The Mystery Kicks Into High Gear In Jimmy Olsen #3

by Tony Thornley

Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen has had a rough go of his latest DC Comics series so far. He’s been embarrassed, disowned, fired, and murdered! This issue though a lot of those threads come together and lead Jimmy straight to the culprit!

Matt Fraction, Steve Lieber, Nathan Fairbairn, and Clayton Cowles begin to pull things together.

People close to Jimmy continue to get hurt or even die. This actually includes Jimmy himself, as a decoy clone is shot by a sniper. That gives him an opportunity, however, to go undercover to find the source of all the misery in his life, and the number one suspect is going to be a huge problem…

For the third issue in a row, we get a series of small vignettes making up the issue. However, this time, they’re a lot more focused, and lead to the connection that Jimmy makes later in the issue. It’s smart storytelling by Fraction, and a stronger overall issue than the last one. However, I’m still very confused by the frontier era story about the feud between Jimmy’s ancestors and Luthor’s. It’s interesting, but doesn’t seem to have any connection to the modern stories.

Lieber and Fairbairn remain the superstars of the story. Every bit of comedy lands thanks to Lieber’s timing, with a perfect pacing across the page, often punctuated by a beat or reaction shot that is pure gold. The best example is Jimmy assuming his new undercover alias- as Timmy Olsen- an incredibly silly joke that lands thanks to the bad fake mustache and cheesy grin plastered across Jimmy’s face. Fairbairn takes advantage of the darker mood to use a different palette, but adds splashes of bright color to punctuate jokes in the text or art.

We need more books like this out in the market, especially from the Big Two. The humor is spot on, the art is outside of the norm, and it’s a delight to read every month.

Jimmy Olsen #3 is available now from DC Comics.

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