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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:
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.
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