- I own up to my mistakes! I understand how they affect others! And I make them right! I've always thought you were a glory-hound. A clown. Possibly a criminal. Motivated by narcissism, selfishness and greed. But after the last few months, I know the truth. You're something far worse. You're a sociopath. A sadist who gains satisfaction from exerting power over others. Playing them like puppets. Because you can. You manipulate me! Blackmail me! And now you come here, claiming you never would have followed through? Urging me to fight? What kind of a monster are you?
- -- Mayor J. Jonah Jameson src
J. Jonah 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."
It was later clarified that David Jameson was in fact Jonah's stepfather, 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 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.
Jameson began his journalistic career by becoming a part-time reporter for New York City's Daily Bugle while he was still in high school. In fact, before Jameson worked at the Bugle, another man named Jameson, who bore a strong facial resemblance to the younger Jameson, had worked there. This man, who had on separate incidents almost snapped a picture of the unmasked Captain America and sent correspondent C. Thomas Sites on a story covering Nick Fury and His Howling Commandos, later served as editor or publisher while reporters such as Scoop Daly had worked at the Bugle, and served as publisher when the Daily Bugle exposed the disappearance of the original Captain America, which the government denied. This earlier Jameson' connection to J. Jonah Jameson remains unclear; many think he was the younger Jameson's father. In any event, J. Jonah Jameson had a long career as a reporter, including time spent as a war correspondent.
At some point in his career, Jameson uncovered the secret details of some of the Invaders' missions (Since Jameson was at oldest, a boy during World War II, he must have uncovered previously unreleased intelligence files).
Eventually Jameson purchased then financially floundering Daily Bugle, with money obtained from his personal assets and large inheritance. Hence, the Bugle was now owned by Jameson's own company, Jameson Publications. Jameson served as the newspaper's publisher and editor in chief, and revitalized the photograph-dominated tabloid format. In 1968 Jameson's company purchased the Goodman Building on 39th Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan and moved its entire editorial and publishing facilities there. The building became known as the Daily Bugle Building. Jameson's wife Joan died at some point under unrevealed circumstances. She and her husband had only one child, John, who became an astronaut for NASA.
For decades Jameson used his newspaper to crusade in support of civil rights for minority groups and against organized crime. His efforts in the latter area led to his nearly being killed on orders of the Kingpin of Crime. However, Jameson's brush with death did not frightened him away from publishing attacks on and exposes of organized crime.
Later, Jameson became notorious for his editorial attacks against costumed "super heroes" in general, and against Spider-Man in particular. Spider-Man first came to public attention as an entertainer who used his powers to perform on television and stage. But when Spider-Man captured a burglar, Jameson became outraged that this masked entertainer would use his dangerous powers to take the law into his own hands. Jameson began speaking out against Spider-Man in his lectures and newspaper editorials. Jameson raised enough public doubt about the mysterious Spider-Man's motivations that Spider-Man was blacklisted virtually overnight by the entertainment industry.
Soon afterwards, while John Jameson was on a mission orbiting Earth, his space capsule developed a faulty guidance module which caused the craft to spin out of control. Spider-Man and J. Jonah Jameson first met when the former went to a NASA office to volunteer his help in rescuing John Jameson. Managing to save the younger Jameson, the elder Jameson then publicly accused Spider-Man of sabotaging the capsule in order to save it as a publicity stunt, and denounced his illegal break-in at the military base. As a result, Spider-Man became an outlaw. Shortly after this, he hired a young photographer named Peter Parker who sold him pictures of Spider-Man's fight with the Vulture, never realizing that Parker and Spider-Man were the same person.
The Vulture managed to escape from prison and resumed his crime spree. He attacked the Daily Bugle and demanded the money from the safe. Jonah refused and was rescued by Spider-Man but blamed him for the damage to the Daily Bugle building caused by the battle, so Spider-Man webbed his mouth shut.
At least once, Jameson has come to the realization that he detests Spider-Man for being the self-sacrificing hero Jameson hates himself for not being. However, this insight is apparently too painful for Jameson to bear, and he seems to ignore it. Jameson has continued his denunciations of Spider-Man over the years, basing them on his opposition to vigilantism. Although Jameson apparently dislikes all "super heroes," he presumably is more tolerant of those who work with the government, such as the Mighty Avengers. It should be noted that Jameson, a civil rights advocate, has never acted out of bigotry against superhuman beings; he does not, for example, share the widespread racial prejudice against superhuman mutants.
Despite Jameson's stand against vigilantism (which once even caused him to oppose Kraven the Hunter's idea of hunting down Spider-Man because he considered it illegal), he himself commissioned various secret attempts to bring Spider-Man to "justice." For example, Jameson had Dr. Farley Stillwell transform a man into the Scorpion to fight Spider-Man, and commissioned the creation of the first "Spider-Slayer" robots from Spencer Smythe to battle Spider-Man. He also once hired the second Mysterio to defeat Spider-Man but Mysterio ended up being defeated and sent to prison. Jameson quickly fled to France where he was kidnapped by the criminal known as the Cyclone. Still, he did not give up and hired Stillwell's brother Harlan who created the Fly who shot Stillwell and kidnapped Jameson to lure in Spider-Man.
Later while investigating a series of fires in Tenement blocks, he helped save Jake Carlton and his daughter Lucy. Afterwards he went to show his disgust to property developer Miles Warren, which ended in a restraining order against the Bugle. Still not finished with the Spider-Slayers, he hired Dr. Marla Madison to build him a Spider-Slayer robot, and subsequently fell in love with and married her. Despite the name of these robots, Jameson was no murderer, and sought only to capture and unmask Spider-Man, not to kill him.
The Hobgoblin tried to blackmail Jameson by publicly revealing his responsibility for creating the Scorpion, who is now a criminal menace. The Hobgoblin's scheme failed, but Jameson publicly revealed his guilt anyway, and, in expiation, resigned as the Daily Bugle's editor-in-chief, naming his city editor, Joseph Robertson, to succeed him. Jameson remained publisher of the Bugle, however, and took a very active role in its operations.
Jameson took 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. 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 super-villain 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.
Jonah and Marla Madison also adopted their niece, Mattie Franklin, who unknown to them was also Spider-Woman. 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.
Jameson pressured 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. When Spider-Man unmasked to reveal himself to be Peter Parker, Jameson fainted dead away at the realization that the man he'd been calling a menace had been on his payroll for years.
On top of the Parker revelation, he dealt with the notion that She-Hulk was now his daughter-in-law. This was not helped by the fact that She-Hulk and Spider-Man sued him for libel.
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 were poor, to help him in a discreet manner. After the public confession of Peter, 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 and more, but found the government granted Parker amnesty for all the acts he had done to protect his secret identity, which included taking photos of himself. 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 so the things over, said she would take the case for fraud against Spider-Man (while privately intending to drag it out as long as possible).
When Spider-Man defected from 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. 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 secretly supplied information about this to The Daily Globe who published a front page expose.
Jonah's 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 rather unwilling to admit that he had gone too far in his hatred of Spider-Man, Jameson fired Robertson. 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 believed 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 for him. 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. When it was over, Spider-Man gave Jameson 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. Some time later, Jameson rehired Robbie and dropped the lawsuit against Peter.
Events involving the Avengers Initiative members known as the Scarlet Spiders cast doubt onto whether Peter Parker was the original Spider-Man, or if there really was a single Spider-Man at all, frustrating Jameson.
Brand New Day
After Peter Parker made his deal with the demon Mephisto, Peter's identity was once again a secret and Jameson was one of the many who never knew his identity. The Daily Bugle 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. Peter, who needed an apartment, came to the Bugle claiming Jonah owed him money. Jonah yelled at Peter, 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 and had a heart attack. Peter gave Jonah CPR until the paramedics arrived, who rushed Jonah to the hospital.
Jonah's wife began talking to a lawyer about power of attorney and selling the final shares of the Bugle without Jonah having a say. Peter, as Spider-Man, paid a visit, and 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. Jonah did not, surprisingly, blame Spider-Man but instead he just kept on muttering, "Dexter Bennett". Jonah's condition later improved, to the point where he took physiotherapy sessions and Tai Chi classes. However, he lost his temper if he saw or heard about Dexter Bennett and the D.B. He also faced problems with his wife, as he had yet to forgive her for selling the Bugle.
Jameson became the mayor of New York City. In his new office, John received a visit from his estranged father, J. Jonah Jameson Sr., demanding that Jonah cease his vendetta with Spider-Man, citing his many heroic deeds, and the fact that the Avengers, and even Captain America had accepted him. Spider-Man then entered 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 responded by taking his superhero work into overdrive, committing heroic deeds all over the city, simply to enrage Jameson. Jameson responded by putting his squad on double-shifts, severely straining the city council's budget.
When the work of the Jackal resulted in many New Yorkers gaining spider-powers and causing chaos in the city Jameson finally found his Anti-Spider Squad popular.
After Otto Octavius, having assumed the body of Peter Parker, saves Horizon Labs from the Sinister Six, Jameson finally recognized Spider-Man as a hero, much to Peter's consciousness' dismay. To make matters "worse", Jameson offered to help the Superior Spider-Man in his war on crime. He created the "Spider-Signal" as a rendezvous point, but Otto destroyed it to avoid exposure, and gave Jameson his phone number instead.
Jameson later asked Spider-Man to oversee the execution of Alistair Smythe, the person who killed his wife, at the Raft in order to ensure that he does not break free. Smythe, indeed, tried to escape, but Otto killed him at the behest of Jameson. Spider-Man then forced Jameson into giving him the Raft, which caused Jameson to hate him once more. Things heated up even more when it was revealed that Jameson created a new army of Spider Slayers to take care of Spider-Man. This infuriated Gloria Grant because he was still intent on destroying Spider-Man instead of saving New York from the Goblin Nation. However, the Nation took them over, turning them into "Goblin Slayers" and sicking them on Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2099. This debacle caused a scandal that led to Jameson retiring in disgrace, though Peter Parker, now fully back in his body, attempted to amend things by returning the recordings and that there were no copies made of it.
A New Direction
No longer mayor, Jameson decided to try to go back to the Bugle. But he felt his old business turned traitor when he discovered it was boasting his fall. Later, he was contacted by the Fact Channel. He thought it was an interview, going in the defensive and saying he will not apologize about anything. But then, he was told he was being offered a job. Which he accepted, saying that the media "finally justified his existence". While preparing for his first appearance in the Fact Channel, he was told that he's being bumped from the first segment, which an is an interview to promote Parker Industries' idea of a super-villain prison, since his father is the company's main investor and the CEO is his step-brother Peter, much to Jonah's chagrin. Peter meet with Jameson before the interview, who announces that he will go after Spider-Man like never before, Peter simply tells him to never change. The interview is interrupted by the Black Cat and Electro. While Spider-Man and Silk battle them, he forces the cameraman to continue to film the action. Black Cat manages to deviate one of Electro's bolts hitting Spider-Man, knocking him down in the process. While she taunts Peter into her final vengeance, grabbing his head in order to pull off his mask, Jonah aims the camera into Spidey and announces that now has come the time to reveal the face behind the mask of Spider-Man.  Of course, his ego wouldn't allow this to actually happen, and he remained in the center of the camera's shot, blocking the view of Peter's face.
|Power Grid |
Jameson is trained in boxing and later, Tai Chi, therefore he is a trained combatant, proving his skills when he beat three men with only the use of boxing and street fighting techniques.
J. Jonah Jameson possesses the normal human strength of a man of his age, height, and build who engages in little exercise. Jameson is in good physical condition despite once having suffered a heart attack and being a chain smoker.
- J. Jonah Jameson was one of the characters featured in Series A of the Marvel Value Stamps issued in the 1970's.
- 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.
- J. Jonah Jameson's first wife Joan also shares her name with Stan Lee's real-life wife.
- 1,380 Appearances of John Jonah Jameson (Earth-616)
- Media John Jonah Jameson (Earth-616) was Mentioned in
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- 51 Quotations by or about John Jonah Jameson (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: John Jonah Jameson (Earth-616)
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- SpiderFan.org: J.Jonah Jameson
- Samruby.com: Profile on JJJ
- J. Jonah Jameson Wikipedia entry
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- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man #649
- ↑ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #6
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man #1
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man #2
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man #7
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man #10
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man #15
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man #20
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man #25
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man #142
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man #143
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man Annual #10
- ↑ Daily Bugle #2
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man #162
- ↑ She-Hulk #9
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man #591
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man #592
- ↑ Superior Spider-Man #31
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man Vol 3 #1
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man Vol 3 #3
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man Vol 3 #5
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man Vol 3 #6
- ↑ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 6
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