J. Jonah Jameson

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J. Jonah Jameson
Jjonahjameson.jpg
J. Jonah Jameson from The Amazing Spider-Man #29, October 1965, drawn by Steve Ditko
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceThe Amazing Spider-Man #1 (March 1963)
Created byStan Lee
Steve Ditko
In-story information
Full nameJohn Jonah Jameson, Jr.
Team affiliationsDaily Bugle
Now Magazine
Jameson Publications
Jameson News Digest
Women magazine
Mayor of New York City
Supporting character ofSpider-Man
Daredevil
Abilities
  • None
 
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J. Jonah Jameson
Jjonahjameson.jpg
J. Jonah Jameson from The Amazing Spider-Man #29, October 1965, drawn by Steve Ditko
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceThe Amazing Spider-Man #1 (March 1963)
Created byStan Lee
Steve Ditko
In-story information
Full nameJohn Jonah Jameson, Jr.
Team affiliationsDaily Bugle
Now Magazine
Jameson Publications
Jameson News Digest
Women magazine
Mayor of New York City
Supporting character ofSpider-Man
Daredevil
Abilities
  • None

John Jonah Jameson, Jr.[1] is a supporting character (and sometimes an antagonist) of Spider-Man in the Marvel Comics Universe.

Jameson is usually the publisher or editor-in-chief of the Daily Bugle, a fictional New York newspaper and now serves as the mayor of New York City. Recognizable by his mustache, flattop haircut, and ever-present cigar, he carries out a smear campaign against Spider-Man that has, at least temporarily, turned much of the gullible city against the hero. He employs photojournalist Peter Parker, who, unbeknownst to Jameson, is Spider-Man's alter ego.

Portrayals of Jameson have varied throughout the years. Sometimes he is shown as a foolishly stubborn and pompous skinflint who micromanages his employees and resents Spider-Man out of jealousy. Other writers have portrayed him more humanly, as a humorously obnoxious yet caring boss who nevertheless has shown great bravery and integrity in the face of the assorted villains with which the Bugle comes into contact, and whose campaign against Spider-Man comes more from fear of youngsters following his example. In either case, he has remained an important part of the Spider-Man mythos.

Jameson is also the father of John Jameson, the Marvel Universe supporting character who, in addition to his job as a famous astronaut, has at turns become Man-Wolf and Star-God, and married She-Hulk.

As a result of his father's wedding to May Parker, Jameson and Peter Parker are related by marriage.

Publication history[edit]

Created by writer Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko, Jameson first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #1 (March 1963). Stan Lee stated in an interview on Talk of the Nation that he modeled J. Jonah Jameson as a much grumpier version of himself.[2]

Fictional character biography[edit]

Background[edit]

According to Behind the Mustache, a story featured in Spider-Man's Tangled Web #20 (January 2003), Jameson was raised as a child by David and Betty Jameson. David was an officer of the United States Army, a war veteran decorated as a hero; at home, however, David regularly abused his wife and son. As a result, J. Jonah Jameson grew convinced that "No one's a hero every day of the week" and "Even the real heroes can't keep it up all the time." Later issues of The Amazing Spider-Man clarified that David Jameson was in fact Jonah's foster father, and the brother of J. Jonah Jameson Sr., Jonah's biological father, who had to leave his son behind for undisclosed reasons. It is unknown if Jameson Jr. remembered him.

He was a Boy Scout during his childhood. In high school, his interests were mainly boxing and photography. He met his first wife, Joan, when they both joined their high school's photo club. When the school's three top athletes started bullying him, he fought back and beat all three of them to a pulp. This impressed Joan, and they started dating. They married as soon as they finished school.

After school, Jameson sought employment as a journalist. According to Marvels #1, he found employment in the Daily Bugle and bragged to his colleagues that he would one day run the newspaper. In 1939, he witnessed the first appearances of Jim Hammond, the android Human Torch, and Namor, Prince of Atlantis, who are jointly considered Marvel's first superheroes. Jameson was immediately skeptical of both of them; he doubted that someone with superhuman powers who operated outside the law could be trusted. When the U.S.A. joined World War II in 1941, Jameson served as a war correspondent in Europe. Sergeant Fury and His Howling Commandos #110 featured him as covering a mission of Sergeant Nicholas Fury, who was heading a team of commandos during the war.

After the war, he and Joan had a son, John Jonah III, who grew up to become an astronaut. When Jameson returned from a journalistic mission in Korea, he was grieved to find that his wife had died in a mugging incident during his absence. Focusing on his professional life to dull the pain, he was eventually promoted to chief editor of the Daily Bugle, and eventually came to own the paper, thereby fulfilling his earlier boasts.

Jameson gained a mostly deserved reputation for journalistic integrity, but his greedy opportunism and unyielding belligerent stubbornness made him more than a few enemies.

Due to real-world time advancement Jameson's war-time experiences have since either been ignored or retconned.

Spider-Man[edit]

When Spider-Man becomes a media sensation, Jameson strives to blacken Spider-Man's reputation; casting the masked hero as an unhinged vigilante not only boosts the Bugle's circulation, but also punishes Spider-Man for overshadowing Jameson's astronaut son. When Spider-Man tries to counter the bad press by rescuing his son from danger, Jameson accuses the hero of staging the situation for his own benefit.[3]

This episode sets a pattern with Jameson's and Spider-Man's relationship: Jameson publicly accusing Spider-Man of numerous crimes and misdeeds, only to feel continually obliged to print almost as many retractions after being proven wrong. After his accusations that Spider-Man is the notorious criminal overlord The Big Man are debunked, Jameson admits that he is jealous of Spider-Man's courage and selflessness. Jameson believes that he cannot look at himself as a good man while a hero like Spider-Man exists.[4] Despite this, he openly idolizes Captain America, and Mary Jane Watson-Parker has suggested that Jameson hates Spider-Man mainly because he acts outside the law.[5]

Though Jonah's rancor against Spider-Man at times subsides after he saves the life of one of his loved ones,[5] his determination to find some flaw in the hero always returns before long. For his part, Spider-Man's reaction ranges from frustration and anger at the ungrateful publisher, which leads to occasional pranks to antagonize him, to an amused acceptance of his self-destructive stubbornness.

Jameson posts rewards for Spider-Man's capture or secret identity, hunts him with Spencer Smythe's Spider-Slayer robots,[6] and even commissions superpowered agents to defeat the masked man. He hires a private detective named MacDonald Gargan, puts him through a regimen of genetic enhancement, and transforms him into the Scorpion - only to have Gargan go insane and turn on his benefactor.[7] Although Spider-Man protects Jameson from the Scorpion, Jameson keeps his role in creating the Scorpion secret for years. He creates another superbeing, who turned into a supervillain, the Human Fly, who had his own vendetta against him.[8] He hires Silver Sable and her Wild Pack to hunt Spider-Man down, and also hires Luke Cage to capture Spider-Man when he is wanted for the deaths of Gwen Stacy and Norman Osborn.

For all his hostility towards Spider-Man, Jameson needs photographs of his heroics to sell papers, and Peter Parker takes advantage of that by taking pictures of himself as Spider-Man and selling them to the Bugle with few questions asked.[9]

Despite his feelings towards Spider-Man, Jameson helps him out during a demonic attack on New York. The publishing offices of the Daily Bugle come under siege and Jameson leads the defense. An injured Spider-Man and Jameson cooperate in defending the others.

Though best known for his crusades against vigilante superheroes like Spider-Man, Jameson never hesitates to use the power of his paper against supervillains, crimebosses (including the Kingpin[10]), and crooked politicians. He publishes a major expose on presidential candidate Randolf Cherryh's criminal ties, acknowledging in advance that a retaliatory lawsuit from Cherryh could bankrupt the Daily Bugle.[11] Jameson later takes an aggressive stance against presidential candidate Graydon Creed, attacking him for his anti-mutant agenda and investigating the shadowy Operation: Zero Tolerance, though he never manages to uncover the truth.[citation needed]

Family ties[edit]

In Amazing Spider-Man #162 (November 1976), Jameson introduces himself to Dr. Marla Madison, a distinguished scientist and daughter of a deceased friend of his. He asks for her help in creating a new Spider-Slayer, one of a series of robots created to defeat Spider-Man, although Spider-Man has managed to survive their attacks and destroy each of them. Madison is interested in the challenge, and joins Jameson in his efforts. The two grow closer, eventually marrying but not without another attack from the Scorpion, who kidnaps Marla and is defeated by Spider-Man.[12] Jameson remains a devoted, if a little overprotective, husband to his second wife.

Marla Madison adopts Mattie Franklin, the daughter of one of Jonah's friends. Though Jonah is initially opposed to having a roguish teenager in his house, especially one who insists on affectionately calling him "Unca Jonah",[13] he soon warms up to Mattie, coming to regard her almost as a surrogate daughter.[14][15] Two weeks after Mattie is abducted for illegal harvesting of mutant growth hormone, private investigators Jessica Drew and Jessica Jones track her down and inform Jonah and Marla that Mattie is also the vigilante Spider-Woman.[15] For saving Mattie, Jonah heavily promotes Jones' agency and later hires her as a reporter for the Bugle's new Pulse magazine.[citation needed]

Relinquishing control[edit]

The guilt for creating the Scorpion catches up with Jameson when the Hobgoblin blackmails him about it. When he receives the threats, rather than succumb to the Hobgoblin, Jameson chooses instead to reveal it to the world in a public editorial. He steps down as the Bugle's editor-in-chief, delegating the post to his immediate subordinate, Joseph "Robbie" Robertson, but Jameson remains its publisher.

Jonah's control of the Daily Bugle is bought out from under him by multimillionaire Thomas Fireheart. Fireheart had felt that he owed Spider-Man a debt of honor and in an attempt to repay the hero, he purchases the Daily Bugle[volume & issue needed] and begins a pro-Spider-Man campaign.[16] Jameson starts up a rival magazine which continues to produce anti-Spider-Man articles.[volume & issue needed] Spider-Man finds Fireheart's campaign embarrassing at best, and after he repeatedly demands that he stop, Fireheart challenges the web-slinger to a battle to the death in New Mexico. He then sells the Bugle back to Jameson for the sum of one dollar, on the condition that he print an obituary "For either me, or Spider-Man."[17] Jameson, though shocked by the request, takes the deal.

Soon after this he is blackmailed into selling the Bugle to Norman Osborn after threats were made against his family; simultaneously, he is attacked and hounded by the supervillain Mad Jack. The time spent as a subordinate to Osborn took a heavy mental toll, almost driving him to attempted murder, but he is finally able to reclaim the Bugle after Osborn is driven underground by temporary insanity.

"Death"[edit]

When a duplicate of Spider-Man created by Mysterio jumps in front of Jameson's car while he's driving home from work one day, he crashes into a tree. He is believed killed in the car crash, dying upon impact, and the media blames Spider-Man for his tragic and untimely demise. Later, he is shown ascending to "the light", only for him to be condemned for all the injustices he committed in life. He is then shown descending into Mysterio's staged version of Hell, where he is tormented by a Spider-Man-esque demon, though this is revealed to just be a part of Mysterio's revenge on Jameson, and he is eventually rescued by none other than Spider-Man himself.[18]

Spider-Man unmasked[edit]

Jameson's influence on the paper as its publisher was shown in the 2006-2007 Civil War: Front Line where he pressures his staff into supporting the government's Superhuman Registration Act, still directing the general tone of the paper, despite losing his more hands-on position.[19] When Spider-Man unmasked to reveal himself to be Peter Parker, Jameson fainted in shock at the realization that the man he had been calling a menace had actually been on his payroll for years.

On top of the Parker revelation, he had to deal with the notion that She-Hulk had now become his daughter-in-law. This was not helped by the fact that She-Hulk and Spider-Man had previously sued him for libel.

Jameson's reaction to the unmasking of Spider-Man.

It has been since revealed that Jameson had always believed that between him and Peter Parker was a bond of trust and he had always regarded him as another son, the "last honest man" in the world; he had always bought his photos, even the ones that he considered inferior, to help him in a discreet manner. After Peter's public confession, he felt so betrayed and humiliated that it shattered their bond, and he became determined to make Peter "pay", despite Parker (as enforcer) and Jameson both actively supporting the Superhuman Registration Act. He planned to sue his former protege for fraud, demanding back all the money he paid Peter over the years. However, he found out that the government had granted Parker amnesty for all the acts he had done to protect his secret identity, which included taking photos of himself (see She-Hulk #9). Both this and his son's marriage to She-Hulk drove Jameson into a fit of rage, and he attacked his new daughter-in-law with the original Spider-Slayer. Luckily, she easily destroyed it, and to smooth things over, said she would take the case for fraud against Spider-Man (while privately intending to drag it out as long as possible).

Spider-Man later defected from the government's side in enforcing the Registration Act and joined up with Captain America's Secret Avengers, openly rebelling against the new law and fighting those attempting to enforce it. Issues of Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man revealed that Jameson posted a reward to bring Peter in. He also committed libel against Parker by coercing Peter's old girlfriend Debra Whitman into writing an untrue account of him; Betty Brant has secretly supplied information about this to The Daily Globe, which then published a front-page exposé.

In the most recent development, his editor-in-chief and closest friend Robbie Robertson stood up to Jameson and his shoddy treatment of Peter/Spider-Man over the years. Unable or unwilling to admit that he had gone too far in his hatred of Spider-Man, Jameson fired Robertson. Later, Spider-Man learned of this from Betty Brant and decided that he and Jameson should have a long overdue "chat". Some time later, Jameson showed up at the Robertson house, with a bottle of wine, two black eyes, and a broken hand. Robbie let him in, and Jameson relates what happened: Jameson discovered his office at the Bugle covered with webbing, with a note attached telling him to meet Spider-Man at an old gangster lair. Spider-Man tried to persuade Jameson to rehire Robbie, and Jameson gave him a choice: to have the lawsuit against him dropped, or for Robbie to be rehired. Spider-Man chose the former, revealing that he did so because he believes Jameson only fired Robbie to get a rise out of him. Spider-Man then told Jameson to hit him, as many times as he'd like, to finally work out his frustrations. Jameson was initially reluctant, until Spider-Man started goading him, threatening to inform his wife and son of his "cowardice". Jameson snapped, and started hitting Spider-Man again and again and again, resulting in his broken hand. When it was over, Spider-Man went into the rafters and brought Jameson back a roll of film, containing pictures of their "fight", telling him the photographs depicting him standing back and letting Jameson beat him up would sell "a gazillion copies", and left. Later, at the Bugle, Jameson crushed the film with his foot, not knowing quite why he was doing it. As he turned to leave, Betty Brant accidentally hit him in the face with a door, resulting in his two black eyes. Back in the present, Jameson told Robbie of his decision to rehire him and to drop the lawsuit against Peter.

Heart attack and recuperation[edit]

After the status quo was revised in Brand New Day, Peter's identity is once again a secret. The Daily Bugle has hit hard times with Peter not selling as many Spider-Man pictures as usual and star reporter Ben Urich gone. These circumstances led to Jonah facing a buyout from the wealthy Dexter Bennett. This forced Jonah to stop everyone's checks to build the capital needed to save the paper, with everyone at the Bugle working temporarily for free as a sign of solidarity. Needing money for an apartment, Peter came to the Bugle claiming he was owed money, to which Jonah yelled at him, causing Peter to snap and yell back, stating that his photographs kept the Bugle selling while Jonah raked in the profits and paid Peter a pittance. This caused Jonah to yell at Peter again, but he stopped short owing to a heart attack.

Peter spent an unknown period of time giving Jonah CPR to try and save him until the paramedics arrived; upon arriving they rushed Jonah to the hospital where he was depicted resting before surgery. His wife began talking to a lawyer about power of attorney and selling the final shares of the Bugle without Jonah having a say. When Peter, as Spider-Man, paid a visit, he accidentally let slip that the Daily Bugle has sold to Dexter Bennett, which caused Jonah to have another heart attack, forcing Spidey to once again give him CPR. Surprisingly, Jonah did not blame Spider-Man for once, but instead he just kept on muttering, "Dexter Bennett".

Jonah's condition has since improved, to the point where he takes physiotherapy sessions and t'ai chi classes. However, he loses his temper if he sees or hears about Dexter Bennett and the D.B. He is also apparently facing problems with his wife, as he has yet to forgive her for selling the Bugle.

Mayor of New York[edit]

In a 2009 storyline, Jameson is elected the mayor of New York City.[20] In his new office, Jonah receives a visit from his estranged father J. Jonah Jameson Sr. demanding that Jonah cease his vendetta with Spider-Man, citing Spider-Man's many heroic deeds and the fact that the Avengers and even Captain America had accepted him. Spider-Man then enters the mayor's office hoping to establish a truce with him only for Jonah to announce that he has assembled an "Anti-Spider Squad" to capture Spider-Man. Spider-Man responds by taking his superhero work into overdrive, committing heroic deeds all over the city simply to enrage Jameson. Jameson responds by putting his squad on double-shifts, severely straining the city council's budget.[21]

In the "Dark Reign" storyline, with Norman's rise to power, Dark Avengers member Spider-Man (really Mac Gargan) seeks to get revenge on Jameson. When Jameson arrived at his home, he was shocked to find a dead stripper on his bed.[22] When Gargan starts a gang war, Jameson goes to Osborn to help and is given "Spider-Man". He later discovers Spider-Man has caused the gang war and tries to confront Norman, though Spider-Man's name is cleared when he appears to save the Big Apple Festival from Bullseye, Daken, and the gangs involved. Jameson's popularity jumps from having worked with Spider-Man to solve the problem, though he does not realize during the course of the events that he is dealing with a different Spider-Man.[23]

He also eventually learns that his father is marrying May Parker, something he personally doesn't like, but in the end he begrudgingly accepts, even offering to pay for their ceremony out of his own pocket, and preside over it. The marriage also technically makes him Peter Parker's cousin, something he very clearly dislikes.[24]

Later, Spider-Man tries to stop the Chameleon from setting off a bomb that would kill thousands. Jameson has his squad attack in Mandroid suits. Spider-Man uses his knowledge of the Mandroid suits to disarm the bomb. The squad, instead of following orders and arresting Spider-Man, lets him go. The next day, Jameson is shocked to learn that every member of the squad resigned, and his aide tells him Jonah is getting out of control given Spider-Man's heroics. When Jameson yells about how the public has to see Spider-Man as a menace, the aide snaps that this was not the Daily Bugle. He tenders his own resignation, telling Jameson that he has to choose between Spider-Man or actually helping the city.[25]

Jameson later gives a financial bailout to Dexter Bennett to keep The DB! afloat. This led to a public backlash, which the villain, Electro, takes advantage of. Electro espouses taking down the DB!, a greedy corporation asking for money, and draws energy from his city-wide supporters turning on all their electrical appliances. In a showdown with Spider-Man inside the building, Dexter Bennett is crushed by rubble and the DB! building is completely destroyed. The destruction of the Bugle's longtime headquarters proves heartbreaking for Jameson, who is upset with his life's work and all of his memories being destroyed.[26]

During Spider-Man's encounter with the latest Vulture in Amazing Spider-Man #623-624, it was falsely stated by a mob boss that Jameson was responsible for his creation in order to get that Vulture to attack Jameson. Spider-Man ends up fighting the Vulture to protect him.[27] Security guard Gabriel Graham, whom Jameson didn't even know the name of before, gives up his life to protect Jameson from the Vulture, something that greatly affects Jameson, and makes Peter decide to make a doctored photo showing Jameson trying to fight back against the Vulture. While the picture in fact gets back support for Jameson from the public, and eventually makes several people admit the truth of the situation, Jameson exposes the picture as a fake, and publicly fires Peter Parker, which leads to Peter, now seen as practically a con artist, being blacklisted by every news source.[28]

During the "Heroic Age" storyline, J. Jonah Jameson witnesses the reformation of the Avengers.[29] and is later targeted by an assassin called the Extremist.[30]

After Spider-Man saves the whole of New York from a bomb planted by Doctor Octopus, Jameson is talked by his son and Steve Rogers into holding a ceremony to give him the key to the city, much to his chagrin.[31] At the same time, he cashes the shares he owned of the DB!, giving the money to Robbie Robertson, so that he can rebuild Front Line into the new Daily Bugle.[32]

During the events of the "Big Time" storyline Alistair Smythe tried to kill J. Jonah Jameson. Marla Jameson jumped in front of him saving his life but died in the process. As he held Marla, Jameson did not blame Spider-Man, but instead blamed himself."[33] During the attacks of the villain Massacre, J. Jonah Jameson comforts a boy named Liam who lost his mother when Massacre attacked the bank she was visiting. J. Jonah Jameson plans to have Alistair Smythe receive the death penalty for what happened to Marla. After Spider-Man defeated Massacre and kept the NYPD from killing him and instead handed him over to the police, Jameson berates Spider-Man for saving the life of a murderer; however, Spider-Man replies that "no one dies".[34]

During the "Spider-Island" storyline, J. Jonah Jameson's popularity as the mayor has plummeted and his Anti-Spider-Man Squad is considered to be a huge tax drain. He is shown to have been infected with spider powers [35] and soon mutates into a spider-like creature where he nearly kills Allistair Smythe, partly due to fact that he was responsible for the death of Jameson's wife.[36] The mayor is eventually cured of the spider-virus, along with the rest of the citizens of New York.[37] At present, Mayor Jameson shuts down Horizon Labs, (albeit without a court order), on the accusation that it conducts dangerous experiments and harbors criminals such as Morbius.[38] He places the city under martial law with his Anti-Spider-Man Squad patrolling the streets to prevent any looting during the Ends of the Earth storyline.[39] However, when Horizon Labs returns as heroes, Jameson is forced to re-open their New York facilities to save face, though he still demands the expulsion of Morbius.[40]

Working with Superior Spider-Man[edit]

After Superior Spider-Man (Doctor Octopus' mind in Spider-Man's body) stops the Sinister Six, Mayor J. Jonah Jameson comes to thank him personally, while Peter Parker's consciousness is shocked to see Jameson's drastically changed attitude towards the hero.[41] On the top of the police station building Jameson, Chief Pratchett and Carlie Cooper stand near to the improvised "Spider-Signal". Jameson boasts about his wise ruling policy while Carlie doubts Superior Spider-Man will ever show up. But he finally does and short-circuits the signal. Jameson discharges oaths about wasted taxpayer dollars, and Superior Spider-Man explains they can hinder him using the signal, humiliating Jameson between the lines.[42] When Massacre rigs the doors of Grand Central Station to explode, this even worries Jameson.[43] While speaking in a press conference, Jameson is suddenly attacked by criminal pranksters Jester and Screwball who assault their victims and broadcast it through the internet in a web-show called "Jested" (similar to popular TV show Punk'd). Both pranksters humiliate Jameson and transmit it all over the world, where even Superior Spider-Man laughs it off. Then he gets summoned by Jameson himself to the City Hall where he asks him to arrest Jester and Screwball. Superior Spider-Man dismisses it at first, but after Jameson reminded him of all the times Superior Spider-Man has pulled pranks on him (and even Otto remembers Peter's quips against him), he agrees to catch them putting his Patrol App on course. Superior Spider-Man beats up Jester and Screwball where his brutality being watched all over the city including Jameson (who is enjoying the punishment).[44]

Jameson argues with his father about the actions of Superior Spider-Man.[45] Jameson later enlists Superior Spider-Man to help oversee the execution of Alistair Smythe. Jameson arrives to the Raft for a final inspection before Smythe's execution, where he has told that all of the Raft's inmates will be transferred once Jameson shuts it down, highlighting the infirmary where Boomerang, Vulture and Scorpion are being attended. Jameson, alongside Superior Spider-Man, his assistant Glory Grant and Bugle reporter Norah Jones, watch the procedure of Smythe's execution, while he claims to be a "better person"[46]

Jameson reflecting on the moment whose Smythe killed his wife Marla right in front on him, sadly proclaiming that he will not keep the promise to fulfill her dying wish until Smythe dies, swearing that he will not leave the island. After Smythe's escape, Jameson, Glory Grant, Norah Winters, and the remaining civilians are surrounded by Superior Spider-Man's Spider-Bots and then are informed by Otto (in a pre-recorded holgoram) that he has taken measures to counteract any attempt of escape so his Spider-Bots will safeguard them in a force field while the reinforcements arrive, but Jonah refuses to stand still inside the force field, willing to go and help Superior Spider-Man against Smythe. When Smythe has the upper hand over Superior Spider-Man, Jameson poses as a prison guard to narrowly shoot Smythe. Superior Spider-Man accuses Jameson of leaving the force field, but Jameson confronts Superior Spider-Man to tell him he brought him to ensure that Smythe gets executed by any means necessary, implying that he has giving permission to Superior Spider-Man to directly kill him. Superior Spider-Man accepts and tells Jameson to go back to the force field with the others. Smythe sends Scorpion to target Jameson.[47] Jameson is assaulted by Scorpion who was more than willing to kill him only to be stopped by the Lizard. Once aboard the rescue boat, Jameson prepares himself for a press conference musing that he will be happy once the Raft is destroyed. Superior Spider-Man sways him apart and tells him that he should give him the Raft for his new base of operations. Jameson refuses only to be blackmailed by Superior Spider-Man with a recording of their meeting at the Raft where Jameson grants permission to Superior Spider-Man to kill Smythe. Fearing the repercussions (and in the process reigniting his hatred towards Superior Spider-Man), Jameson agrees and makes the announcement in his press conference where he publicly gives Superior Spider-Man the Raft as his new Super Hero Headquarters which Superior Spider-Man rechristens it as "Spider-Island II".[48]

During the attacks of the Goblin King's Goblin Underground, Mayor Jameson unveils the Goblin-Slayers (which Mary Jane thinks might be former Spider-Slayers) which he plans to use to combat the Goblin threat.[49]

Family members[edit]

Here are the known family members of J. Jonah Jameson:

Other versions[edit]

In 1602: New World, the sequel to Marvel 1602, Jameson is an Irish colonist and friend of Ananias Dare. He prints the Roanoke Colony's newspaper, The Daily Trumpet, with the assistance of Peter Parquagh, whom he orders to learn more about the mysterious "Spider", believing him to be a threat to the colony.

In the alternate reality of Earth X, everyone on Earth has been affected by the Terrigen Mists, granting everyone superpowers. Jameson is turned into a humanoid donkey. It is also revealed that after he published information exposing Peter Parker as Spider-Man, his reputation was ruined, as no one trusted a man who had spent years paying the very hero he called a menace.

In the original Marvel universe of G.I. Joe, Jameson is seen hassling a news vendor for the seeming lack of any Daily Bugle papers.[55]

In the "House of M" reality created by the insane Scarlet Witch and in which mutants are dominant over baseline humans, Jameson is the maltreated publicist of Peter Parker, here a celebrity without a secret identity. Despising Peter and only keeping his job for the pay, Jameson gets his chance to completely ruin his boss when the Green Goblin gives him Peter's old journal. Learning that Peter is a mutate instead of a mutant, Jameson reveals this to the populace of the world, who come to hate Peter for having only pretended to be a mutant. He is left grieving and guilt-ridden when Spider-Man appears to have killed himself.[56]

In the MC2 continuity, an alternate future of the mainstream Marvel Universe, Jonah is still the publisher of The Daily Bugle. His wife, Marla is still alive.[57] He hires May Parker, the daughter of Peter, as a photographer. Ironically, he is very supportive of Spider-Girl, in contrast to his stance on her father (in the MC2 continuity, Spider-Man's identity was never made public).[58] He also supported "Project Human Fly", another attempt to create a superhero, this time in response to the death of Joseph "Robbie" Robertson at the hands of Doctor Octopus. When "Buzz" Bannon, the intended subject of Project Human Fly, is murdered and the suit stolen, he immediately condemns The Buzz, the identity assumed by the person who stole the suit. However, he is unaware that his own grandson, Jack "J.J." Jameson and The Buzz are one and the same person.[59]

In the Marvel Knights four-issue series Spider-Man: Reign, set 35 years in the future, an elderly Jameson is seen returning to a totalitarian New York, with the mission of convincing a middle age Peter Parker to return as Spider-Man to save the city from being enclosed by Mayor Waters' WEBB security system. After attacking Reign officers, he is saved by the newly returned Spider-Man. Jonah next rounds up groups of children to join his cause to save the city, as they print about Spider-Man's return. Eventually Jonah is captured by the Reign and brought to the mayor's office, where he confirms his suspicions, finding out that Venom is behind the WEBB project as a means of trapping the citizens of New York, so that they can be fed on by itself and other symbiotes. After Spider-Man defeats Venom, and destroys the WEBB, Jonah is seen on television proclaiming that freedom has returned to the city.

In the alternate universe of Marvel Zombies, Jameson is eaten by the zombified Spider-Man in his own office, when Zombie Spider-Man confronts him. In Marvel Zombies, it proves that he was right about Spider-Man being a menace. This after Spider-Man remarks he was "going to enjoy this part." [60]

In Spider-Man Noir, Jameson remains the owner of the Daily Bugle. However, he's seemingly under the thumb of Norman Osborn, the "Goblin" and kills Ben Urich to prevent him from publishing evidence against Goblin. It is soon revealed that this was in fact the Chameleon, who abducted Jameson for the Goblin. Jonah was saved by Spider-Man from being eaten by Kraven's Siberian tiger.[61]

Issue #1 of Spider-Man: Fairy Tales follows the fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood. Mary Jane takes the part of Little Red Riding Hood, and Peter is one of the woodsmen. Jameson is the leader of the woodsmen, who also include Osborn and Flash Thompson.

In Ultimate Spider-Man and Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man, Jameson is essentially the same character as the original version, although younger in appearance. Jameson decries Spider-Man and other vigilantes, accusing them of being fraudulent hero figures in contrast to his astronaut son, who was killed during a mission. While Jameson does not necessarily hate Spider-Man, he has no qualms about painting him in a negative light to sell papers. And despite his adverse attitude towards Spider-Man, this version of Jonah still ends up unwittingly hiring Peter Parker to work at the Daily Bugle as its webmaster.[volume & issue needed] During the "Ultimatum" storyline, Jameson drops his vendetta against Spider-Man after losing his wife in a massive flood that engulfs Manhattan and later witnessing Spider-Man rescuing other flood victims. Feeling ashamed and regretful of his smear campaign, Jameson vows to dedicate his life towards portraying Spider-Man as the hero he really is, and begins by publishing several pro-Spider-Man stories Ben Urich held onto.[volume & issue needed] Subsequently, Jameson deduces Spider-Man's true identity, but following the trauma of being kidnapped, along with Spider-Man, by the Chameleons, and being shot in the head, Jameson comes to believe that it is his God-given duty to protect and aid Spider-Man.[62] After the death of Peter Parker, and the assumption of his mantle by the second Spider-Man, Miles Morales,[63] Jameson, when told by investigative reporter Betty Brant that she has discovered his secret identity (though she incorrectly concludes that Morales' father, Jefferson Davis, is Spider-Man), Jameson refuses to publish her theory, explaining that doing so would not illuminate any truth for the benefit of readers, but would only ruin a family's life and deprive the city of another hero.[64]

J. Jonah Jameson appeared in various issues of What If?, which imagines changes to Marvel continuity during crucial points in history. In issue #82 of the second volume ponders history had Jameson adopted Parker. While this version of Jonah is actually more supportive of Peter, he still harbors his hatred of Spider-Man, until he has a change of heart.[65] In another issue that imagines history had Parker's uncle, Ben Parker, not died as a result of Parker's initial lack of responsibility, Spider-Man becomes a successful and entertainer, and uses his wealth and influence to shut down Jameson's paper and ruin his life. Jameson in turn becomes a criminal who organizes the Sinister Six to get revenge on Spider-Man.[volume & issue needed]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

J. Jonah Jameson has been a regular character in almost all adaptations of Spider-Man:

Films[edit]

J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson in the Spider-Man film series.

In the Spider-Man movies directed by Sam Raimi, J. Jonah Jameson is portrayed by J.K. Simmons, and serves as a major source of comic relief. Portrayed as a blustering, bombastic man, the movie version of Jameson retains his dislike for Spider-Man, and takes delight in anything that might discredit or defame him. This portrayal has been extremely well received by fans of the original comics. Stan Lee has said that, assuming the film was made earlier than 2002, he would have liked to have portrayed Jameson in a live-action Spider-Man film, but he has warmly praised Simmons's rendition. In the films, he has a Pencil moustache, unlike in the comics, where he has a toothbrush moustache.

Spider-Man (film)[edit]

In the first film Spider-Man, Jameson describes him as a menace and a vigilante, and points out, "Then why does he wear a mask? Huh? What's he got to hide?" Indeed, the only reason he develops an interest in publishing news on the hero is because it sells papers, and upon hearing that no one has been able to get a clear shot of him, he declares, "He doesn't want to be famous? Then I'll make him infamous!" He also retains much of his cynical, avuncular attitude and brusque manner with his staff, though he willingly protects Peter Parker when the Green Goblin demands to know the identity of Spider-Man's photographer. When Peter accuses him of slandering Spider-Man, Jameson says, "I resent that! Slander is spoken. In print, it's libel." He holds the dubious honor of providing the nicknames (wanting his staff to immediately trademark the name) for the central villains in both of the first two films: the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus. In each film his office is rearranged and relocated; only the first movie offers an explicit reason for this, as in that film it is partially destroyed by the Green Goblin. A greedy man who demands much of his employees, Jameson is reminiscent of a fast-talking 1940s film character in many ways.

Spider-Man 2[edit]

Throughout the second film Spider-Man 2, Jameson is shown to know that Spider-Man is a hero, but is too proud to admit it. He even goes so far as to admit it when crime and danger skyrocket and his son's fiancée, Mary Jane Watson, is kidnapped after Spider-Man temporarily disappears; true to form, he recants almost immediately and becomes infuriated with the web-slinger once again when Spider-Man steals back his costume from the Bugle to confront the rampaging Doctor Octopus. The DVD-only Spider-Man 2.1 extended cut of the film contains a short scene in which Jameson dons the Spider-Man suit and romps around on his desk, while Robbie Robertson, Betty Brant, and Hoffman watch in a mix of surprise and confusion. The filmmakers cut the scene from the theatrical release because Simmons didn't fit their original image of a paunchy middle-aged man; instead, he fills out the costume fairly well. Mrs. Jameson is alive and well in the movies, being mentioned in the first and third movies and seen in the second. References to her are usually relayed as a foil to Jameson's miserly ways; when informed by his secretary his wife had lost his checkbook, he replies "Thanks for the good news." At the wedding of his son John Jameson and Mary Jane Watson in the second film, once it becomes clear that the bride had left the groom at the altar, the first thing Jameson does is tell his wife to call the wedding caterer and "tell her not to open the caviar" after having evidently lost an earlier argument where he did not wish to buy caviar at all.

Spider-Man 3[edit]

In Spider-Man 3, Jameson sets Eddie Brock and Peter Parker up as rivals to earn a staff job, instructing them to obtain unflattering pictures of Spider-Man. He is shown to supposedly have many medical conditions, being warned by Miss Brant (who was informed by Jameson's wife) whenever he is too tense or when he needs to take his pills. Specifically, it is revealed that he has high blood pressure, and Miss Brant must always remind him to watch his temper. Later, Jameson fires Brock for doctoring and selling fake photos of Spider-Man robbing a bank, in spite of his dislike of the hero, as Brock's photo destroyed his paper's reputation, which has not printed a retraction in 20 years. He is surprised by Parker's new confident and aggressive demeanor, provoked by the black suit, especially when he finds him and Miss Brant flirting on his desk, exclaiming "Miss Brant, that's not the position I hired you for". At the climactic battle between Spider-Man, New Goblin, Sandman and Venom, Jameson, unable to locate Parker, bargains with a little girl in the crowd to obtain her camera to shoot the battle himself. She refuses to sell for less than a hundred dollars. After the stingy Jameson reluctantly pays, he discovers that there is no film in the camera, to which she explains, "The film's extra," much to his fury.

The Amazing Spider-Man[edit]

J. Jonah Jameson does not appear in the film series' reboot The Amazing Spider-Man directed by Marc Webb, although he may appear in the film's planned sequels. J.K. Simmons has expressed interest in reprising the role as well.[67] Despite not appearing in the first reboot movie, the newspaper itself is seen.

Video games[edit]

J. Jonah Jameson has appeared in many of the Spider-Man video games, usually as a supporting character:

Parodies[edit]

In The Simpsons episode "Moe'N'a Lisa", which aired on November 19, 2006, J.K. Simmons guest stars, playing a publisher resembling J. Jonah Jameson in the Spider-Man movies. This resemblance is made more apparent when he demands pictures, stories, and even poems about Spider-Man. He even repeats a line from Spider-Man 3: "What are you waiting for? Chinese New Year?" This is due in part to guest star Michael Chabon's script work on Spider-Man 2.[70] A similar character, also voiced by Simmons, appears later in the same season as the publisher of The Springfield Inquisitor in the episode "Homerazzi".

In the Spider-Man 2 parody on VH1's ILL-Ustrated, j. Jonah Jameson is portrayed as a Dr. Dre look-alike.

A parody of J. Jonah Jameson mostly based on J.K. Simmons's performance appears in Superhero Movie. This parody is a mental patient from the hospital that the newspaper company shares with, yelling that hamburgers can tell the future.

Rob Zicari portrays the character in the 2011 pornographic spoof Spider-Man XXX: A Porn Parody and its sequel Superman vs. Spider-Man XXX: An Axel Braun Parody.

Novelizations[edit]

Reference is made to Jameson in the novelization of the Fantastic Four movie, although the character is not expressly named as Jameson; after they have saved the people on a bridge, Mr. Fantastic is shown on numerous television channels talking about the Fantastic Four, and recognizes a man with a small mustache (accompanied by a headline FANTASTIC FOUR: HEROES OR MENACE) as the owner of a major newspaper. Jameson is also featured in the 1978 novel Mayhem in Manhattan, written by Len Wein and Marv Wolfman.

Theatre[edit]

Michael Mulheren plays J. Jonah Jameson in the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.[71]

References[edit]

  1. ^ J. Jonah Jameson (Character)
  2. ^ Conan, Neal (October 27, 2010). "Stan Lee, Mastermind Of The Marvel Universe". NPR.
  3. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #1
  4. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #10
  5. ^ a b The Spectacular Spider-Man #175
  6. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #25 and 58
  7. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #20
  8. ^ Amazing Spider-Man Annual #10
  9. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #2
  10. ^ Daredevil #230-231
  11. ^ Daredevil #177-178
  12. ^ Amazing Spider-Man Annual #18
  13. ^ Spider-Woman (vol. 3) #3
  14. ^ Spider-Woman (vol. 3) #12 and 18
  15. ^ a b Alias #20
  16. ^ Web of Spider-Man #59
  17. ^ The Spectacular-Spider-Man #171
  18. ^ Webspinners: Tales of Spider-Man (1999) #1-3 (Jan.-March 1999)
  19. ^ "Of Civil Wars and Sidekicks: Jenkins Talks CIVIL WAR: FRONT LINE and SIDEKICK". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved March 22, 2006. 
  20. ^ Slott, Dan (w), Delperdang, Jesse; Eaglesham, Dale; Kitson, Barry (a), "'Nuff Said!", Amazing Spider-Man #591. June 2009. Marvel Comics.
  21. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #592
  22. ^ Dark Reign: Sinister Spider-Man #1
  23. ^ Dark Reign: Sinister Spider-Man #2-4
  24. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #600
  25. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #604
  26. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #614
  27. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #623
  28. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #624
  29. ^ Age of Heroes #1
  30. ^ Web of Spider-Man (vol. 2) #8
  31. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #648
  32. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #649
  33. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #654
  34. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #656
  35. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #669
  36. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #670
  37. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #672
  38. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #682
  39. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #685
  40. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #688
  41. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #2
  42. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #3
  43. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #5
  44. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #6
  45. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #10
  46. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #11
  47. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #12
  48. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #13
  49. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #28
  50. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #2
  51. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #578
  52. ^ Spider-Mna's Tangled Web #20
  53. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #1
  54. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #165
  55. ^ G.I.Joe A Real American Hero #95 (December 1989). Marvel Comics.
  56. ^ Spider-Man: House of M #1-3
  57. ^ The Buzz #1
  58. ^ Spider-Girl #17 and 22
  59. ^ The Buzz #1-3
  60. ^ Marvel Zombies: Dead Days
  61. ^ Spider-Man: Noir #3
  62. ^ Bendis, Brian Michael. Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #15. Marvel Comics.
  63. ^ Truitt, Brian (August 2, 2011). "Half-black, half-Hispanic Spider-Man revealed". USA Today. Archived from the original on August 19, 2011. 
  64. ^ Bendis, Brian Michael (w), Marquez, David (a). Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #16.1. December 2012. Marvel Comics.
  65. ^ "What If J. Jonah Jameson Adopted Spider-Man?" What If? (vol 2) #82. Marvel Comics.
  66. ^ Comics Continuum by Rob Allstetter: Wednesday, January 30, 2008
  67. ^ ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2′: Should J.K. Simmons Return as J. Jonah Jameson?
  68. ^ EventHubs fighting game news, guides, streams, videos - Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom, Tekken, Soul Calibur
  69. ^ [1]
  70. ^ TV.com - Moe'N'a Lisa
  71. ^ Flynn, Kevin (August 10, 2011). "All the Editors That Are Fit to Spoof". The New York Times.

External links[edit]