Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #9 – Matt Fraction, Writer; Steve Lieber, Artist; Nathan Fairbairn, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: With Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #9, Fraction and Lieber’s Jimmy Olsen continues to be the oddest book in DC’s stable – in the best way – with this issue that doubles down on the hilarious “Lil’ Olsens” gag introduced last issue.
A pastiche of Peanuts, Calvin and Hobbes, and Succession, it shows how Julian, Janie, and Jimmy battled for their father’s affection as kids – with Julian being the hard-boiled capitalist, Janie being the rebellious left-winger, and Jimmy being the lovable flake. So not much different from now, only small. Despite the comic veneer, it’s easy to see the kind of people they’ll grow up to be, and it plays into the current storyline. Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #9 has maybe the most bizarre moment of the series, as Jimmy gets involved in the legal case of Arm Fall Off Boy and his family (all of whom have detachable parts) against a Kandor-themed amusement park that makes it difficult to ride without losing limbs.
The series continues to have a mix of very strange subplots, including the secret origin of Z-list villain the Porcadillo, who used to be a member of a very different villainous legacy. He develops an odd bond with Jimmy, but the main plot sends Jimmy into much more dangerous quarters. Infiltrating a high-roller casino, he winds up matching wits with Lex Luthor – such as it is, because wits aren’t Jimmy’s strongest suit. Luthor almost seems like a cat playing with his food, which is probably why he decides to pull the trigger on revealing a massive secret to Jimmy.
If Luthor’s telling the truth – never a guarantee – this will take the series in a much more serious direction for the last arc as we finally have a real villain behind the murder plot. I’m sure it’ll take a few more strange twists and turns before we get there, but Fraction has made me invested in Jimmy in a way I haven’t been in a very long time.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.