Superman Adventures #60
DC Comics (October, 2001)
WRITER: Jordan B. Gorfinkel
PENCILER: Min S. Ku
INKER: Terry Austin
COLORIST: Marie Severin
LETTERER: Phil Felix
EDITOR: Joey Cavalieri
A bad guy uses Jimmy as bait so he can test his power armor against Superman, and promptly gets a beat down. However, this shakes up Jimmy, who is upset that being “Superman’s Pal” seems to be what defines him. He joins a dojo that uses Kobra Kai’s playbook but ends up with a seriously bad attitude. Superman shows up at one of the roughneck meetings and challenges everyone to get him out of the ring, which Jimmy does by telling him about a charity he should be at instead. It makes more sense in context that this wakes Jimmy up to what a jerk he’s been and the two friends make amends.
What they got right: There are two big positives. It gives Jimmy Olsen a chance to shine a bit while trying to be more than Superman’s best friend, even if he ends up being a jerk for awhile. Meanwhile, it also looks at Superman and his approach to fighting bad guys, that quite often he’s forced to lead with his fists against the threats he usually deals with and maybe that’s not always the best message. I also like the armor the jerk at the start of the story wore, visually a simpler version of the LexCorp Police Battlesuit but with a few changes to make it unique. (Although knowing Lex that’s probably how he got it.)
What they got wrong: The girl behind the charity just assume Jimmy talked to Superman about the charity and already starts promoting that Superman will be there. What if he had another event or something else important that day? What if Jimmy didn’t run into Superman to give him the message? She’s just there to push Jimmy further into his funk about not being able to fight his own battles and his own identity. I also have trouble believing all the roughnecks join the charity event after Superman leaves to attend it. I see Jimmy wising up but not them. And why are they setting up for a carnival that should already be set up?
Recommendation: A good Superman and Jimmy tale. Worth a read.