DC Comics Was Going To Give Jimmy Olsen AIDs and Kill Him Off Says Starlin
I'm sure this would have went over well.
DC Comics was going to capitalize on the AIDs epidemic by killing off a major character back in the 80s.
So they set up a suggestion box for their creators to write in ideas.
Well, Jim Starlin offered a bunch by suggesting Robin; actually, the Thanos creator said he was on a lot of drugs at the time and "stuffed it full of Robins."
Turns out the character that received the most votes was Superman's pal Jimmy Olsen.
He was going to contract AIDS and die from it.
However, once it was learned that the actor who played Jimmy Olsen from the Richard Donner Superman movies was actually gay, the idea was quickly scrapped.
Note: Jim Starlin wrote the Robin death story where readers voted to see who died in Batman: A Death In The Family.
Read Starlin's own words about Jimmy Olsen getting AIDS (via Digial Spy):
When the AIDS epidemic first came to light, DC had this idea to do a book where one of their characters contracted AIDS and died from it.
And so, being the nice sensitive subject that it is, they put out a suggestion box that you were supposed to drop in the name of the character that you thought should die from AIDS.
He joked: "This was in the office. So as soon as I heard about this, I stuffed it full of Robins. I was doing a lot of drugs back then, so it didn't occur to me that I should change my handwriting, so they threw those all out.
In the end, the character that they voted most wanted to see have AIDS was Jimmy Olsen. I don't know why.
But that idea got scuttled when somebody told them that the actor who played Jimmy Olsen in the Christopher Reeve Superman movies was actually gay in real life. And so they got scared, and they dropped the whole project at that point.