REVIEW: ‘Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen,’ Issue #10

Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Pal Jimmy Olsen #10

Comics are slowly returning to normal meaning that the 12-issue mini-series Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen, from DC Comics, is finally back on shelves. The issue is written by Matt Fraction with art by Steve Lieber, colors from Nathan Fairbairn, and letters from Clayton Cowles. Previously, Jimmy and Jix were on the run, pursued by an intergalactic death force that wants to break up their marriage by any means necessary. Now, in Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #10, Jimmy continues his world tour with Jix at his side. And while the two are still on the run, the case around Jimmy’s supposed death heats up as his killer is revealed.

The previous issue for this series came out in March so, by quarantine standards, that was almost two years ago. This is not a series you can just pick up after being put down for so long. The lengthy script and layers of sarcastic jokes, easter eggs, and convoluted plot quickly become muddled if you are not completely up to speed. While it is not completely fair to blame my brain’s inability to function while under lockdown on the creative team, it is impossible to think I am the only reader who will struggle through this issue.

Pal Jimmy Olsen #10

Because so much of the plot has been lost to me, the jokes don’t land as well as they did in previous issues. The lengthy script seems to drag on and with new characters still being introduced to the story, it is exhausting to try and keep up. I am very rarely a fan of comics that feature paragraphs of lore or exposition and Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #10 are full of them. I have to commend Cowles who is able to keep the panels from feeling catastrophic. The dialogue isn’t overwhelming and does not take away from the art despite how much there is.

That being said, the issue is still enjoyable albeit incredibly confusing. Lieber’s art continues to be a standout and one of the strongest points of the series. This coupled with Fairbairn’s colors makes the issue engaging enough to look at. They continue to blend modern comic art with the aesthetic of the golden and silver age of comics.

I want to reread this issue when the full trade comes out. I have no doubt it will be significantly more enjoyable when read immediately following the previous issues. If you are a fan of the series and have been reading it, my recommendation is to go back and re-read issues one through nine first. If that understandably feels like it might be too much of a chore, then hang out and wait for the trade.

Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #10 is available now in comic book stores and online through digital retailers.

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #10
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TL;DR

I want to reread this issue when the full trade comes out. I have no doubt it will be significantly more enjoyable when read immediately following the previous issues. If you are a fan of the series and have been reading it, my recommendation is to go back and re-read issues one through nine first. If that understandably feels like it might be too much of a chore, then hang out and wait for the trade.