Jimmy is on a road trip to anywhere but Gotham City, but who wants him dead? Or maybe we should be asking who doesn’t want him dead? Perhaps we’ll find out more in Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #7 from DC Comics!
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Steve Lieber
Colorist: Nathan Fairbairn
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Editor: Jessica Chen and Alex Antone
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: January 15, 2020
Previously in Jimmy Olsen: There’s never a dull moment! Jimmy finds his way to Gotham City where he gets into a prank war with Batman. Along the way, he is arrested by police detective Dave Diamond, who ends up murdered himself. His arrest was set up by Lex Luthor, who arranges to have him released the following day. Meanwhile, he’s also gotten himself married to an interdimensional jewel thief whose plans are messed up when Jimmy doesn’t get the marriage annulled in time. Some days it seems like everyone is out to get Jimmy Olsen!
A FEW MORE DAYS IN THE LIFE
Jimmy Olsen #7, as a mix of vignettes that are loosely connected, is a fast-paced and energetic read. It fits the subject, as you just don’t want to spend too much time thinking about the wacky hijinks Jimmy gets into; you just want to enjoy them. Not to say that there isn’t a touch of seriousness too. And while it can be played for laughs, Jimmy’s innocent nature can also be very sweet.
The issue opens with him talking to his psychiatrist, who introduces the idea it’s hard to know exactly who Jimmy is because he has all these different facets. Cue a goofy punchline, and we’re off to a snapshot of his childhood in the L’il Olsens, where Jimmy and his siblings talk about what they want to be when they grow up. I love that Jimmy comes up with all these outrageous ideas that sound like things a little kid would come up with. (And, knowing his history, he probably has been a few of these things.)
Jimmy is on the road, with his sister Janie driving. He’s left Gotham City and is moving somewhere new. Meanwhile, as Detective Corrigan investigates the chaos he’s left behind, Dr. Mantel barges in looking for Jimmy, closely followed by Jix (the jewel thief), who turns out to be Dr. Mantel’s daughter.
Then we’re off to the past to see Jimmy trying to get his first job at the Daily Planet. We get a taste of the conflict between the Olsens and the Luthors, and I enjoy Jimmy’s anachronistic innocence. He lands his job by essentially agreeing to work for the exposure – but then he’s independently wealthy and he’s the one guy ever for whom this is actually a viable option. Plus it’s kind of funny.
After all this, Jimmy and Janie’s road trip comes to an end in Opal City, a friendly place where the fashion of the day seems to involve sweater vests. And bow ties…
MEANDERING FROM TOWN TO TOWN
Jimmy Olsen #7 is a delightfully fun romp. There are several different flavors of Jimmy, each distinct, which helps us keep track of the nebulous timeline. I really like the style of the L’il Olsens, which is a shout out to newspaper comics featuring kids and their antics. (And this has a fabulous payoff later in the issue.)
The wreckage of the Gotham City plotline amuses me greatly. Jimmy’s swath of destruction at once makes perfect sense, considering what happens in the story, but is utterly goofy if you think about it for more than ten seconds. It lightens up the drama and lends credence to the his being told to get out of town.
BOTTOM LINE: WE NEED A LITTLE FUN THESE DAYS
He may be Superman’s Pal, but his life isn’t always easy, as we see in Jimmy Olsen #7. This isn’t a bad place to jump on. A few existing plot threads twist back through, but they come with explanations, and the book is free wheeling enough that it’s fun to go along for the ride. Jimmy is a delightful character who gets thrown a lot and still can be cheerful.
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Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #7
Prankster, photojournalist, Superman’s pal – join Jimmy Olsen on the run!