Review: Jimmy Olsen #5 Declares A (Prank) War

by Tony Thornley

Jimmy Olsen has had a rough time since the launch of his latest series. He’s been blown up, transformed, murdered, moved to Gotham City, and that’s just the beginning of it. Because the most dangerous part of his adventure has just begun – he’s gotten into a prank war with the Batman…

Matt Fraction, Steve Lieber, Nathan Fairbairn, and Clayton Cowles kick off Jimmy’s toughest challenge to horrifying (and hilarious) results.

Jimmy has drawn the wrong sort attention since coming to Gotham. He’s challenged the Batman to a prank war, and if there’s anyone who understands twisted pranks it’s Batman. Now Jimmy’s in for the “fight” of his life.

Though it’s Jimmy’s name on the cover, this issue is much more about Batman than it is Jimmy. Fraction takes the opportunity of writing a humor book to explore Batman’s relationship to humor. It’s definitely funny, as the Dark Knight’s sense of humor has been repressed for so long, he definitely doesn’t seem to understand appropriate boundaries in the humor. However, it’s a solid character study in Batman’s psyche through the lense of humor. It’s a smart move Fraction makes, and it pays off on several levels.

Lieber and Fairbairn continue their stellar work here. Fraction often just gets out of Lieber’s way, understanding that he’s one of the humorists in comics. What he puts on the page is absurd but perfectly in line with the story being told, with Fairbairn’s colors bringing it to life. It makes for one of the most fun and enjoyable books on the stands.

If you’re not picking up this series, you need to start. This is one of the most fun comics on the stands month in, month out.

Jimmy Olsen #5 is available now from Marvel Comics.

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