November 29th is, it seems, the birthday of one James Bartholomew Olsen, Superman's Pal.
It's nearly impossible to capture all the different interpretations of Jimmy, especially as he first appeared as a major character not so much in the comics - where he was an unnamed copyboy - but in radio. In the 1950's, Jack Larson played Jimmy on The Adventures of Superman
, and the character really took off. National Comics responded by launching a comics which would run for almost two full decades, Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen
I couldn't tell you exactly why I'm a fan of the character, but there's no question he's a fascinating character across a wide field of media. And, yes, his comics are absolutely mind-bending as National tried to figure out what to do with the character in issues after issue. Never underestimate the creative power of an unwinnable situation.
Even more so than Superman, Jimmy can change and bend to meet the needs of a story, so long as he's the youngest and most naive guy in the room. And as a lead protagonist, the reader feels two steps ahead of our hero. A lot of actors have had a lot of takes on Jimmy, and I have my favorites, but they've all brought something unique to the character.
Happy birthday, Jimmy. I hope someone got you a cake.
|Jimmy in "The Adventures of Superman"|
|in "Superman Returns"|
|Season 1 of "Lois and Clark"|
|later seasons on "Lois and Clark"|
|Jimmy in the 1940s serials|
|Jimmy in "Superman: The Movie"|
|as "Elastic Lad"|
|as "Turtle Boy"|
|failing at gift giving|
|I don't even know|
|Jimmy is an open minded chap|
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