‘Supergirl’ Casts Jimmy Olsen: Cue Geek Rage.

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Supergirl_mehcad_brooks
Source: Necessary Roughness, USA Network.

CBS’s Supergirl pilot has cast their Jimmy Olsen. Mehcad Brooks will be playing Jimmy Olsen. According the sources, Jimmy will be the love interest for Kara/Supergirl (played by Glee‘s Melissa Benoist), and harboring a secret of his own. Words cannot properly express how angry that makes me.

Jimmy Olsen, first introduced in the 1940s Superman radio drama, has never been a real love interest for Kara! Sure, there’s been the occasional one-off story, but it’s never been a real part of his character. This is an absolute slap in the face to long-time comic book fans.

Bring back Comet the Super-Horse, her one true love! Source: Action Comics #311, DC Comics.
Bring back Comet the Super-Horse, her one true love!
Source: Action Comics #311, DC Comics.

Wait, what? You thought I meant because they changed his race. Pft. C’mon, people, it’s the 21st century. Jimmy is as generic an everyman as possible. His race has less to do with his character than just about anyone. He’s only “white” because that was the default setting at the time. Heck, he’s been non-white before. In the 1990s Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, he was played by Justin Whalin (in season two and on, that is). Mehcad Brooks is a strong actor, and will likely do the role justice. Speaking as a minority (that “Appeal to Authority,” for those of you at home playing “Social Justice Bingo”), I think it’s great that there’s also the added bonus of wider representation.

But darnit, he’s NOT her boyfriend!

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28 thoughts on “‘Supergirl’ Casts Jimmy Olsen: Cue Geek Rage.

  1. Just because he is a live interest does not mean he will be the only one, nor that he will end up with her. As an example, in Arrow, Oliver Queen has had many love interests, yet he has not ended up with any of them, yet.

    I think this is also a representation of our times, were we tend to go through more partners than was socially acceptable when these comics first came out. This is a change that could reflect how we have evolved over time, which is one thing art should do. I don’t think this will prevent newcomers to the Supergirl franchise from showing up.

  2. And Cap, Hawkeye and Black Widow weren’t founding Avengers – Ant-Man and the Wasp were! And Kitty Pryde went back in Days of Future Past, not Wolverine! And Yondu is a good guy – in the future! I don’t watch any of the comic-based TV shows, but I’m sure they take similar liberties with continuity. Move along, nothing to see here.

  3. If TV Supergirl isn’t dating her horse, then how is she the real Supergirl?

    Comet gets mocked, but I bet he’d be a hit.

      1. Although Wizard said good things at the time, I’ve never tried that run, what did he do? A serialised silver-age sequential Equus?

          1. I don’t think Wikipedia gets enough credit for being the funniest site on the Internet. I almost collapsed from giggle fits reading that.
            Annoyed at myself though, I was going to make a snide PD joke last post along the lines of ‘And how did he fit in the carefully cribbed pop-culture one liners?’, but thought it might miss the mark, but no, he made the horse-boyfriend/solar-system body a stand-up comedian. If I knew how, I’d post the Orson Wells clapping gif, and only slightly ironically.

          2. The thing that always got me about PAD’s Supergirl is I recall it being sold as an opportunity to simplify the Post-Crises Supergirl, which was *indeed* a hot mess.

            “So she’s a shapeshifting clone of Lana Lang from a pocket Earth…”
            “I thought we got rid of parallel Earths?”
            “No, no, it’s cool. Pocket Earths are TOTALLY different.”
            “Okay, but other than the shapeshifting, she’s the same as Superman?”
            “Oh no. She also is telepathic and psychokinetic.”
            “Now you’re just stealing the Martian Manhunter’s powerset.”
            “SHUT UP!”

            Although I’d watch Gender-Bending Manhunter in a *heartbeat*.

            Still, the Earth-Born angel thing got complex as heck.

          3. I could have lived with all of the post-crisis stuff, except for her dating lion-maned Lex Luthor. I gagged when I first read it (through back issues) around 12, thought it was a cool dark twist at 15, then gagged any time I thought about it after 20. Anyone know who wrote that into continuity?

  4. This characterization issue reminds me a bit of how “Smallville” introduced Jimmy Olsen, as a love interest of Chloe who was pretty much the same age as Clark and Lois.

    But Aaron Ashmore was engaging enough in the role that that failed to matter after a while. Smallville Jimmy worked as a character on his own terms.

    Then the show killed him off and ‘revealed’ that his full name was Henry James Olsen, and he had a camera-toting little brother named James Bartholomew Olsen. THAT stupid twist was worthy of some geek rage.

  5. Totally outrageous! Why is Supergirl not macking on a horse that has assumed the guise of a human!?

    More than anything I am worried about the description of him as an “Alpha Male” in the casting. Sure Jimmy Olsen is a generic everyman when he’s not turning into a giant turtle, walking around in drag, or trying to kill Superman…but do we really want him to be a variant on Hal “Dude-Bro” Jordan?

    1. In all seriousness, I am looking forward to Jimmy as Kara’s Dude-in-Distress.

      And since it’s Jimmy Olsen, maybe even Dude-In-This-Dress.

      (He cross-dressed an awful lot, is what I’m saying)

      1. Yeah, but how likely is a CW show going to feature someone running around in drag? Or getting tied-up gratuitiously?

        Apparently what the CW thinks that the public wants is a hero with daddy issues who’s a creepy stalker.

      2. Whether they show it or not, I bet we at least get a one-liner about him being turned into a turtle. Heck, I’d bet they do an ep where he grows giant red hair. Drag is a certainty, why use the Jimmy Olsen name otherwise? (The Supergirl TV show playing in my mind is a wondrous whimsical thing).

  6. Rage over DC TV breaking canon is kinda moot as each network represents a different Earth in the Multiverse. They can represent characters however they wish.

  7. So, what you’re saying is, a black man should never date a white Supergirl???? That’s what I read.

  8. Jimmy Olsen doesn’t seem to have _ever_ looked like he does in the comics when they put him in film or TV, he always ends up with darker hair – except Superman Returns where it’s still not ginger and he has no freckles. Nobody ever complained, so we’ve established nobody gives a sneck how Jimmy Olsen. (Well, now they do)

  9. Seriously. They can change Wolverine from a 5’3″ Canadian to a 6’3″ Australian and nobody bats an eyelid, but DARE suggest that Jimmy Olsen (or James Bond, or the Kingpin, or Johnny Storm, or characters from ‘The Hunger Games’, or Wally West, or Perry White… PERRY WHITE ferchrissakes!) might not be white and it’s like a thousand nerd voices were raised in anger and then refused to be silent.
    It happens every time.
    I mean, Pa Kent can be a relentlessly paranoid sociopath, Batman can murder police officers or “Not have to” save people, Superman can snap a guy’s neck (oh, but afterwards he cries, so that’s okay), Wonder Woman can torture prisoners in custody, Bane can be an incomprehargarble warglarble farbleblarble, and Green Lantern can fight a giant terrifying poo cloud, but if you DARE imply that someone’s imaginary friend might not be white…

    History’s Greatest Monster.

    I like to think of this sort of thing as ‘grenade fishing for racists’. You just lob one in and watch them all float to the surface.

  10. “Bane can be an incomprehargarble warglarble farbleblarble”

    That was a change from the comics?

  11. Star trek had it right. Tv is a fad. All the ideas have been used up. Now all we have left are reboots. The first reboot I recall was a female starbuck in battlestar galactica. Several shows are cashing in on cop consultant formula. Lucifer, minority report, limitless, and blindspot are all new this season. Before them was castle, elementary (reboot of the Original crime consultant as far as I know), the mentalist, izombie, the list goes on. Just listing the ones where the Brain doesn’t carry a cop shield yet solves cases. Ok bad pun. I’m dun. Aspyman away!!

  12. I admit the fact that he was black was annoying, since he has always been portrayed as a ginger before. But what REALLY gets me is that hes hot and muscular and cool. Jimmy was nerdy, he was awkward, he had no real “cool” factor to him. So why change it?

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