DC Database

Quote1 I'm Jimmy Olsen – photojournalist for the Metropolis Daily Planet – and this is where I shine. Quote2
Jimmy Olsen src

Jimmy Olsen is a photographer and reporter working for the Daily Planet in Metropolis alongside Clark Kent and Lois Lane underneath chief-editor Perry White. He is most well known as being a close personal friend to Superman, and has a signal watch to call him for help at any time.

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Man of Steel
Superman and his supporting cast had their origins rewritten in the Man of Steel series written by John Byrne, following the Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1986. This was part of many sweeping changes made to continuity in the Post-Crisis DC Universe. These stories would be considered the definitive history until his origins were revised again in Superman: Birthright, written by Mark Waid in 2003.


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 newsagent, 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.

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Signal watch.


 Main article: Superman Origins

Jimmy first meets reporter Clark Kent during The Man of Steel while working at the Planet, when Kent is hired after beating Lois Lane to the first interview with Superman.[2] When one of his friend's life was in jeopardy, Jimmy jury-rigged some spare electronic parts to produce a hypersonic sound and 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.[3]


 Main article: Superman: Exile

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Jimmy Olsen going bald.

Following Superman's return from his exile, Jimmy began to experience weird powers, [4] it turns out it was the Eradicator that Superman bought from space. [5] Eventually, Jimmy was cured by the Camdus Project, however, the side effects made him go bald. [6]

Because of that, Jimmy felt "betrayed" by Superman, to the point where he gave up on his signal watch. [7] Jimmy began to attend the Blaze, a club that was once the abandoned St. Christopher's church,[8] but he was caught in a crossfire while trying to protect Perry White, Jr. [9] Jimmy and Perry Jr. were transported in the Blaze dimension,[10] where he would later get rescued by Superman.

Jimmy reconnected with Superman, retrieving his signal watch from the case.[11] However, his luck was short lived, as he would get fired from the Daily Planet by Samuel Foswell[12] that temporarily replace Perry White. Jimmy tried to find a new job, but he was unsuccessful, and for some time he lived in his car. [13]

Jimmy would eventually land a job, freelancing for Daily Planet's rival media magnate Collin Thornton of Newstime Magazine.

Death of Superman

 Main article: Death of Superman

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 front page for a special Superman retrospective published by Newstime.

Superman Red and Blue

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Misa kissing Jimmy.

Jimmy returned to the Daily Planet, but he left once again after he felt he wasn't being taken seriously,[14]he was hired at Galaxy Communications by Catherine Grant.[15]

In his time at WGBS, Jimmy prepared an expose of Superman's secret identity, but he chickened out in the very last second, due to the massive letdown, he was fired the same day.[16] This would bring more trouble to Jimmy, as Intergang started a manhunt on him for Superman's secret identity, which led Jimmy to flee from Metropolis. Jimmy started roaming outside Metropolis, but Intergang caught up to him, luckily he was saved by the Outsiders Biker Gang.[17] In the same period, he met Misa, the two seemed romantically involved.[18]

After Intergang got busted, Jimmy returned to Metropolis and was hired back at the Daily Planet, where his relationship with Misa seem not to have got anywhere.[19]

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Harley as Holly Chance kissing Jimmy.

Our Worlds at War

 Main article: Our Worlds at War

During the Imperiex War, Jimmy met Harley Quinn in Gotham, afraid for his life, Jimmy lied to Harley, saying he was trying to get back to his supposed pregnant girlfriend, in the hope that Harley would spare his life, which she did, but upon learning that he lied, Harley swore revenge on Olsen. [20]

After the war, Harley with Poison Ivy moved to Metropolis, where they took over an apartment of a suicidal woman, who happens to be Jimmy Olsen's neighbor, Harley decided to assume the identity of the neighbor's nice to not get caught. [21] Harley, disguised as "Holly Chance" met Jimmy again, and she began to act overly-flirtatious with him, and at some point they began dating, however, Jimmy quickly understood his mistake once he figured out it was actually Harley Quinn who led him to a trap. Luckily Jimmy was able to build a signal watch for Superman, who come for his rescue.[22]

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Superman's origins were heavily revised in the Superman: Secret Origin mini-series written by Geoff Johns in 2009; this made the history established by Mark Waid in his 2003 mini-series Superman: Birthright non-canon following Infinite Crisis in 2006. It would remain the definitive origin until 2011 when Flashpoint established the DCnU and Grant Morrison's Action Comics updated the story.

Up, Up and Away

 Main article: Superman: Up, Up and Away

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 Infinite Crisis, Clark regained his original role as the Daily Planet's star reporter, and Jimmy returned to being a photographer, winning the Pulitzer Prize for his photographic efforts.


 Main article: Countdown to Final Crisis

Some time after that, Jimmy discovered that he had become a repository for the ambient power of New Gods who had fallen in battle. This caused Jimmy to spontaneously develop super-powers. Each power was drastically different from the other and only manifested at times when Jimmy's life was threatened.[23]

New Krypton

 Main article: Superman: New Krypton

During Superman's prolonged battle against the god-like Atlas, Jimmy witnessed a mysterious individual present at the scene. Investigating further, he discovered that this man was actually Codename: Assassin who had been responsible for murdering Dubbilex and the original Newsboy Legion.[24]

Faking his death with the help of Natasha Irons, he went undercover to find information about the mysterious organization known only as Project 7734.


  • Photography: Jimmy is an ace photographer and an accomplished, though amateur, investigative reporter. He has been awarded the Pulitizer Prize for photography.
  • Journalism


Jimmy has an uncanny knack for getting himself into trouble. This often leads to Superman being forced to divert his attention from another crisis in order to rescue Jimmy. Over time however, Jimmy has become more responsible and Superman has learned that Jimmy can often take care of himself.


  • Jimmy Olsen is also known as Agent Double-5, Alter Ego, and Superman's Pal.
  • During the Reign Of The Supermen storyline, Jimmy wore a Spin Doctors T-shirt -- the name of the band that performed "Jimmy Olsen's Blues" from their Pocket Full Of Kryptonite album.
  • In Action Comics #865 (2008), Jimmy is 22 years old.



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Superman Family member
This character is or was an incarnation of or an ally of Superman, and a member of the Superman Family. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Superman Family members" category.