Jimmy Olsen #1 Is A Welcome Return For Superman’s Pal

by Tony Thornley

Without a doubt, one of the greatest supporting characters in comics is Jimmy Olsen. Unfortunately, since the DC Rebirth relaunch, he’s taken a bit of a backseat. So of course, a new series is a welcome change, and this particular series is the perfect way for him to return to the spotlight.

Matt Fraction, Steve Lieber, Nathan Fairbairn, and Clayton Cowles show us a day in the life of Superman’s pal.

Jimmy Olsen is the most dangerous man in Metropolis (and that’s saying something considering Superman AND Lex Luthor live there), with insurance premiums that could bankrupt the Daily Planet. However, in the wake of his newest failed stunt, the Planet learns something stunning- Jimmy Olsen is the only profitable part of the Daily Planet! However, that bit of news might come too late, as Jimmy has to solve his own murder!

Fraction tells a story that’s full of humor, but doesn’t cross the line into parody. We also get more detail about Jimmy’s background, in both bits of exposition and small side stories. He also packs in a ton of detail, such as the crossword writer in the background using Perry White’s vocabulary to write the next days’ puzzle as the Chief yells at Jimmy. The characters are depicted perfectly as well, with Clark Kent being a highlight, a mixture of earnestness and cheeky humor. Cowles takes Fraction’s script and puts a great spin on the letters, varying fonts and bubbles in a way that emphasizes both the jokes and the more earnest moments.

Lieber is one of the best comedic storytellers in comics, and he puts every one of his skills on display. He’s able to put us in Jimmy’s head with just a small tweak of his lips, and Perry’s frustration with just his body language. He’s also able to show us a Superman who’s powerful and altruistic, even if he’s completely exasperated with yet another one of Jimmy’s stunts. Fairbairn uses mostly flat and bright colors, with very few if any gradients, which brings out the best in the line art. It makes the series feel classic and timeless, but still modern.

Jimmy Olsen is back in action, and I can’t wait to see what this series has in store for us.

Jimmy Olsen #1 is available now from DC Comics.

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