Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #12 – Matt Fraction, Writer; Steve Lieber, Artist; Nathan Fairbairn, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: How is Matt Fraction going to bring the bizarre story of Jimmy Olsen to a close in only 22 more pages? Well, it turns out he has an answer to that – and about ten more twists and turns along the way before he does. His reinvention of the classic 1960s series with Steve Lieber was easily the strangest DC title, but it was almost always a brilliantly bizarre journey. That doesn’t stop with this finale, as he deftly works in many of the current changes to the Superman universe since Jimmy went into hiding. This includes Superman revealing his identity to the public, and the Daily Planet being mired in scandal. It’s about to close, in fact, when Jimmy waltzes in carrying Dex-Starr in one arm and a whole pile of stories and exposes in the other. This then turns into a high-octane – sort of – chase to stop the evil Julian Olsen before he flees Metropolis and gets away with the attempted murder of his brother.
The Porcadillo plays a starring role in this segment, but the craziness is just beginning as Jimmy and Jenny find out that Julian’s schemes has basically wiped out their family fortune. But a savior walks into the door with another unlikely reveal – and a twist on the Luthor/Olsen rivalry – that turns the second half of the issue into a brilliant game of cat and mouse between Jimmy and Lex. Maybe the craziest part of this issue is that it’s the best Lex Luthor comic I’ve read in a while. Before it’s over, there’s a massive status quo change to the Superman universe that’s so odd, so unlikely that I doubt it’ll stick or be referenced anywhere else. But despite that, it wraps with a really touching scene between Jimmy and Clark that brings the whole story full circle. The best thing about Fraction’s writing is that as bizarre as it gets, there’s always a human touch that he never loses sight of.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.