WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Superman's, Pal, Jimmy Olsen #3 by Matt Fraction, Steve Lieber, Nathan Fairbairn and Clayton Cowles, in stores now.
Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen has seen the titular reporter for the Daily Planet forced undercover under threat to his life. For an experienced master of disguise, it shouldn't be all that difficult. But Jimmy Olsen is also kind of an idiot, so his plans aren't exactly the brightest, and his latest disguise might just be the most absurd identity he's ever attempted to pass off.
THE MUSTACHE MAKES THE MAN
Earlier issues of Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen have seen Jimmy forced to fake his own death and relocate to Gotham City. However, there wasn't a clear explanation of what forced him out of Metropolis.
The latest issue of the series revealed the circumstances by which he escaped and took on a new name. Working with Metamorpho, Jimmy was able to create a fake body that looks exactly like him. The body is promptly pumped full of sniper fire, allowing Olsen to bury the body and successfully get out of the city unnoticed.
Jimmy makes sure that the world is convinced of his demise by arranging a funeral for himself. Then, he arrives late at night to help finish burying the coffin that supposedly contains his own body. He even makes sure to throw his Superman Signal Watch into the open grave, to prevent the temptation of calling in his titular best pal for backup. Before going into his new identity, he whispers a farewell to Superman (that Superman can hear with his super-hearing) before putting on a fake mustache and declaring his new persona: "irresponsible blogger Timmy Olsen."
Yes, it is exactly as beautifully dumb as it sounds.
JIMMY'S HISTORY OF DISGUISES
Jimmy Olsen has long been established as a master of disguise. In the Silver Age, during the heyday of Jimmy's original solo comic series, Jimmy would assume many different identities. Sometimes it would be to cover for his investigative reporting, other times, it came with a bizarre superpower and redesign for the duration of an issue.
While they were individual transformations and typically short-lived, the concept of Jimmy assuming surprising and sudden pseudonyms became a fixture of the character for decades. However, as Jimmy has faded from prominence so has his habit of adopting new personas in the name of getting a good story for the Daily Planet.
Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen has been reintroducing and recontextualizing various elements from the classic Jimmy Olsen stories for the modern era. Many of the strange adventures and odd occurrences that plague Olsen have been played for comedy in the new series, and that clearly extends to Jimmy's ability to disguise himself. He's so confident in his ability to hide in plain sight that Jimmy is convinced he can make the world believe he's actually just "Timmy Olsen" with the potential help of a fake mustache.
DOES IT WORK?
The biggest question of all, of course, is whether or not it works. After all, this is a world where Clark Kent was successfully able to hide his secret identity with a slouch and a pair of glasses. A fake mustache is the only thing that Batman really needs to complete his Matches Malone persona, so why shouldn't it work for Jimmy too? After everything else that has happened in the DC Universe, Jimmy assumes this is going to be just fine.
He's wrong because of course he is: it's a terrible plan. Lois Lane figures it out almost instantly, quickly hunting Jimmy down to his hiding place in Gotham City. Although it clearly worked long enough (even just out of sheer absurdity) for Jimmy to break down the attempt on his life and place blame for it on Lex Luthor. It remains to be seen if he's correct, although, given his skills as a reporter and the mementos Luthor just discovered about the centuries-old Luthor/Olsen feud, it would be unsurprising if Luthor was really trying to take Olsen out.
Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #4 is scheduled to be released Oct. 16.