Snapshots of Jimmy Olsen #17: Jenny Olsen

Source: Superman #349 (1980) and Man of Steel (2013)
Type: Magical creation and Film
If you think "Jenny Olsen" first appeared in the Man of Steel movie, think again. In actual fact, the first appearance of gender-bender Jimmy is in Superman #349, in which Mr. Mxyzptlk creates a world where everyone is the other gender, including Penny White, Louis Lane, Clara Kent and, that's right, Jenny Olsen. It would one day become a popular Elseworlds, and then one of the the Multiverse's 52 Earths. More or less.
So when they announced Rebecca Buller as a female replacement for Jimmy Olsen, I wasn't shocked, and I certainly wasn't upset. There's no reason for other media to stick closely to the print material except in spirit, and in the interest of diversity, I'm quite happy to see a Jimmy that's a Jenny (or who is black, as in the announced Supergirl series). No problem at all. But did the movie makers get skittish when the fans got a hold of this information before the film was out? I ask because she's never referred to as "Olsen" on screen. She's just Jenny. Well, here's to Man of Steel II: The Dark Knight Returns actually making it official.

I mean, gender-bending isn't likely to be the film's greatest fan-sin, is it?


Andrew said...

I've only seen Man of Steel the one time, but the impression of Jenny I was left with was less "photographer/cub reporter" and more "Perry's assistant." And there's a pre-existing character who can more easily fit that role: Allie, the intern from fairly early in the Post-Crisis run who was eventually revealed to be secretly living in the Planet's offices.

Granted, it's a fairly obscure character to use, but it was also a movie that cameoed both Kenny Braverman and Steve Lombard.

Siskoid said...



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