Jimmy Olsen is a young photojournalist working for the Daily Planet. He is close friends with Lois Lane, Clark Kent, Superman and Perry White; all of whom he looks up to as role models and parental figures.
James Bartholomew Olsen was born to Jake and Sarah Olsen in Yonkers, NY. His father was in the military and was declared missing in Southeast Asia before Jimmy was born. In the absence of a father figure, Sarah Olsen became extremely protective of her son. His mother ran a newsagents, and he would get up early and collect stories about Metropolis from the paper for a scrapbook.
Jimmy was a very bright child, but sometimes grew bored with his schoolwork. Often, he would cut classes to attend lectures. He got a job as an intern at the Daily Planet while still a junior high school student.
Jimmy first met Clark Kent while working at the Planet, when Kent was hired after beating Lois Lane to the first interview with Superman. Later, when the life of his friend was in jeopardy, Jimmy jury-rigged some spare electronic parts to produce a hypersonic sound to attract the attention of Superman. His plan was successful and Superman arrived to save the day. This led to the invention of his signal watch.
Jimmy's success grew at the Planet, rising up from a gopher to becoming a photographer and occasional reporter. Shortly before Superman's demise at the hands of Doomsday, Jimmy began freelancing for rival media magnate Collin Thornton of Newstime Magazine. When Superman was killed by Doomsday, it was Jimmy who took the infamous photograph of Superman's ragged cape, fluttering in the wind. This photograph was used as the frontispiece for a special Superman retrospective published by Newstime.
Some time later, Jimmy ultimately returned to the Daily Planet and took a position as a regular star reporter; replacing the demoted Clark Kent. This caused a strain in the relationship between Clark and Jimmy. In the year following the Crisis, Clark regained his role as the Daily Planet's star reporter and Jimmy returned to being a photographer, winning the Pulitzer Prize for his photographic efforts.
Alternate Future Edit
In an alternate future where the conflict between heroes and villains has escalated to war,
- Jimmy first appeared as an unnamed character in Action Comics #6 (November 1938).
- Jimmy is voiced by Brandon Young.
- Jimmy possesses a wristwatch which emits an ultrasonic frequency signal that can be heard by Superman from anywhere on Earth.
- In DC Universe Online Legends #10, Jimmy is infected by Brainiac's Exobytes and becomes a metahuman with turtle-like appearances; similar to the Giant Turtle Boy transformation he famously underwent during DC's Silver Age comics.