Review: Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #1

by Ari Bard
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[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]

Writer: Matt Fraction

Artist: Steve Lieber

Colors: Nathan Fairbairn

Letters: Clayton Cowles


Reviewed By: Ari Bard



In Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #1, we finally get to see what crazy antics that rapscallion Jimmy Olsen gets up to.  He always winds up in the weirdest situations but we love him anyways.  In this issue, there’s snapping turtles, skydiving, and a fake death oh my!


Without a doubt, Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #1 is a blast to read.  He’s existed in the DC Universe almost since the beginning, and he’s had his own series multiple times.  Lately, for whatever reason, he’s fallen to the wayside, but Matt Fraction, Steve Lieber, Nathan Fairbairn, and Clayton Cowles are determined to bring him back with a BANG, and it’s an overwhelming success.  Now matter what Jimmy is doing or where he’s going, he always ends up in some sort of shenanigan, and that’s why we love him.  This creative team is able to bring back the fun and lighthearted Silver Age sensibilities while also taking the adventures into the modern era.

This series is all about telling a story, and it does so on multiple levels.  After all, it’s basic structure is a series of small anecdotes inside a larger issue.  The creative team moves a thousand miles a minute page after page to depict hilarious antics from beginning to end.  with Jimmy Olsen, you never know what you’re going to get, and that’s the beauty of it.  From page one, the creative team uses every aspect of the medium in an unconventional way.  They play with the density of every page, often referencing the style of many Silver Age comics, which were usually a lot wordier. It creates a more playful, dated style that’s sure to put a smile on your face. They also use the corners of the page a lot more when it comes to captions and text.  This helps your eyes absorb the entire page as a whole and then specific sections piece by piece a bit more carefully. Additionally, the art style and color palette will usually change between each mini story.

The tone of the entire issue is part tourism video or infomercial, part documentary, and part your friend at a bar about to tell you a story that’s only 67 percent true.  It’s casual and self aware, but intelligent enough to know that you’ll love it.  It knows what jokes to make and how to deliver them to get the most laughs. It’s not only jokes, however (though it’s mostly jokes), Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #1 also adds to the Jimmy Olsen mythos we didn’t know we needed. Joachim Olssen is here to stay now, and we are all better for it.  One thing’s for sure, it’s impossible not to have fun when reading Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen.


No negatives here! Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #1 is an all around great time.



This is a well executed effort at something completely unique to the superhero genre from a seasoned creative team that knows how to shake things up and make you laugh.


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