For the Daily Planet photographer, see Jimmy Olsen.
James Bartholomew "Jimmy" Olsen is the younger brother of Henry James Olsen. In the future, he becomes a photographer at the Daily Planet and works alongside Clark Kent and Lois Lane, filling in his brother's place.
James (along with his parents) was seen at his older brother's funeral along with Clark Kent, Chloe Sullivan, Oliver Queen, Bart Allen, Dinah Lance and a group of others. At the end of the funeral, Chloe gave him Henry's camera. She tells that he may walk in his brother's footsteps someday, for which he thanked her. He then left with his father.
During Clark's dream of the year 2013, Lois Lane yelled at an "Olsen" (who was not seen or heard) to have his camera ready for a plane crash, telling him that he'd better be getting every pixel of the event.
In the year 2018, Jimmy abruptly stopped Lois when she was about to enter Perry White's office and warned her about it not being a good idea to speak to their editor. He then asked for Lois' opinion regarding photos that he took of Superman, to which Lois stated that while the color and lighting were fine, and that it was lacking the drama and awe worthy of Superman. She then reminded Jimmy that he had some big shoes to fill left by his brother, but that she was certain he can do it, leaving Jimmy to proudly smile back at her.
- Season Eight: Legion (Mentioned only), Doomsday
- Season Nine: Salvation (Mentioned only)
- Season Ten: Homecoming (Mentioned only), Finale, Part 2
In the Comics
Jimmy Olsen 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 wristwatch which or a "signal watch" with the press of a button, emits a special ultrasonic frequency signal that Superman can hear anywhere on Earth. Jimmy invented the watch himself in the Post-Crisis continuity and Superman briefly considered confiscating it while the watch was designed by Superman based on a larger signaling device Jimmy created in the New Earth continuity.
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. After the Flashpoint event, the DC Universe was drastically changed. Jimmy Olsen is still a photographer for the Daily Planet and calls Clark Kent his best friend (for six months) although Clark was working for another newspaper,The Daily Star. Jimmy instead works together with Lois Lane and Miko on a majority of stories.5 years after Superman and the Justice League's debut, Jimmy was also present at the demolition of the old Daily Planet building, over which he has expressed disappointment.
In the New 52, Jimmy still works as a photographer for the Daily Planet, even though his personality seems to have changed being more of independent-minded person. He calls Clark Kent his best friend but only for the past six months, although Clark was working for another newspaper. Clark also used to live on Jimmy's apartment. Jimmy instead works together with Lois Lane and Miko, his news partner a techie, on a majority of stories. Jimmy was also present at the demolition of the old Daily Planet building, over which he has expressed disappointment. He revealed that his mother used to be a model and a drug addict and she left his dad for a musician but at some point his rich father came back to their lives out of guilt when Jimmy was seventeen and thanks to him he has lots of money, which he doesn't really seem to want, preferring to be taken seriously and do "real news". When he doesn't have a place to stay he asks Clark if he could crash at his place. At some point, Jimmy says to Clark that his famous parents died or gone missing and he inherited the vast Olsen fortune until they come back. Jimmy also helps Lois investigate a story about a drug that transforms people into monsters. Jimmy then advises Clark and Cat Grant that if Morgan Edge is offering them so much money for the blog is because he wants to shut them down.
Jimmy also supported Clark when he quit from the Daily Planet. Later, Perry White talks to Jimmy about some old binoculars his great-uncle gave him, which are from ground zero at Nagasaki where his uncle was stationed. When Lex Luthor breaks out of prison he kidnaps Jimmy for his evil plot. Lex seems to be using some large device to alter Jimmy's left hand in some way. Lex talks of how he knows just how Superman will be killed. As Lex's device slowly descends on Jimmy's left hand, Lex reveals that Jimmy will be his instrument of death.
During Forever Evil, when Ultraman arrives at the Daily Planet he questions Jimmy of his occupation there. Jimmy tells him he's a photographer and takes a picture of him, Ultraman then proceeds to crush his camera and break his hand. Ultraman states that on his Earth the alternate version of Olsen used to take pictures of Lois Lane/Superwoman for "favors". Jimmy desperately activates his Signal Watch calling for Superman, but it instead gets the attention of Black Adam.
- Jimmy Olsen's first appearance was an anonymous cameo in Action Comics #6 (November 1938). His first named appearance came in Superman #13 (November–December 1941).
- As in the comics, Jimmy (James) is shown with red hair, a bow tie and his trademark camera.
- James' name (as "Jimmy Olsen") was briefly seen in Season Ten's Homecoming. It was the only time that he was identified by the name "Jimmy". In Doomsday, he is unnamed and in Salvation and Finale, Part 2, Lois just refers to him by his last name.
- In Legion, Rokk Krinn lists Jimmy Olsen as someone that they have heard about. Persumably, he was talking about James bartholomew Olsen, not Henry James Olsen.
- The characterization for the character of photographer Bert Camp in Season Ten's Masquerade bears a remarkable similarity to the classic version of Jimmy Olsen from the comics.
- It is shown that James Bartholomew Olsen is the Smallville incarnation of "Jimmy Olsen" and not his brother that was as seen in Season Six, Season Seven and Season Eight on Smallville. This would be consistent with Jimmy Olsen's character is somewhere between five to ten years younger than fellow Daily Planet reporters Clark Kent and Lois Lane in the comics.
- In an interview, Aaron Ashmore states that the reveal was caused by DC Comics restrictions.
- James Bartholomew Olsen never met Clark Kent onscreen.
- James (Jimmy) has been featured or mentioned in three season finales in a row:
- In Season Ten's series finale, Olsen (James) looks exactly like his older brother and a mental patient named Eric Summers. In real life, this is because the brothers both portrayed by Aaron Ashmore while Eric is portrayed by Aaron's twin brother, Shawn Ashmore.
Other faces of Jimmy Olsen
- Chloe: Hi, you must be Jimmy's younger brother. Well I think that this belongs to you. He would've wanted you to have it.
- James: Thanks.
- Chloe: Who knows, maybe someday you'll follow in his footsteps.
- Season Eight, Doomsday
- Lois: How many "Great Caesar's Ghosts"?
- Jimmy: Four, before his coffee. But... did you get my shots?
- Lois: Love the framing, love the colors. Where's the drama?
- Jimmy: Um...Um, did you see the one with the elephant?
- Lois: The Man of Steel deserves something better than a circus incident and a fender-bender. I want pecs, I want capes, I want pearly whites.
- Jimmy: Yes, Miss Lane.
- Lois: Great. Your brother left big shoes to fill, Olsen. I know you're up to the task.
- Season Ten, Finale, Part 2
- Jimmy Olsen on Wikipedia
- Jimmy Olsen on Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Wikia
- Jimmy Olsen on Wikia DCAU
- Jimmy Olsen on Young Justice Wikia
- Jimmy Olsen on Superfriends Wikia
- Jimmy Olsen on DC Database
- Jimmy Olsen on Superman Wikia
- Jimmy Olsen on DC Universe Online Wikia
- Jimmy Olsen on Batman Wikia
- Jimmy Olsen on comic vine
- Jimmy Olsen: Honorary Legionnaires - Hero History
- Counting Down to Countdown - Part II: Eclipso and Jimmy Olsen
- Supermanica: Jimmy Olsen Supermanica entry on the pre-Crisis Jimmy Olsen
- Jimmy Olsen's Signal-Watch
- Comic Book Resources' Oddball Comics column Detailing Superman's Pal: Jimmy Olsen #80, which references many of Jimmy's different forms
- Transgender Graphics and Fiction Archive An overview of Jimmy Olsen's adventures disguised as a woman.