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Jimmy Olsen
JimmyOlsen01.png
Jimmy Olsen. Art by Phil Noto, from 9-11: The World's Finest Comic Book Writers and Artists Tell Stories to Remember.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Anonymous cameo:
Action Comics #6 (November 1938)
As Jimmy Olsen:
Superman #13 (November-December 1941)
Created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster
In-story information
Full name James Bartholomew "Jimmy" Olsen
Team affiliations Daily Planet
Galaxy Broadcasting
Legion of Super-Heroes
Supporting character of Superman
Notable aliases Mr. Action, Elastic Lad, Flamebird
Abilities Possesses a signal watch that can call Superman and Mon-El from anywhere on Earth.

James Bartholomew "Jimmy" Olsen is a fictional character who appears mainly in DC ComicsSuperman stories. Olsen is a young photojournalist working for the Daily Planet. He is close friends with Lois Lane, Clark Kent/Superman and Perry White. Olsen looks up to his coworkers as role models and parent figures.

Contents

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 also 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 Post-Crisis continuity Jimmy invented the watch himself, and Superman briefly considered confiscating it. In New Earth continuity, the watch was designed by Superman based on a larger signaling device Jimmy created.)

In many Silver Age 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.

Fictional character history

An anonymous "copy boy" who resembles Olsen makes a brief appearance in Action Comics #6, but the character called Jimmy Olsen first appeared in the radio show The Adventures of Superman (on April 15, 1940) mainly "so the Man of Steel would have someone to talk to."[1] The character moved briefly from the radio show into the comics in 1941, first appearing in Superman v1 #13 (1941). 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, 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 (1948) and Atom Man vs. Superman (1950); Marc McClure in the Superman films of the 1970s and '80s, 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 fourth through eighth seasons of Smallville'.

Golden and Silver Age

Jimmy Olsen, from Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #36 (1959). Art by Curt Swan.

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. In one adventure published in the 1960s, he implied that there were branches of it around the country and that he intended to lecture them about anti-crime techniques he had learned from Superman and Batman.[2]

Jack Kirby's Fourth World

Kirby began by introducing a secret "D.N.A. Project" to create Mutated Humans for Good, also adding "The Hairies" (a group of technology-equipped hippies), superbeings from other planets (proto-New Gods), 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 in 1974 (with issue #163) Jimmy's book was folded into the anthology title Superman Family. In that book, 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.

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 (though this trend started in 1970s comics). An interesting alteration to the relationship was that Jimmy designed the signal watch himself, leading to his first meeting with Superman.[3] 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 also 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 (wrongly) 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 relationship between Clark and Jimmy. It appears, however, that following the One Year Later storyline jump, Clark has regained his original role as The Daily Planet's star reporter,[4][5] and Jimmy has returned to being a photographer, winning the Pulitzer Prize for his photographic efforts.

Countdown

Jimmy Olsen as Mr. Action. Cover art for Countdown #38, by Shane Davis.

Jimmy's story in the 2007-08 weekly series Countdown to Final Crisis begins with an investigation into the death of Duela Dent.[6] 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.[7][8] 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"[9], Jimmy is unable to command the respect of established superheroes in the JLA and Teen Titans, and gives up on this particular avenue.[10] One of these powers allows Jimmy to realize the identities of some superheroes, such as the Robins and Superman, who requests that he take care of Krypto.

Jimmy is eventually tracked down by the New God Forager[11], with whom he begins a romantic relationship.[12][13] Forager informs him that he has become a soulcatcher for the spirits of dying New Gods.[14] 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.[15] 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.[16] Unfortunately, they fail, and the Morticoccus virus devastates an alternate Earth.[17][18]

Upon return to their Earth, Jimmy is captured by Mary Marvel, who had been manipulated towards evil by Darkseid.[19] 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 turtlelike creature, and prepares to take on Darkseid himself.[20] 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.[21][22]

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 (due to his similarity to Tim Zanetti's fate).

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.[23]

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.[24]

Powers, abilities, and equipment

Cover art for the trade paperback Superman: The Amazing Transformations of Jimmy Olsen, by Brian Bolland.

Jimmy possesses a watch which emits a high-pitched signal only Superman can hear.

Mostly during the Silver Age, Jimmy would find himself temporarily transformed, for better or worse, or undergo a disguise for various purposes. The transformation tradition is still sometimes referenced in present-day comics, usually through homage or parody.

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.

  • Giant Turtle Boy: One of Jimmy's most frequently cited transformations was that of his turning into a giant turtle boy.[25]
  • Elastic Lad - As Elastic Lad, Jimmy (by serum or by alien virus) could sometimes stretch himself, akin to Elongated Man or Plastic Man.[26] As Elastic Lad, Jimmy was inducted as an Honorary Member of the Legion of Super-Heroes.[27]
  • 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 (a night-winged creature) and Robin (a flame-colored bird).
  • 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.
  • Gorilla - When Jimmy switched minds with a gorilla, he went about his reporting duties as a gorilla in Jimmy's clothes.[28]
  • Monstrous beard growth - The machinations of the sinister Beard Band cause Jimmy to grow an immense beard.
  • 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.)
  • Wolf-Man - In the vein of the popular Michael Landon 1950s film I Was a Teenage Werewolf, Jimmy found himself transformed into a werewolf.[29]
  • Hippie - Jimmy grew a beard and joined a Superman-hating band of hippies.[30] On the cover of this story's issue, Jimmy's seen 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.
  • Woman - Jimmy would occasionally go undercover dressed as a woman.[29] Grant Morrison paid a brief homage to this in All Star Superman.[31]
  • A human porcupine[32]

Other versions

Jimmy Olsen in The Nail. Art by Alan Davis.

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 Superman, Jimmy Olsen is revealed as the one behind all the other superheroes' troubles. Jimmy had served as an aide to Lex Luthor following various short-lived attempts at heroism caused by temporary alteration of his DNA.

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, hoping to have them imprisoned so he could use their DNA as well in an attempt to create a stable template.
When Jimmy attacked an Amish couple and their son during a battle with the Justice League, culminating in a desperate attempt by Batman and Green Lantern to stop him by supercharging Batman with his ring, the couple was killed, but the son was revealed to be Superman. In this alternate reality, the Amish couple had raised Superman, and brought him up as a pacifist, 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.
  • In Frank Miller's 2001 graphic novel Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again, Jimmy Olsen is featured as the writer of a Daily Planet article titled "Truth to Power", where he attempts to reveal that the current President is a holographic projection. However, his attempts to publicize the truth are halted by Lex Luthor.
  • 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. His look and model in the series is based on James Jesus Angleton, who served in the CIA[citation needed].
  • 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's also 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 also became that reality's version of Doomsday[31].
  • Jimmy Olsen makes an appearance in Frank Miller's All Star Batman and Robin The Boy Wonder #6, helping Vicki Vale, who he appears to be attracted to, escape from 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'. However he is still young, so he may yet work for the Planet.

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 other media

Radio

On the Superman radio series, Jack Kelk and Jack Grimes portrayed Jimmy Olsen.

Film

Showdown

Jimmy Olsen appeared in the animated Superman short film called Showdown, where he is portrayed by voice actor Jack Mercer.

Superman movie serials

Jimmy Olsen has appeared in every major filmed adaptation of Superman. The first actor to portray Jimmy Olsen in live-action was Tommy Bond in the serials starring Kirk Alyn.

Superman films (1978-1987)

In the four motion pictures starring Christopher Reeve beginning with Superman, Jimmy Olsen was portrayed by Marc McClure. Marc 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 1978-87 era.

Superman Returns

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 hasn't had a photo printed in several months. Jack Larson, who portrayed Jimmy in the Adventures of Superman television series, plays the bartender who talks to Clark and Jimmy in the film.

Superman: Doomsday

Jimmy appeared in Superman: Doomsday, played by voice actor Adam Wylie.

Justice League: The New Frontier

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 also tries to take dangerous pictures during the battle.

Superman: Brainiac Attacks

Jimmy is played by David Kaufman in the television movie Superman: Brainiac Attacks.

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths

Jimmy appeared in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. He is in the antimatter Earth as Utraman's "Pal" and was used to bait him out. He also tries to take on Luthor and Superman with unknown super powers in battle. In promotional materials for the film, this version of Jimmy is referred to as "Mr. Action". He was voiced by Richard Green.

Video games

  • Jimmy Olsen also appeared in several Superman games.

Superman 64

Superman 64 [N64]: 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.

Superman: Shadow of Apokolips

Superman: Shadow of Apokolips [Gamecube, PS2]: Jimmy makes some minor appearances and only seen in the story between game-play. He is also seen in the bibliography section of the game.

Television

Live-action

Adventures of Superman

On the Adventures of Superman television series starring George Reeves, Jimmy Olsen was portrayed by Jack Larson. Larson also 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[citation needed] 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. Also, 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 (N.I.A.) and the episode 'The Dad who Came in from the Cold' is entirely devoted to this character.

Smallville
Aaron Ashmore as Henry James "Jimmy" Olsen in Smallville.

In Smallville a version Jimmy Olsen is first referenced, by first name only (as Chloe Sullivan's "first time"), in Season 4. He appears in person, played by Aaron Ashmore, in the season premiere of Season 6, now on staff at the Planet, and he prefers to be called "James". Jimmy and Chloe became a couple again after their reunion in the Season 6 premiere "Zod". At first Jimmy is jealous of Clark 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 Clark's newly arrived Kryptonian cousin Kara Zor-El (Laura Vandervoort) has developed a crush on Jimmy and they become friends. Jimmy is also smitten by her and teams up with her in episodes like "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 the eighth season 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. He never met his mom. He apologizes 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 (Doomsday's human form) 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 the finale of Season 8, 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. Chloe gave Jimmy his final passionate kiss before Jimmy was killed by Davis who was stripped of his kryptonian persona by Clark and Chloe, yet before his death, Jimmy killed Davis. At his funeral, his full name is revealed to be Henry James Olsen, not James Bartholomew Olsen. His camera is given to his younger brother (portrayed by Ryan Harder). His name is not mentioned but the boy is wearing a bowtie,[33] leading to the possibility that this is the Jimmy Olsen that will befriend Superman.

Jimmy on Jimmy

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 (Adventures of Superman), Marc McClure (Superman film series, Supergirl), Sam Huntington (Superman Returns), and Aaron Ashmore (Smallville). Michael Landes and Justin Whalin (both from Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman) do not participate.

Animation

The New Adventures of Superman

Jack Grimes reprised his role as Jimmy Olsen in The New Adventures of Superman.

Super Friends

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. However, it turned out it wasn't Jimmy at all, but Lex Luthor's henchman Orville Gump in disguise.

Superman (1988)

Mark L. Taylor played Jimmy Olsen in the 1988 animated adaptation of Superman.

Superman: The Animated Series
Jimmy Olsen in Superman: The Animated Series.

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 an homage.

Justice League

Jimmy makes a brief appearance in Superman's nightmare in "Only a Dream," with David Kaufman reprising the role. He also makes a cameo at Superman's funeral in "Hereafter." A photographer with orange hair also appears beside Clark at the beginning of "Starcrossed." Though his face isn't shown, it is likely Jimmy.

Justice League Unlimited

Jimmy had several cameo appearances in Justice League Unlimited, including one episode where Huntress 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."[34]

The Batman

Jimmy appeared in the Season 5 premiere of The Batman played by voice actor Jack DeSena.

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.
  • Often, Superman pastiches have featured notable Jimmy analogues. For example, in Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures, Mighty Mouse's greatest fan was a young mouse named Scrappy with a shock of red hair.
  • Alan Moore's comic series Supreme featured Billy Friday, a cynical British comic book writer, very unlike Jimmy in personality, but who underwent weird transformations similar to those of the Silver Age Jimmy.
  • On the show Boy Meets World, Topanga refers to a photographer as a "Jimmy Olsen freak."
  • In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "The Zeppo", characters twice refer to non-superpowered sidekick Xander Harris as Jimmy Olsen.
  • Professional wrestler Corey Branson took the moniker Jimmy Olsen in a few New York promotions such as NWA Upstate.
  • The Teamo Supremo episode "You'd Better Start Calling Me Chief!" revolved around an accident-prone newspaper reporter and photographer named Ollie Jimson who followed the titular trio around, screwing up their attempts to catch the bad guys.
  • In The Sopranos episode "Cold Stones", Silvio Dante reacts to a piece of already heard news by responding that Carlo Gervasi is a "regular Jimmy Olsen."
  • In the horror film House of 1,000 Corpses, Grandpa Hugo asks one of the main characters if he is "Jimmy Olsen, cub reporter for 'The Daily Arsehole'".
  • In the drug comedy film Tyrone, the character Tyrone played by Coolio calls one of the main characters a "Jimmy Olsen lookin' mother f'er".
  • In "The Boyfriend", an episode of Seinfeld, Keith Hernandez tells Jerry that he loved his Jimmy Olsen bit.
  • Comic Book Guy mentioned Jimmy Olsen in the Simpsons episode "Husbands and Knives".
  • On an appearance on HBO's Costas Now, author and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Buzz Bissinger said to sports blog "Deadspin" founder Will Leitch, "You're like Jimmy Olsen on percocet".

In season 3 episode 11 of Desperate Housewives, Carlos refers to Gabrielle's boyfriend as Jimmy Olsen because of the page boy cap he wears.

References

  1. ^ "Lightning Bolts," Black Lightning #3 (July 1977).
  2. ^ illustration included in the Penguin Book of Comics by George Perry and Alan Aldridge, published in 1967.
  3. ^ World of Metropolis #4 (1987)
  4. ^ 52: Week Eight (2006)
  5. ^ Superman #650 (2006)
  6. ^ Countdown to Final Crisis #51 (May 2007)
  7. ^ Countdown to Final Crisis #50 (May 2007)
  8. ^ Countdown to Final Crisis #49 (May 2007)
  9. ^ Countdown to Final Crisis #41 (July 2007)
  10. ^ Countdown to Final Crisis #38 (August 2007)
  11. ^ Countdown to Final Crisis #28 (October 2007)
  12. ^ Countdown to Final Crisis #26 (October 2007)
  13. ^ Countdown to Final Crisis #19 (December 2007)
  14. ^ Countdown to Final Crisis #16 (January 2008)
  15. ^ Countdown to Final Crisis #8 (March 2008)
  16. ^ Countdown to Final Crisis #6 (March 2008)
  17. ^ Countdown to Final Crisis #7 (March 2008)
  18. ^ Countdown to Final Crisis #5 (March 2008)
  19. ^ Countdown to Final Crisis #4 (April 2008)
  20. ^ Countdown to Final Crisis #3 (April 2008)
  21. ^ Countdown to Final Crisis #2 (April 2008)
  22. ^ Countdown to Final Crisis #1 (April 2008)
  23. ^ Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen Special #2 (August 2009)
  24. ^ Superman (vol. 1) #695 (December 2009)
  25. ^ Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #53 (1961)
  26. ^ Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #37 (1959)
  27. ^ Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #72 (October 1963)
  28. ^ Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #24
  29. ^ a b Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #44 (1960)
  30. ^ Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #118 (1969)
  31. ^ a b All Star Superman #4 (2006)
  32. ^ Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #65 (1962)
  33. ^ "Doomsday". Brian Peterson, Kelly Souders (writers) & James Marshall (director). Smallville. The CW. 2009-05-14. No. 22, season 8.
  34. ^ ""Chaos at the Earth's Core" at The Watchtower". http://jl.toonzone.net/episode53/episode53.htm.  Retrieved on June 20, 2007.

External links








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