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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
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance The Amazing Spider-Man #1 (March 1963)
Created by Stan Lee
Steve Ditko
In-story information
Team affiliations Daily Bugle
Now Magazine
Jameson Publications
Jameson News Digest
Women magazine
Mayor of New York City
Supporting character of Spider-Man
Daredevil

John Jonah Jameson[1] (also known as J.J.J., Jolly Jonah Jameson, Jigsaw Jameson or J.J.) is a fictional supporting character featured in various Marvel Comics, most prominently the Spider-Man title. Created by writer Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko, he first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #1 (March 1963).

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 turned much of the city against the hero. He unknowingly employs Spider-Man's alter ego Peter Parker as a photojournalist.

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.

Jameson was raised by his stepfather, his biological father's brother. This is who he learned to love cigars from. His biological father J. Jonah Jameson Sr. left the country for unknown reasons.

As a result of the wedding of his father and May Parker, he and Peter Parker are now in-laws.

Contents

Fictional character biography

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Background

Cover to Tangled Web #20. Art by Dean Haspiel.

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's 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 (a.k.a. Namor the Sub-Mariner, 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, 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.

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

Spider-Man

Those flaws became most obvious when Spider-Man became a media sensation. Jameson strove to blacken Spider-Man's reputation because he was jealous; casting the masked hero as an unhinged vigilante not only boosted the Bugle's circulation, but also punished Spider-Man for overshadowing Jameson's astronaut son. When Spider-Man tried to counter the bad press by rescuing his son from danger, Jameson vindictively accused the hero of staging the situation for his own benefit.

This episode set a pattern with Jameson's and Spider-Man's typical 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. Jameson refused to accept responsibility for his unprofessional conduct, however, and blamed Spider-Man for trying to ruin him. While he would never admit it, Jameson was jealous of Spider-Man's selfless heroism to the point that, despite all evidence to the contrary, he convinced himself that the hero had some hidden, sinister agenda. (In issue #10 of The Amazing Spider-Man Jameson admitted that he is jealous of Spider-Man. He has always worked for money, whereas Spider-Man does his good work and asks for nothing in return. Jameson believes that he cannot look at himself as a good man while someone who is truly good like Spider-Man exists.)

Even while Spider-Man saved his life and those of his loved ones numerous times, his determination to find some flaw in the hero only increased. For his part, Spider-Man's reaction has ranged from frustration and anger at the ungrateful publisher, which has led to occasional pranks to antagonize him, to an amused acceptance of his self-destructive stubbornness. Ironically, Jameson himself was something of a hero in his reporter days, when he labored tirelessly against organized crime and in support of civil rights, so Jameson's suspicion that Spider-Man cannot possibly be as good as he seems might be interpreted as an extrapolation of the impossible standards Jameson has set for himself, or as a manifestation of the abuse he suffered from his "hero" father.

Jameson posted rewards for Spider-Man's capture or secret identity, hunted him with Spencer Smythe's Spider-Slayer robots, and even commissioned super-powered agents to defeat the masked man. He hired a private detective named MacDonald Gargan, put him through a regimen of genetic enhancement, and transformed him into the Scorpion - only to have Gargan go insane and turn on his benefactor. Although Spider-Man has protected Jameson from this monster, Jameson kept his role in creating the Scorpion secret for years. He was even so foolish as to create another superbeing, who turned into a minor supervillain, the Human Fly, who had his own vendetta against him. At one time, he hired Silver Sable and her Wild Pack to hunt Spider-Man down before he could be proven innocent of a crime, and also hired Luke Cage to capture Spider-Man when he was 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 soon took advantage of that by taking pictures of himself as Spider-Man and selling them to the Bugle with few questions asked.

Despite his feelings towards Spider-Man, Jameson helped him out during Inferno, a demonic attack on New York. The publishing offices of the Daily Bugle had come under siege and Jameson led the defense. A badly injured Spider-Man and Jameson cooperated in defending the others.

Jameson would later take 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 managed to uncover the truth.

Cover to Spectacular Spider-Man #80. Art by John Romita, Jr.

Family ties

In Amazing Spider-Man #162 (November 1976), Jameson first introduced himself to Dr. Marla Madison, a distinguished scientist and daughter of a deceased friend of his. He asked 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 was interested in the challenge, and joined Jameson in his efforts. The two grew closer, eventually marrying in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #18 but not without another attack from the Scorpion who kidnaps Marla and is defeated by Spider-Man. Jameson remains a devoted, if a little over-protective, husband to his second wife.

Jonah and Marla Madison also adopted their niece, Mattie Franklin, who unknown to them was also Spider-Woman. In the third volume of Alias, Mattie's secret was revealed, as, while searching for Jessica Drew in a drug-induced haze, she found former superhero Jessica Jones. Jones tracked down the girl and found that Mattie's boyfriend was using her blood to make Mutant Growth Hormone. For saving his daughter, Jonah heavily promoted Jones' agency and later hired her as a reporter for the Bugle's new Pulse magazine.

Relinquishing control

The guilt for creating the Scorpion caught up with Jameson when the Hobgoblin blackmailed him about it. When he received the threats, rather than succumb to the Hobgoblin, Jameson chose instead to reveal it to the world in a public editorial. Naturally, he neglected to mention his role in creating the Fly and financing several of the Spider-Slayers. He stepped down as the Bugle's editor-in-chief, delegating the post to his immediate subordinate, Joseph "Robbie" Robertson, but Jameson remained its publisher.

Jonah's control of the Daily Bugle was bought out from under him by multi-millionaire Thomas Fireheart, a former enemy of Spider-Man who was secretly also the assassin for hire called The Puma. Fireheart had felt that he owed Spider-Man a debt of honor and in an attempt to repay the hero, he purchased the Daily Bugle and began a pro-Spider-Man campaign. Jameson started up a rival magazine which continued to produce anti-Spider-Man articles. This all occurred around the time of Spider-Man becoming empowered by the Enigma Force. When Spider-Man finally confronted Fireheart a few months after battling the Tri-Sentinel and tried to settle things with him, Fireheart challenged the web-slinger to a battle to the death in New Mexico. He then sold 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." It is unknown if Fireheart revealed the reason for wanting this done. Jameson, however shocked he might have been by the request, took the deal and regained ownership of the Bugle, which swiftly returned to its primarily anti-Spider-Man standpoint.

Soon after this he was blackmailed into selling the Bugle to Norman Osborn after threats were made against his family; simultaneously, he was 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 was finally able to reclaim the Bugle after Osborn was driven underground by temporary insanity.

Death

When a clone of Spider-Man (not Ben Reilly) 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 immediately killed in the car crash, dying upon impact, and the media blames Spider-Man for his tragic and untimely demise. Later, his spirit is shown ascending up to "the light," only for him to be condemned for all the injustices he commited in life. His spirit is then shown descending into Hell, where he is tormented by a Spider-Man-esque demon, though this is revealed to also be a part of Mysterio's scheme, and he is eventually rescued by none other than Spider-Man himself. [2]

At some point, Jameson was apparently returned to life. However, he never forgot about his death, and the time he spent in Hell continues to haunt him to this day.

Spider-Man Unmasked

Jameson's influence on the paper as its publisher was shown in the 2006-2007 Civil War: Frontline 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.[3] When Spider-Man unmasked to reveal himself to be Peter Parker, Jameson fainted dead away 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. Note the similarities to Tobey Maguire (who portrays Parker/Spider-Man in the films) and J.K. Simmons (who portrays Jameson), and the apparent presence of the film-exclusive character Hoffman (played by Ted Raimi).

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 Super-human 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 Robbie and to drop the lawsuit against Peter.

Heart attack and recuperation

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 Tai 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

Jameson recently became the mayor of New York City.[4] 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. J. Jonah Jameson Sr. cited 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.[5]

In Dark Reign crossover, with Norman's rise to power, Dark Avengers member Spider-Man (really Venom) seeks to get revenge on Jameson. When Jameson arrived at his home, he was shocked to find a dead stripper on his bed.[6] When Gargan starts a gang war to screw with Jameson, he 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 gang's involved in the turf war. Jameson's popularity jumps from having worked with Spider-Man to solve the problem. It seems that he does not realize during the course of the events that he is dealing with with a different Spider-Man.[7]

He also eventually learns that his father is marrying May Parker, something he personally doesn't like, but in the end 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.[8]

When Spider-Man tries to stop the Chameleon from setting off a bomb, Jameson has his squad attack in Mandroid suits. However, they work with Spider-Man to contain the explosion, and when Jameson demands they arrest Spider-Man, they let him go, crushing their Spider tracer. 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 isn't a newspaper and that Jonah can't just say what he wants and expect the public to believe it. He tenders his own resignation, telling Jameson that he has to choose between Spider-Man or actually helping the city.[9]

Jameson later gives a financial bailout to Dexter Bennett to keep The DB! afloat. However, this leads 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.[10]

During Spider-Man's recent encounter with the latest Vulture, it is stated by a mob boss that J. Jonah Jameson was responsible for his creation which is false in order to get that Vulture to attack Jameson. Spider-Man ends up fighting the Vulture to protect Jameson.[11] 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 to Jameson from the public, and eventually makes several people admit the truth of the situation, Jameson exposes the picture as a fraud, and publically fires Peter Parker, as well as leading Peter, now seen as practically a con artist, to be blacklisted by any news source.[12]

Positive characteristics

To his credit, Jameson has also been a tireless crusader for civil rights. He has also agitated in print on behalf of labor union rights. At various times, he has expressed extreme disgust for racial prejudice, and counted Joe Robertson as one of his closest friends right up until their personal fall-out during Civil War. While always depicted as a skinflint and an opportunist, he has nonetheless displayed a passionate regard for the freedom of the press, despite numerous threats from violent criminals, crooked politicians and disgruntled super-villains. The Daily Bugle is one of the very few Manhattan newspapers to condemn Wilson Fisk as a crime czar, and Jameson has consistently refused to be intimidated by the Kingpin's tactics, even going so far as to chide Ben Urich for withdrawing his investigation on the Kingpin during Daredevil: Born Again.

He has even stood up for mutant rights, despite his dislike of superhuman individuals, taking a stance against Graydon Creed's Presidential campaign and investigating Operation Zero Tolerance. One of the earliest examples of his support of minorities occurred when a corrupt lawyer called Sam Bullit attempted to run for D.A.; initially Jameson supported him due to his anti-Spider-Man stance, but after learning about Bullit's plans for minority groups if he was elected (thanks to the efforts of Robbie, Spider-Man and Iceman) the Bugle withdrew support of his campaign. Robbie subsequently published the evidence and ruined Bullit. He has also come to Parker's aid financially, although on the sly, such as when he paid Parker's legal bills during Parker's trial for murder. He has repeatedly gone after organized crime and corrupt officials, despite various threats and attempts on his and his staff's lives.

For the most part, only superhumans who set themselves above others by acting outside the law earn his ire, not superhumans per se. Jameson is admittedly more tolerant of superheroes who act with government sanction, such as the Avengers, as opposed to uncontrolled costumed vigilantism, feeling that superhumans should be accountable for their actions and that heroes with superpowers should have their identities known if they truly are acting for the public good and have nothing to hide. (He also feels that should a superpowered being ever turn villain, having the public know who they are would make them that much easier to track down. He feels that public disclosure of their identities is a way of safeguarding the public from those with powers far beyond that of most of humanity.) Oddly enough however, he has seemed somewhat tolerant of the X-Men (who at the time were still operating as a mutant vigilante group of sorts), such as the time they rescued him from the Brotherhood of Mutants during the events of Operation Zero Tolerance. Despite Iron Man having offered to give him exclusive access to the team, Jameson was highly hostile to the New Avengers when they made their public debut, saying that their current members tarnished the Avengers' good name (which, ironically, he had rarely defended before), calling Wolverine a wanted murderer, Spider-Woman a former terrorist, and Luke Cage a convicted heroin dealer (although each example was, admittedly, true, though they omitted the important details, such as that Cage was later cleared of the charges and that Spider-Woman defected from her former employers as soon as she learned the truth about her first mission). Another reason for his enmity for costumed heroes stems from his perception that they steal the limelight from those who he considers "real" heroes, such as his astronaut son, along with police and firefighters, who perform heroic acts every day without hiding behind masks. Jameson, although seeming to approve of the X-Men and even being cited by John Jameson as having praise for Captain America, has a dislike of the concept of secret identities, despite the protection they afford to the loved ones of superhumans who risk their lives for others every day. This appears to be more out of a desire to see the "real" heroes outshine the superpowered ones, who he feels are glory hogs despite the good they do for the city and the world, though he seems to have little problem with the superheroes themselves, with the obvious exception of Spider-Man, with whom he still has a rivalry. Jameson's stance on the entire concept can be summed up in issue two of Civil War in the following conversation with Robbie Robertson:

Jameson: "No More MASKS and no more excuses about creepy SECRET IDENTITIES. These clowns finally WORK FOR SHIELD or they throw their butts in JAIL."

Robbie: "You really think the super heroes are all going to SIGN UP?"

Jameson: "No. Just the smart ones."

Although Jameson was always first to accuse Spider-Man of any perceived crime in the Bugle, he was also (usually) the first to admit he was wrong and print an official retraction when the truth of that crime came out. During one of his more thoughtful moments Jonah quietly admitted that, at least in his own mind, his public attacks kept Spider-Man from becoming the menace he made him out to be.

Other versions

1602

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.

Earth X

In the alternate reality of Earth X, everyone on Earth has been affected by the Terrigen Mists, granting everyone super powers. 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.

House of M

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 due to 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.

MC2

In the MC2 continuity, an alternate future of the mainstream Marvel Universe, Jonah is still the publisher of The Daily Bugle. 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). 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.

Spider-Man: Reign

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.

Marvel Zombies

In the alternate universe of Marvel Zombies, Jameson is eaten by the zombified Spider-Man in his own office. This after Spider-Man remarks he was "going to enjoy this." [13]

Noir Jameson

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.

Spider-Man: Fairy Tales

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.

Ultimate Jameson

In Ultimate Spider-Man, Jameson is essentially the same character, although younger in appearance. Bendis depicts Jameson as someone who does not necessarily hate Spider-Man, but uses him to sell papers. In the Ultimate Marvel continuity, his son — an astronaut — was killed while on a mission. He considers his son a "true hero", making him predisposed to dislike Spider-Man. He hires Peter Parker as the newspaper's webmaster. In the wake of the flooding on New York, Jameson drops his vendetta against Spider-Man completely after personally seeing Spider-Man rescuing flood victims. Jameson also loses his wife to the flood. Feeling ashamed and regretful of his previous smear campaign, Jameson promises to dedicate his life to showing what a true hero Spider-Man really is. He begins by publishing several pro-Spider-Man stories Ben Urich had held onto.

In other media

Television

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

Animation

The 1960s animated series contained the most negative depiction of the character, voiced by Paul Kligman, as an egotistical loudmouth who automatically accuses Spider-Man of any crime, even when the evidence clearly contradicts him. In the second season, Jameson's attitude toward Spider-Man warms a bit, even going as far as helping Spider-Man defeat the Kingpin and expose a phony medicine racket during their first meeting. Not openly hostile, Jameson seems to be more surprised that Spider-Man actually exists. Earlier in the episode, Jameson gives Peter a job at the Bugle, sight unseen, when he remembers that Peter is the nephew of a murder victim.

J. Jonah Jameson appeared in the 1981 Spider-Man series and Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, as voiced by William Woodson.

Spider-Man: The Animated Series

Subsequent depictions have portrayed the character as more reasonable in his beliefs of costumed superheroes, particularly in the 1990s animated series, in which he was voiced by Edward Asner (whose casting may have been inspired by Asner's well-known role as another fictional news editor, Lou Grant). In this series, Jameson's hatred of Spider-Man is based less on his powers and more to his wearing a mask; in this continuity, his wife was killed by a masked gunman.

The series also portrays his integrity as a journalist, refusing to cover up the truth even when it is in his best interests, and portrays his loyalty to those who work for him. Examples of the earlier include firing Eddie Brock when John Jameson confirms Spider-Man's version of who stole a mineral John and a fellow astronaut brought from the moon and publishing an article on chemical weapons being developed by OsCorp despite being one of its shareholders and board members on this series. He secretly hired attorney Matt Murdock to defend Peter Parker when Peter was framed by Richard Fisk and personally uncovered evidence exonerating Robbie when he was framed by Tombstone. Jameson's cigar-smoking trademark characteristic is not depicted in the more recent animated TV incarnations, due to the levels on censorship required on the cartoons.

Spider-Man: The New Animated Series

Jameson appears in MTV's 2003 Spider-Man series, voiced by Keith Carradine. Here, Jameson is portrayed as extremely cheap, his hatred of Spider-Man only being evident in the show's series finale.

The Spectacular Spider-Man

J. Jonah Jameson appears in The Spectacular Spider-Man, voiced by Daran Norris.[14] He tends to be boisterous and difficult to get along with, though Betty Brant seems unfazed by his bloviating. He turns down Peter Parker's request for a job, but steals his idea to take pictures of Spider-Man. Here, Jameson sports a soul patch along with his trademark mustache. Although he considers Spider-Man a menace (if at least a photo-worthy one), he seems to be fond of Peter Parker. He suggests tomato juice to the boy to kill the stench of garbage on him after a photo shoot in a junkyard, and protects him from Rhino by bravely covering for him while he can escape. When he learns that Aunt May had a heart attack during the Sinister Six's attack on Broadway, he says he will tell Peter the news.

This incarnation of Jameson displays a level of hyperactivity not seen in any of his previous incarnations, as well as an obsession with time, punctuality, and deadlines, likely inspired by J.K. Simmons' popular film portrayal of the character aside from that, he is very sadistic towards Spider-Man. His hatred of Spider-Man begins in the episode "The Uncertainty Principle" when the Bugle's story of Jonah's son John Jameson safely landing the space shuttle despite a broken heat shield is outsold by the Daily Globe 's story of the fight between Spider-Man and Green Goblin. He blames Spider-Man for the sudden profusion of costumed psychopaths like Doctor Octopus, Green Goblin, and The Rhino in New York City (Though this assumption is actually proven correct in the episode "The Invisible Hand", when Tombstone reveals that at least some of the super villains were specifically created to occupy Spider Man so that more ordinary criminals can continue their activities unhindered). At one point he calls for the headline "Spider-Man: Threat or Menace?"

Parodies

J. Jonah Jameson in The Simpsons.

In The Simpsons episode "Moe'N'a Lisa", which aired on November 19, 2006, J.K. Simmons guest stars, playing a publisher resembling Jameson as played by Simmons himself 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.[15] The character also reappeared, with a different appearance, in an episode "Homerazzi" later that season. He had also said "I want pictures of Spider-Man", only to be corrected by an employee that he's in the poetry industry. He then demands poems about Spider-Man.

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

Live-action

The character's first live-action appearances were in 1970s television, performed by David White in the television movie and Robert F. Simon in the subsequent television series. In both these incarnations, Jameson's abrasive, flamboyant personality was toned down and the character was portrayed as a more avuncular figure.

Films

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

In the Spider-Man movies directed by Sam Raimi, 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' rendition.

Spider-Man (film)

In the first film, Jameson describes him as a menace and a vigilante, and points out, "He wears a mask. 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, "If he doesn't want to be famous, 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 when the Green Goblin demands to known who he is. When Peter Parker 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 copyright 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.

Spider-Man 2

Ultimately, he is basically a good, loyal man; under the right circumstances, he would die to protect others (as demonstrated in Spider-Man 1 by his refusal to reveal to the Green Goblin the identity of the photographer who took pictures of Spider-Man). Jameson also, at some level, knows that Spider-Man is a hero, but is too proud to admit it. He even goes so far as to admit it in Spider-Man 2 when crime and danger skyrocketed and his son's fiancée, Mary-Jane Watson, is kidnapped after Spider-Man temporarily disappears; true to form, however, 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".

Spider-Man 3

In Spider-Man 3, Jameson sets Eddie Brock Jr. 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 when Brock creates and sells to Jameson fake pictures 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.

Video games

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

  • The gruff editor-in-chief of the Daily Bugle appeared in the 2000 Spider-Man video game voiced by Dee Bradley Baker. He appeared when the Scorpion tried to kill him because Jameson put Mac Gargan, the Scorpion, in the armor suit in which he is now stuck. Spider-Man eventually saves Jameson and defeats Scorpion in battle. However, Jameson doesn't thank Spider-Man because, at the beginning of the game, Spider-Man is seen stealing the seemingly reformed Dr. Otto Octavius' machine (Jameson doesn't know that Spider-Man was framed). He even tells two S.W.A.T. cops to shoot down and kill Spider-Man. Luckily, the hero escapes by jumping out of a window saying, "J.J., you're out of my will! I mean it this time!"
  • Jameson also appeared in three games based on the films, with his character being based on the film version. In the first game, he is only briefly referenced, although he does appear in the Xbox version, telling Peter to get photos at the zoo of a flaming spider (Resulting in a confrontation with Kraven the Hunter). In the second game, he initially supports Quentin Beck's claims that Spider-Man is a fraud, but accuses the two of being in cahoots when it is revealed that Beck is Mysterio. Jameson is voiced by Jay Gordon (First & Second Games) & by J.K. Simmons (2 "PSP Version" & 3 Games)
  • Though never actually appearing, J. Jonah Jameson is mentioned in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance on a VS simulation disc where the heroes fight Scorpion.
  • In Spider-Man 3, Jameson is an employer of Peter Parker as in the films and comics, giving him various missions to complete, including photographing giant lizards. He is captured by a side villain Luke Carlyle, and thrown out of a helicopter in mid air with an electric necklace on. Spider-Man then catches Jameson, and has to keep up with the helicopter to stop Jameson getting electrocuted. After Carlyle has been defeated, Jameson attempts to thank Spider-Man, but can't quite bring himself to say it. Spider-Man, after Jameson's stuttered attempts, simply says You're welcome, before swinging away. Later in the game, Jameson hires both Peter Parker and Eddie Brock, Junior, to take photographs of Spider-Man in his new black suit, doing criminal activities. Peter Parker wins this, after revealing Brock was a fraud.
  • Though not appearing, in Marvel Super Heroes and most subsequent Capcom 2-D fighting games featuring Spider-Man, Jameson is mentioned. In his victory pose after winning a round, Spider-man casts a web up to the "ceiling" to the bottom of which he attaches a camera. He then stands over his fallen opponent and makes a "thumbs-up" gesture as the camera flashes and says "One for J.J." Jameson does make an appearance in Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter alongside Joseph "Robbie" Robertson if Spider-Man is one of the fighters in the "Life or Death" game show stage. In Marvel vs. Capcom, in addition to the victory pose, Spider-man poses for a picture with his partner after winning the game, stating "I know Jameson will use this picture to make me look like a bad guy." There are also various winning quotes where he mentions "J.J.J."
  • Jameson also appears in the Spider-Man pinball machine by Stern Pinball. Simmons also recorded additional lines of custom speech appropriate for a pinball game, such as "Extra ball", "Jackpot", and "Hey, kid, you just won a free game."
  • J. Jonah Jameson appears in the Playstation 2 and PSP version of Spider-Man: Web of Shadows voiced by Daran Norris. He has been captured by Spencer Smythe and A.I.M. so that Spencer can clone him and use that clone to discredit J. Jonah Jameson and Spider-Man. This was thwarted by Spider-Man though.
  • While Jameson does not actually appear, in the PC version of the video game based on 2008's The Incredible Hulk, buses with advertising for the Daily Bugle on the sides, appear as vehicles for the Hulk to smash and throw.

Novelization

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 the bridge, Mr. Fantastic is shown 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.

Stan Lee on J. Jonah Jameson

  • Stan Lee has declared, on more than one occasion, that he would have relished the opportunity to portray Jameson in a live-action film, though he has nonetheless praised actor J.K. Simmons' performance as Jameson in the Spider-Man films, even stating that, to his chagrin, "Simmons portrays him better than I could."
  • J. Jonah Jameson's wife Joan also shares her name with Stan Lee's real-life wife.

Comparisons to Perry White

Jameson bears various similarities to the Superman mythos' Perry White (the editor-in-chief of The Daily Planet newspaper, and boss of Superman's alter ego, newspaper reporter Clark Kent). Jameson and White have been directly compared in several intercompany crossovers, including the second Superman/Spider-Man encounter published in 1981 and set in a universe where the DC and Marvel characters co-exist. Peter Parker briefly relocates to Metropolis and sells photographs to White, forming the opinion that White is just as tough as Jameson, but nicer, paying him significantly more for photos than Jameson would have done. Clark Kent, meanwhile, has moved to New York and is warmly greeted by Jameson when Kent applies for a temporary stint at the Bugle while investigating Doctor Doom's latest plot.

Jameson and White meet in the Marvel vs DC series (in which the two universes are initially separate but are briefly merged) after the mysterious new owner of the Planet fires White and replaces him with Jameson. In one frame, White and Jameson angrily confront the owner (Wilson Fisk, aka the Kingpin) and are drawn with near-identical clothing, wristwatches, hairstyles and cigars. At one point, Jameson even delivers White's trademark line, "don't call me chief".

At the end of the series, the status quo is restored.

References

  1. ^ "Jameson, J. Jonah". Marvel. http://www.marvel.com/universe/Jameson,_J._Jonah. Retrieved 2008-10-30. 
  2. ^ The Web Spinners: The Tales of the Spider-Man #1-3
  3. ^ "Of Civil Wars and Sidekicks: Jenkins Talks "CIVIL WAR: FRONT LINE" and "SIDEKICK"". Comic Book Resources Wire. http://www.comicbookresources.com/news/newsitem.cgi?id=6952. Retrieved March 22, 2006. 
  4. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #591
  5. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #592
  6. ^ Dark Reign: Sinister Spider-Man #1
  7. ^ Dark Reign: Sinister Spider-Man #2-4
  8. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #600
  9. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #604
  10. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #614
  11. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #623
  12. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #624
  13. ^ Marvel Zombies: Dead Days
  14. ^ Comics Continuum by Rob Allstetter: Wednesday, January 30, 2008
  15. ^ TV.com - Moe'N'a Lisa

External links


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