REVIEW: Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #1
Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #1 is here and I have been so excited for this issue for some time now. I am fully expecting this title to be a total homage to the Silver Age – full of colour, laughs and Hijinks that only Jimmy Olsen can provide. Well, before we find out what this issue has in store for us lets checkout the covers.
Interior artist Steve Lieber has created a very unique cover with a very clear metaphor. I love the fact that Jimmy is laying on a model of Metropolis as this issue goes along way to inform the reader of just how integral the Olsen name is to the city of tomorrow. The heads on the wall highlight nicely all the different escapades Jimmy has been on. Its a great reminder that Superman’s supporting cast has cultivated just as rich a history as the Man of Steel himself.
The variant cover is bought to us by artist Ben Oliver and really showcases how Jimmy lives his life, constantly on the move going from one crazy scenario to the next. This is a very 50’s looking Jimmy and I really love that look. The realistic artwork really brings that much needed realism to a bonkers concept.
The issue opens up with the reader learning just how far back and intertwined Metropolis and The Olsen family tree go. We are introduced to Joachim Olsson, one of Jimmy’s earliest ancestors who we learn was actually one of the very first settlers on the land known as Oberstad that would eventually become Metropolis. Then we are introduced to Jonas Olsson via flashback as well as Julian Olsen in the present day. To my knowledge, this is a first appearances for all these characters and I for one am extremely grateful to learn more about Metropolis origins especially going as far back as the Frontier days. These newly introduced ancestors are really intriguing to me, and I really hope we learn more about them and their exploits that helped create the city of Metropolis.
We find Jim ready to jump out of a space craft hovering in lower orbit all the way down to earth without a parachute. Things of course take a turn for the worst in typical Jimmy Olsen fashion as he begins his decent while mutating into a GIANT Turtle. This whole segment plays out as crazy as it sounds. Superman of course comes to the aid of his pal however on impact one of Metropolis oldest monuments is destroyed, the ‘Monarch of Metropolis’. Thanks to dialogue provided by Lex himself, I’m sure there is more to this whole incident than meets the eye. This whole sequence plays out like a homage to Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #53 from 1961. This segment captures all the whimsy of the silver age. It’s full of colour and Saturday morning cartoon action with very minimal threat. Seeing Metamorpho back within the pages of DC Comics is a real treat for me as this character hasn’t been around to much in recent history but was a main stay character certainly back in the early 2000s as part of the team known as The Outsiders.
Jimmy is back at The Planet and facing the full force of Perry White as the chief informs Jim that the planet can no longer afford his insurance premiums and that he is indeed ‘Fired!’. This is however over turned by the new owner of The Planet – Miss Leone who informs Perry that even though Jimmy costs The Planet, he actually makes the most money. Leone devises a way for Jimmy to still make the money whilst taking a break from Metropolis, which leads us nicely into the next issue. This whole scene is played out very playfully. The characters dialogue combined with body language and facial expressions make this interaction really flow nicely considering how much dialogue there is between the three characters.
This issue is almost exactly what I was expecting in terms of it’s craziness, playful tone and light-hearted nature. I love how the issue feels like it is compartmentalized using information boxes setting the scene for that particular part of the story along with subheading. Writer Matt Fraction’s dialogue in this issue is very funny, with every character getting a moment to shine with a quip of their own. The artwork provided by Steve Lieber for me is clearly inspired by the Silver Age particularly when Jimmy mutates into a giant Turtle. The colours in this issue really pop. They are bright and colourful and really enhance every page. Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #1 is a real treat for fans who want to delve into the life of one of Superman’s most iconic supporting characters. I cannot wait to see how Jimmy fares in his new ‘darker’ surroundings come the next issue.