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Review – Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #1 (DC Comics)

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #1(DC Comics) variant cover art(detail) by Ben Oliver
Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #1
Overall
8.7/10
8.7/10
  • Writing - 8.6/10
    8.6/10
  • Art - 8.8/10
    8.8/10
  • Overall - 8.7/10
    8.7/10
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Summary

Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Steve Lieber
Colorist: Nathan Fairbairn
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Maturity Rating: Teen
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: July 17, 2019

Jimmy Olsen has certainly lived a life; his family has been around Metropolis before it was Metropolis. Now it is time for the Olsen line to come to an end!

 

Jimmy Must Die in Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #1

Follow Clark Kent’s favorite friend in Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #1. Well, for twelve issues at least, because Jimmy Olsen has got to die! Yes, it seems somebody wants to rid Metropolis of the Olsen line for good. You see, the Olsens have been around Metropolis, well, long before it was called Metropolis! It seems Jimmy has ruffled one too many feathers, with his wacky antics and always causing a ruckus only for Superman to save the day. Now, in this 12-issue maxi-series, Jimmy Olsen may finally meet his end.

Writing

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #1(DC Comics)cover art by Steve Lieber
Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #1 (DC Comics) cover art by Steve Lieber

Matt Fraction writes a delightful start to this series in Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #1. Fraction pens an all-out tongue-in-cheek romp of Superman’s friend. I liked the framing of the whole story. Fraction delves into the history of the Olsen clan from the start of the issue. I am not 100% sure what this maxi-series is about, but Fraction gives me enough mystery and comedy to keep me on board.

Fraction has always been great at adding humor to his series. From titles like Hawkeye to Sex Criminals, he always has a way to bring humor to the pages. That trait once again shines in Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #1. It feels like a mix of dry, witty humor with some goofball/slapstick comedy. Fraction really has a way with characters and words that tells a compelling story but also makes you laugh throughout the issue.

The whole interaction between Jimmy and his boss Perry White is fantastic. I won’t spoil what gets Jimmy in and then out of trouble, but it is a great set-up. The whole issue is a fun read that has me excited to see where it is going.

Art

Steve Lieber on art and Nathan Fairbairn on colors may be the perfect duo for this series. Lieber does an excellent job of catching the timing of the comedic aspects of the series, which is no easy task in sequential storytelling. His characters’ faces and reactions, paired with some great layouts and structures really help sell the comedy sequences.

His cartooning style is wonderful as well. It is a great mix of cartoonish-looking yet “real”-looking character designs. It fits superbly well with the story being told.  Lieber also adds some wonderful details to the issue. He had fantastic background details throughout. If you look closely, Jimmy Olsen has a mug that says “world’s greatest pal”. Little details like that, or flies buzzing around a trash can, add tons to bringing the series to life.

Nathan Fairbairn’s bright colorations are tremendous. When I say “bright” I don’t mean that they are glossy or shine off the page. The colors are a more muted tone, but they are “bright”. They add a sense of cheerfulness to the series. He also darkens the palette up superbly well, when Jimmy Olsen enters a city that is not quite so nice.

Conclusion

The art and story fit perfectly together in Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #1. The lighthearted comedy-mystery is full of laughs and a very intriguing conundrum/riddle as well. If you are looking for something to put a smile on your face or have a spot to fill in a light week of comics then I definitely suggest you check out this series; you will not be disappointed.


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About the author

Brent Jackson

Brent is happily married and an avid comic book consumer who loves nothing more than the smell of comics in the morning and diving through a long box of back issues. By day he is a nutritionist and has also been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 10 years. He is probably not the coolest person you have ever met. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @brentjackson30

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