Comic Review

REVIEW: Jimmy Olsen #12

Hands down, Matt Fraction and Steve Lieber have saved the very best for last. Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #12 is by far my favourite issue to date.

Before we take a look at the bittersweet final issue, let’s take a look at the covers. First up, the standard cover by interior artist Steve Lieber and interior colourist Nathan Fairbairn. This is my favourite cover of the series and acts as a perfect farewell tribute. Lieber has perfectly captured the classic Jimmy Olsen personality that we have grown to know and love. That combined with these beautiful colours by Fairbairn has brought us a rather beautiful cover.

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #12 Review
Photo Credit: DC Entertainment

Now onto the variant cover by Ben Oliver. Once again Oliver has produced an incredibly realistic interpretation of Jimmy Olsen. His work on this series has been so consistent throughout, which for me has really provided a look at what Jimmy would look like in real life. I am a huge fan of Oliver’s and this just reminds me why.

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #12
Photo Credit: DC Entertainment

This series has been wacky, whimsical and at times a little off the wall. However, Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #12 is laser focused and a perfect conclusion to a wonderful series.

This issue features some major revelations which I’m sure will be felt for sometime to come. Taking this into account, I am pleased to report that all loose ends are perfectly tied up, and that you are guaranteed a truly satisfying conclusion. The issue opens up with Jimmy making his triumphant return to The Daily Planet just in time to witness Perry making a heartfelt announcement – The Daily Planet is closing down! It’s a combination of factors, none more so than The Daily Planet publishing the very article that would ultimately expose its owner Miss Leone of being a ‘Meta-criminal Mastermind’ as Perry so eloquently put it. I love how the series subtly shows that it links with the current Superman/Action Comics run, which can often be forgotten due to the insane events of this series.

Spurred on by the unthinkable, Jimmy leaps into action as he looks to bring down his nefarious sibling once and for all and maybe, just maybe save The Daily Planet in the process. Of course, Jimmy isn’t the only one on the case. Detective Corrigan and Paulie McGillicuddy aka The Porcadillo have teamed up and are also looking to bring Julian in for good.

Corrigan and Paulie eventually team up with Jimmy and Janie in the hopes of stopping Julian from absconding. This whole madcap scenario is just so reminiscent of those classic buddy cop films from yesteryear. Well, with the inclusion of a spaceship and a Porcadillo of course. Jimmy and co are the hopeful protagonists while Julian plays the larger than life, yet well dressed villain.

Julian’s words are truly scathing towards Jimmy. The venom and vitriol for his younger brother radiates off of his person in waves. His sense of self entitlement is matched only by his hatred and disdain for his siblings. As painful as this encounter must be, Jimmy stands firm in his convictions. This is Jimmy at his finest. You know who else really shines and makes the best of themselves in this issue? That’s right, Paulie McGillicuddy aka Porcadillo.

In my opinion, Porcadillo has had the very best arc of this entire series. The characters’ growth and importance has grown with each passing issue. By the series finale, Porcadillo feels like a pivotal player with lots to offer. For me, he is the highlight of this issue as he showcases not only his quirky side and taste in fashion, but courage in the face of overwhelming odds. Paulie is a perfect example of how we as human beings can change our ways if given the opportunity.



As the first half of the issue wraps up, we progress with Jimmy learning of an addition to his family tree that could very well save The Daily Planet once and for all. I for one found this revelation to be a huge deal. This could be a real game changer moving forward, and I adore the concept of it. This new relative is the polar opposite to what Jimmy is to Superman. However I do believe this will be a thread that will only see the light of day within the pages of this series likewise with Jimmy’s new position at the planet. But only time will time.

Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #12 is a fantastic finale to one of DC Comics most colourful and bizarre comics to date. Matt Fraction has crafted a masterpiece which features some of the best exchanges and dialogue I’ve read in some time. Jimmy’s exchange with Miss Tessmacher is superb. Tessmacher’s dialogue opens up the whole series and adds real insight into just how Lex Luthor’s mind works. In regards to Lex, Jimmy takes part in a very vigorous verbal joust with Superman’s arch rival. Jimmy really does give as good as he gets in this exchange, and there are so many laugh out loud moments here. Lex really showcases his vindictive side during this encounter, which is a great reminder of just how methodical Lex can be.

Artist Steve Lieber has created the most spectacular artwork in this issue. Every face in this issue is etched with emotion. Characters such as Julian and Lex who are larger than life individuals truly benefit from this most talented of artists. Simple one on one exchanges full of dialogue flow effortlessly thanks to engaging artwork that captures the true essence of these beloved characters.

Nathan Fairbairn’s colours really do compliment Lieber’s artwork perfectly. Every panel is rich with gorgeous natural colours that create a real world feel. Key elements like Jimmy’s tie and Dex-Starr The Cat (that may or may not be a Red Lantern) really pop off of the page.

I for one will really miss this series. Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen really added a much needed splash of colour to comic stands. Thank you Matt Fraction, Steve Lieber and Nathan Fairbairn for working outside the box and allowing us to go on this wild ride.   

Haven’t picked up Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #12 yet? You can get the standard cover by Steve Lieber here (UK), or here (US). Or if you prefer the variant cover by Ben Oliver you can get that here.

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