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James Olsen (Earth-Two)

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James Olsen was originally a junior reporter paired to learn from the Lead Investigative Reporters of the Daily Star, Clark Kent and his often competing partner Lois Lane-Kent. It was through this pairing by then Managing editor George Taylor that then young Olsen would learn the skills and established the deep friendship that would serve him throughout his long life namely his deep friendship with Clark Kent who would ultimately advance his one-time junior partner to the position of Managing Editor of the Daily Star in Olsen's later years.

As Olsen aged, his health began to deteriorate eventually developing into cancer. With no known surviving biological relatives for treatment, Olsen's long time friend Kent, in his identity as the Earth-Two Superman, told James of a possible biological blood match from his Earth-One counterpart. Degrading health and his natural curiosity about parallel earths, Olsen consented to meet with his extra-dimensional counterpart though never divulged the information to the public passing the Earth-One Olsen off as a distant relative.(Superman Family #187 (Jan 1978)) James regained his health due to the Earth-One Jimmy's assistance. It was never revealed in any detail what further contact was exchanged between the two Olsens.

The Earth-Two Olsen either died from old age before the Crisis on Infinite Earths came to Earth-Two, or he died along all people who were on Earth-Two when that Earth was destroyed in the Crisis. Like everyone else of Earth-Two, James Olsen was succeeded by his New Earth counterpart, the current Jimmy Olsen.

Powers

No permanent superhuman powers though Olsen had acquired temporary superpowers over the years in his exploits as one of the Earth-Two Superman's direct associates. None of these powers remained with James for any length of time either being of their nature temporary or surrendered back to their rightful owners..

Abilities

Weaknesses

James Olsen suffered from cancer in his later years requiring reparative surgery from his Earth-One counterpart.

Equipment

James Olsen used various exotic devices over his long reporting career, but his most noted device was a radar pulse signal watch which he would use in his later career to signal Superman in extreme cases. Presumably it was upgraded to parallel the supersonic watch that the Earth-One Olsen had.

  • Unlike the Earth-One and later incarnations of Jimmy Olsen, the Earth-Two Olsen was never a photographer but always a reporter.
  • James Olsen was not originally portrayed as a red head but had brown hair. Later artists portrayed James with a receding head of red hair to match the primary Olsen.
  • James Olsen stopped using the nickname of "Jimmy" and allowing others to address him as such upon becoming an adult, whereas the Earth-One Olsen allowed everyone to continue using his childhood nickname as a sign of friendship despite no longer being a child/teenager.
  • When first created in the comics, Jimmy Olsen was just an unnamed office-boy. Olsen was named and promoted to a junior reporter in the The Adventures of Superman radio show, and those changes were reflected in the comics starting with Superman #13.
  • This version of James Olsen, including all history and corresponding appearances, was initially erased from existence following the collapse of the original Multiverse in the 1985-86 Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series. However the ending of Convergence retroactively prevented that collapse, saving all the alternate realities, though in an "evolved" form. Even though versions of the character may have since appeared, this information does not apply to those versions.

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Footnotes


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