DC published The Adventures of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis (#1-40,
1952-57) and The Adventures of Jerry Lewis (#41-124, 1957-71).
following is a summary of a number of articles from Scott Shaw's Oddball
Comics feature at Comic Book Resources.
JERRY LEWIS MEETS THE DC SUPER-HEROES
Joseph Levitch was born on March 16th 1926. Of course, we all know him by
his stage name, Jerry Lewis. On July 25th 1946, the comedian partnered with
singer Dean Martin, and the act lasted for ten years. In addition to his
stage and film work, Jerry Lewis is well known for his annual fundraisers
against Muscular Dystrophy.
Jerry Lewis first appeared in comic book form in National Periodical Publications'
THE ADVENTURES OF DEAN MARTIN AND JERRY LEWIS. The first issue of that magazine
was cover dated July-August 1952. When the team of Martin and Lewis broke
up, National dropped Dean Martin from the title, continuing the series under
the name THE ADVENTURES OF JERRY LEWIS. The newly renamed title ran from
issue #41 (Nov 1957) through issue #124 (May-June 1971).
Jerry Lewis encountered some of National's most famous super-heroes and
villains in four issues of his solo magazine. For the sake of argument, we
will place these adventures firmly on Earth-12, in the same universe as the
Inferior Five and Plastic Man II.
THE ADVENTURES OF JERRY LEWIS #97 (Nov-Dec 1966) "Batman Meets Jerry" Featuring:
Batman, Robin, the Joker, the Penguin, and the Riddler.
Witch Kraft, the supernatural housekeeper of Jerry Lewis and his troublesome
nephew Renfrew, goes on vacation. Inspired by the "Batman" tv show, Renfrew
convinces Jerry that they should become costumed crimefighters named Ratman
and Rotten the Boy Blunder. Soon they are attacked by the villainous Kangaroo,
who overpowers Jerry and kidnaps Renfrew. The real Dynamic Duo arrive on
the scene. Batman tells Jerry that ever since his tv show began, he and Robin
have had to spend all their time saving their imitators. The heroes grudgingly
allow Jerry to accompany them as they search for the Kangaroo.
Meanwhile, Renfrew starts giving the villain and his son some effective
advice regarding their criminal methods, and before long he is leading their
gang! Batman and Robin manage to "rescue" Renfrew, but not before the Kangaroo
and his son escape. Soon, thanks to Renfrew's career advice, the Kangaroo
becomes the laughing-stock of the super-villain world, attracting the ire
of the Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler, among others. Determined to stop
the Kangaroo from giving a bad name to colorful crooks everywhere, the Joker
suggests that all the villains wear "Kangaroo" costumes during their
upcoming heist at the Batman-Land Amusement Park.
Batman, Robin, and Jerry show up at the park to stop the crooks, battling
amidst many gigantic mementos of past cases. In the end, Batman and Robin
defeat the criminals. The Kangaroo and his son are revealed to be Witch Kraft
and her niece Zanyia, who had masqueraded as super-villains to teach Jerry
and Renfrew a lesson. They said they could get along without her, so she
invented the Kangaroo to prove they couldn't. Robin chases Renfrew with Witch
Kraft's broom, determined to swat the trouble-making brat!
THE ADVENTURES OF JERRY LEWIS #105 (Mar?Apr 1968) "Superman Meets Jerry" Featuring:
Superman and Lex Luthor.
Jerry, his nephew Renfrew, and their housekeeper Witch Kraft watch a live
television broadcast of Superman's three-day-long battle with a huge, dragon-like
monster from outer space. After 72 hours of reporting, the news crew that
has been covering his confrontation from their helicopter is exhausted ...
and so is Superman! In fact, he hasn't had a night's sleep in over two weeks!
The Man Of Steel finally emerges victorious when the gigantic space-creature
-? which turns out to be a robot — explodes in a green-tinged burst. Superman
suspects his archenemy Lex Luthor is behind the mechanical monster.
Superman is indeed correct. The gloating villain watches his super-foe on
television. The explosion was actually caused by a bomb of his creation containing
kryptonite dust, the only substance that can weaken Superman. Luthor used
a very large amount of low-grade kryptonite, so it wouldn't be immediately
noticeable, but the hero's outfit has now become covered with it. With his
kryptonite-counter, he'll be able to locate Superman and discover his true
identity ... before he dies!
In the aftermath of the explosion, Superman is so tired that he can't even
muster the energy to grant a television interview, thus alienating his fellow
journalists who seek to speak with him. He crawls into a nearby phone booth,
but falls asleep inside it.
Later, when he, as Clark Kent, reports to the offices of The Daily Planet,
editor Perry White gives the groggy reporter an "emergency" assignment. He
has been chosen to write a story on "The Pre-Teen Jungle". Jimmy Olsen's
computer selects the most typical, average, representative pre-teen to be
Jerry's nephew Renfrew!
Clark visits Jerry's home in the suburbs to interview the bratty kid. America's
most typical, average pre-teen is busily destroying his uncle's furniture
and appliances. While Clark speaks with Jerry, Renfrew grabs a zoom lens
from a shattered camera to focus the rays of the sun, giving the reporter
a solar hotfoot! As Clark hops around in pain, he realizes that something's
dreadfully wrong ... he should be invulnerable to pain! When Renfrew dumps
a tub of water on him to put out the fire, Clark nearly drowns, another unexpected
Shortly, Clark changes out of his wet clothes and into some of Jerry's,
hiding his Superman uniform in the bottom of Jerry's laundry hamper. While
Jerry admires Clark's muscular physique, his enchanted housekeeper levitates
the dirty clothes out of the hamper, including Superman's empty uniform!
She shows her discovery to Jerry, who correctly assumes it belongs to Clark,
but incorrectly concludes that the reporter wears it to maintain a deluded
fantasy. It's only a matter of minutes before Jerry himself tries on the
super-suit, fantasizing that he is Superman.
Meanwhile, the kryptonite-counter has led Lex Luthor and his henchman to
Jerry's home. Hearing the lurkers outside, Clark investigates and spots Luthor,
but his x-ray vision suddenly becomes blurred. He recalls the explosion,
and realizes that it impregnated his costume with low-grade kryptonite, weakening
him. The villains trailed him there with a kryptonite-counter. Clark spots
Jerry wearing his costume, and knows he's in terrible danger. Clark rushes
to burst through the wall to save his host but, forgetting he's still weakened
by the green k, knocks himself unconscious. Luthor climbs though a window
and pulls a gun on the person he believes to be Superman wearing a stupid
While the villains chase Jerry, aiming to shoot him in the head (since the
super-uniform protects his body), Renfrew enlists the aid of Witch Kraft
to help his uncle. They fly off on her broomstick while Clark recovers, stumbling
outside, right through the wall. Witch Kraft and Renfrew locate the villains,
however their gunfire blasts her broomstick out from under them, and they
plummet toward the sidewalk. Clark crashes through a block of buildings to
catch Renfrew before he becomes a grease-spot on the pavement, but Witch
Kraft isn't so lucky. The impact causes her to lose her memory.
Clark heads off to rescue Jerry, who has taken sanctuary in a local junkyard,
his head hidden inside a heavy metal soup kettle. Jerry manages to lift the
kettle with the secret aid of Clark, who hides in a treetop, inhaling with
his super-breath to keep the kettle aloft. Unfortunately, Clark accidentally
swallows "the last swallow of autumn", which lodges in his throat, cutting
off his super-breath, causing the heavy kettle to drop down over Jerry.
Not far away, Renfrew tries to restore Witch Kraft's memory, but all of
his efforts are useless until he accidentally whacks her with a loose plank
from a wooden fence. After regaining her mental faculties and magical skills
(and punishing Renfrew with a hot steam iron applied to his rear end), she
comes to Jerry's rescue just as Luthor is about to ventilate his rather vacant
skull! At that moment, tickled by the bird feathers in his throat, Clark
suddenly sneezes, sending the swallow at super-speed right into Witch Kraft's
head, sending her back to la-la land. This gives Luthor and his thug a chance
to recover their firearms, which they once again aim at Jerry. Clark uses
super-speed to invisibly remove his uniform from Jerry's body, then blows
away all traces of green kryptonite from it with gusts of super-breath. Finally
back in his super-suit, Superman makes short work of Lex Luthor and his henchman.
THE ADVENTURES OF JERRY LEWIS #112 (May?June 1969) "The Flash Meets Jerry
Lewis" Featuring: The Flash, Captain Cold, and Abra Kadabra.
Jerry and his nephew Renfrew arrive at the neighborhood tailor shop to drop
off a sweater for cleaning. They watch as the tailor is tossed into a waiting
auto by a pair of tough-looking hoods. Inside, they discover that the shop
is full of super-villain costumes. Jerry assumes the outfits are for Halloween,
but Renfrew isn't fooled, especially when an escaped convict shows up and
dons a Captain Cold outfit, complete with an operating cold-gun! Captain
Cold seals the nosy little wiseguy inside a block of ice, then takes off.
Jerry soon discovers his flash-frozen nephew.
Meanwhile, police scientist Barry Allen (a.k.a. The Flash) is tracking down
a number of super-villains who've recently escaped in a mass jailbreak from
the Central City prison. Barry finds a business card from the tailor shop
at the scene of a crime. Since he once arrested a tailor who made apparel
for his Rogues Gallery of villains, he decides to investigate the lead. Barry
touches a hidden spring on his special ring, causing his Flash costume to
shoot out and expand on contact with the air. He switches to his superheroic
identity and races to the tailor shop, where he finds Jerry advertising for
a delivery boy. However, Jerry fails to recognize the Scarlet Speedster.
He needs another delivery boy till Renfrew thaws out, and offers the Flash
the job! The hero recognizes every one of the costumes! He realizes he has
been handed the addresses of a dozen villains by a gibbering idiot.
Elsewhere, the kidnapped tailor is in the clutches of one of the Flash's
deadliest villains, Abra Kadabra, the super-scientific magician from the
64th century. Kadabra is furious because his special wand is missing, and
he blames the terrified tailor for it, even though the shop's clearly posted
policy is "Not Responsible For Articles Left In Pockets". Back at the tailor's
place, Renfrew finally defrosts and promptly discovers the missing wand.
After sending dozens of needles flying to pierce poor Jerry's keister, the
little brat decides to have some "fun" with his new plaything.
After the Flash captures and jails the criminals on Jerry's address list,
he changes back to his civilian togs to check out the tailor shop as Barry
Allen. As Barry approaches the shop, a passing car splashes water and mud
on his pants. Jerry sees this and wastes no time in dragging Barry into the
shop and yanking off his slacks! While preparing to clean them, he doesn't
notice Barry's Flash-ring falling out of a pocket. Jerry cleans and irons
Barry's pants (with some unsuspected "help" from Renfrew's wand), but winds
up shrinking, burning, and generally destroying them. As Barry storms out
of the tailor shop, he leaves some angry parting words with its oblivious
de facto proprietor.
Meanwhile, Renfrew has made another discovery ... Barry's Flash-ring! But
before he can do anything with it, Jerry snatches it away from his nephew
with the intention of returning it to the customer who lost it. When he accidentally
touches the ring's trigger mechanism, it releases the Flash's familiar costume.
(Familiar to Renfrew, at least; Jerry recognizes it as "that delivery boy's
outfit"!) At Renfrew's urging, Jerry tries it on. After his nephew secretly
zaps the costume's boots with a blast from Abra Kadabra's wand, Jerry suddenly
experiences, first-hand, what it's like to possess super-speed!
Barry soon discovers that his Flash-ring is missing, so he dashes home to
pick up a spare uniform. As he zooms around his apartment searching for it,
his sniffling newlywed bride, Iris, complains about the draft he's stirring
Across town, after mercilessly interrogating his captive without any tangible
results, Abra Kadabra shows up at the tailor shop, determined to find his
missing wand. The futuristic magician-criminal mistakes Jerry for his archenemy.
His henchmen easily overcome the Silly Speedster. When Abra Kadabra realizes
that Jerry's nephew is in possession of his high-tech wand, he offers Renfrew
a reward of a dime, but the savvy little brat isn't moved by the offer. To
keep it out of the super-villain's hands, he tosses away the wand, which
inadvertently knocks out the real Flash as he enters the tailor shop! While
the Fastest Man Alive recovers, Renfrew tries to make amends, distracting
Abra Kadabra by convincing him that, despite Jerry's protests to the contrary,
his uncle is the genuine Flash. Meanwhile, the Flash comes to and, using
his super-speed, sews together the jackets of the villain's henchmen. Then
he speed-punches Abra Kadabra, sending him flying right into a clothes-press
that literally flattens the futuristic magician.
After rounding up the crooks, the Flash thanks Jerry and Renfrew for their
help?- but forgets to confiscate Abra Kadabra's wand. Renfrew uses it to
make life "interesting" for his unsuspecting uncle, by infusing Jerry's sneakers
with anti-gravitational properties!
THE ADVENTURES OF JERRY LEWIS #117 (Mar?Apr 1970) "Jerry Meets The New
Wonder Woman!" Featuring: Diana Prince and Queen Hippolyta.
Jerry and his nephew Renfrew hang around the stage door of a local theatre,
hoping to get an autograph from the event's special guest, Diana Prince a.k.a.
Wonder Woman. After getting her signature in his autograph book, Jerry thoughtfully
throws himself across a puddle so Diana can cross it by walking on his back,
but Diana trips over his head and falls, pulling a tendon in her shapely
right leg. To get treatment for her injury, she creates a dimensional portal
that transports her back to Paradise Island, and since Jerry and Renfrew
are in contact with her, they're involuntarily drawn into the vortex as well.
After they arrive, they visit Diana's personal physician, Dr. Carver D.
Bratwurst, a wacky old medic who was shipwrecked on Paradise Island some
years earlier. (Obviously, the writer ignored DC continuity that stipulated
that no man could ever set foot on the Amazons' home island without dire
consequences!) First, Dr. Bratwurst treats Diana's wounded leg, then he whips
up a remedy to quell Jerry's upset stomach (caused by his inter-dimensional
trip). While Jerry gratefully guzzles the mixture, two Amazons arrive with
the bad news that Diana's mother, Queen Hippolyta, has been seized by the
evil Zodor, who intends to hold her for a ransom of the "Sacred Pearl Of
The Amazons". It is discovered that the medicine Jerry drank was a painkiller
so strong that he's now completely immune to pain! Dressing him in Hercules'
lion skin, Diana convinces Jerry -? now called "Jerkules" — to lead the
Amazons against Zodor.
While on their way to Diana's temple, where the Sacred Pearl is kept, they
encounter Zodor's massive henchman, the mighty Bulque, but the love-struck
Amazon named Brawnhilda protects her "darling sweet boy" from their new enemy.
When Jerkules sprains his wrist, it's apparent that the painkiller is wearing
off, so Renfrew runs back to Dr. Bratwust's cave for more pain immunizer.
When the doc accidentally destroys the formula, he resorts to using his memory
to whip up another batch. While Zodor gloats to captive Queen Hippolyta,
Jerkules (with Brawnhilda's assistance) clobbers Bulque.
Later, realizing that the Amazons will never willingly follow a man into
battle, Diana loans Jerry her curvy armor and a wig to impersonate her. Diana
then outlines her plan. She explains that the rescue party will approach
Zodor's camp from the South, using the underbrush as cover. She believes
that Queen Hippolyta is probably being held in Zodor's tent. The one thing
in Jerry's favor is that Zodor doesn't know Bulque was defeated, so the raid
should surprise him. Unfortunately, unknown to Jerry and the Amazons, Zodor
has learned of Bulque's defeat and is preparing to take off with Hippolyta.
Dr. Bratwurst gives Jerry another dose of his formula, but instead of making
his body immune to pain, it gives him the power to breathe fire! Meanwhile,
as Zodor is busy packing, he orders five of his men to raid the Amazons'
unguarded temple and seize the Sacred Pearl. However, before they can leave,
Jerry's fiery breath incinerates their camp and weaponry. Then, like David
slaying Goliath, Renfrew uses his slingshot to fire a smooth, glistening
object into Zodor's mouth, knocking him?- and all of his teeth — out! While
Jerry gets uncomfortably comfortable with his feminine side, Diana is dismayed
to receive a report that their Sacred Pearl has been stolen ... until she
discovers that it was the shiny projectile that Renfrew used to clobber Zodor!
Later, with Hippolyta rescued and Jerry's fire-breath cured, Diana heads
back to the U.S.A. with Jerry, Renfrew, and the semi-conscious Zodor. Along
the way, she strands the warlord on a remote island, far away from the home
of the Amazons. Back at the theatre, Diana thanks the boys and rewards Jerry
with a kiss before dashing on-stage.
POST-SCRIPT: There was a fifth "appearance" of a DC hero on the cover
of THE ADVENTURES OF JERRY LEWIS #122 (Jan-Feb 1971). The visage of Superman
appears as one of the heads of a totem pole!