summer's JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES! miniseries.

Posted by GardnerLantern

Bruce Wayne can be creative when it comes to be Batman.

Posted by TheCheeseStabber

I'm actually currently doing a school project about the Sillyness of Silverage comics, this article was amazingly helpful, Thanks G Man! I'll be sure to have you guys under sources and thank your :3

Posted by They Killed Cap!

Remeber when Robin used to run around in green underwear.

Posted by Inverno

Why did so many stories in the old days featured the heroes as assholes?

Posted by GR2Blackout

@NightFang said:

@Mbecks14 said:

The silver age was a...strange and confusing time.

Like Supergirl kissing a horse.

LOL That was.... odd. But there comic books, anything can happen! Like a giant chocolate taco with sprinkles!

Posted by BlackArmor

The hell is with all the hate for Olsen? He's okay in my book.

Posted by CrimsonCake

The same thing happened in an episode of darkwing duck.

Posted by NightFang

@GR2Blackout said:

@NightFang said:

@Mbecks14 said:

The silver age was a...strange and confusing time.

Like Supergirl kissing a horse.

LOL That was.... odd. But there comic books, anything can happen! Like a giant chocolate taco with sprinkles!

Indeed, but did that 'giant chocolate taco with sprinkles' thing really happen in comics?

Posted by MrMazz

Wow that's just insane seriously though they could of just killed Jimmy Olsen and no one would mind

Posted by KnightRise

I don't even..what?

Posted by mrdecepticonleader

"DIG NOW DIE LATER!"

Lol,never thought Id see Batman with a Thompson submachine gun waiting to kill his own sidekick off.

Posted by sethysquare

@BlackArmor said:

The hell is with all the hate for Olsen? He's okay in my book.

I love Jimmy Olsen.

Posted by XImpossibruX

LOL kill Jimmy!

Posted by Cypher4

I actually have this comic. Not individually; it was part of a collection called Showcase Presents: Robin, the Boy Wonder Volume 1 (as near as I can tell, the only volume). Unfortunately, Showcase decided only the cover of the volume would be in color. Everything else is black and white. Seeing the colors is pretty cool. It looks so much nicer.

It was weird, but many comics back then were that way. This was before comics became a serious thing and weren't followed the way they are now.

Posted by ivolution2k1

damn 3 nickles im so sad

Posted by Nightwingdg

I love how the wax figures grimace as Superman blasts them with his laser vision.

Posted by AweSam

The Silver Age sucked. Let it die already.

Posted by BritishMonkey

why does the idea of this seem ridiculously funny to me? lol

Posted by CrimsonAlchemist

@AweSam: It refuses to rest in it's shallow grave!

Posted by JonesDeini

Oh silver age. Glad somebody outside of Chris Sims' "Bizarro Backissues" column is touching on these issues.

Posted by Aranduriel

Jason would've loved batman with a gun...

Posted by cbishop

@G-Man said:

@DocFatalis: Thanks. I'm thinking of doing this with more 'classic' comics if there's interest.

I liked this better when you did it as a video from your garage. It doesn't have to still be the garage, but back to a video format would be great. :)

Posted by shadowpdf1

Frankly I love the Silver Age. Yeah ... there were goofy stories ... some goofier than others. But the kids loved it at the time. They entertained. And I really miss the old Robin. This new version is ... sad. I really like Olsen, too. You know, it's not the character that's lousy (at least much of the time), it's how the writer uses him. Sadly, the entire Superman universe has been badly written and managed for many years.

Posted by G-Man

@cbishop: Honestly, it seems an article gets quite a bit more views. I do agree a video format allows for more to be shown. Perhaps I'll try some experimenting. Combine the two or something.

Posted by cbishop

@G-Man said:

@cbishop: Honestly, it seems an article gets quite a bit more views. I do agree a video format allows for more to be shown. Perhaps I'll try some experimenting. Combine the two or something.

That could work.

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

See now I like these kind of articles especially when you go into detail of old works, especially the kind that evoke "WTF" reactions out of us! Great stuff! ^^

Posted by bloggerboy

Superdickery at it's best. Love that cover.

Also, Robin and Jimmy Olsen have always been cool.

Posted by ComicStooge

Man, some of these Silver Age stories were DARK!

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