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Comic Book Alphabet of Cool – J

Today we look at one of the best supporting characters in comic book history.

J. Jonah Jameson

There are a lot of great supporting characters in the world of comics, and J. Jonah Jameson is one of the very best. While he’s a lot like Perry White in the Superman comics, he has an extra layer of character that makes him a bit more intriguing – mostly the fact that he is waging a public relations war against Spider-Man, while unknowingly using photographs of Spider-Man taken by Peter Parker, who secretly IS Spider-Man!

What a great twist – it makes the relationship between the two an almost integral part of the Spider-Man books, and probably one of the major reasons why the Ben Reilly Spider-Man could not realistically survive, long-term, as it would have meant dropping Jameson and his newspaper, the Daily Bugle, from the cast of Spider-Man, which is never a good idea.

Jameson is so popular that he was one of the very few supporting characters to make it to the Top 50 in the Top Characters list I did last year, finishing second behind only Mary Jane Watson.

Here is the write-up I did for him back then:

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J. Jonah Jameson, who was created by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee, is the publisher and editor-in-chief (although both titles have varied over the years) of the Daily Bugle, the newspaper for which, until recently, Peter Parker (Spider-Man) worked for as a photographer.

Jameson has led many a tirade against Spider-Man, certainly helping to establish the enmity many New Yorkers have against the wallcrawler, while at the same time, Jameson realizes that his anti-Spidey stories also help sell papers.

Over the years, he has tried many strategies to capture Spider-Man himself, including hiring such bad guys as Alistair Smythe, the Spider-Slayer and Mac Gargan, the Scorpion.

Jameson’s son, John, was an astronaut, and Jameson adores his son, and is often irked that Spider-Man takes attention away from a REAL hero like his son.

Jameson is married to Dr. Marla Madison, a noted scientist. The two adopted Jonah’s nice, Mattie Franklin (who was secretly the superhero Spider-Woman).

Recently, Jameson lost control of the Daily Bugle, but he almost certainly will be back, as everyone knows he is a very important part of the Spider-Man mythos.

10 Comments

Quite happy to thank JK Simmons for his portrayal in the films, as well.
Using a wig, the cigar, the rat-a-tat line delivery–
All perfect.
Same as Gary Oldman in Batman Begins.
As good as anyone could could have wished for.
Really good…almost as good as a certain cosmic Avenger.

Man, I would’ve put Jonah way ahead of MJ. The whole quasi-antagonist thing he’s got going is great. For that matter, so is his whole role as a newspaper publisher even when Spider-Man isn’t in the picture. I really dug his bit in The Pulse and related books, for example. The whole honest newspaper man vs. complete mercenary bastard conflict he sometimes displays–with Robbie there to serve as his conscience and Ben Urich as a foil–is good fun.

And, yeah, he really was perfectly portrayed in the movies.

He also had a fantastic role over in the X-Books in the late ’90s before and during OZT. He knew there was something fishy going on with Bastion so he did some kick-ass investigative reporting. I’ve always enjoyed the character as a character, but that was the story that made me like him as a person.

:( I was kinda hoping for Jughead Jones

He also had a fantastic role over in the X-Books in the late ’90s before and during OZT. He knew there was something fishy going on with Bastion so he did some kick-ass investigative reporting. I’ve always enjoyed the character as a character, but that was the story that made me like him as a person.

I actually meant to mention that!

That was one of the best Spider-Man stories of the time period, and it was in Uncanny X-Men!!

Lobdell did great work with Spider-Man AND JJJ in those issues.

:( I was kinda hoping for Jughead Jones

There’ll be future Alphabet go-arounds!

That said, yeah, Jughead would have been a cool choice.

Tell you what, keep an eye out for a certain letter next week, I’ll try to make up for it! :)

Recently, Jameson lost control of the Daily Bugle

Maybe Marla (Mrs. JJJ) can whisper in Mephisto’s ear…

JJJ’s great. Check out the Steve/Ditko issues — they did some really great stuff with him that just wasn’t done back then. I’m not talking stories — just the little panels they’d have of him, Ditko was great at giving Jonah a lot of expression. Check out ASM #17-19. They are CLASSIC Jonah.

I also loved Frank Miller’s use of Jonah in Daredevil “Born Again”. Spider-hatin’ JJJ is fun, but the more complex JJJ is full of WIN.

I have little to add. Everything that’s been said here is absolutely right in every way.

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