"From a Cub to a Wolf" gives Jimmy Olsen some space to be less, well, Jimmy Olsen. Known for his fabulous knack to spin believably approachable supporting cast members (O'Dare family, anyone?) James Robinson takes a crack at writing a tale of one of the most famous supporting characters anywhere.
Firmly placed during the current goings-on in the Superman family of titles, this issue finds Jimmy Olsen stealing away to follow his reporter's instinct on a case. Robinson cracks open the past of Jimmy Olsen, and digs into a mystery that pulls from Jimmy's life as a supporting character in the DC Universe. The mystery of Jonathan Drew, aka Codename: Assassin takes Jimmy to the ruins of the Cadmus Project and out to a little town called Warpath.
During that time, Jimmy crosses paths with Dubbilex, the original Vigilante, and the original Guardian. Robinson is at his best here, making the reader actually want to read more about Jimmy Olsen. Robinson begins to define Jimmy Olsen in Robinson's terms, and it is clear in reading this story that Robinson has some big plans for the Daily Planet's staff photographer.
The art is straightforward and uncompromising. The platoon of artists that worked on this book have done a good job of maintaining tangible coherence through the forty-eight pages. Loughridge's earth-toned rock-solid palette certainly helps the coherency factor in this book.
Overall, the gist of the story provides the start of a mystery that may not seem too deep and integral to the Superman mythos right at this very moment, but I have no doubt there are points coming up in the very near future of "Superman" and "Action Comics" where this special is going to be referenced.
I'm glad that DC decided to put out a book like this, although I am certain the $4.99 price point probably scared off some potential orders. That said, this book reads quite well and makes the time spent reading worth the cost of the issue. I would be interested in seeing DC offer an issue of "Jimmy Olsen" every year. Now, if only DC would realize that "Superman's Wife, Lois Lane" written by Greg Rucka would be equally worthy of publication, then the Superman family could really start to shine again.
That said, this issue is compelling enough to give me another reason to look forward to the "New Krypton Special" coming from DC.