Spider-Man is a fairly successful superhero, managing to handle many different kinds of baddies on a near-daily basis, and saving plenty of lives in the process. But, like every superhero, Spidey has a life completely separate from his crimefighting persona. Living with just himself and his (usually) elderly Aunt May, Peter Parker has no choice but to take up a job when he isn’t donning his red and blue tights. That’s where the Daily Bugle comes in. Peter takes full advantage of his web-slinging alter ego and works as a photographer at the Daily Bugle, taking dynamic pictures of Spider-Man, like only he can.
Peter Parker is unique to most superheroes, in that he’s still a high school student. He’s no Tony Stark or Bruce Wayne, he’s just a kid who does what he can to get by, so the Daily Bugle is an important part of his character. And something just as important as the place Peter Parker is employed, is the person who is employing him! Think of the worst boss you’ve ever had to deal with, then think of that weird and crazy uncle that you just can’t help but love; Jameson is somewhere in between. So, with a brand new series of Spider-centric movies on the horizon, now’s a better time than ever to brush up on an essential part of Spider-Man history— here’s 15 Things You Didn’t Know About The Daily Bugle.
15. It Didn’t Debut With Spider-Man
It isn’t a secret that the Daily Bugle is featured in Spider-Man more than any other comic in the Marvel’s catalog, so it’s understandable why people would assume that it’s where the fictitious tabloid was first introduced. As it turns out, that isn’t the case, with the first actual appearance of the Bugle newspaper coming all the way back in 1943, in All-Winners Comics #11. This comes 20 years before it would fully establish itself and its grouchy owner J. Jonah Jameson, in The Amazing Spider-Man #1 (1963).
Though All-Winners Comics may not be a household name today, the Bugle actually also made an appearance in another well-known Marvel franchise a whole two years before Spidey’s debut comic. And where else but Fantastic Four #2, an issue that featured a manhunt for the framed super group. Apparently, Jameson had some practice demonizing superheroes before Spidey came along.
14. It was Founded in 1898
While the Daily Bugle has been well-established in the Marvel series that take place in New York City (so basically all of them), it isn’t simply the newspaper itself that has made it such a memorable part of comic book history. No, the heart and soul that has helped the Bugle stand the test of time is the editor-in-chief himself, J. Jonah Jameson. With the intense personality he brings to the paper, it’s hard to image the Bugle without its stubborn leader, except — he wasn’t always the boss.
As it turns out, the Daily Bugle was first founded in 1898, long before Jameson was even born. He did have an early start there, however, working at the Bugle while he was still in high school. He would eventually buy the failing newspaper from his deceased father-in-law, and turn it into the still-successful business it is today.
13. It Has a Rival Newspaper
Yes, just as many heroes in comics have specific baddies that just seem to cause trouble for them more than anyone else, the Daily Bugle has its own rival newspaper: The Daily Globe. Not much is known about the Daily Globe and its staff, but it’s usually portrayed as being considerably more tolerant about superheroes, and the way it portrays them in their articles is a lot more neutral when compared to the Bugle.
While its staff is fairly unknown, the Globe has worked with both Eddie Brock (Venom) and even Peter Parker. Eddie Brock’s interaction with the Globe actually involves the start of his feud with Spider-Man, as the web-slinger inadvertently proves one of Eddie’s articles to be false, causing Jameson to fire Eddie from the Daily Bugle, forcing him to work for the Globe instead.
12. J. Jonah Jameson is modeled after Stan Lee
When you take a step back and look at Stan Lee and J. Jonah Jameson, there’s hardly a comparison. One is an imaginative and upbeat legend of a man, who has created more classic superhero comics than probably anyone else in the industry can boast. The other, well… it’s J. Jonah Jameson. But could it be that somehow, the hot-headed owner of the Daily Bugle was actually modeled after Stan Lee? Well, according to the man himself, yes!
During an interview Stan Lee did for NPR in 2010, he admitted this surprising fact while answering a fan question. “I thought, if I were a grumpy, irritable man, which I am sometimes, how would I act? And that was it.” While it’s cool to learn something like that so long after the character was first created, the thought of the Stan Lee we know acting anything like Jameson is terrifying.
11. The Newspaper Has Set Its Sights On Other Heroes As Well
There’s no denying it, Jameson has a grudge against your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, but did you know he’s not the only hero that’s been thoroughly covered by the paper? One example would be Jameson’s scathing article on the New Avengers, where he labels Wolverine a “wanted murderer“, Spider-Woman an “ex-member of a terrorist organization“, and Luke Cage a “convicted heroin-dealer“.
The paper even has a history of following superheroes all the way back to World War II, though in a more positive light. Captain America was frequently featured as a heroic figure throughout the war, and in 1945, the Bugle was the only news outlet to report the disappearance and apparent death of the Cap and Bucky. If only poor Spidey could get the same treatment.
10. It Was Once Owned by the Green Goblin
While it may be one thing to be an undercover hero working at the Daily Bugle, it’s another matter altogether to have actually owned it. Just ask Norman Osborn, AKA the Green Goblin. Yes it’s true, Norman manages to take ownership of the Bugle from Jameson, and he does it legally as well, buying out his former friend and colleague. His intentions however, were far from innocent.
Norman uses his new position to frame Spider-Man for murder, and even manages to provoke the hero into savagely beating both himself and another citizen, with the entire event being recorded. This all leads to a series of events that just sees Green Goblin further tormenting Spider-Man and his loved ones, eventually leading to an emotionally exhausted Parker to call a truce with his psychotic enemy.
9. Other Superheroes Have Worked There
The fact that Peter Parker is forced to work at a newspaper which constantly tries to paint his alter-ego as a menace to society is just hilarious irony, but hey — a guy’s gotta eat. While Parker’s career situation is common comic book knowledge, what isn’t as well known is the fact that he’s not the only superpowered hero to have worked there (some even before him).
Jeffrey Mace and Mary Morgan both worked for the Bugle as reporters in the 1940s, and after seeing Captain America in action, were inspired to become heroes themselves, as the Patriot and Miss Patriot, respectively. A more recent example would be Jessica Jones, who worked there for a while as a superhero correspondent and consultant. She would eventually quit after the Bugle released their disparaging article about the New Avengers, including her then-boyfriend Luke Cage.
8. Jameson Has Funded Supervillains to Take Down Spidey
While Jameson’s hatred of superpowered vigilantes (particularly those of the spider-variety) is already well known, people often forget that he’s also been directly responsible for some of Spider-Man’s greatest enemies. The most notable example of this would have to be Mac Gargan. Once a private investigator, Jameson paid $10,000 for Gargan to take part in an experiment which would transform him into one of Spider-Man’s greatest enemies, the Scorpion.
Scorpion would of course quickly defect from his original mission to destroy Spider-Man and begin terrorizing New York City. Did Jameson learn his lesson? Of course not! In comes the Spider-Slayers, a series of robots designed by mad-scientist Spencer Smyth, with the sole purpose of hunting down and capturing (or killing) Spider-Man. And who was the financial backer of this operation? Take a wild guess.
7. It’s Been Destroyed (More than Once)
It should go without saying that when you have a business in a city with superpowered crazies running around, then you should expect some collateral damage now and then. The Daily Bugle saw this firsthand when the gravity-bending Graviton ripped the Bugle building from its foundation, before slamming it back into the ground in The Amazing Spider-Man #326.
That’s not the worst damage the Bugle has suffered, though. In Spider-Man #98, the Green Goblin manages to destroy the entire building, with one final bomb causing the whole structure to collapse, nearly crushing Spidey. In the more recent Amazing Spider-Man #614, even Electro manages to demolish the Bugle building (now called the “DB”) during a fight with the web-slinger. Apparently, the supervillains in New York City really hate newspapers!
6. It Supported The Superhuman Registration Act
Marvel’s Civil War crossover storyline is one of the epic moments in comic book history, with some of the biggest superheroes of all time taking opposing sides and coming into violent conflict with one another. The whole dispute is caused by the Superhuman Registration Act, a proposed law which requires all superhumans to register their true identities, while being employed by the government.
Unsurprisingly, the Bugle’s (Jameson’s) reaction to the act was quite positive, with the newspaper formally voicing its support of its passing. Interestingly enough, Spider-Man agrees — with Tony Stark’s encouragement — to go along with the act, revealing to the whole world his true identity. However, when word got out out that Spider-Man was actually Peter Parker, long-time photographer of the very newspaper which has consistently attacked the web-slinger over the years, it ends up damaging the paper’s credibility. It seems like poor Jameson just can’t win.
5. Jameson has a Penthouse Office on the Top Floor
J. Jonah Jameson has been through a lot over the years. From working his way up from the bottom to gain ownership of the company, having his building destroyed multiple times, and then even having the Green Goblin himself buy out his business and destroy it again, it’s hard to not feel a bit of sympathy for the hapless publisher. Don’t feel too bad though; he is filthy rich, after all.
As brash and ignorant as Jameson can be when it comes to reporting on Spider-Man, there’s no denying that he’s been extremely successful in the news business. The 46 story tall Bugle Building is a testament to just how prosperous Jameson’s company is. And if the size of the building wasn’t enough, the chief himself has a penthouse office on the top floor of the building, entirely separate from his editorial office located on the seventeenth floor alongside the rest of his staff, including high-ranking editor Robbie Robertson. Say what you want about Jameson, but at least he’s loaded.
4. It Was Turned into an Online Only News Source
In 2000, Marvel began their Ultimate Marvel series of comics, which effectively kick-started a re-imagined and updated version of all of their major heroes. In this version, the Daily Bugle was very much the same as in the original continuity, except that instead of working as the Bugle’s photographer, Peter Parker instead was employed to help run the paper’s website.
The Bugle Building still existed too, of course, that is until the events of Ultimatum, in which Magneto’s massive attack on New York City leaves much of it obliterated, the beloved news headquarters included. After Jameson and his staff relocates to New Jersey, they begin publishing articles again, but this time deciding to turn the Bugle into an online-only newspaper and blog. Maybe now Jameson can finally stop worrying about a random supervillain coming by and destroying his beloved Daily Bugle!
3. It Has a Connection to Portal 2
Now, we know what you’re thinking – “how does that have anything to do with Spider-Man?” While you most certainly didn’t expect to see a reference to Portal 2 on a list about a fictitious newspaper company, just hear us out. The Daily Bugle does indeed have a connection to Portal 2, and that connection’s name is J.K. Simmons.
When Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man came out in 2002, moviegoers saw what is still universally claimed as being the best portrayal of JJ that could ever exist. J.K. Simmons did such a good job playing the grumpy owner of the Bugle that he continued voicing him in various Marvel cartoons over the years. The connection comes in with Simmons’ voice work in Portal 2, this time playing the eccentric founder of Aperture Science, Cave Johnson, whose voice can be heard throughout the game. If you don’t know Cave Johnson, just imagine if instead of a newspaper, Jameson ran a scientific research company that invented portal guns. Oh, and not to mention his affinity for combustible lemons.
2. It Actually Exists
One of the guilty pleasures comic book fans have when reading about their favorite heroes is fantasizing about what they might do if they had their own superpowers, or if they lived in the same world as the X-Men, or the Avengers. While you may not be able to bring most of the things read in your favorite comic books to life, there is at least one exception to that limitation. That’s right, you can get yourself a real-life copy of the Daily Bugle.
Since 2006, Marvel has published a monthly “Daily Bugle” newspaper that reports on the company’s current publications and authors. Occasionally, Marvel will use the format as a means to promote ongoing crossover events such as Civil War and House of M, portraying the in-story events as if they were happening in real life. Imagine being a kid and showing your friend the Daily Bugle issue that reported on Captain America’s death. Ouch.
1. It’s Not Featured in Homecoming – But it definitely exists in the MCU
While this is something you may or may not have known already — depending on whether you’ve seen the movie or not — it’s still something that has to be brought up. The Daily Bugle and its owner have been a significant part of the Spider-Man universe from the very beginning, so it’s worth wondering why they decided to leave it out of the web-head’s debut solo movie in the MCU, Spider-Man: Homecoming.
While the newspaper does actually make a cameo appearance, the Bugle building itself and — more importantly — J. Jonah Jameson are nowhere to be found. Fans have even petitioned online for J.K. Simmons to reprise the role in the upcoming Spider-Man films, to which he’s responded as being open to the idea. When asked about the Daily Bugle in an interview with Screen Rant, producer Eric Carroll stated that “maybe it’s in his future…“, so perhaps we haven’t seen the last of JJ and the Bugle after all.
Bonus – Iron Jonah
No this isn’t some strange fan-comic or what-if scenario you’re looking at; there indeed exists an official Spider-Man storyline where J. Jonah Jameson gets his hands on Iron Man’s suit, and becomes dead-set on tracking down and unmasking Spider-Man. This is an event that takes place in the The Amazing Spider-Man daily comic strip, which debuted in 1977. Not only was this published by Marvel, but it was even written by the man himself, Stan Lee.
Interestingly enough, Larry Lieber — Stan’s younger brother — also worked on the strip, both as a writer and illustrator. Spider-Man may have faced off against a wide assortment of strange enemies over the years, but nothing comes close to the hilarious thought of the cranky owner of the Daily Bugle chasing Spider-Man around as Iron Man. Stan and Larry should collaborate more often!
Did you learn anything about the Bugle or JJ that you didn’t know about before? Are you also crossing your fingers that he’ll make an appearance in one of the upcoming movies? Let us know in the comments!
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