All images: DC Comics

DC has done exceptional work with its two recent debuts spotlighting Superman’s key supporting players, Lois Lane and Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen, giving each 12-issue miniseries a distinct point of view that shows a different side of the superhero genre. Lois Lane takes a down-to-Earth approach that spotlights how superhero characters inform real-world events as Lois Lane works with the Question to uncover the secrets of a corrupt political administration. Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen goes in a completely different direction, bringing the over-the-top silliness of Jimmy’s Silver Age stories to the page and contrasting that exaggeration with a personal story of a hyperactive rich kid trying to prove himself to the world. Writer Matt Fraction, artist Steve Lieber, colorist Nathan Fairbairn, and letterer Clayton Cowles deliver an exciting mash-up of classic and modern comic-book storytelling in Jimmy Olsen, which you can read more about in this Comics Panel review of the first issue.

This exclusive preview of this week’s Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #2 reinforces the dramatic stakes of the story with an interaction between Jimmy and his older brother Julian, who goes out of his way to belittle the accomplishments of his younger sibling. Much of the humor here surrounds Jimmy’s Pulitzer Prize, which he won by taking a quick picture as he tripped over his shoelaces. Lieber’s character acting amplifies each brother’s individual personality, and he has very precise comic timing, as seen in the moment where Jimmy tosses Julian the Pulitzer Prize and then watches him make no effort to catch it as it rolls onto the floor. Like a lot of families, the Olsen sibling dynamic is one defined by expectations and resentment when those expectations aren’t met, and one of the most engaging things about this series is how it expands the history of the Olsen clan to explore Jimmy’s place in this sprawling family tree. 

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