"Superman's Pal" is the forty-ninth episode of Superman: The Animated Series. It depicts the problems Jimmy faces when Angela Chen dubs him "Superman's Pal" on TV. Now people are flooding to him asking for favors and looking for the chance to meet Superman. When Jimmy realizes that this can help him gather the attention of a girl he's interested in, he soon finds that she's allied with one of Superman's deadliest enemies.
It's another day in the Daily Planet and an intern walks around with her excessive jewelry clanking. Jimmy watches her with desire and tells Clark that though he has asked her out she's rejected him twice. A TV newscast shows that there's a car chase just outside the building and Jimmy goes to take pictures, while Clark sneaks off to become Superman.
Superman easily apprehends the fleeing truck but Angela tells her pilot to get lower as she "wants a better shot". Her helicopter crashes into another causing it to crash into a bridge. Superman manages to get the helicopter to safety but the bridge starts to collapse. Superman tells Jimmy to get the crew out of the helicopter while he fixes the bridge. After the chaos is over, Superman refuses to give Angela a statement and thanks Jimmy for his help. Angela, looking to cover for her lost footage, asks Jimmy for an interview. He politely refuses claiming, "I don't think I'd be real comfortable with that. [...] But it's not like I'd call us pals or anything".
Later, a newscast shows Angela interviewing Jimmy. However, the interview has been edited so that when Angela asks about Jimmy's relationship to Superman he claims that it's "Real comfortable. I'd call us pals". Angela then claims that Jimmy is Superman's pal. Tina then follows after Jimmy and asks him out much to his delight. Shortly afterward, people start to call Jimmy Superman's pal and he is given a free meal at a fancy restaurant. Jimmy talks to Tina about Superman and takes credit for a lot of things he didn't do. While Jimmy talks, he discovers the downside of being called Superman’s pal. A group of thugs recognize him and attack to get back at Superman. Tina calls for Superman's help and he comes to save Jimmy. Superman tells Tina that he does see Jimmy as a friend but Jimmy should clear up the "pal stuff".
The next day, Jimmy tries to get Angela to take back the story but she refuses. People start to ask Jimmy for favors such as giving Superman a thank-you note, invite him to a party, do commercials, come to charity dinners and force people to turn down their music. He is also chased by a large group of girls who are more interested in meeting Superman than Jimmy himself. Tina shows up and helps Jimmy to escape.
Tina takes Jimmy to a junkyard where she reveals her real love: Metallo. Metallo is angry with Tina for bringing him Jimmy rather than Lois but Tina assures him that Jimmy's just as good. Jimmy tries to escape in Tina's car but the keys are gone and she uses a magnet to drop him into the car masher. The masher is activated but the car is crushed only enough to trap Jimmy inside, not to hurt him.
Clark overhears a distress call from Tina and heads off to the junkyard. Jimmy tries to warn Superman but it's too late. Metallo ambushes Superman and pummels him. Jimmy manages to escape the car and confronts Tina but her fighting skills are much greater than his. However, Jimmy manages to lock her in a closet and activates the magnet capturing Metallo and drops him into the masher. Metallo manages to escape and fights Superman some more but Jimmy manages to get Metallo to fall in. The masher is activated and Superman keeps Metallo inside.
At first, it seems that Metallo has been defeated but he soon emerges unscathed and hits Superman with Kryptonite rays. Thinking quickly, Jimmy picks up a car battery and hurls the acid at Metallo. While Metallo's body is unharmed, the Kryptonite falls out of his chest and he falls in after it. Metallo doesn't re-emerge.
Later, Superman counsels Jimmy for what happened. He then gives Jimmy a watch that can release a distress signal that only Superman can hear.
- Angela Chen puts her own spin on several of Jimmy's past encounters with Superman:
- She credits him with saving Superman from the Parasite, in "Feeding Time", which is true; and from Luminus, in "Solar Power", which is not;
- She also mentions his going undercover to crack Intergang's connection to Apokolips in "Little Girl Lost, Part I", but inaccurately states that Jimmy did so at Superman's request.
- In Justice League, "Only A Dream, Part II", Superman has a nightmare that his powers grow beyond his control and people are now fleeing from him in terror, except his "pal", Jimmy.
- Jimmy still has the signal watch in Justice League Unlimited, "Question Authority", when Huntress kidnaps him and uses it to summon Superman for a private meeting.
Home video releases
- Final appearance of Metallo before Superman founds the Justice League. He reappears in the Justice League episode "Hereafter" and Justice League Unlimited episode "Chaos at the Earth's Core".
- Jimmy does have a Superman Signal watch in the comics, however, in the comics he made it himself rather than Superman giving it to him.
- "Superman's Pal" was a series of Olsen-centric comics during the Silver Age. Several of them featured Olsen gaining super-powers.
- Bruce Timm has referred to this episode as one of the worst of the series (and of the entire DCAU), most notably on the third DVD collection of the series. He was quick to compliment David Kaufman on his performance as Jimmy, though.
- The musical score used during Jimmy's montage is reused from The New Batman Adventures episode "Joker's Millions", when the Joker had a similar montage.
|Tim Daly||Superman/Clark Kent|
|Dana Delany||Lois Lane|
|David Kaufman||Jimmy Olsen|
|Lauren Tom||Angela Chen|
|Larry Cedar||Restaurant Owner|
|David Walsh||Captain Croissant|
|John Mariano||Short Order Cook|
|Charles Rocket||Used Car Salesman|
|Melissa Disney||College Girl|
Lois: (After her skirt is caught by the wind) I've gotta start wearing pants.