If you ever wanted to see Jimmy Olsen work to defeat an evil clone version of his boss, Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #152 is the comic book for you.
Jack Kirby left Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen after issue #148, but #152 does have some Fourth World connections. Morgan Edge and Darkseid are key players in this issue, although all it adds to the Fourth World is a bit of a confusing and unnecessary story.
With Kirby gone, this issue was written by E. Nelson Bridwell and Steve Skeates. Art was done by Mike Sekowsky and Bob Oksner. Both the art and writing styles are very different from that of Kirby’s, as you would expect. Reading this right after finishing the rest of Kirby’s Fourth World is bit shocking and saddening to see others try to work with his characters.
We learn early in this issue that the Morgan Edge we have known all along is a fake. Darksied had Edge cloned as part of Project Cadmus’ Evil Factory. Darkseid ordered the clone to kill the original Edge, but the clone couldn’t because he saw himself in the original. Instead, he knocked him out and hid him away.
The need for this story just isn’t there. It seems like a new creative team came in and was asked to work in some of Kirby’s characters, but weren’t allowed to change anything. So what we get is another story with those new characters, but no new or revelatory information.
Eventually, Superman and Jimmy found out about this clone. The real Morgan Edge does too, and orders Intergang’s “Tombstone” Greer to kill him. Darkseid finds out that the clone never killed the original and uses his Omega Effect to trap the clone and the original in the same room.
As you might guess, “Tombstone” accidentally kills the cloned version of Edge. He turns the weapon (from Apokolips) to Superman, but Superman deflects it and “Tombstone” appears to be eviscerated. Superman and Jimmy seem to be just fine with it. Ok, then.
The confusing part is when this cloned version of Morgan Edge actually took over. Kirby introduced Morgan Edge back in issue #133. At that point, he already appeared to be the “evil” Edge, but he had just purchased the Daily Planet. Where the clone swap occurs on the timeline is confusing, but probably not all that important to the story.
Did Jimmy and Superman ever meet the real Morgan Edge or had they been dealing with the clone the entire time? At the end of the issue, they welcome Edge back like he had been missing. He than appears to take over as owner of the Daily Planet and Galaxy Broadcasting.
This is a weird and probably irrelevant story, but it was fun to read more of these characters, especially since it was released in 1972. That’s right around the time Forever People and New Gods were cancelled. While it’s tough to see someone other than Kirby writing and drawing these characters, I am glad that their legacy lives on.
Where to read Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #152:
- Only available in back issues
Follow along my Fourth World review – The Jack Kirby Fourth World reading order