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|“||There's an old saying. Enemies can kill you, but only your friends can hurt you. Spider-Man was a thorn in my side. He ticked me off, embarrassed me, infuriated me... but it's Peter who has finally succeeded in hurting me. And there is a price for that, Robbie. There is one hell of a price for that.||„|
|“||Turn on the TV. Go online. Pick up a newspaper. We hate them. We love them. We worship them. We condemn them. Hell, maybe we're the ones who elevate them. Maybe we force them to live like this because we need them to live like this. Maybe the only reason they exist is because we can't solve our own problems.||„|
|~ Jameson's view on superheroes.|
|“||He doesn't want to be famous? Then I'll make him infamous!||„|
|~ Jameson's plans to incriminate Spider-Man.|
John Jonah Jameson Jr., better known as J. Jonah Jameson, is a major antagonist from Marvel Comics. He most often serves as an antagonist to Spider-Man and She-Hulk. He is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Now Magazine, Woman magazine, and most importantly, The Daily Bugle newspaper and website. Jameson holds a hatred for all superhuman or superpowered individuals (especially Spider-Man), and will often use libel and slander in his newspapers and reports to defame and incriminate them to make them seem like villains in the public eye, all to fuel his personal goals and bias.
Though he usually serves as an inactive antagonist, he will occasionally step into the fray and hire assassins and supervillains to kill superheroes, and is directly responsible for the creation of some other extremely dangerous supervillains, namely Scorpion and Man-Wolf. On rare occasions, Jameson will even do battle himself with use of his robotic Spider-Slayers.
J. Jonah Jameson was created by the late Stan Lee and the late Steve Ditko.
Jameson was born in Los Angeles, California to John Jonah Jameson Sr. and Betty Jameson. However, his father left for unknown reasons when Jameson was still a child, leaving Jameson to be raised by his mother and eventual stepfather, retired United States Army veteran David Jameson. However, he was abused by his stepfather, leading him to believe that "heroes" were not always good people. He grew up a Boy Scout and took up hobbies in boxing and photography, and later courted his crush Joan in high school. When he was attacked by three bullies, he used his boxing skills to easily beat them, impressing Joan and kicking off their dating. The two married right out of high school.
Jameson began his journalism career by starting as a paperboy, and later as a reporter for New York City's newspaper The Daily Bugle, later serving as a war correspondent. Through personal assets and inheritance from his recently (presumed) deceased parents, Jameson eventually acquired enough funds to open his own company, Jameson Publications, which then bought the struggling Daily Bugle with the intention of revitalizing it from a cheap tabloid to a popular newspaper. Jameson bought a building to turn into The Daily Bugle's office. He and Joan later would have their son John Jonah Jameson III, but shortly after Joan passed away from unknown circumstances.
Despite his intense hatred for superhumans, Jameson held a respect for normal human minority groups and was a strong opponent of organized crime, even leading to assassination attempts by the Kingpin.
Conflict with Spider-ManAs the number of superhuman individuals began to grow, Jameson became more infuriated by their theatrics and disregard for the law. He began targeting them and even falsifying information regarding their actions in his newspaper to defame and villainize them in the public eye. Though he spoke out against superheroes like the Fantastic Four, Hulk, She-Hulk, and X-Men, he primarily targeted local and less professional superhero Spider-Man, who was, at that time, little more than an entertainer. However, as he began to rise as a superhero vigilante, Jameson soon began defaming Spider-Man, causing so much public hatred for Spider-Man that he was effectively blacklisted from appearing in entertainment.
Soon after, Spider-Man saved Jameson's son, who had become an astronaut, from a disastrous space capsule accident. Despite this, Jameson accused Spider-Man of sabotaging the capsule as a publicity stunt, and incriminated him with the destruction of government property and the endangering of his son's life. Spider-Man became an outcast and an outlaw. Shortly after, Jameson hired a freelance photographer name Peter Parker, who took pictures of Spider-Man's battle against the Vulture.Jameson continued to villainize Spider-Man and discredit his public image through lies and libel, though Spider-Man continued his vigilantism. Eventually, Jameson was overcome with rage and decided to take matters into his own hands. He commissioned Dr. Farley Stillwell to biologically mutate and enhance criminal MacDonald Gargan into the vicious supervillain Scorpion to kill Spider-Man, though this failed when Gargan turned against him. He would later get Spencer Smythe to create the Spider-Slayers, controlled by him, to battle Spider-Man, though this too failed. He would later hire Daniel Berkhart, the second Mysterio, to defeat Spider-Man, but again failed. Jameson fled to France, and returned to try and continue the Spider-Slayer program with Dr. Marla Madison. Though this failed as well, Jameson and Madison fell in love with each other during their time together, and were eventually married.
Business and FamilyLater, the Hobgoblin attempted to blackmail Jameson for his involvement in the creation of the Scorpion. Though this failed, Jameson publicly announced his guilt and stepped down as The Daily Bugle's editor-in-chief, though he remained a publisher. Though he made other attempts to bring down Spider-Man by hiring the Wild Pack, he mainly laid low. He was later kidnapped and impersonated by the Chameleon, who once again used his newspaper to spread anti-Spider-Man propaganda. He was saved by Spider-Man, and The Daily Bugle was temporarily run by Thomas Fireheart, a.k.a. Puma, who was an ally of Spider-Man. Shortly after Jameson regained control of the company, he was blackmailed into selling it to Norman Osborn under the threat of homicide attempts on his wife. He was soon after attacked by supervillain Mad Jack, causing him to go through a downfall until Osborn was driven mad by a ritual he had performed and the company was sold back to Jameson.
Soon after, Jameson and his wife adopted their niece Mattie Franklin, who was also the Spider-Woman. Jameson learned of her identity after a failed heroic outing where she had to be saved by Jessica Jones. Jameson, in return, hired Jones as an investigator and promoted her agency.
Jameson was later attacked by Mysterio, who made it appear that Spider-Man killed him in a deliberate car crash. Jameson was kidnapped by Mysterio, who used illusions to make Jameson believe he was dead and in Hell, tormented by a Spider-Man demon. Jameson was eventually saved by Spider-Man, but lasted deeper hatred for the wall crawler because of the traumatic event.
Jameson eventually reached his breaking point during the Civil War, where his son married She-Hulk and he had to contend with a superhuman he hated being his daughter-in-law. Additionally, as a part of the Superhuman Registration Act, Peter Parker announced himself to the world as Spider-Man, angering Jonah and making him feel betrayed. He attempted to sue Peter for fraud, but Parker was protected by the Act.
Finally snapping from rage, Jameson brought back a Spider-Slayer robot and attacked She-Hulk, who defeated him. Jameson committed several acts of libel against Peter and even demanded his arrest. When The Daily Bugle's then editor-in-chief and longtime friend of Jonah Robbie Robertson objected, Jameson fired him. Spider-Man asked Jameson to rehire Robertson, and Jameson only agreed if he could continue his lawsuit. Spider-Man agreed, then told Jameson to beat him. Jameson was reluctant at first, but proceeded to punch Spider-Man numerous times. Spider-Man then gave Jameson a roll of film containing pictures he had taken of the "fight", telling him to use them as he pleased. However, in a rush of remorse, Jameson destroyed the film, rehired Robbie, and dropped the lawsuit.
Heart AttacksLater, when Peter Parker sold his marriage to Mary Jane Watson-Parker to Mephisto in order to wipe everyone's memories of his secret identity, Jameson lost all memory of who Spider-Man was. However, the Bugle was under threat of being purchased by Dexter Bennett, causing Jameson to become angry. During an argument with Peter over money, Jameson suddenly collapsed from a heart attack. He was saved, but suffered a second heart attack when he heard his wife had sold the Bugle to Dexter Bennett while he was ill. He recovered, but had lost his nerve and even some of his famous temper.
His wife, Marla, tried to regain the Bugle but it was attacked by Alistair Smythe, and she was killed in the process.
Mayor of New YorkWith no company or family to return to, Jameson used his falsified heroic public image to run for mayor and won. Even though Spider-Man and even Jameson's biological father urged him to end his vendetta and bury the hatchet, Jameson instead used his power to assemble an Anti-Spider Squad to hunt down Spider-Man. Spider-Man did his best to remain a hero while being hunted, infuriating Jonah. Even though the Anti-Spider Squad cost the local government a lot and was borderline illegal, Jameson continued it. The organization gained some favor during the infamous "Spider Island" incident.
However, after a series of events where Peter Parker and Doctor Octopus switched bodies, Octavias became the "Superior Spider-Man" and saved Horizon Labs. Jameson, ironically, softened his heart to the new, darker "Spider-Man" (he was unaware it was not the same Spider-Man), and tried to help him. The Superior Spider-Man tried to force Jameson to give him control of the Raft prison, causing Jameson to hate him again. He commissioned new Spider-Slayers, even though the city was being terrorized by the Green Goblin and his organization, the Goblin Nation. This created a scandal that worsened when the Nation took control of the robots, causing Jameson to resign in disgrace. Spider-Man eventually returned and defeated Octopus.
With no company left to go to and a poor public image, Jameson was hied as a reporter for the Fact Channel. He reported on a story that was interrupted by Black Cat and Electro, and ordered the cameraman to film the ensuing battle when Spider-Man and Silk arrived. Electro managed to electrocute and stun Spider-Man, and Black Cat attempted to remove his mask. Jameson demanded the cameraman zoom in to catch it, but Spider-Man stopped Black Cat before she could do it.
Jameson later used his reporting job to support the company New U Technologies, who claimed they could revive the dead with a new chemical formula, and did so with Jameson's deceased wife Marla. However, New U turned out to be a fraud, cloning patients instead of reviving/curing them. To make matters worse, all carried a disease called the Carrion Virus, which was exploited by Doctor Octopus, causing a worldwide epidemic. Spider-Man was able to stop the disease, but Jameson was fired from his job due to his support of New U.
Interview of the CenturyJameson was later contacted by S.H.I.E.L.D, who asked him to help Spider-Man catch a fugitive named Teresa Durand. Jameson agreed as long as he could finally interview Spider-Man. Tensions rose as the interview progressed, but ended with Jonah finally breaking down and admitting the reason he hated Spider-Man more than anyone was because he was envious of what he had. In order to finally bury the hatchet, Spider-Man revealed his identity to Jonah.
1967 seriesJameson appears as recurring minor antagonist in the 1967 animated series Spider-Man, appearing as more dimwitted, but still using the Spider-Slayer to try and get Spider-Man. He was voiced by the late Paul Kligman.
1980s Marvel Animated Universe
Jameson appeared again in the animated Spider-Man series that ran from 1981 to 1982, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, which ran from 1981 to 1983, and The Incredible Hulk which ran from 1982 to 1983. This interpretation also owned a television station. He was again voiced by the late Paul Kligman.
Spider-Man: The Animated Series
Jameson appeared as a minor antagonist in the 1990s animated series, again using libel and incrimination tactics to defame Spider-Man. He was voiced by Ed Asner.
Jameson made a cameo in Spider-Man Unlimited, where he was voiced by Richard Newman.
Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogyJameson appears as a supporting antagonist in all three of Sam Rami's live-action Spider-Man films, where he was famously portrayed by J.K. Simmons. Here, he is portrayed as cynical and bitter, but honorable. Though he does not resort to the violence and illegal actions he does in the comics, he uses libel to defame Spider-Man and even cause him to temporarily quit in the second film.
While most of Jameson's past is kept a mystery in the series, he is shown to be happily married to his wife and the proud father of his son John, who has become a successful astronaut and even gone to the moon. Jameson is also shown to be strict with his employees as well as tight with money.
Following the appearance of Spider-Man in New York City, Jameson immediately took a disliking to the superhero, believing he was nothing more than a costumed vigilante and that the real heroes were ones like police officers, firemen, and astronauts (like his son). He hated the idea of reporting on Spider-Man, but when newspapers with Spider-Man headlining sold out, he decided to continue reporting on Spider-Man to make extra profit as well as use his newspaper to antagonize and defame him in the process. However, needing better pictures, he hires Peter Parker as a freelance photographer, unaware Parker is Spider-Man.
Later on, after Spider-Man's encounter and subsequent battle with the Green Goblin, Jameson uses the newspaper to report that Spider-Man and the Goblin worked together to attack the city. Then, intent on finding Spider-Man, the Green Goblin crashes through the building's wall on his glider and attacks Jameson, holding him in a choke hold and demanding who the photographer who takes pictures of Spider-Man is.
As Peter rushes to get into costume and confront the Goblin, Jameson honorably stalls and lies, telling the Goblin that he does not know the photographer's identity and that his pictures come to him by mail. The Goblin is not fooled, but Spider-Man arrives and tells the Green Goblin to put Jameson down. The Goblin does so, but Jameson retaliates by exclaiming that Spider-Man's quick arrival was proof the two were working together. Spider-Man simply webs his mouth shut, however, and Jameson escapes.
Afterwards, Jameson glorified himself in the newspapers by writing that he was the brave hero fending off two supervillains in his office. Jameson continues to falsely report on Spider-Man, even writing a headline saying that the people demand his arrest.
In the second film, Jameson continues to defame Spider-Man, and demands a constant supply of Spider-Man pictures to use in his paper. He even threatens to fire Peter when Peter says he does not want to let Jameson hurt Spider-Man anymore.
After an accident that turned Dr. Otto Octavius into Doctor Octopus, Jameson immediately singles him out as a new supervillain and gives him is name of "Doctor Octopus". He wants to fire Peter for not getting any pictures of the accident, but hires him again when he needs Peter to cover for his society photographer at a ball to celebrate his son John.
At the event, Jameson has Peter take pictures of him and his wife with New York's elite, and later has him take a picture of his son John with his new fiancée Mary Jane Watson, unaware Mary Jane is Peter's love interest.
With a mounting series of troubles including Jameson's defaming, losing his powers, losing his lover, missing school and work, and losing his best friend Harry Osborn, Peter Parker decides to quit being Spider-Man and throws his costume in the garbage. A garbageman finds the costume and delivers it to Jameson, who laughs and mounts the costume as a trophy on the wall of his office.
Later, Doctor Octopus resurfaces and kidnaps Mary Jane, using the return of Spider-Man as her ransom. Jameson, for the first time, feels regret and remorse, as he knows if he had not helped drive Spider-Man away, Spider-Man could have stopped Ock. However, Peter regains his powers and goes after Ock, taking his suit back from Jameson's office, causing Jameson to lash out in a fit of rage and go back to hating Spider-Man.
Despite Jameson's wishes, Spider-Man spikes in popularity, becoming something of an icon. Sales begin to drop based on the fact that The Daily Bugle is one of the only anti-Spider-Man newspapers anymore, but Jameson hires a new freelance photographer named Edward Brock Jr. to bring in more Spider-Man photos. He then has to choose who will get the staff photographer job that opened up: Brock, whose pictures he likes better, or Parker, who has been with the company for years and been loyal to them. He decides that the one that gets a picture of Spider-Man doing something incriminating will get the job.
Brock comes by later after Spider-Man dawns his new black suit, altering one of Peter's old photos into one of the black-suited Spider-Man robbing a bank. A delighted Jameson gives Brock the staff job for a job well done, but a furious Peter comes forward with his original picture, revealing that Brock's photo is a fake. Despite his hatred for Spider-Man, Jameson is completely outraged that Brock would doctor a photo to frame Spider-Man for a robbery he didn't commit, and that he has to print a retraction as a result. As such, Jameson angrily fires Brock and orders him to leave his building.
Peter later comes by to sell Jameson his pictures, and demands double money and the staff job if Jameson wants them. Jameson reluctantly agrees, and notes Peter's sudden change in personality, caused by the corruption of the suit. Jameson later appears witnessing the battle between Spider-Man, the New Goblin, Sandman, and Venom, wondering where Parker is and why he is not taking pictures. He buys a camera from a little girl, and is angry when he is forced to buy film as well.
Despite no more films being released, it is safely assumed that Jameson continued to serve as Peter's boss and bash Spider-Man.
2000s Spider-Man Video Games
Jameson also appears as a recurring character in the video games based on the 2000s films. In the first video game tie-in, he was voiced by Dee Bradley Baker. In the second video game tie-in for the second film, he was voiced by Jay Gordon. However, in the video-game tie-in for the third film, Simmons reprised his role.
Jameson appears as a only minor character in the video game tie-in to the first film.
In the video game tie-in to the second film, Jameson appears as a more major character and goes up against Spider-Man by using Peter Parker's pictures of Spider-Man fighting Mysterio to say that the two are in cahoots and terrorizing the town.
In the video game tie-in to the third film, Spider-Man goes up against the terrorist organization the H-Bombers, led by the Mad Bomber. The H-Bombers kidnap Jameson, and he must be saved by Spider-Man, though he is not grateful.
Later, Jameson tells Eddie Brock and Peter Parker that whoever gets a shot of Spider-Man doing something illegal will get the recently opened staff photographer job. Brock attempts to use someone dressed as Spider-Man to fake a crime, but the real Spider-Man (in the symbiote suit) shows up and punches Brock in the face. Brock, using other cameras, is able to snap the attack, but Spider-Man smashes all of his cameras.
The SimpsonsJ. Jonah Jameson makes a cameo appearance in the season eighteen episode "Moe'N'a Lisa" of the animated sitcom television series The Simpsons, with J. K. Simmons reprising the role. In the episode, he runs a poetry publishing agency that steals Moe Szyslak's poem and uses it in a poetry book without permission. He later demands photos of Spider-Man. After being told that he runs a poetry publishing agency, Jameson demands poems about Spider-Man.
The Amazing Spider-Man films
Jonah makes no physical appearance in the films; however, he is seen messaging Peter Parker about Spider-Man in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, where he refuses to accept Spider-Man is a hero.
Spider-Man: The New Animated SeriesJameson appears as a more heroic character in Spider-Man: The New Animated Series as Peter Parker's boss who still does not like Spider-Man and incriminates him for crimes, but is kinder to Peter. He was voiced by Keith Carradine.
Spectacular Spider-ManJameson appears a supporting character and minor antagonist as he still uses libel against Spider-Man. He has continual mood swings that cause him to chipper and extravagant one minute and bitter and violent the next. He was voiced by Daran Norris.
2010 Marvel Animated Universe
Jameson appears as a recurring antagonist in the 2010 Marvel Animated Universe, appearing in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes and Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man, voiced again by J.K. Simmons. His roles are usually minor, however.
Marvel's Avengers Assemble
Jameson makes a cameo in a few episodes.
Marvel's Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H
Jameson appears as a minor antagonist, speaking out against Hulk and the agents of S.M.A.S.H. on numerous occasions. The role was once again reprised by J.K. Simmons.
Spider-Man: Edge of Time
Jameson appears as a minor character in Spider-Man: Edge of Time, part of the Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions series. He was voiced by Fred Tatasciore.
LEGO Marvel Universe
LEGO Marvel Superheroes: Maximum Overload
Jameson makes a minor cameo appearance, again voiced by J.K. Simmons.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
Jameson appears as a minor comic relief character and playable character in the LEGO Marvel Super Heroes video game. He was voiced by John DiMaggio.
Cyanide and HappinessA parody of Jameson, named John J. Johanson, appears in the episode "The Daily Boogle" of the adult animated webseries Cyanide and Happiness, voiced by Joel Watson. The episode serves as a comedic parody of Spider-Man, with Johanson demanding pictures of "Spider-Dude" from his photographer Parker Peters, but it is later revealed that he wants the photos because he is sexually attracted to Spider-Dude and enjoys looking at him in sensual poses.
Marvel Cinematic Universe
- Main article: J. Jonah Jameson (Marvel Cinematic Universe)
Spider-Man: Far From Home
Jameson appears in the post-credits scene, again portrayed by J.K. Simmons. He receives edited footage of Spider-Man and Mysterio's battle in London, which Mysterio used to framed Spider-Man for murdering him and proceeded to expose his identity as Peter Parker. He later aired the footage on The Daily Bugle, calling Mysterio as "The greatest superhero of all time" calling the exposé a "real blockbuster".
John Jonah Jameson Jr. is cynical, wrathful and is not afraid to show it. He is constantly cruel and mean to his staff and those around him, and is often bossy, arrogant, short-tempered and controlling. He especially hates superhumans (both heroes and villains), and will resort to lies, slander, libel, and propaganda to defame and distort their public images. He rarely enters the fray himself, but when he does, he is shown to be determined and even a bit sadistic, as he wants nothing more than power over his opponents. This, of course, translates over to his constant conflict with Spider-Man, which has pushed him to outright criminal actions and supervillainy himself. Even when he is not engaging opponents physically, he will hire or recruit others to do it for him, such as Mysterio and the Anti-Spider Squad, crossing over into a field of evil that he himself claims to despise. He can even be unstable and lash out in rage and violence, such as with his attack on She-Hulk.
However, Jameson is shown that deep down, he has a more caring side, which he expresses to his wives, son and Peter Parker at times. While he has shown that he is not above villainy to achieve his goals, he is not expressly evil, and does care about his city and its people. It has also been revealed multiple times that Jameson hates superhumans, especially Spider-Man, really because he is envious of their gifts.
- Stan Lee modeled Jameson's appearance and personality off of himself, and even expressed a desire to portray Jameson in film or television.
- Stan Lee would get his wish to voice Jameson in the critically acclaimed movie, Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse.