Saturday, November 29, 2014

Happy Birthday, Jimmy Olsen!

According to the 1976 DC Calendar, today will be the birthday of James "Jimmy" Olsen, known in the 20th and 21st Centuries as Superman's best non-super-hero pal, and known throughout the 30th and 31st Centuries as the Honorary Legionnaire Elastic Lad.
Jimmy Olsen was named an Honorary Legionnaire during Year Three.
Jimmy Olsen is a Sagittarius. People want to advise him, but the best advice will be a message from his heart to his head. He knows what to do. The next step is summoning the courage.

Jimmy Olsen made his debut appearance on the Superman radio show on April 15, 1940. Superman needed somebody to talk to, so he was added to the cast. He then appeared in the comics after Superman #13 in 1941. 

On radio Jimmy was played by Jack Kelk and Jack Grimes. In the two Superman movie serials (Superman in 1948, Atom Man vs. Superman in 1950) Jimmy was played by Tommy Bond (formerly of The Little Rascals). In later movies he was played by Marc McClure and Sam Huntington. Then in 1952 Jimmy made the jump to television in The Adventures of Superman (152-1958), played by Jack Larson. Because of the popularity of this series, both Jimmy and Lois were given their own comic-book series. Later Jimmy would appear on Lois & Clark, Smallville, and Superman: The Animated Series. 

Jimmy was inducted into the Legion of Super-Heroes in Jimmy Olsen #72 as an Honorary Member. He acts as if he knows all of the Legionnaires already, but I couldn't find where he had met any of them before! He did appear with the Legion again a few issues later, but never appeared with them again! Probably as the Legion as a series became more independent of the Superman mythos, nominal characters such as Lana Lang, Jimmy Olsen, and Supergirl were no longer encouraged to mingle with the future continuity.

Tommy Bond (2nd from left)
Jack Larson (and George Reeves)
Jimmy's 1st issue (1954)

Jimmy joins the Legion as an Honorary Member

Jack Grimes voiced Jimmy in "The New Adventures of Superman"
Jack Kirby brought his New Gods to Jimmy Olsen
The last issue of Jimmy's own comic....
...before it morphed into Superman Family!
Marc McClure played Jimmy five times
Michael Landes in "Lois & Clark" (season 1)...

Justin Whalen on "Lois & Clark" (seasons 2-4)
Jimmy was voiced by David Kaufman in "Superman: TAS"
Sam Huntington in "Superman Returns"
Aaron Ashmore played "Jimmy" on "Smallville"....

...until it turned out "Jimmy" was actually his little brother (Ryan Harder)

Jimmy was voiced by Alex Polinsky on "Batman: The Brave & The Bold"

Jimmy Olsen is truly one of the most famous comic-book characters of all times. You ask the average North American for comic book characters they know and they'll say Superman, Spider-Man, Batman etc....but if you say, "What about Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen?" I bet the majority will say, "Oh, yeah, Superman's girl friend and friend, right?" 


  1. Jimmy Olsen Fun Fact: He keeps his Legion Flight Ring in his wallet (DC Comics Presents #43).

  2. Love Jimmy Olsen. I will always love Jimmy. Also don't forget All Star Superman issue 4 where he become Doomsday ! That is awesome