Review – Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #1: Silver Age Antics

Comic Books DC This Week
Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #1 cover, via DC Comics.

Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #1 – Matt Fraction, Writer; Steve Lieber, Artist; Nathan Fairbairn, Colorist


Ray – 10/10

Ray: It’s rare that a comic sets is tone and themes up so perfectly in one issue the way Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #1 does, but Matt Fraction and Steve Lieber’s bizarre continuation of the wacky status quo they set up in the Leviathan Rising special takes that story’s strengths and doubles down on them. Beginning with a prelude in the pre-Metropolis colonial days, it shows that apparently there’s been an epic feud between the Luthors and Olsens dating back to when the first Luthor in America murdered the first Olsson – and now Lex is still feuding with Jimmy’s filthy rich, corrupt relative (brother?) Julian. Julian is none too fond of Jimmy – and the issue sets up a hilarious new status quo for Superman’s pal as he’s become a viral video superstar, experimenting on himself for clicks and making dreams come true. The first major action segment of the issue has him transforming himself into a turtle-Kaiju and jumping out of a plane, having to be rescued by Superman and demolishing a beloved Metropolis statue.

Jimmy Olsen, Kaiju. Via DC Comics.

It turns out – through a hilarious page of various Jimmy Olsen escapades – that Jimmy has been doing this for a while, and has caused untold damages to Metropolis. He’s a ghost! He’s escaping a gorilla wedding! If there’s a bizarre Silver Age cover you remember, it probably gets referenced here.

Jimmy quickly gets fired by Perry White – who has the distinct edge of a man watching his business go down the tubes – until it turns out Jimmy’s viral stunts are the only profitable part of the Daily Planet. Still, new publisher Madame Leone has close ties to the Mayor, who wants Jimmy gone, so it’s decided to embed Jimmy in a far-off location where he can damage another city – namely, Gotham. A double-page spread of Steve Lieber’s Gotham may be the best page of art not by Liam Sharp I’ve seen in a DC Comic in a while, and the comic brilliantly whiplashes from hilarious to surprisingly dark. We may be reading the first issue of a modern DC classic here, folks – don’t miss it. Needs more Dex-Starr, though.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

Liked it? Take a second to support GeekDad and GeekMom on Patreon!