With some other projects in the works, there wasn’t time to review many of this week’s books. However, we still managed to enjoy some Silver Age bliss and a tech-noir mystery.
Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #1 (DC Comics)
(w) Matt Fraction (a) Steve Lieber (c) Nathan Fairbairn
If you have looked into the history of DC Comics, or read my article about comic covers (give it a look?) then you know the original run of Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen had some weird but funny covers with the story matching inside. That’s what Matt fraction, Steve Lieber, and Nathan Fairbairn’s new Maxi-Series feels like; a love letter to Jimmy Olsen’s Silver Age shenanigans.
Fraction’s melds the world perfectly around Jimmy Olsen by first introducing us to the multi-generational dispute of the Olsson’s (Olsen’s) and Luthais (Luther’s). Which in that era seems to end as quickly as it began. Taking a different approach to storytelling fraction split the issue into four stories that act as chapters, each telling a different story, but all pushing towards the same plot. This format harkins back to the silver age roots that Fraction and team are planting throughout the issue and watering quite well.
DC could’ve gone the more cartoonish route to match the fun atmosphere but instead they stuck with Steve Liber on art and Nathan Fairbairn on color, which married with Fraction’s writing works perfectly. Giving the characters realistic designs while sticking them in comedic or just out of the normal settings has a fantastic feeling that gives that matches the writing. On some jokes, or series matters the panels close in on the characters giving a more pronounced reacting to what is happening. With one of Superman winking at the reader that makes them blush.
It’s nice to see follow a ‘normal’ person in the world of DC and see what happens outside of the everyday crisis the heroes go through. Even though Jimmy does go through his own set of antics there is no evil force, or villain on the other end. With the team mirroring the feel of the old Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen this incarnation may live up to the silver age feeling of its predecessors. Plus that cliffhanger was amazing!
– Jason Jeffords Jr.
Blade Runner #1 (Titan Comics)
(w) Michael Green, Mike Johnson (a) Andres Guinaldo (c) Marco Lesko
1982’s Blade Runner is one of the seminal science fiction films of all time, birthing the tech-noir subgenre. Against all odds, a worthy successor was released in 2017 – Blade Runner 2049. That film’s screenwriter, Michael Green, has teamed with co-writer Mike Johnson and artist Andres Guinaldo for another installment for the Blade Runner mythos. And like the 2017 movie, it’s a worthwhile addition.
Visuals are key to the success of a Blade Runner project. Andres Guinaldo and Marco Lesko prove quite adept in translating the grimy, but technologically advanced world this 2019 Los Angeles to the page. Similarly, Guinaldo’s characters are appropriately stoic – hardened by the world in which they inhabit. The colors by Marco Lesko reinforce how bleak and artificial the world has become.
As for the story itself, Green and Johnson’s plot is a relatively straightforward mystery. Ash makes a great lead in the vein of Harrison Ford’s Deckard or Ryan Gosling’s K. While the story elements are familiar, Green and Johnson expand on the world and add a few new wrinkles that keep the reader engaged from start to finish.
– Daniel Gehen