DC Database

Henry James Olsen was the older brother of James Bartholomew Olsen and the first husband of Chloe Sullivan. He was a photographer for the Daily Planet. After his death, Olsen served as an inspiration for his younger brother.

Early Life

Henry James Olsen would frequently make inconsistent claims about his life and once outright admitted to telling lies about his origins.[1][2] All that is known is that Olsen at some point began going by his middle name, "James". In his teens, Olsen worked as an intern at the Daily Planet over the summer. While there, he met fellow intern Chloe Sullivan, whom he lost his virginity with.[3]

Season Six

By 2006, Olsen had begun working at the Daily Planet as a photographer, where he was reunited with Chloe and the two soon began dating.[4] As Olsen became part of Chloe's life, he began getting drawn into all kinds of strange activities. Investigating a murder near Smallville, he was attacked by a mysterious woman and almost died, when he had alien plant seeds implanted in his body. Fortunately, Chloe was able to save his life, by subjecting him to a massive dose of electricity, killing the seeds.[5] Another time Chloe recruited him to save Lex Luthor and Lana Lang, who had been trapped in another dimension.[6]

Season Seven

Because of several bad encounters with the meteor infected, Olsen became bigoted against them, which created problems in his relationship with Chloe, who had recently discovered that she was meteor infected.[7] Eventually, her need to keep this a secret and his insecurity about her friendship with Clark Kent, lead them to breaking up.[8] Olsen soon entered a new relationship with Clark's cousin, Kara.[9][10] However, after she disappeared, and Chloe finally revealed to him that she was meteor infected, the two soon began dating again.[11] But there were still clouds on the horizon. Olsen found himself approached by an agent of the Department of Domestic Security named Vanessa Webber, who was convinced that Chloe was part of a terrorist sleeper cell. Webber blackmailed Olsen into helping her with her investigation, but Olsen struck a deal Lex Luthor to get the government agency off their backs.[12] However, when Olsen refused to play ball, Lex turned on him and had Chloe taken away by fake DDS agents.[13]

Season Eight

A month later, Olsen was reunited with Chloe and the two were engaged to be married.[14] Not long after, Olsen accidentally took a photo of a mysterious superhero, whom Olsen was convinced had been running around saving people in Metropolis. He soon began to suspect Clark to be the mysterious superhero, but was soon disproven, when he saw the two at the same place at the same time.[15] Later, Olsen and Chloe were married. However, the wedding was interrupted by the appearance of a monster, who left Olsen in a critical condition and briefly kidnapped Chloe.[16] Olsen's recovery proved difficult. The experience had left him traumatized and his time at the hospital left him addicted to morphine. During his stay at the hospital, Olsen became convinced that Chloe's friend, Davis Bloome, was a serial killer. But, Davis managed to make it seem like Olsen was crazy. Because Chloe didn't believe him, he left her, and they divorced.[17][18] Olsen got a bartending job at the Ace of Clubs and descended into a drug addiction.[19] Eventually, Oliver Queen gave him a job at Queen Industries and he managed to kick the drug habit.[20]

Not long after, Chloe vanished with Davis. Olsen tried to track them down, but instead found Clark and discovered his powers, realizing that Clark was indeed the superhero that he had suspected. With instructions from Clark, after they were found, Olsen took Chloe and Davis to a safe place. A loft apartment, that he had bought her as a wedding present. Chloe confessed her love for him, but their reunion proved short, as Davis mortally wounded him and tried to kill Chloe. But, with the last of his strength, Olsen was able to protect Chloe and kill Davis, before dying himself. Olsen was buried in Metropolis. His father and younger brother attended the funeral, with his brother being given Olsen's camera.[21]


Henry James Olsen became a source of inspiration for his brother, whom later became a photographer at the Daily Planet.[22] But, the legacy of Henry James Olsen extends beyond his brother. After his death, Chloe turned the loft apartment into a base for a network of heroes, to honor his memory.[21]


Other Characteristics

  • According to Aaron Ashmore, the reveal of Jimmy Olsen actually being Henry James Olsen and the brother of the canon character, was brought on by restrictions made by DC Comics.[23]



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Daily Planet Staff member
This character is or was an employee of the Daily Planet, a daily newspaper based in Metropolis. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Daily Planet Staff members" category.