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Man of Steel 2 Should Retcon Jimmy Olsen’s Batman v Superman Death

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Man of Steel 2 may be bringing back Henry Cavill’s version of Superman, but there are definitely going to be some changes from his debut in 2013. With the intention of showcasing a more traditional and hopeful Superman, the film will likely be quite different from Zack Snyder’s entries in the DC Universe. But to complete the transition, one of Snyder’s biggest mistakes has to be retconned.

Jimmy Olsen is a major character in the Superman mythos, yet he has no real presence in the DCU. In fact, his minute role in the most controversial entry in the shared universe failed to name him. But by giving audiences a true version of Superman’s pal, the new DCU can help to cement not only a more classic Superman but the world surrounding the Man of Steel.

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Zack Snyder Did Jimmy Olsen Dirty in Dawn of Justice

Michael Cassidy as Jimmy Olsen in Movie Batman vs Superman

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice introduced its version of Jimmy Olsen to the DC Universe (back then known as the DC Extended Universe), but he certainly wasn’t Superman’s pal. Played by Michael Cassidy, this Jimmy was working for the CIA and only posing as a photographer. He joins Lois Lane on a trip to Africa for an interview with a wanted warlord, but his ruse is quickly discovered. With his double agent status revealed, he’s killed by the terrorists before making much of an impact on the story.

Even defenders of the much-maligned film would likely agree that this was a horrendous way to handle Jimmy Olsen. It would be like making a Batman film and introducing Dick Grayson as a kid buying hot dogs at the circus, only to have him ran over and killed by a nobody villain afterward. Jimmy might not be a sidekick in the traditional sense, but he’s definitely an integral part of the Superman mythology. Ever since debuting in the Golden Age of Comics, Jimmy has remained a firm part of Superman’s supporting cast. Usually younger than Lois and Clark, he tends to be youthful comic relief that almost acts as an audience-relatable character for younger readers. Thus, his handling in Dawn of Justice completely missed the mark, but Man of Steel 2 could fix this mistake.

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Man of Steel 2 Can Cement Its Lighter Tone With a Humorous Jimmy Olsen

Jimmy Olsen feature

There are rumors surrounding the upcoming Man of Steel 2 and The Flash about the continuity of the DC Universe. It’s believed that some of the more controversial elements from previous films will get retconned out of existence. These would include the events of Dawn of Justice and perhaps even the Justice League film. If that happens, there’s the chance to introduce a more accurate Jimmy to the DCU. However, even if these films are kept in continuity, the lack of directly addressing Jimmy by his name means that the “real” version could easily be slotted in.

Having Jimmy introduced as a young photography intern at the Daily Planet would go a long way in making Man of Steel 2 more upbeat than its predecessors. Jimmy could provide wide-eyed wonder and fanboyism for Superman’s heroics, not to mention comic relief. A great parallel would be Tom Holland’s youthful version of Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, whose spastic nature provided a lot of humor. Though going overboard with jokes like recent MCU movies would be an extreme of its own, having a bit more levity would help curtail the criticisms of Snyder’s DC films.

Most importantly, Jimmy is a major part of Superman’s life, and a non-controversial Superman movie needs to cement Supes’ supporting cast and rogues’ gallery to really bring the character to modern audiences. Batman and Spider-Man are well known for not only their own characters but those of their loved ones and fiercest foes. Establishing Jimmy as being a part of this paradigm for the Last Son of Krypton will make more than just the cape and chest symbol recognizable, fleshing out Superman from a mere icon into a beloved character.

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