Friday, May 22, 2020

Review: Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #10

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #10 came out this week and was the perfect ray of sunlight in this COVID pandemic. I have always praised this book for its inventive storytelling style, its humor, and its perfect blend of all things Jimmy from Silver, Bronze, and modern eras.

This issue was no different. As always, I laughed out loud at a few things. And I am just impressed at how Matt Fraction is able to juggle all of these bizarre plot threads all while weaving a solid narrative. Truly this book is a revelation and it pains me that it isn't selling like hot cakes.

Steve Lieber continues to bring some ground sense of illustration while playing up the zaniness that is happening around him. Whether it is sad sack villains wearing crocs or cylindrical robots slipping on banana peels, it all works here. Add to that slick coloring by Nathan Fairbairn who adds subtle touches to the sunny scenes and this book continues to wow.

I can't help but contrast this title to the Lois book which came out at the same time and has been a heavy plodding mess. They are like two opposite ends of a comic spectrum.

On to the details.

We start out in Elmond which is under attack by the alien overlord trying to reclaim Jix as his wife.

Of course, Jix is technically still married to Jimmy. So we see Team Olsen trying their best to protect the city.

Already you know that things are a little off. Jimmy looks like he is in a trash bag poncho, surrounded by junk food, bean cans, and bananas.

As for Jix, she is the ultimate intergalactic jewel thief. Here she breaks into a ... supermarket?? To steal ... more bananas??


Jimmy even films this fruit caper hoping to air it on the Daily Planet feed. But even Perry White knows that is hardly news.

I did love this little bit of silliness. Perry is basically done talking to Jimmy so he pretends Brainiac is attacking Metropolis as an excuse to hang up. That is hilarious. That ability, to end awkward conversations/Zoom meetings at any time due to super-villain attacks (real or otherwise) might be the best reason to live in Metropolis.

But why would Jimmy try to sell Jix stealing bananas when the real action is on the street.

 Jix's other husband is hoping to kill Jimmy and get Jix away.

But it turns out his cylindrical robots, named Kevin, are easily stymied when they slip on thrown banana peels.

I mean seriously that is laugh out loud funny. Especially when you pair that craziness with the warlord's earnest revenge cry!

 Janie, Jix, and the Professor all want Jimmy to call Superman in to fix it all but Jimmy won't. He promised Superman he would clean up his own mess.

And things like this happen.

Unfortunately his teammates and comrades don't like that answer. They basically tell Jimmy to take a hike.

Nice colors here by Fairbairn showing us how a day in the sun impacts our characters. Janie in her sun hat is unaffected. The prof is quite tan. And Jix has a domino mask tan line. Nice little touch of realism in this insanity.

 As I said in the intro, Fraction has been keeping my on my toes with his nonlinear story-telling. Remember, the destruction of the Metropolis Monarch statue happened early in this series.

Now we flashback to that event again except this time from the viewpoint of Julian.

Julian, also known as 'Mr. Metropolis', hopes to stop Luthor from destroying the Monarch. Such a move would consolidate all power and water through Luthor facilities giving Lex a monopoly stranglehold on the city. But then Jimmy does Lex's work.

In the aftermath, Julian learns that the Olsen estate is bankrupt. Their wealth has been consumed through bad deals and fixing Jimmy's issues. Even Janie's portion.

All of the wealth that is except Jimmy's trust which has been untouched.

Of course, should Jimmy die then Julian will get the rest. Hmmm ...

Now I am wondering if this whole thing is a Lex plot. Make it seem like Julian killed Jimmy to remove the 'smarter' Olsen.

 Flashback again to the Porcadillo trying to join an assassin's guild. As he gives himself a pep talk he sees Julian Olsen head into a men's room stall.

Seriously, I would buy a Porcadillo action figure, complete with pink crocs.

 Within the assassin meeting, a masked figure ... Mr. X ... dressed suspiciously like Julian commissions the killing of Jimmy Olsen!

And so The Porcadillo has some decent circumstantial evidence to implicate Julian for the death of Jimmy's clone decoy.

Is it enough to convince (the other) Detective Jim Corrigan to help? We shall see.

 Meanwhile Jimmy understands that his comrades don't want him around and that he is endangering everyone by being around.

So he takes off.

 And then what might be the best Silver Age/Bronze Age moment ever.

At Jimmy's wake, a stunning shapely redhead walks in, turning heads and catching even Julian's eye.

She is stunning.

 Aaannnnndddd ....

She's Jimmy.

I mean this screams Silver Age to me. I am picturing this scene as drawn by Kurt Schaffenberger.

And to make a fantastic scene even more fabulous? A smitten Julian is dancing with this woman when the reveal happens. And then Jimmy straight up Godfather 2's his brother. Amazing.

I mean seriously ... AMAZING.

But the question remains, was it really Julian. Now that seems to obvious.

So more to mull over, more to laugh at, more to smile at, more to marvel about!

I will miss this title when it is gone. If DC was smart, they'd have these creators signed up for 1-2 specials yearly moving forward!

Overall grade: A

1 comment:

Martin Gray said...

This is going to make such brilliant trade paperback. And well done you for your guess that it’s Luthor framing Julian.