Friday, July 17, 2020

Review: Jimmy Olsen #12

 Comics used to delight me.

That is the best word for it.

I would read a comic and I would get giddy and excited and I would look up new vocabulary words and I would learn about right and wrong.

I'd be delighted.

Of course, you become an adult. You've read comics so it is harder to be giddy. You have a good vocabulary already. You realize the world if mired in shades of gray.

It takes more ... a lot more ... to get me back into that magical world of being a kid reading a comic.

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen, by Matt Fraction, Steve Lieber, and Nathan Fairbairn, delighted me. And with the release of Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #12 it is over ... far too soon.

I should probably end the review here. There is really nothing more to say except thank you to the creators for making me laugh and think and puzzle and grin and fall in love with comics all over again. I owe you.

But on to some specifics.

 The Daily Planet is closing, the board of trustees shutting the doors given the reveal that the paper was owned by the Leone Mafia.

But wait, if you need a miracle why not ask Jimmy Olsen and his merry band of friends.

Unlike the recent Lois Lane series, Matt Fraction indeed brings together all the plot threads and shows us the outcome.

 Police officer Jim Corrigan and the Porcodillo head to the Olsen mansion to accuse Julian Olsen for attempting to kill Jimmy.

Meanwhile, Jimmy and Janie are already at the mansion to confront Julian for bankrupting the family.

It is clear Julian is on the way to the airport to leave town, leaving Jimmy to stop the plane.

He parks Jix's spaceship on the runway.  It ain't gonna be easy.

I'm not sure why the professor is dumping trash out the port side but Bugles? A Thighmaster? The Dial H dial? A wiffle ball?

Ah! The insanity that surrounds Jimmy.

Great stuff by Lieber.

 Enraged, Julian decides to take matters into his own hand.

But before he can pull the trigger, the Porcodillo unleashes his croc attack and then bullrushes the elder Olsen.

I died laughing when the Croc was part of the Porcodillo's 'Batmanesque' origin. So I was tickled to see it back again.

 But that doesn't change the bottom line. The Olsens are bankrupt.

Fraction reminds us that the beginning of this maxi-series delved into the earliest Luthors and Olsens in the frontier America. And insetting the pic of Jeremiah brought all that back.

But it is Jimmy's line that he has seen infinity that really got to me. Jimmy probably has seen infinity at some point.

 But then a bomb.

The secret box in the cornerstone of the Monarch of Metropolis contains information that the current Luthor and Olsen families are related. (Remember that mini-arc in the book?)

And Miss Tessmacher, upset that Lex wouldn't listen when she explained how important this was, turns it over to the Olsens. Jimmy now sits on LexCorp's board and can block every move Lex tries to make.

Hmmm ... Luthor related to Jimmy? Brilliant? Or heresy?

 Jimmy then goes to confront Lex and makes a reasonable deal.

If Lex funds Janie's plays and the Daily Planet without any oversight, Jimmy won't block his moves on LexCorp. Win/Win right?

Not for Lex who then says that he was the real mind behind the Jimmy murder. He set into motion all the events which led to Julian having to kill Jimmy for the inheritance.

It was all Lex!

I love that first panel, Lex (in his own mind) towering over the city. That is how he feels.

Alas, a screamed confession out of pride is still a confession if taped ... which Jimmy was doing.

Front page of the Planet!

 That leads to Jimmy now being the Publisher of the Planet! I mean he funds it now so he is the chief.

How I love panels of the Planet Pit. Lombard doinking a guy with a football ... awesome.

And then a quiet moment between pals.

Jimmy gets a new signal watch. But Superman knows that his pal can take care of himself.

Look, there are tons more panels, jokes, craziness and brilliance in this one issue I could have scanned.

This book is a winner. Fraction and Lieber took what looked to be scattershot weird episodes and out of that weaved a story that became more integrated until suddenly you realize you indeed are reading one big arc. And if you haven't been reading it, you missed out on greatness.

I am sad knowing I won't be getting more of this book.

It delighted me.

Overall grade: A


Anonymous said...

Not sure if I should look into this book or be depressed

William Ashley Vaughan said...

Can't wait to read the last two issues of this. Fraction's new comic with the Dodsons, Adventureman, is equally inspired with a similiar spirit of pure joy.

Martin Gray said...

Thanks for the terrific review, I agree, this is a series to treasure, and I intend to do just that, having ordered the trade collection. It’ll sit wonderfully with The Amazing Transformations of Jimmy Olsen and the like.

Seriously, this has been a masterclass in throwing a million mad elements into the mix and somehow, almost magically, making the most delicious cake - Fraction, Lieber and co deserve all the awards!


Mike Peacock said...

The way you describe the series, which I admittedly now want to check out, makes me wish that comic companies could "read the room" better these days. I know... a delightful 12 issue series ends right in the middle of one of our less-than-delightful real-life world, and it's unfair to use that comparison, but at the same time... If I were a publisher, and could utilize the awareness of readers around me, I'd want to market material like "Jimmy Olsen" that could be a light counterpart to the seeming bleakness of reality. More titles like this, please, instead of the endless grind of dark realities and events...