Comic Review

REVIEW: Jimmy Olsen #10

Jimmy Olsen #10 is here and for all its whimsy and lighthearted tone, Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen at it’s core is a murder mystery. A serious crime has been committed after all, that of attempted murder no less. However, you would certainly be forgiven for looking past the serious nature of this crime due to the lighthearted tone of this series.

Well, I’m pleased to report that Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #10 not only stays true to it’s well established tone, but manages to finally shine a light on the potential culprit behind Jimmy’s would-be assassination as well as their motivations that drove them to it.

It’s the mastermind behind this heinous act who finally steps out of the shadows and on to the main cover created by interior artist Steve Lieber. This is all done in a very tongue and cheek manner as two large banners appear in the background with a crossed out image of Jimmy adorning them both. I love how the mastermind behind all this has gathered DC Comics’ most lethal killers around a table with ‘Monday murder meeting’ seemingly written all over it. It’s just so irreverent. “How else do you think we get work?” is a line I can definitely hear being delivered by a sarcastic Deadshot or Cheshire.

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #10
Photo Credit: DC Entertainment

The variant cover is created once again by series regular Ben Oliver. This is yet another wonderful piece that is very thought provoking. To me, this piece suggests that Jimmy maintains his innocent, glass is half full outlook on life even in the face of insurmountable odds. That or he just isn’t aware of the capacity for evil that can potentially lurk around just about every corner. I guess life really is only as scary as you believe it to be.

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #10
Photo Credit: DC Entertainment

Even though it maintains its whimsy and lighthearted nature which I alluded to earlier, Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #10 is a much more straightforward read than any of it’s predecessors. Sure, we get the usual amount of short eclectic tales scattered throughout the issue that enrich the world of Jimmy Olsen however, it’s one in particular that really ‘blows this case wide open’ so to speak.

In this particular tale I love how we go back in time and see the key events that started this series off unfold from the view point of a character who has slowly been built up issue by issue. We learn all about their motivations and eventual plight. Their downfall is there for all to see. For the first time in this series I feel we are getting some real clarity and most importantly motive. Thanks to this issue or more specifically ‘The Porcadillo’ everything seems to finally be falling into place.

As I said earlier, we get some really eclectic tales in this issue that wonderfully showcase Jimmy’s supporting cast. Jix ‘Inter-dimensional jewel thief on the run’ to use her full title has some really playful moments. Jix is more than a little frustrated in her marriage to Jimmy and her dialogue seriously reflects that. These two really are like an old married couple. However, for me the highlight of the issue comes to us in the shape of, you guessed it – The Porcadillo.

The downright likable ex-con known as The Porcadillo, Grandson of ex-con ‘The Annihilator’ and Son of ex-con ‘The Annihilator’ Jr has appeared sporadically throughout this whole series. This characters unique  importance to the overall story has only just been recognised in this issue. This was a truly enjoyable payoff. I for one have really enjoyed this characters development throughout the series.

As the issue comes to a close, we are left with a performance by Jimmy that truly has to be seen to be believed. It’s this sort of ending that makes Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen the wild ride it has been from issue one right up until now. I have to say that whole sequence really made me laugh out loud, it was brilliant. I for one will really miss this series when it comes to a close.

Steve Lieber’s artwork once again accentuates the lighthearted and downright fun tone of this series. Every page is full of emotion. Our beloved characters really do feel it all. Even though these characters are enveloped in the downright kooky, they very much experience the rigors of everyday life. This makes the conversations had in this issue so enjoyable and compelling.

Lieber’s artwork is complemented perfectly by Nathan Fairbairn’s colours in this issue. Every page of Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #10 is gorgeous. Fairbairn’s colours create atmosphere for every occasion. They just seem to pop off the page and draw the eye straight away to where the writer wants them to be. Fairbairn and Lieber seem to really complement each others work and for me are a match made in heaven.                    

Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #10 has been the standout issue of the series so far thanks to the way it has focused on the potential culprit behind Jimmy’s assassination attempt. I say potential because with this series you just never know. All the pieces feel like they are finally falling into place as the finish line is just in sight.

Haven’t picked up your copy of Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #10 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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