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“I mean... that’s what friends are for, right?” Jimmy Olsen tells Superman as they watch the sunset from the top of the Daily Planet building in Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #12, DC Comics (2020). Image: Matt Fraction, Steve Lieber/DC Comics

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Jimmy Olsen just saved Superman’s job and DC continuity

Turns out Matt Fraction’s Jimmy Olsen book will have at least one big impact

Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

Within the pages of Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen, our dear Jimmy has become the Jake Paul of Gotham City. He met the Porcadillo. Someone murdered his decoy corpse. And many other things besides, like Gorilla City weddings and Red Lantern cats.

But this week, with Matt Fraction and Steve Lieber’s final issue, the comic revealed its most improbable twist yet: It’s actually solving a major problem in Superman comics right now. Namely, the Daily Planet’s solvency. After publishing the scoop that the paper’s new owner was the leader of Metropolis’ “Invisible Mafia,” and responsible for lots of bad stuff, the Daily Planet found its credibility ruined, its funding gone, and the FBI on its doorstep.

But in Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #12, Jimmy figured out a way to get the Planet enough money to keep going forever, which means that this bonkers little series in which Jimmy Olsen and Batman get in a prank war is a genuine continuity linchpin. Bravo to everyone involved.

What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We’ll tell you. Welcome to Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor enjoyed this past week. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” There may be some spoilers. There may not be enough context. If you missed the last one, read this.

Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #12

Jimmy Olsen explains that if Lex Luthor funds his sister’s plays, and the Daily Planet, he won’t use his power as a Luthor heir to mess with Lex’s money, in Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #12, DC Comics (2020). Image: Matt Fraction, Steve Lieber/DC Comics

Oh, and Jimmy got the money to save the Daily Planet after discovering that he and his siblings are secretly distant cousins of Lex Luthor, which gives them veto control over any us of the Luthor fortune, so the Joker isn’t the only one annoying the billionaires of the DC Universe.

Empyre #1

Sequoia declares the Cotati resolution to bring war to the universe in Empyre #1, Marvel Comics (2020). Image: Al Ewing, Dan Slott, Valerio Schiti/Marvel Comics

It probably won’t come as a surprise to you that the kickoff issue of Marvel’s summer crossover ended with a big twist — but then again it was a very big twist. After months of punching up a battle between the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, the Kree, and the Skrulls, it looks like everybody’s gonna be fighting — checks notes — the Cotati? Remember the Coatati? The plant people who also lived on the Kree home planet? The ones they murdered? If you don’t, that’s fine, nobody else did either.

The Old Guard: Force Multiplied #5

Andy deflects Noriko’s katana only to be caught by her kiss as the rest of the Old Guard look on in shock in The Old Guard: Force Multiplied #5, Image Comics (2020). Image: Greg Rucka, Leandro Fernández/Image Comics

Looking to find out what happens next with The Old Guard? Wondering if Andy and Quynh were gal pals or something more? I recommend The Old Guard: Force Multiplied, the sequel comic that just wrapped up over at Image.

Dark Nights: Death Metal #2

The Batmobeast, a sentient monster truck who is also Batman, explains his stupid backstory as other characters ignore him, in Dark Nights: Death Metal #2, DC Comics (2020). Image: Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo/DC Comics

Sure, I guess there’s a Batmanhattan Who Laughs, now, but I keep thinking about how everybody in the DC Universe is so tired of Nightmare Batmans that nobody in this scene is even paying attention to the Batmobeast’s backstory.

Free Comic Book Day X-Men

Banshee, Angel, Rogue, Blob Herman, Beast, Havok, Apocalypse and more on a “The Hanged Man” tarot card representing sacrifice and suspension for X- of Swords, in Free Comic Book Day X-Men, Marvel Comics (2020). Image: Jonathan Hickman, Tini Howard, Pepe Larraz/Marvel Comics

If 2020 had gone as planned for Direct Market comics, we’d already be reading X of Swords, but at least now we have Marvel’s planned Free Comic Book Day preview issue for the event. It’s beautifully drawn and doesn’t really tell us much more about what’s going to happen — but what’s going to happen will involve the X-Men, and swords, and is that not enough?

Strange Adventures #3

Alanna and Adam Strange on a national talk show say they have no idea why the investigation Adam actually asked for is happening, in Strange Adventures #3, DC Comics (2020). Image: Tom King, Mitch Gerads/DC Comics

The further we get into Strange Adventures, the more I’m interested in it. Adam Strange asked Mister Terrific to investigate him to prove his innocence. But now that Terrific is turning over rocks he and his wife would rather leave alone, the Stranges are weaponizing their ... let’s say lilly white reputation as heroes against him. The plot is significantly thickening.

Giant-Size X-Men: Magneto

Emma Frost introduces Magneto to her new mutant chef, who has prepared lobster for their meal, in Giant-Size X-Men: Magneto, Marvel Comics (2020). Image: Jonathan Hickman, Ramón Pérez/Marvel Comics

Check out Giant-Size X-Men: Magneto for a nice story about Magento and Namor having undersea adventures, and then go read this very interesting piece at Xavier Files that examines whether or not Magneto keeps kosher.

Nightwing #72

Punchline uses Batgirl’s blood to paint a Joker smile on Nightwing’s face. “Batgirl is mine to kill,” he says with a grin, in Nightwing #72, DC Comics (2020). Image: Dan Jurgens, Ronan Cliquet/DC Comics

A quick Nightwing update: He’s been brainwashed by the Joker, just in time for Joker War.

Captain Marvel #17

Ms. Marvel arrives to Captain Marvels’ game night with a stack of cleverly off-brand board games with names like “Settlers of Tacan” and “Nomopoli,” in Captain Marvel #17, Marvel Comics (2020). Image: Kelly Thompson, Francesco Manna/Marvel Comics

Absolutely the cutest thing is Ms. Marvel getting invited to the grown-up superhero game night and assuming they’re playing board games when they’re actually playing poker. Baby girl. (Don’t worry, she convinces them to do an escape room instead and Villain Things Happen — it’s a good issue.)


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