Monday, October 15, 2018


Written & Drawn by: John Byrne | Colored by: Petra Scotese
Lettered by: John Costanza | Edited by: Michael Carlin

The Plot: Maggie Sawyer investigates a murder and realizes Silver Banshee is still alive. Later, Clark Kent arrives at the Daily Planet, where he’s told by Perry White that Jimmy’s mom wants Jimmy to quit the paper. Perry asks Clark to go talk with Mrs. Olsen. Soon after, Clark arrives in the Bakerline borough of Metropolis and bumps into Jimmy, then the pair finds Silver Banshee raiding a bookstore. Clark reminds Jimmy that Banshee nearly killed Superman during their last encounter, so Jimmy and Clark sneak into the store to stop her themselves.

Elsewhere, a gigantic man with an Irish brogue arrives at Metropolis airport. Meanwhile, the police arrive at the bookstore and Silver Banshee kills one of them. Clark and Jimmy duck out and Clark leaves to find help. Soon after, Batman arrives to confront Silver Banshee, but she soon shreds his costume to reveal he’s Superman in disguise.

The large Irish man arrives and introduces himself as Silver Banshee’s brother, Bevan. They yell at one another for a few minutes, then Banshee explodes. Bevan escapes in the confusion. Later, Superman files Jimmy home, where he meets Mrs. Olsen, then returns to the Planet.

Sub-Plots & Continuity Notes: Maggie is hanging out with a hulking detective in the first scene who she refers to as “Ben”. I initially assumed he was Dan Turpin, until she used that name. Now I’m not sure who he’s supposed to be! He looks like Turpin, and we’ve never seen any Ben so far that I can recall, so I’m guessing the name seen here is a letterer’s error.

Lois dresses up to go undercover on a story unsanctioned by Perry. The nature of the story is unrevealed here.

Jimmy is seen hanging out with his hobo friend, Pete, again. Later, during the fight between “Batman” and Silver Banshee, someone knocks Jimmy out. Maggie decides it must have been Bevan, trying to stop Jimmy from summoning Superman, though the art makes it clear it’s not.

Bevan reveals Silver Banshee’s name as Siobahn, and the two argue about the honor of Clan McDougal, and a birthright that Bevan apparently stole from his sister.

We see the face of Jimmy’s mom for the first time, and — guess what, you guys! She’s a young, hot babe! She was only eighteen when Jimmy was born, making her around thirty-four or so now. I honestly didn’t see this coming, though given John Byrne’s revelation about the Thing’s Aunt Petunia in a FANTASTIC FOUR issue just a few years earlier, it’s not exactly surprising, either. Mrs. Olsen says her husband disappeared overseas years ago, but she will not remarry or even date until she knows for sure whether he’s deceased. She does, however, seem attracted to the Man of Steel, leading to Jimmy fantasizing about Superman banging his mom.

When Clark returns to the Planet, he’s told that Wonder Woman’s publicist, Myndi Mayer, called for him earlier. Clark, who only a moment ago was reflecting on the hotness of Jimmy’s mom and was planning to see her again “very soon”, heads excitedly to his desk to give Myndi a call back.

My Thoughts: Okay, so I’m not… quite… clear on how Silver Banshee’s power works. She screams to kill people, but it was revealed in her first appearance that her power is “visually cued”, which is why she wasn’t able to kill J’onn J’onzz when he disguised himself as Superman. I didn’t really get it then, but I sort of glossed past it. However here, she fails to kill Clark, and he again speculates it’s because of the visual aspect of her power. Then, he appears as Batman to confuse her, and it apparently works.

But WHAT DOES “VISUALLY CUED” MEAN?!? Obviously not that she merely needs to see her target to kill them. She looks right at Clark and “Batman” and fails to kill them. Does it mean she needs to see them as they truly are? So when she saw “Superman” but it was actually the Martian Manhunter, she couldn’t kill him since she wasn’t seeing what he really looks like? If so, that kind of flies in the face of the idea that Byrne’s Superman is Clark Kent first and foremost, Superman second. Though I guess Clark is still technically a disguise since Superman doesn’t need glasses.

Anyway… I don’t think I’m that dense, but I really don’t understand how this power is supposed to work. Some additional exposition on the subject would be greatly appreciated!

(And now that I’ve typed all this out in my frustrated, uninformed state, I’m going to Google the character and see if I can determine exactly how her power really works!)

Next Week: Wonder Woman's encounter with Silver Swan continues in WONDER WOMAN #16.


  1. Silver Banshee was a good adversary this issue. :)

  2. I had a look back at this issue and I think it's meant to be Bevan who knocks out Jimmy - what in the art says otherwise?

    Looking at the story again it's interesting that Byrne draws Bevan's passport as a contemporary Irish one yet the colours make it look like the contemporary British model (black - or blue depending on preference - rather than green).

    I've seen it that Silver Banshee's power seems to work on the basis of knowing a person's birth name, which is probably either a later retcon or a sign of Clark not deducing it correctly. This could make for some interesting applications - for instance is "Jimmy Olsen" near enough to "James Olsen" to put him in danger? Maggie Sawyer's maiden name seems invisible even to the internet so maybe she'd be immune? And just what is *this* Superman's "birth name" given the nature of his gestation?

    As I've said before, I think the art and colour makes Sarah Olsen look older than her mid 30s. Is it me or is Jimmy drawn younger than usual here? Elsewhere he's old enough to drive a car, have a career and so on, suggesting he's more than 16.

    1. Y'know, I think you're right. I was basing my conclusion on the fact that the hand grabbing Jimmy is wearing a white glove, but Bevan has bare hands -- completely forgetting that Bevan was wearing white gloves when he arrived at the airport! I guess he changed clothes in the alleyway before stepping out to confront Silver Banshee.

      Interesting observation on the passport. And knowing Byrne, I could see this as one of those minor things that would drive him nuts. "I drew the thing correctly, but the colorist screwed it up as usual!"

      I did Google Silver Banshee after writing the above post, and found the same thing you said -- Silver Banshee needs to know a person's birth name in order to kill them. Which definitely feels like a ret-con, because I'm pretty sure she offed some random cops in her first appearance, and I doubt she happened to know their names when she did it. I suspect later creators were just as confused as I was about how Byrne wanted her power to work, so they made something up.

      And yeah, I'd agree Jimmy looks a bit younger than we're used to at this point. I feel like Byrne started off post-CRISIS with an older Jimmy -- he didn't look this baby-faced and he was dating Lucy Lane, an adult flight attendant presumably in her 20s -- but at some point decided he wanted to de-age him back to 16 for whatever reason. Which makes the weird scenes featuring Cat trying to seduce him in upcoming issues even creepier.

      I agree with you on Mrs. Olsen, by the way -- I think it's a combination of the white hair, that specific hairdo, and the glasses that make her look much older than Byrne intends. The white hair would work if she wore it down and didn't have glasses. The glasses would work if her hair was yellow instead of white. But all of it together makes her look closer to Perry's age than Clark's.