Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #6 Review

by Jay Hill on December 18, 2019

Written by: Matt Fraction
Art by: Steve Lieber
Colors by: Nathan Fairbairn
Lettered by: Clayton Cowles
Published by: DC Comics

The Dark Knight has retaliated against Superman’s pal, Jimmy Olsen, and now the cunning comrade of the Man of Steel is trying to survive the streets of Gotham as the Caped Crusader stalks him.

This issue is a collection of vignettes, mostly taking place in the past, that gives us more context on the sinister mystery surrounding Jimmy. Although entertaining and keeping with the quality of the series, it was slightly disappointing that the Jimmy/Batman prank war didn’t reach the epic proportions it could have. Instead, multiple scenes are explored that lead us closer to the answer of who has it out for Jimmy Olsen. We see the assassin that attempted to put an end to Superman’s pal. The development from this being the apparent confirmation that Lex Luthor isn’t the one behind the plot against Jimmy. We’re introduced to Det. James Corrigan III, a possible ally. Doc Mantel also gets a scene with details on why Superman has been curiously absent. But the biggest introduction (or reintroduction) is of Jix, interdimensional jewel thief and wife of Jimmy Olsen. She first appeared in Superman: Leviathan Rising, and has returned in this issue with a score to settle against her estranged husband who is on another planet completely unaware of the wrath coming his way. I have to say, the best of these vignettes was the one of Nathan Guy, the would-be assassin of Jimmy Olsen. It was a funny and interesting short that even ended with me feeling a little sorry for Guy.

But, even though they were skillfully written, the vignettes couldn’t help but feel like filler in an issue designed to set up the second half of the series. That's felt even more when we’re finally shown Jimmy and Janie Olsen dealing with the aftermath of being gifted a blood-barfing blue cat from Batman. The issue ends with Batman calling it quits on the prank war with Olsen and setting him up with a new identity to keep him safe from the mayhem that is following him. It does what it is supposed to and readies Jimmy, or Jimphony, for his next chapter, but did have a rushed feel to it. I am happy to see Janie going along with him since I think her character hasn’t been delved into enough. With the multitude of scene changes, Matt Fraction’s ability to write those hilarious hyperbolic and alliterative introductions was a highlight of the issue. Now that the mystery has exonerated some suspects, and the story has introduced new elements it is more evident that the next 6 issues will have a lot to explore without feeling repetitive. I’m looking forward to the second half of this stellar series.

The art has kept its quality throughout the series, this issue isn’t any different. The illustrations of Superman’s fortress provided a nice change of scenery in this issue and unique things were done with the art in that sequence. Although not that lengthy, the Jix sequence had my favorite art in the issue. The coloring in the first few panels was great and the illustrations of her hair, tiara, and wedding dress were beautifully detailed. And, in the end scene, we get to see some dynamic action shots; the bats flying through the window… classic.

Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #6 not only marks the midway point of the series but acts as a set up for the next half. While not featuring an abundance of the titular character or his exploits, it is filled with necessary components that will definitely lead to more hilarity in the future. And, on its own, it's filled with great humor and interesting developments. If anything, this issue proves the series has legs and will continue into 2020 with the same quality it started with.

Our Score:


A Look Inside