"Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen: Who Killed Jimmy Olsen" is a trade paperback collecting "Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen", a 12 issue series from 2018. As is often the case with modern comic books, a series is launched with a single story arc and then gathered into trade paperback format. It was written by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Steve Lieber. The story combines traditional comic book action with humor and parody.

The writing style of this story combines two things: first is a series of absurd, silver age plotlines, where Jimmy Olsen is constantly getting transformed, married to gorillas, or sent to alternative dimensions. The second string is the type of bantering dialog and self-referential humor that started in the comics field with such creators as Joss Whedon and Brian Michael Bendis almost 20 years ago. What this storyline tries to do is imagine what if the Jimmy Olsen who gets turned into a turtle and faking his own death existed in the much more self-aware comic book world of the present day? I admit that this entire premise could have been done in a smarmy, in-joke fashion that could have been very annoying, but miraculously, it turned out to be done in a charming way where the self-reference added to the story, instead of distracting from it. It wasn't just charming and cute--there were times that I managed to actually laugh out loud at the storyline, and the changes in art (include a Peanuts pastiche) and story tone kept it interesting. It also had a plot that actually developed the character--not being quite so up on DC continuity, I am not sure if Jimmy Olsen's siblings, Julian and Janie, weren't invented just for this story. But, as Alan Moore said, and as this book quotes: aren't all stories imaginary?

This could have gone badly: the comedic and storytelling potential of "Wasn't the silver age silly?" and "Batman sure is dysfunctional!" could have evaporated easily and become a string of in-jokes and wankery. Instead, this story felt fresh, exciting and funny.