Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Writer Discusses Jimmy Olsen Feature

Nick Spenser is writing the upcoming Jimmy Olsen feature which is supporting the Lex Luthor story in Action Comics*, and unlike the endless mess we saw in DC's already forgotten "Countdown", this seems to be an attempt to recapture some of what makes Jimmy the funnest guy in comics.

Finally the answer to the eternal geek question: who would win in a fight, Olsen or Superman?

Read the interview here.

Well, that really is one of the fun things about working on Jimmy's adventures - you can do anything. That's a huge part of his charm, that's he's this normal, usually non-powered guy, but his exploits span pretty much every possible genre and sub-genre out there. There are Jimmy Olsen pirate stories, Jimmy Olsen werewolf stories...you name it. He just gets thrown into these absurd, inconceivable situations by virtue of his own thirst for excitement. So we're definitely going to take him in a lot of different directions here.

and I love this:

What I love about Jimmy is that he's a normal guy. Now, people say this about Batman or whoever all the time, and to some degree that's true, but really, Batman is an extraordinary human being, something few, if any, could be. But Jimmy, anyone could be Jimmy.

Anyhow, it does seem that Jimmy is in good hands, what is what you want to know about your favorite characters (I mean, you Dr. Who fans want good writers, a good actor as The Doctor and a reliable companion, right?). So, yeah, I want someone who actually cares about getting it right versus someone taking a writing assignment because it was just an opportunity.

Hooray! Its new Jimmy Olsen.

*If you did not pick up issue #890, you totally should. This is going to be fun.


J.S. said...

I think the whole Jimmy Olsen thing is a little too meta for most casual comic readers to get deeply into (or maybe that's why it appeals to you in the first place?). Seems like the whole Jimmy Olsen thing is sort of dependent upon readers having a pretty strong familiarity with other characters, concepts, and plotlines from Superman and other comics. As someone who has only a passing familiarity with these other ideas, I have to admit that I don't find the idea of keeping up with Jimmy Olsen all that intriguing. But maybe I'm way off base...

The League said...

Well, the Jimmy Olsen comics from the original 11 or so year run were like other comics of the era, and so were very not continuity or meta heavy. I think the fandom comes much, much more from "Oh, Jimmy. What now?"

In any single issue it could be: "Jimmy goes to do a story on Professor Potter's amazing new serum. Now he's Elastic Lad for a few days and learns a little lesson." Then the next issue "Jimmy is minding his own business and trying to get to work when an alien princess decides she needs to marry him". Then he might travel through time, or find a lamp with a genie. Or transmorgify into a 100 foot turtle-boy.

Its much less about the actual content of an individual story than the overall picture of "what the hell has happened with Jimmy this time?" mixed with Jimmy's eternal "gee whiz!" attitude about everything.

Much of the time, btw, Superman only comes by to check on Jimmy or hand him a space rock or something.

I don't think you need to worry about the usual problems of 70-odd years of continuity when it comes to Jimmy Olsen. It just kind of informs the random and bizarre stories you tell when you're talking about the character and why he's become a fan favorite for a niche set of nerds. Anyway, I have plenty of Jimmy to loan out.