REVIEW: Jimmy Olsen #7

Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #7 very much puts the breaks on the momentum of the last issue and really takes a deep dive into just who exactly Jimmy Olsen is.

This is very much represented in both covers. The main cover is created by interior artist Steve Lieber and captures the many different guises of Jimmy Olsen throughout his colourful history. From Jimmy’s Superhero persona Elastic Lad which debuted back in Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #31 in 1958, to Jimmy’s most recent transformation into that of a Giant Tortoise, the reader definitely gets an intriguing look into the quirky life of Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen.

jimmy olsen 7
Photo Credit: DC Entertainment

The variant cover created by Ben Oliver takes a similar route as the many faces of Jimmy Olsen are chronicled. This colouful character collage is captured in puzzle format with some of the pieces missing. I love this arrangement as it indicates to the reader that we don’t quite know it all contrary to what we may believe. It really shows how diverse Jimmy Olsen is.

jimmy olsen 7
Photo Credit: DC Entertainment

Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #7 is an examination of the man himself as we dive into the characters past, from affluent beginnings to his job interview at the Daily Planet. Everything you need to know about Jimmy Olsen is chronicled in this very issue.

This is evident from the outset as we find Jimmy Olsen on the therapist’s couch. I love how we dive into the many different eras of Jimmy’s storied past. We of course see our beloved title characters receiving ‘fresh starts’ and new paths to follow all the time, seeing a supporting cast member receive the same treatment just adds so much weight and texture to the universe these characters dwell in. It’s remarkable to witness just how many different rolls Jimmy has played over the years.

As the issue progresses we go even further back in time, to when Jimmy was a child. These scenes showcase Jimmy alongside his brother and sister day dreaming about what the future may hold. These scenes are full of whimsy and sentiment as the art style in my opinion leans toward that of a Charles M. Schulz Peanuts cartoon strip. I totally adore this creative way of showcasing a different period in time and certainly the playful content.

The Charles M. Schulz Peanuts cartoon strip is iconic and has left an indelible mark on the public conscious. Artist Steve Lieber taking even the smallest influence from Schulz’ work is genius in my opinion. These pages are gorgeous and really take the reader back to a more innocent time.

Over the course of the next few pages we catch up with Jimmy Olsen’s supporting cast list including Janie Olsen, Dr Mantel and his daughter Jixelle! While the issue focuses heavily on who Jimmy is and where he comes from, these tales help keep the overall narrative moving forward. This is crucial as it’s not difficult to lose track of where everyone is currently placed.

As the issue comes to a close, we find ourselves back in time once again during perhaps one of Jimmy’s most pivotal moments – his job interview at the Planet. These scenes are an utter joy to behold. We learn so much about Jimmy and his formative years growing up. The use of monochrome panels to represent Jimmy’s portfolio (which is mightily impressive I might add) is so clever. It feels like we are exploring Jimmy’s life through his camera.

Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #7 is a deep dive into the life and times of Jimmy Olsen and I simply loved it. The characters within these pages are rich and showcase many facets. The characters behave and react so organically. For such a whimsical book, the characters certainly converse in a realistic and grounded manner.

Once again, Steve Lieber’s artwork is stunning in this issue. Every page is full of conversation and exchanges between characters who come to life before our very eyes thanks to beautiful art and colours that work in tandem. This is most prominent in the exchange between Perry and Jimmy which I believe is the highlight of the issue. Once again, Matt Fraction has done wonders with allowing us to get to know this legendary and underrated character.

Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen continues to be one of my favourite books on the stand. I for one cannot wait to see where Jimmy finds himself next.

Haven’t picked up your issue yet? You can pick up the standard variant cover by Steve Lieber here (UK), or here (US). Or if you prefer the variant cover by Ben Oliver, you can pick that up here.

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