Jimmy Olsen
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Jimmy Olsen

August 16, 2019


For the professional wrestler, see Jimmy
Olsen. James Bartholomew “Jimmy” Olsen is a
fictional character who appears mainly in DC Comics’ Superman stories. Olsen is
a young photojournalist working for the Daily Planet. He is close friends with
Lois Lane and Clark Kent/Superman, and has a good working relationship with his
boss Perry White. Olsen looks up to his coworkers as role models and parent
figures. Fictional character profile
Jimmy is traditionally depicted as a bow tie-wearing, red-haired young man who
works as a cub reporter and photographer for The Daily Planet, alongside Lois
Lane and Clark Kent, whom he idolizes as career role models. In most depictions
of the character, he has a strong friendship with Superman. As Superman’s
friend, Jimmy has special access to the Man of Steel, thanks to Superman’s gift
to Jimmy of a “signal watch,” a wristwatch which, with the press of a
button, emits a special ultrasonic frequency signal that Superman can hear
anywhere on Earth. In many Silver Age of Comic Books, Jimmy
was often seen sharing adventures with Superman, who saved him from various
predicaments ranging from dangerous to merely embarrassing. This was
particularly pronounced in the series Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen published
from 1954 to 1974, which saw Olsen in a variety of slapstick adventures and
strange transformations. Like most DC characters, modern portrayals of Olsen
have been more serious in tone. An important part of the Superman
mythos, Jimmy Olsen has appeared in most other media adaptations of the
character. Publication history
An unnamed “office boy” with a bow tie makes a brief appearance in the story
“Superman’s Phony Manager” published in Action Comics #6, which is claimed to be
Jimmy Olsen’s first appearance by several reference sources. The character
was first introduced as Jimmy Olsen in the radio show The Adventures of
Superman on April 15, 1940 mainly “so the Man of Steel would have someone to
talk to.” With Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster creating and drawing the
physical appearance and giving him a bigger personality, the character moved
from the radio show back into the comics in 1941, first appearing as a named
character in the story “Superman versus The Archer” in Superman #13. But after a
handful of appearances, he disappeared again. In late 1953, while Jack Larson
was playing the character on the Adventures of Superman television show
where he was referred to as “Jim Olsen”, the character was revived in the
Superman comics after a 10-year absence and then given his own title.
In addition to Larson, he was portrayed by Tommy Bond in the two Superman film
serials, Superman and Atom Man vs. Superman; Marc McClure in the Superman
films of the 1970s and 1980s, as well as the 1984 film Supergirl; Michael Landes
in the first season of Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and
Justin Whalin in the subsequent three seasons; Sam Huntington in the 2006 film
Superman Returns; and Aaron Ashmore in the CW’s Smallville.
=Silver Age=During the Silver Age, beginning in
1954, Jimmy starred in his own comic book, Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen, which
featured his various adventures with and without Superman. The stories in the
title would often feature particularly outlandish situations, ranging from
Jimmy being hurled back in time to Krypton before its destruction in issue
#36 to dealing frequently with gorillas of all sorts. This version of Jimmy
Olsen even had his own fan club.=Jack Kirby’s Fourth World=
Jack Kirby began by introducing a secret “D.N.A. Project” to create Mutated
Humans for Good, adding “The Hairies”, superbeings from other planets,
Intergang, and Morgan Edge… and reintroduced his 1940s Newsboy Legion
characters. About halfway through his run, Kirby introduced vampires, the Loch
Ness Monster, and Victor Volcanum, the fire-eating archcriminal. Readership
quickly dropped back to its pre-Kirby levels.
Kirby’s tenure on the series ended with issue #148; and with issue #164 Jimmy’s
book was folded into the anthology title The Superman Family. In that series,
Olsen became a more serious character who battled criminals as an
investigative reporter known as “Mr. Action” in urban crime stories that
rarely involved Superman. Jimmy Olsen appeared in new stories in The Superman
Family #164, 167, 170, 173, 176, 179, and 182-222.
=Modern adventures=The Man of Steel
Following Crisis on Infinite Earths, the entire Superman mythos was rebooted from
scratch in the limited series The Man of Steel. Despite recent modernization
efforts on Superman and his supporting characters, Jimmy Olsen has not been
significantly changed in the Modern Age. He is still a cub reporter working for
The Daily Planet, and is still friends with Superman. His look was made over as
he stopped wearing bowties, and started wearing casual clothing. An interesting
alteration to the relationship was that Jimmy designed the signal watch himself,
leading to his first meeting with Superman. Superman briefly considered
confiscating the watch, but decided he trusted Jimmy to use it responsibly.
While Jimmy’s transformations no longer occur as regularly as they did in the
Silver Age, Jimmy did become Elastic Lad on contact with the Eradicator. He has
taken the identity of “Turtle Boy” in a series of pizza commercials, made when
he was temporarily laid off from the Planet.
In the 1990s, Jimmy moved to Metropolis broadcaster Galaxy Broadcasting, where
he became more brash and arrogant. This came to an end when he thought he had
discovered Superman’s secret identity and said he would announce it live on
air. He reconsidered his actions, but lost his job for wasting the timeslot.
He was again rehired by the Planet. Jimmy later came under the angry hand of
the Alpha Centurion, an alternate universe dictator with a deep-seated
hatred for Superman and an eye toward Lois Lane. It was Jimmy who first
uncovered his secret plot to control the world’s finances through his company
Aelius Industries, Inc. Superman: Metropolis
June 2003 saw Jimmy Olsen as the focus of a twelve-part miniseries entitled
Superman: Metropolis. Written by Chuck Austen and illustrated by Danijel
Zezelj, the series focused on the futuristic technology unleashed in
Metropolis by Brainiac in a previous storyline, and how it affected the
everyday lives of Metropolis citizens. Recently, Jimmy had taken a position as
a regular star reporter for The Daily Planet, replacing the recently demoted
Clark Kent. This caused a strain in the Daily Planet.
Countdown Jimmy’s story in the 2007-08 weekly
series Countdown to Final Crisis begins with an investigation into the death of
Duela Dent. Tying into the Death of the New Gods storyline, Jimmy starts to
develop a plethora of new superpowers, which he first discovers when he is
attacked by Killer Croc while gathering information on Duela’s death. As the
story progresses he tries to uncover the origin of these powers and starts to
discover their potential limitlessness in stories which mimic the Silver Age
Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen adventures. Briefly operating as the superhero “Mr.
Action”, Jimmy is unable to command the respect of established superheroes in
the Justice League and Teen Titans, and gives up on this particular avenue. One
of these powers allows Jimmy to realize the identities of some superheroes, such
as Robin and Superman, who requests that he take care of Krypto.
Jimmy is eventually tracked down by the New God Forager, with whom he begins a
romantic relationship. Forager informs him that he has become a soulcatcher for
the spirits of dying New Gods. The Monitor known as Solomon later tells him
that his new powers are the consequence of Darkseid using Jimmy as a host for
powers he wishes to use to recreate the universe in his image, knowing that
“Superman’s pal” is one of the world’s most well-protected citizens. Later, as
the events of Countdown begin to come to their close, Jimmy becomes a more
confidently powerful character and is reunited with the series’ other cast
members on a mission to stop Karate Kid’s disease from becoming a pandemic
of apocalyptic proportions. Unfortunately, they fail, and the
Morticoccus virus devastates an alternate Earth. Upon return to their
Earth, Jimmy is captured by Mary Marvel, who had been manipulated towards evil by
Darkseid. When Superman comes to save Jimmy, Darkseid takes control of the
powers within him, causing Jimmy to radiate Kryptonite radiation, until Ray
Palmer manages to rewire Darkseid’s control from inside of Jimmy. Jimmy then
transforms into a giant turtle-like creature, and prepares to take on
Darkseid himself. Darkseid overcomes Jimmy, and prepares to kill him. Ray
Palmer then comes out of Jimmy with the New God soul battery, and destroys it,
returning Jimmy to normal. Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen Special
During Superman’s fight with Atlas, Jimmy witnesses a mysterious figure
hovering over the fight. After some encouraging words from Clark Kent, he
decides to take two weeks off to investigate.
He tracks down a figure connected with the past of Jonathan Drew and is told
the story of how Jonathan became Codename: Assassin. His informant is
quickly executed by Codename: Assassin who then tries to kill Jimmy. Jimmy is
able to avoid being killed and is apparently shielded from Codename:
Assassin’s telepathy due to his own many physical transformations over the years.
Jimmy goes to Project Cadmus and speaks to Dubbilex, who tells him the story
about the death of the original Guardian at the hands of Codename: Assassin and
how cloning is such an imperfect science that the only viable clone alive went
into hiding in the desert. Dubbilex then dies from injuries sustained in an
earlier conflict with Codename: Assassin. Jimmy heads south to the town
of Warpath, AZ, managing to avoid conflict with Codename: Assassin on the
way. Upon arriving in Warpath, Jimmy
interviews the sheriff, Greg Saunders, who evades his questions. Jimmy follows
him after dark and sees Saunders working with the last Guardian clone. He then
confronts the clone at his home and the two speak.
With his two weeks up, Jimmy returns to Metropolis horrified from learning that
a faction within the US military is actively plotting to kill Superman.
Willing to do anything to uncover the conspiracy behind Project 7734, Jimmy
uses an anonymous chat server and gets in contact with Erik/Amazing Woman from
Infinity Inc., who claims to have informations useful to help Jimmy.
Despite being actively pursued by Codename: Assassin, who goes so far to
place bugs in his house, Jimmy goes to the appointment, only to find Erik’s
house burned to the ground. Jimmy pulls Erik out, who with his dying
breath, shifts to his more reliable and powerful Erika form. Erik gives him
Natasha Irons’ number. Natasha contacts then Jimmy, telling him about the plans
of General Sam Lane, his outworldly fortress and his capture, and use of a
Planet Breaker weapon of Captain Atom, now codenamed Project Breach.
Finally ready to uncover the truth, Jimmy is openly confronted by Codename:
Assassin, who until that point had merely followed him closely. Jimmy uses
his signal watch to call Mon-El. Jimmy is shot twice in the chest by Codename:
Assassin, and sinks into the ocean. Despite surviving his assassination
attempt, Jimmy decides to fake his death, having his documents planted on a
heavily disfigured corpse. With no one knowing about his survival, Jimmy moves
into the old Pemberton Camera Factory, sharing the results of his now
unhindered investigations with Perry and Mon-El.
Action Comics backup and Jimmy Olsen DC Comics has reported in solicits that
Nick Spencer and R.B. Silva will be producing a monthly 10-page backup
feature in Action Comics chronicling the adventures of Jimmy Olsen in Metropolis.
Reported story topics include an alien civilization choosing Metropolis as the
base of a major cultural celebration, and the introduction of Chloe Sullivan
to the DCU proper. In the latest arc, he goes on a charity date with a girl named
Maggie, only to discover that she somehow has ties to Mr. Mxyzptlk, and
that she wants to marry him. The last three chapters of the story are
told in the self-titled one-shot, Jimmy Olsen.
Powers, abilities, and equipment Jimmy possesses a watch which emits a
high-pitched signal only Superman can hear. In a 2010 story, he claimed it
stopped working some time in the past, never worked particularly well in the
first place, and contacted Superman through Morse code now, anyway, but
still wore it for show. Mostly during the Silver Age of Comic
Books, Jimmy would find himself temporarily transformed, for better or
worse, or undergo a disguise for various purposes. The variety of transformations
Jimmy received during the Silver Age is often homaged or parodied in later
comics and adaptations featuring the character — for instance, in JLA: The
Nail, Jimmy cites three of these transformations as his motivations
behind backing Luthor’s bill to outlaw metahumans and in Countdown, Jimmy is
used as a spirit container for the deceased New Gods, causing him to
exhibit strange powers, albeit uncontrollably, with other stories
simply make passing references. Speed Demon – In 1956, a month before
the debut of Barry Allen as the new Flash, Jimmy drank a potion produced by
a Professor Claude and briefly gained super-speed.
Radioactive – After being exposed to a radioactive substance, Jimmy began to
irradiate everything in his presence. Super-Brain – Jimmy briefly evolved into
a “man of the future” with superhuman mental powers.
Monstrous beard growth — The machinations of the sinister Beard Band
cause Jimmy to grow an immense beard. Gorilla – When Jimmy switched minds with
a gorilla, he went about his reporting duties as a gorilla in Jimmy’s clothes.
Elastic Lad – As Elastic Lad, Jimmy by serum or by alien virus could sometimes
stretch himself, akin to Elongated Man or Plastic Man. As Elastic Lad, Jimmy
was inducted as an Honorary Member of the Legion of Super-Heroes. In the
post-Crisis on Infinite Earths continuity, Jimmy was afflicted with
uncontrollable and painful elasticity by the Eradicator. It had to be genetically
edited out. Alien-form – Aliens transformed Jimmy
into a telepathic Jovian for a week. Fortunately, this turned out to be a
Jovian week… which is much shorter than an Earth week, about 70 hours=
slightly less than three days. Fire-Breather – An accident involving an
experiment gives Jimmy fire-breath. Human Octopus – After eating an
extraterrestrial fruit, Jimmy grew four extra arms. According to Superman, this
was actually a hallucination, but Jimmy suspected that Superman said this to
teach him a lesson since Jimmy had foolishly ignored advice from the Man of
Steel that would’ve saved him a lot of trouble.
Genie – Jimmy found a genie’s lamp and was tricked into replacing its
villainous occupant. Wolf-Man – In the vein of the 1957
Michael Landon film I Was a Teenage Werewolf, Jimmy found himself
transformed into a werewolf. Woman – Jimmy would occasionally go
undercover dressed as a woman in #44, #67, #84, and #159. Grant Morrison paid
a brief homage to this in the JLA: Earth 2 graphic novel and in All-Star
Superman. Morbidly Obese – Jimmy tried to get fat
in an attempt to stop a jewel smuggling and to impress a Circus Fat Lady.
Giant Turtle Man – One of Jimmy’s most frequently cited transformations was
that of his turning into a giant turtle man.
Human Porcupine – After rejecting the romantic advances of an imp from the 5th
Dimension. Flamebird – This is the name he took as
a costumed superhero, with Superman disguised as Nightwing, in the shrunken
Kryptonian city of Kandor. These names were inspired by two native Kryptonian
birds, the nightwing and the flamebird, but the relationship between Nightwing
and Flamebird intentionally paralleled the crime-fighting team Batman and
Robin. Bizarro Jimmy – Although Jimmy has a
counterpart on Bizarro World, he was briefly turned into a Bizarro himself.
Hippie – Investigating a colony of hippies at “Guru Kama’s Dream Pad”,
Jimmy grew a beard and participated in a mock “hate-in”. On the cover of this
story’s issue, Jimmy is wielding a sign that says “Superman is a freak-out!”
Viking – Jimmy put on Viking armor and mistakenly thought he’d been transported
1000 years backward in time. Steelman – after a volcanic eruption
hurls Jimmy and an experimental interdimensional travel device into an
alternate universe, Jimmy develops his own superpowers as a result of the
transit to the “Earth-X” but is vulnerable to fragments of Mount Tipton
from his own universe. He adopts a fusion Superman/Batman outfit and
launches his own superhero career as Steelman, facing a Joker-masked Clark
Kent, secretly the leader of the LUTHAR League before his return to his own
universe of origin. Other versions
=JLA: The Nail=In JLA: The Nail, an alternate reality
in which a nail punctured a tire on the Kent’s car, preventing them from finding
the spaceship containing a baby Kal-El, Jimmy Olsen is revealed as the one
behind all the other superheroes’ troubles. Jimmy had served as an aide to
Lex Luthor — who has become the mayor of Metropolis thanks to his efforts to
provide Metropolis with a technologically advanced police force to
battle the threats that Superman was not there to defend the city against —
following various short-lived attempts at heroism caused by temporary
alteration of his DNA leaving him somewhat cynical of real heroes.
Having discovered Superman’s spaceship and using DNA samples to create numerous
Bizarro clones, Luthor grafted Kryptonian DNA onto Jimmy—the only such
‘graft’ that appeared successful, as other subjects either died instantly or
mutated before death. This caused Jimmy to go insane, and possess superpowers
similar to Superman’s, as well as mentally transforming him into a
Kryptonian determined to replace human life with Kryptonian life. Jimmy played
up the public’s fear of superheroes via propaganda, encouraging the possibility
of them as alien invaders rather than the enhanced humans of the Justice
Society, hoping to have them imprisoned so he could use their DNA as well in an
attempt to create a stable template to create other new Kryptonians.
When Jimmy attacked an Amish couple and their son during a battle with the
Justice League — which culminated in a desperate attempt by Batman and Green
Lantern to stop him by supercharging Batman with his ring after Jimmy
defeated the rest of the team — the couple was killed, but the son was
revealed to be Superman. In this alternate reality, the Amish couple had
raised Kal-El, and brought him up as a pacifist who was encouraged to ignore
worldly affairs so that he could walk in righteousness, so he had never used his
powers in conflict. Jimmy asked Superman to join him, claiming that they were
virtually brothers as they shared the same DNA, but when Superman refused, the
two battled. During the battle, Jimmy’s body finally started to reject the
Kryptonian DNA, causing him to disintegrate. His last, almost prophetic
words were directed at Superman: “We should have been friends”. The Justice
League then asked Superman to join them, recognising that his DNA had only given
Jimmy an opportunity to vent his pre-existing frustrations rather than
bringing out something that was not there before.
=Frank Miller’s Batman=In Frank Miller’s 1986 graphic novel The
Dark Knight Returns, an older Jimmy Olsen is featured as the writer of a
Daily Planet article titled “Truth to Power”, recalling the age of heroes. In
the 2001 sequel Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again he appears on various TV
shows, where he attempts to reveal that the current President is a holographic
projection. His attempts to publicize the truth are halted by Lex Luthor as
Metropolis is destroyed by BrainIAC. A young Jimmy Olsen makes an appearance
in All Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder #6, helping Vicki Vale, who he
appears to be attracted to, escape from a hospital and giving her files on
Batman and the Flying Graysons. This incarnation is described as a cub
reporter for the Gotham Gazette as opposed to his regular position at the
Daily Planet and as ‘Superman’s Pal’.=Superman: Red Son=
In Superman: Red Son, written by Mark Millar, Jimmy is depicted as an agent of
the CIA, eventually becoming the director, and soon joins Dr. Lex Luthor
in his Presidential bid and becomes Vice President.
=Superman: Kal=In Superman: Kal, the Jamie Olsen of the
Middle Ages is an early alchemist, working with blacksmith’s apprentice Kal
to forge a suit of armour for Baron Luthor using metal acquired from a
‘silver egg’ that fell from the sky years ago. After Kal is killed in his
final effort to slay Luthor, the story concludes with an epilogue where Jamie
Olsen tells his apprentice, Merlin, of his friendship with Kal, noting that
Kal’s last action was to hide away his indestructible sword until it would be
needed.=All-Star Superman=
In Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s All-Star Superman series, Jimmy shows up
briefly in the Daily Planet offices in argyle socks; this Jimmy seems to be a
refined version of the Silver Age vintage, with a signal watch halfway
between a McDonald’s happy meal toy and haute couture. He is shown with
something that may be a jetpack. Issue #4 of the series focuses on Jimmy and
his adventures as the one-day director of the DNA P.R.O.J.E.C.T., a leftover
from the Jack Kirby-era Jimmy Olsen series. This is apparently the latest in
a series of highly successful articles by Jimmy, in which he spends a day in
various roles. This version of Jimmy became that reality’s version of
Doomsday.=Flashpoint=
In the alternate timeline of the Flashpoint event, Jimmy Olsen is an
agent of Cyborg sent to spy on the Amazons. He was with Lois Lane reporting
on a fashion show in Mountmatre when the Atlanteans flooded Europe. Jimmy was one
of the thousands to perish in Western Europe when he tried to save an old man,
though Lois survived by getting into a church steeple. Jimmy’s place at the
Resistance was then taken by Lois, after she got his camera, revealed to be a
communications device that can transform into different forms for concealment.
=DC Universe Online: Legends=In the limited comic series, DC Universe
Online: Legends, Jimmy Olsen was captured, alongside Lois Lane and Perry
White, in the Daily Planet by Brainiac, but was saved by Superman, with Lex
Luthor in possession of the canister containing them. Later, Jimmy became one
of the people who have gained metahuman abilities from Braniac’s Exobytes,
transforming his body into a large being with reptile-like skin.
=Superman Beyond=Taking place decades after Jimmy’s final
appearance in Justice League Unlimited, the Superman Beyond one-shot features a
now-elderly version of the character. It is revealed that Jimmy purchased the
Daily Planet after Perry White’s death, and now runs a successful media empire.
=Injustice: Gods Among Us=Jimmy appears in the comic book prequel
to Injustice: Gods Among Us, where he is killed by the Joker while on a stakeout
with Lois who was kidnapped by Joker soon after his death.
=Earth 2=Jimmy Olsen is a hyper-intelligent
knowledge-assimilator known as Accountable in the Earth 2 series.
Parody/Homage In Alan Moore and Gene Ha’s Top 10, a
photograph of a version of two of Jimmy’s superpowered selves, merged, is
shown to Andy Soames; having contracted a disease which warps powers, this
version appears to be Turtle Boy, driven insane by the acquisition of Elastic
Lad’s powers. In Lord Havok and the Extremists #3, a
variation of Jimmy called Robin Olsen, is shown as a member of Monarch’s army.
In Alan Moore’s Supreme, Billy Friday is a young, red-haired associate of Ethan
Crane/Supreme; Friday eventually becomes/merges with Master Meteor, a
time-travelling villain powered by the reality-bending substance Supremium, and
becomes the insane Supremium Man. In the 2010 film Megamind, a version of
Jimmy Olsen named Hal Stewart is a cameraman working with TV reporter
Roxanne Ritchi. He has unrequited feelings for Ritchi, which plays into
and results in him becoming a villain named “Tighten” later in the movie.
In other media=Radio=
On the Superman radio series, Jack Kelk and Jack Grimes portrayed Jimmy Olsen.
=Television=Live-action
=Adventures of Superman=On the Adventures of Superman television
series, Jimmy Olsen was portrayed by Jack Larson, who appeared as the cub
reporter from 1952 to 1958. Largely because of the popularity of Larson and
his portrayal of the character, National Comics Publications decided in 1954 to
create Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen, a regular title featuring Jimmy as the
leading character. Decades later in 1996, Larson portrayed an unnaturally
aged Jimmy Olsen in an episode of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.
=Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman=
On the television series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Jimmy
Olsen was portrayed by Michael Landes in the first season and Justin Whalin for
the rest of the series’ run. The reason cited behind the change is that Landes
looked too much like Dean Cain as well as to emphasize Jimmy’s youth. Landes
played Olsen as a cocksure, sarcastic Generation X character, who often seemed
like he was very sure of himself although usually, the opposite was true.
Whalin gave a portrayal closer to previous incarnations of the character,
playing Jimmy as a lovably naive rookie. When Whalin took over the role, more
emphasis was placed on Jimmy’s love-life and he would frequently seek out Lois,
Clark and Perry’s advice on these matters. Whalin’s Olsen was described as
being a computer whiz and these talents often came in useful to Lois and
Clark/Superman, particularly in the episode ‘Virtually Destroyed’ where
Jimmy’s computing abilities come in handy as Lois and Superman battle a
villain inside of a virtual reality simulator. Jimmy’s home life and
background is described in some detail throughout the course of the show.
Although we never see her, some references are made to Jimmy’s mother
who is described as being overweight and having allergies. Jimmy’s father Jack
Olsen is a James Bond-like secret agent for the fictional National Intelligence
Agency and the episode ‘The Dad who Came in from the Cold’ is entirely devoted to
this character.=Smallville=
In Smallville the series incarnation of Jimmy Olsen is first referenced in
Season 2 by Chloe Sullivan, when she refers to a “cute boy” she met in
Metropolis that made her forget all about Smallville for the summer. His
name is first given in Season 4 when Chloe says that he was her “first time.”
In Season 6’s premiere “Zod”, he appears in person on the staff of the Daily
Planet and prefers to be called “James”. As Season 6 progresses, Jimmy and Chloe
become a couple again. At first Jimmy is jealous of Clark Kent but their
relationship becomes friendly after Clark reunites him with Chloe in the
Season 6 episode “Trespass”. In Season 7, Jimmy is still at Daily
Planet working as a budding photographer, his relationship with
Chloe is going through a rough phase due to Chloe’s newfound abilities caused by
an amount of Kryptonite meteor in her blood stream. They broke up in a very
emotional scene in the episode “Cure” since Chloe was unable to share her
secret with him. Meanwhile, Kara Zor-El has developed a crush on Jimmy and they
become friends. Jimmy is smitten by her and teams up with her in episodes such
as “Cure” and “Lara”. They are in a relationship briefly, but they break up
and Jimmy is shown to be in a relationship again with Chloe in the
episode “Sleeper”. In the season finale, he proposed to her but she was arrested
before she had the time to answer. In Season 8’s premiere “Odyssey”, Jimmy
is seen waiting for Chloe at the Talon. Chloe arrives and Jimmy tells her that
he takes back his proposal saying it might risk what they have between them.
But Chloe disagrees. She reveals that she loves Jimmy and says that she’ll
gladly be his wife. She kisses Jimmy passionately afterwards. In “Committed”,
Jimmy admits to Chloe that he lied about his father being a Manhattan investment
banker; Jimmy says his father was an alcoholic and a mechanic in Oklahoma
City and has never met his mother, apologizingly for lying but she hugs
him. In “Bride”, Jimmy marries Chloe in the Kent barn but the reception is
interrupted by Doomsday, who nearly kills Jimmy and kidnaps Chloe. Jimmy’s
condition is so serious he must be taken to a hospital in Star City. In
“Turbulence”, Jimmy sees Davis Bloome murder a drunk driver and becomes almost
violently obsessed with proving it. Davis convinces Chloe that Jimmy is
hallucinating from high doses of pain medication, ultimately ending Chloe and
Jimmy’s marriage and causing Jimmy to become addicted to his pain medication.
In Season 8’s finale “Doomsday”, Chloe and Jimmy finally reconciled after Jimmy
discovered Clark’s secret and understood why Chloe had been with Davis to protect
Clark from his kryptonian alter-ego: Doomsday. As Chloe gives Jimmy a
passionate kiss, Jimmy is mortally wounded by a jealous Davis who was
stripped of his Kryptonian persona by Clark and Chloe. Before succumbing to
his injury, Jimmy kills Davis. At his funeral, his full name is revealed to be
Henry James Olsen. His camera is given to his younger brother. While Jimmy’s
younger brother’s name is not mentioned, the boy is wearing a bowtie, leading to
the possibility that this is Jimmy Olsen, who will befriend Superman. In
Season 9 finale, Clark has a premonition about the future in 2013 where Lois Lane
calls out to an “Olsen”, likely calling the younger Jimmy Olsen. In the Season
10 episode “Homecoming”, Clark accidentally time-travels to the future
in 2017 and reads a Daily Planet article that listed Jimmy Olsen. In the series
finale, it verifies that the brother at Henry James’ funeral is the “real” Jimmy
Olsen, who is trying to follow his late brother’s footsteps after being
recruited as a news photographer at the Daily Planet. The young adult version of
the character is also portrayed by Aaron Ashmore.
The DVD box set for the seventh season of Smallville includes a featurette
entitled Jimmy on Jimmy. Approximately 22 minutes in length, Jimmy on Jimmy is
a roundtable discussion featuring four of the six surviving actors who have
portrayed Jimmy Olsen in live action: Jack Larson, Marc McClure, Sam
Huntington, and Aaron Ashmore. Michael Landes and Justin Whalin did not
participate.=Supergirl=
James Olsen will appear in the series Supergirl portrayed by Mehcad Brooks as
a photographer for CatCo and is also a love interest for Kara.
Animation Jack Grimes reprised his role as Jimmy
Olsen in The New Adventures of Superman. In the Super Friends animated series, he
“appears” in the second episode of The World’s Greatest Super Friends season,
‘Lex Luthor Strikes Back’, with Lois Lane. It wasn’t Jimmy at all, but Lex
Luthor’s henchman Orville Gump in disguise.
Mark L. Taylor played Jimmy Olsen in the 1988 animated adaptation of Superman.
In Superman: The Animated Series, Jimmy was played by voice actor David Kaufman.
One episode was called “Superman’s Pal” as an homage to the classic comic
series, and Superman gave Jimmy the signal watch by the end of the episode.
Another allusion to the comics made in the show was seen in the second season
episode “Mxyzpixilated,” where Mr. Mxyzptlk turns all the employees of the
Daily Planet into animals. Jimmy is turned into a turtle, possibly as a
homage. In Justice League Jimmy makes a brief
appearance in Superman’s nightmare in “Only a Dream”, with David Kaufman
reprising the role. He makes a cameo at Superman’s funeral in “Hereafter.” A
photographer with orange hair appears beside Clark at the beginning of
“Starcrossed.” Though his face isn’t shown, it is likely Jimmy.
Jimmy had several cameo appearances in Justice League Unlimited, including one
episode where Huntress used sleeping gas on him, tied him up, taped his mouth
shut, and used the signal watch to attract Superman. In the episode “Chaos
at the Earth’s Core”, several heroes battle a giant turtle that has a thatch
of red hair. Bruce Timm has confirmed this is a reference to Jimmy’s Giant
Turtle Boy persona, “but it was more economical time-wise to have him revert
to cute little turtle than naked, confused photographer.”
Jimmy appeared in the Season 5 premiere of The Batman played by voice actor Jack
DeSena. He and Dick Grayson have a back and forth discussion about Batman and
Superman from their sides of view. While Jimmy favors Superman to Batman, he is
still impressed by Batman’s Batmobile. Jimmy appears in the Batman: The Brave
and the Bold episode “Battle of the Super Heroes”, voiced by Alexander
Polinsky. The episode references him with his misadventures of him being
transformed into a giant turtle, and having quills thanks to Mxyzptlk.
Jimmy appears in the Young Justice episode “Depths”.
Jimmy appears in the “Tales of Metropolis” segment of DC Nation Shorts,
voiced by Elisha Yaffe.=Film=
Jimmy Olsen appeared in the Superman animated short film “Showdown”, where he
is voiced by actor Jack Mercer. The first actor to portray Jimmy Olsen
in a live-action format was Tommy Bond, who co-starred with Kirk Alyn and Noel
Neill in the film serials Superman and Atom Man vs. Superman.
In the four motion pictures starring Christopher Reeve, beginning with
Superman: The Movie, Jimmy Olsen was portrayed by Marc McClure. McClure
reprised his role as Jimmy Olsen in the 1984 spin-off movie Supergirl, making
McClure the only actor and Olsen the only character to appear in all five
Superman films of the 1978-1987 era. In Bryan Singer’s 2006 movie Superman
Returns, Jimmy Olsen is portrayed by Sam Huntington, an older and more confident,
yet goofier portrayal of the character who finds it difficult to get a good
shot or get any photos published. In a deleted scene included in the DVD
release, a slightly inebriated Olsen is seen to complain to Clark about the fact
he has not had a photo printed in several months. In the film, Jack
Larson, who portrayed Jimmy in the Adventures of Superman television
series, plays Bo, a bartender who talks to Clark and Jimmy. Singer originally
offered Shawn Ashmore the role, but the actor declined due to his commitments to
X-Men: The Last Stand. Ashmore’s twin brother Aaron Ashmore played Jimmy in
Smallville. Jimmy Olsen did not appear in Zack
Snyder’s Man of Steel film. Some sources had suggested that the film would recast
the character as a woman named “Jenny Olsen”. Actress Rebecca Buller instead
portrayed a character named “Jenny Jurwich”.
Jimmy appeared in Superman: Doomsday, played by voice actor Adam Wylie. He is
with Lois reporting the battle between Superman and Doomsday and is one the
characters followed through their grieving process; his being quitting the
Daily Planet and becoming a Paparazzi photographer. Lois tries to get him to
come back and help her investigate Superman’s supposed return, which he
refuses due to him foolishly liking his new life. He does eventually help Lois
after seeing Toyman dead by “Superman’s” hand and they discover that this
Superman is a clone made by Lex Luthor and later runs alongside Lois during
“Superman’s” fight with, who Jimmy calls, Rocker Superman, the real
Superman. After their fight, Jimmy is happy to see the real Superman alive
when Superman confirms it is him through a kiss with Lois.
Jimmy appeared in Justice League: The New Frontier. He has no dialogue,
therefore no voice actor. He is always shown with Lois, and is almost killed
during the final battle. He tries to take dangerous pictures during the
battle. Jimmy is played again by David Kaufman
in the movie Superman: Brainiac Attacks. Jimmy appeared in Justice League: Crisis
on Two Earths. He is in the antimatter Earth as Ultraman’s “Pal” and was used
to bait him out. He tries to take on Luthor and Superman with super powers in
battle. This Jimmy Olsen has the powers of flight, superhuman strength and
durability, but despite them, he was easily overpowered by Superman. He was
arrested and taken to jail along with Ultraman. In promotional materials for
the film, this version of Jimmy is referred to as “Mr. Action”. He was
voiced by Richard Green. Jimmy appears in the movie All-Star
Superman voiced by Matthew Gray Gubler. Jimmy appears in Justice League: Doom,
with David Kaufman reprising his role from the Superman animated series. He
has a brief speaking role as he and Lois are outside the Daily Planet reporting a
possible suicide jump. Jimmy is the one who identifies the jumper as a former
reporter from the Daily Planet. It is really Metallo in disguise, who proceeds
to shoot superman with a Kryptonite bullet.
He appears in Superman vs. The Elite voiced again by David Kaufman.
In Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Jimmy is mentioned in a news segment
where he announces that the fourth year of the TV writers’ strike won’t
interfere with this year’s television season.
Jimmy appears in Superman: Unbound voiced by Alexander Gould. He doesn’t
have a major role in the film and is present mainly as one of the cameo
characters in the film. He does serve a brief purpose as Lois asks him to use
his signal watch to call Supergirl, who he immediately has an attraction to.
He also appears in Justice League: Throne of Atlantis. Though he was a
non-speaking role, his voice was credited by Patrick Cavanaugh.
An alternate universe version of Jimmy Olsen appeared in Justice League: Gods
and Monsters, voiced by Yuri Lowenthal. He was part of Lois Lane’s reporter team
and snuck into the morgue of the deceased scientists to get some pictures
before getting arrested. Jimmy olsen will appear in 2016’s Batman
v Superman: Dawn of Justice portrayed by Scoot McNairy.
=Video games=In Superman 64 he is trapped, along with
Lois Lane and Professor Emil Hamilton, by Lex Luthor. Superman has to save him
and his friends in this game. In Superman: Shadow of Apokolips for the
Nintendo Gamecube and the PlayStation 2, Jimmy makes some minor appearances and
only seen in the story between game-play. He is seen in the
bibliography section of the game. In DC Universe Online Jimmy appears as a
supporting character for the heroes, voiced by Brandon Young.
Cultural references The Spin Doctors had a minor hit with
their song “Jimmy Olsen’s Blues” on their album Pocket Full of Kryptonite,
in which they portrayed Jimmy Olsen as infatuated with Lois Lane and jealous of
Superman, a problem which he hoped to solve with the aforementioned “pocket
full of Kryptonite.” In the period after the song became popular, artist Jon
Bogdanove, who at the time was the regular penciler on the Superman: The
Man of Steel comic, would occasionally depict Jimmy wearing a Spin Doctors
T-shirt. References
External links Jimmy Olsen at Mike’s Amazing World of
Comics Transgender Graphics and Fiction Archive
An overview of Jimmy Olsen’s adventures disguised as a woman.
Jimmy Olsen on DC Database, an external wiki, a DC Comics wiki

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