Kirby is here! My complete review through the entire Fourth World saga begins today with…Jimmy Olsen?
It’s hard to believe that Jack Kirby’s epic Fourth World saga began in such a relatively obscure title. But, that’s what happened.
The Fourth World kicked off in the pages of Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #133 back in October of 1970. At that time, we were still four months away from New Gods and Forever People and we were 5 months away from the final title, Mister Miracle.
I’d like to say that Fourth World concepts explode in this issue, but it is really more of an easing in. Still, it is impressive how many important characters from DC Comics lore that Kirby is able to introduce or re-introduce in this issue. Kirby’s world-building ability is unlike anything else Some of this from this issue includes:
- First appearance Morgan Edge
- First mention of Intergang
- Return of the Newsboy Legion
Morgan Edge and Intergang in particular will become an important part of Darkseid’s plan for Earth. Kirby first created the Newsboy Legion with Joe Simon for Star-Spangled Comics #7 in April 1942. He re-introduced them to DC Comics here, albeit with an updated team.
I’m not totally familiar with the Newsboy legion, but I have to say their inclusion here makes sense. If Jimmy Olsen is going to be leading a team, it makes sense for it to be a young team who likes to sell newspapers. The energy of the team members was helpful in this issue, even if their dialogue was very dated.
Having not read any of the first 132 issues of Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen, and with a new writer/artist basically starting fresh, I treated this as a #1 issue. Looking at it from that angle, it is definitely intriguing. It was a bit strange to see Jimmy Olsen as the hero of the story, but I adjusted quickly.
The inclusion of both Clark Kent and Superman was very welcome. There is a lot of overlap between Superman’s mythology and that of the New Gods, so it makes sense that he is here. I’m hoping to see more of that explored in the future. Not to mention, when Jimmy is looking for trouble, Superman can’t be far away if he wants to save him.
The introduction of Morgan Edge is exceptionally sinister. He has villainous plans for Jimmy, but Clark tries getting in the way as a reporter. So, of course, Edge contacts Intergang to have someone run him over with a car to shut him up. This quickly shows Edge’s dark side (pun intended) and leaves us questioning what Intergang is going after.
I am more familiar with the New Gods and even Mister Miracle and Forever People when compared to Kirby’s work on Jimmy Olsen. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with how this laid the foundation for future events. I wasn’t terribly interested in the “Outsiders” portion of the plot, but I’m willing to see where that is going.
Follow along my Fourth World review – The Jack Kirby Fourth World reading order
Where to read Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #133:
- Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Omnibus Vol. 1 or
- Jimmy Olsen: Adventures by Jack Kirby Volume 1 trade paperback
- digital comics not currently available
Up next – Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #134