Warning: This post contains spoilers for Supergirl Season 2
Jimmy Olsen, a fresh-faced young photographer, first appeared in the comics in 1941. Always the sidekick, he was there to provide support to the superheroes and to Perry White, the editor-in-chief of the Daily Planet. The modern TV series Supergirl changed him into James Olsen, an award-winning photographer and a man who was much more confident — and certainly one who can hold his own, whether it's on the street or in Cat Grant's old office at CatCo.
The producers took an even bigger step recently by making James Olsen into a superhero
In the November 7 episode, #Supergirl set up the story for #JamesOlsen to segue into the superhero character of #TheGuardian, and James debuted the suit designed by Wynn on November 14th with more than a few gadgets attached. And he took on the alien parasite with the help of a shield that's familiar to Guardian fans!
Around since 1942, The Guardian was first introduced as a Metropolis police officer
Jim Harper was a cop from Metropolis who became a vigilante. Though he was an expert in hand to hand combat and an excellent gymnast, he had no superpowers. His indestructible shield, excellent combat fighting skills and gymnastics helped him take down the criminals. He also drove a customized motorcycle.
James Olsen's new motorcycle made its appearance in the November 14th episode, but we don't, as of yet, know its capabilities. If it was equipped by Wynn, odds are good that James is going to have more than a few extra weapons at his disposal.
And while James Olsen might not have had the expert skills up 'til now, the actor who portrays the new hero let Access Hollywood know he was up for the challenge:
"I'm really athletic and I took martial arts as a kid and later, in my adult life as well."
The Guardian vs. the Golden Guardian vs. the Manhattan Guardian
While Brooks has taken on this new role, there's no indication he'll become the Golden Guardian, as Harper did when a predecessor to Project Cadmus gave him powers such as enhanced strength and accelerated healing. Unless there is a particle explosion or some other explanation for the sudden appearance of superpowers, James — just like ATOM from DC's Legends of Tomorrow — will rely on the power of his suit to help Supergirl battle crime and possibly the motorcycle.
More recently in DC Comics, Jake Jordan became the Manhattan Guardian, a former police officer like Harper who has no superpowers. But we all know that superpowers aren't as important as the power of a hero's heart. Oliver Queen's Green Arrow and John Diggle's Spartan don't have the abilities of Supergirl, but they have battled some of the worst evil known to Star City.
So, James Olsen isn't the Guardian in the comics (and he isn't a former police officer like the other Guardians), but he's a great choice nonetheless. James has gone up against criminals in National City long before he picked up this new mantle; I have no doubt he will make fans of The Guardian proud with his new role.
Are you excited about The Guardian's arrival in National City?