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CSBG Archive

365 Reasons to Love Comics #48

Black History Month continues. From a cop to a newspaperman! Yep, it’s everyone’s favorite…


48. Robbie Robertson

Robbie Robertson.jpg

God forbid there’s a decent picture of Robbie on the web anywhere.

Joe “Robbie” Robertson is the man who keeps J. Jonah Jameson sane. He’s sympathetic to Spider-Man (possibly having deduced Peter’s identity… well, before, like, he revealed it to the world), he’s a cool, kind guy, and he smokes a mean pipe. He was editor-in-chief of the Bugle at some point, but I don’t know if that’s still true.

Much like how Scorpion is Jonah’s secret shame and bane of his existence, Tombstone is Robbie’s. Heck, the biggest Robbie-related story the Spidey books ever ran involved mob enforcer Tombstone. The two of them had gone to school together, and Robbie was scared into ignoring evidence of Tombstone’s crimes. Of course, he eventually worked up enough anger and spirit to bring Tomby to justice. Through crummy circumstances, he ended up in prison with the guy.

Robbie Robertson 2.jpg

Everything worked out in the end, though. Robbie was pardoned and Tombstone decided to leave him alone.

Robbie Robertson 3.jpg

Is Tombstone the only albino black guy in comics? I wonder.

Mostly, though, Robbie’s a nice, normal guy. Kinda feels weird to see such a character still around in comics without being frighteningly transformed or murdered. Then again, when did Robbie last appear? I miss the Bugle staff being a major part of Spidey’s supporting cast. They should all be back, Mr. Robertson included.


Yay Robbie! I’ve been waiting for this one. Robbie is the man.

“Is Tombstone the only albino black guy in comics? I wonder.”

Tobias Whale

The Spectre (sort of)

Well, she’s not a “guy,” but Nekra is also an African-American albino.

I know Robbie showed up in Amazing Spider-Man in whatever issue that dealt with the fallout of Peter’s unmasking, and he’s popped up in Friendly Neighborhood and New Avengers as well.

The thing I remember about the Tombstone story was Robbie trying to face Tombstone down with a gun, and Tombstone breaking his back. I don’t remember how long that condition lasted, ten, maybe fifteen issues. But it was kind of surprising to me at the time.

Is it significant that Tombstone’s hair is just like J. Jonah Jameson’s? (I don’t remember what decade it was that I last read a Spider-Man comic.)

Thanks for posting Robbie. He’s one of Marvel’s better supporting characters and a positive role model. I’m surprised that you didn’t post a pic of Bill Nunn as Robbie from the Spider-Man films…that’s good casting; up there with Simmons as JJJ.

“Is Tombstone the only albino black guy in comics?”

The only non-lame one, anyhow.

(I’m not one of the three people on Earth who actually read Gotham Central during its four-issue run, so I didn’t even know that Crispy-Creme Allen was a black guy. So I’m learning a lot from this month!)

Everett "Synch" Thomas

February 17, 2007 at 11:47 pm

Yeah Robbie is one of the sanest, nicest guys in superhero comics. Where would the Bugle be without him ? A really great right hand man. JJJ should thank his lucky stars.

I saw Black History Month + cop + newspaperman, and I was sure it was going to be the Manhattan Guardian. If that was intentional, well done.

“Is it significant that Tombstone’s hair is just like J. Jonah Jameson’s?”

They go to the same barber.

I could never get in to Robbie Robertson the Marvel character, because I love Robbie Robertson the guitarist too much. So it’s just weird.

Joe Robertson is a WONDERFUL character that has been woefully underused!

Pretty much the only writers to use him well were Stan Lee and Gerry Conway, who did the aforementioned Tombstone story (that is incredibly underestimated, maybe because it was published at the same time as the Michelinie/McFarlane Spider-Man run).

Of course, the perpetual question if he knew or not Spidey’s identity is now moot. Thanks, Marvel!

Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

Oh Robbie knew Peter was Spidey, while he never said as much he must have.
There were too many hints dropped and references made.
he knew…

I think in bothe Spidey movies so far (we’ll see if #3 holds true), most of the characters-even background ones–were well cast & played, but not Robbie–I’m not sure why that is.

The Kirbydotter

March 10, 2007 at 2:24 pm

Robbie Robertson made the list!
Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!

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