Jimmy Olsen’s middle name is the product of a bizarre obsession with the letter L

Jimmy Olsen

Jimmy Olsen may not be much of a superhero, but his middle name has an origin story as bizarre as Kal-El’s.

As recalled in Superman: The High-Flying History of America’s Most Enduring Hero, the creators of the comic had a serious obsession with the letter L. In addition to major characters, it’s featured in minor characters named Lena, Lionel, Letitia, Lyla Lerrol, Lyrica Lloyd, Lal Leta, Lahla, Lightning Lad, Lori Lemaris, and Linda Lee.

Side characters joined Kal-El, Lois Lane, Lana Lang, and Lex Luthor with double Ls  in their names. It became an unofficial rule that as many characters as possible have at least two Ls, preferably in the beginning.

Readers caught onto the trend and noticed that Jimmy Olsen only had one L in his name.  Thus poor Jimmy got a little name as a prank on the readers: an editor shot back that his full name was Jimmy Bartholomew Olsen.

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