Get Your First Look at James Olsen's New Guardian Costume on Supergirl

Thursday, 13 October 2016 - 12:55PM
DC Comics
Supergirl
Thursday, 13 October 2016 - 12:55PM
Get Your First Look at James Olsen's New Guardian Costume on Supergirl
Most Superman fans remember the red-headed, bow-tied little dweeb Jimmy Olsen from the comics. Often billed as Clark Kent/Superman's "best pal," Olsen was a photographer for The Daily Planet who got up to some weird stuff, like stealing some of Superman's tears to gain super powers. He was, through and through, a giant nerd.

Supergirl's Mehcad Brooks is nothing like that. For one thing, his Jimmy Olsen goes by "James," and instead of being a comic relief, he's smooth, handsome, and charming, not to mention Kara's mentor and friend. But lately James has been feeling a little irrelevant—with Kara out saving the world while he's conceivably in the office editing photos, he doesn't really have a place in her superhero lifestyle. Until now.

Yesterday Mehcad Brooks tweeted the first image of James Olsen as Guardian, a new superhero who will join Supergirl in her fight against evil:



In an interview with EW, producer Andrew Kreisberg talked a bit more about James' shift to a vigilante:

Opening quote
"James has a pretty big turn coming up," Kreisberg says. "These next few episodes are going to make him realize that being a photographer… is not enough for him, so he's going to go on a pretty exciting career trajectory that we're really pumped by. James is going to decide that he can no longer sit back and be a sidekick, so he's going to decide to become a vigilante and he's going to become Guardian - complete with the shield - which is going to cause a massive problem in his relationship with Kara, because he has decided not to tell her.
Closing quote


It's an interesting move, considering Supergirl's own feelings about vigilantes and the feelings she has/had toward James. Kreisberg admitted that the pseudo-romance between Kara and James was difficult to sustain as the show went on, and that shaking up James' character might make him work better:

Opening quote
"They're both tremendously talented actors and they're both lovely people and they both love working with each other. We felt like we were pursuing that relationship more because we felt like we had to then any of us was really, truly feeling it. It was interesting because we brought in some new writers in the middle of the season to keep some fresh blood and even they were like coming at it fresh and sort of felt like we weren't quite sure how we were going to make this happen."
Closing quote
 
So that sheds a little light on Olsen's transition from paramour and friend to fellow crimefighter. But what will he bring to the table as a hero? Unless Olsen has been hanging out with Peter Parker and bumming radioactive spiders off of him, he has no superpowers. The mantle he's taken on, however, has a history of working less at the planetary threat-level (like Superman) and more on street-level, especially in the slums—the original Guardian was a former police officer who patrolled a neighborhood called Suicide Slum.

All in all, it's a bold strategy, Olsen. Let's see if it pays off for him.

Supergirl airs Mondays at 8 PM ET on the CW.
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