Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #8 – Matt Fraction, Writer; Steve Lieber, Artist; Nathan Fairbairn, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: Matt Fraction and Steve Lieber’s surreal tour of the DCU continues in Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #8, as Jimmy’s apparent death causes odd ripple effects through the world. It starts with a homage – the second in as many months – to Reign of the Supermen, as Jimmy is seemingly replaced with a cyborg, a steel statue, a kid wearing a radical 90s version of his outfit, and a stony supermodel in glasses. It’s all suitably absurd, and Julian Olsen is none too pleased to find out about it. So unpleased, in fact, that he orders the Jimmy Olsen fan club in Metropolis shut down and all the kids evicted from their HQ.
The real Jimmy, meanwhile, is road-tripping with his sister and seems to have taken on a new identity – Jaime Olsen, the vaguely latino cousin of Jimmy Olsen who has a mullet. I would say it makes sense in context, but that’s only half-true and I really wouldn’t have it any other way.
Their trip takes them to a small town with links to superhero heritage, but it soon turns into a longer stopover when they discover their accounts have been shut down – probably by Julian. This forces them to beg for support from a star-struck mayor who is just glad to have an Olsen visit. The idea that Jimmy is both a beloved superstar AND a complete disaster everywhere he goes is probably the funniest part of this series.
Before long, Jimmy’s past comes back to haunt him in the form of his alien wife who he married in Gorilla City and her evil warlord fiancee who wants revenge on her other husband. Oh, and apparently Jimmy was giant and wearing Metamorpho as underpants at some point off-panel. It’s a completely absurdist tribute to the Silver Age, and while its narrative is a bit inscrutable at times, it’s the most unique comic on the stands. This book is an experience more than a story.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.