DC Database

Photographer James Olsen used to be Superman's pal, and when he moved to National City he became Supergirl's pal as well. Longing to take a more active role, he briefly operated as Guardian.

James Olsen is the son of a soldier who died during Operation Desert Storm in 1991 and, before he was deployed to the Middle East, he gave him his first camera. Since the death of his father Jimmy keeps the camera with him at all times and decide to become a photojournalist; a nervous kid starting out, he find employ at the Daily Planet, where he befriended Clark Kent, who eventually entrusted him with his super-heroic secret allowing him to take the 1st photo of Superman, from which he won a Pulitzer and soon gained public recognition for being friends with him.

Growing up, he began to find the nickname "Jimmy" annoying preferring to be called "James"; also he start a relationship with Lucy Lane, which nevertheless ends because she constantly feels sidelined by him in favor of Superman.

At some time Superman asked James to move to National City to keep a close eye on his cousin Kara, who had just revealed herself to the world as another Kryptonian.

When Cat Grant left she asked James to work as temporary CEO of CatCo Worldwide Media.

After his father's camera is destroyed during an attempt to stop some criminals armed with alien technology from robbing West National City Bank, James decides to become a vigilante and asks Winn Schott to make him a suit, as Winn had made Kara's Supergirl suit. Although he originally declined, Winn later was forced to agree and help. He then made the suit to specifically protect James. James appeared in the suit, presenting himself as "Guardian", to fight the alien parasite infected Rudy Jones, along with Mon-El. Supergirl would eventually beat Parasite by using plutonium from a nuclear power plant, completely obliterating him. As Guardian left Supergirl tried to use x-ray vision to identify him, but since Guardian's helmet was lined with lead she was unable to, and she allowed him to drive away on his bike. After James' antics as Guardian made the newspapers he and Winn decided to keep going with their new vigilante activities.

Soon after Kara and Alex both discovered James and Guardian were one and the same.

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Other Characteristics

  • PTSD: James suffered from posttraumatic stress disorder after being shot in an attack in which he was the target within the CatCo building.


  • Guardian Suit: A gift from Winn, which gives basic protection against brute force and gunshots. It is also lined with lead to keep X-Ray vision from peeking at his face. It comes with a built-in shield.
  • Signal Watch: Originally given to him by Superman to call for help, he now uses it to call Supergirl. It lets out a high pitched frequency only Kryptonians can hear.



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Daily Planet Staff member
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