DCAU #283: Jimmy Olsen Versus Darkseid

IN THIS ONE... Superman and Jimmy Olsen switch minds to fight Kalibak.

CREDITS: Written by Mark Millar; art by Mike Manley and Terry Austin.

The story's title isn't really true, but this is nevertheless a Jimmy Olsen story that takes place within the Fourth World no matter who's the real antagonist (Kalibak, then DeSaad). And though the Fourth World was the herald of the Bronze Age, this story has, like Millar's previous two issues, a strong Silver Age vibe (which is why half the time I suspect Grant Morrison of ghosting Millar on this book). Freaky Friday-ing Superman and Jimmy really is the kind of thing that happened in Superman's Pal and its associated family of books.

One of the things that's done real well is Jimmy's learning curve with Superman's powers. He's flying too low, unnecessarily dodging bullets, and having trouble controlling his super-senses. And while that's realistic for someone who hasn't lived with these powers since his youth, it's also a way to references the senses that will make it possible for Super-Jimmy to find the mortal Superman on Apokolips, via the signal watch of course.

Mike Manley's art does a great job of creating the dynamic action that's inherent of Kirby's work, with highlights like Superman punching Kalibak through a Boom Tube, and the fantastic abuse the prince of Apokolips takes from his father. Manley draws it all like it HURTS! So a good issue through and through, my only complaint the bit about Lois losing her byline, which in my opinion, doesn't really work.
IN THE MAINSTREAM COMICS: Jimmy Olsen's connection to the Fourth World has been discussed here before, and dates back to the very first appearance of Fourth World characters in Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #133  (1970). Professor Hamilton references Thanagar, the world from which Hawkgirl comes from, though we have yet to see a Hawk in a DCAU story.

REREADABILITY: Medium-High - The standard continues to be high. The DCAU comics do a better Jimmy than the TV show did.



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