Amongst a comic book world where garbed goblins, various animal-themed psychopaths, and mad scientists run amok, the most interesting supporting character in the Spider-Man mythos might still be a non-powered, business suit sporting journalist. That would be none other than J.Jonah Jameson.
Making his debut back in Amazing Spider-Man #1 back in 1962, Jameson has dedicated his influence for decades to smear Marvel's flagship character Spider-Man. His bombastic nature, his iconic look, and the legendary performance by actor J.K Simmons have cemented him as a massive part of Spidey's history. But what are some facts about the character that the regular person may not know about? Let's dive in.
10 He Adopted Peter Parker Once
There's a reason why so many people are excited for Marvel's What If? series on Disney Plus. It allows for so many bizarre and wacky stories we'd never see otherwise. With that in mind, let's take a look at one involving Jonah and Peter as... father and son?
Yup, in this alternate universe, both Aunt May and Jonah's son John die as a result of a space shuttle crash, leaving Jonah without a child and Peter without a parental figure. This leads Jonah to adopt Peter, and, while Peter isn't initially happy about it, by the end of the story, he and Jonah become a crime-fighting duo. Definitely not what you expect, but that is what What If? is all about.
9 He Is Related To Peter Parker
As funny as Jameson's relationship to Spider-Man is, his relationship to Peter Parker is equally as fascinating. Not only has Parker been working for him for decades, but they're actually related, as well!
Well, by marriage anyway. You see, during Dan Slott's run on Amazing Spider-Man, J.Jonah Jameson Sr. married Parker's beloved Aunt May. With this marriage in effect, Jameson Jr. and Peter Parker became step-cousins. The sight of Peter and Jonah eating a Thanksgiving dinner around a kitchen table just makes for too much irresistible drama and hilarity for a writer to pass up.
8 He Is Responsible For Multiple Villains
Despite his loathing for masked crimefighters, Jameson seems to have no problem with commissioning the creation of other superpowered beings. Unlike Spider-Man, however, these ones end being up usually for evil.
Most famously, we have Mac Gargan, a.k.a The Scorpion, whose creation was funded by Jameson with the goal of eliminating Spider-Man. However, the experiment unhinges Gargan who not only went after Spider-Man, but also Jameson himself. Then there was the numerous Spider-Slayers, all various models of robots tasked with the capture of Spider-Man and equipped with tons of specifically designed weaponry. Finally, there's the relatively unknown Human Fly who also was meant to be a hero designed to take down Spidey in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #10. Did nobody tell this villain that spiders eat flies?
7 He's Been Married Twice
His love life isn't touched on too much, but it's worth noting that despite is prickly nature and overbearing personality, Jameson does seemingly have enough charm to get married—twice!
The first of his wives and mother to his son John, would be Joan Jameson (ironically, Joan is also the name of Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee's wife). Though we don't know much about her, we know she died while Jonah was away as a reporter for the Daily Bugle when it happened. His second wife Marla was a much more developed character, but she too was killed and in a rare moment of responsibility, and Jameson laid the blame on himself for her death.
6 He Beat The Hell Out Of Spider-Man
Before the "One More Day" storyline blew Spider-Man continuity to smithereens, Spider-Man's secret identity was public knowledge as the result of his unmasking in Civil War. This came as a massive shock to Peter's longtime employer, who promptly collapsed from the reveal. Not only that, but he fired his longtime Editor in Chief Robbie Robertson for his defense of Peter's activities as Spider-Man.
Upon learning this info, Peter confronted Jonah in an abandoned building, and their decades-in-the-making confrontation unfolded. By the end of it, Jonah dropped the lawsuit that he filed against Peter and he rehired Robbie back. Oh, and he beat the hell out of Spider-Man as Peter let him vent all his frustration out on him. Naturally, Peter left the scene unharmed, but we're sure Jonah would want the scoreboard to read Jameson 1, Spider-Man 0.
5 He Shot Peter Parker
For all his hatred for the wall-crawler, Jameson rarely actually committed direct physical violence to Spidey. However, even when he did do it at the conclusion of Amazing Spider-Man #800, it was an accident.
This issue was the finale to Dan Slott's Red Goblin saga where Norman Osborn combined with the Carnage symbiote to finally crush Spidey for good. Of course, he failed, but interestingly, Jonah had a gun pointed to a defeated Osborn and fired away. Not wanting Osborn to die, Spider-Man jumped in the way of the bullet to protect his greatest enemy. Luckily the bullet hit Spidey in the arm, but it was a dramatic moment nonetheless.
4 He Now Loves Spider-Man
A large reason why Jameson hates Spider-Man is that he can't put a face to what is, technically a law-breaker. However, at present time in the comics, Jameson is actually Spider-Man's largest public supporter. Why is that?
That would be because in Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #6 by Chip Zdarsky, Spider-Man finally agreed to a sit-down interview with Jameson. They had the expected back and forth throughout the issue, but it ended shockingly with Peter revealing his secret identity to his former boss. With this new knowledge, Jonah finally put the pieces together and became Spider-Man's biggest public ally.
3 There are Multiple Reasons Why He Hates Spider-Man
Jameson might seem like a simple-minded blowhard on the surface, but his relationship with our webbed hero is actually one of the more complex ones in the comics.
Yes, the primary reason for his hatred is that Jonah has a general distrust of anonymous vigilantes. After all, Jonah has no issue with someone like Captain America but takes big issue with Spidey. But it's not just that; there are a few times where Jonah has broken down and admitted that he is jealous of the adoration and power Spidey has which can be glimpsed at in that hilarious deleted scene from 2004's Spider-Man 2 where he puts on Spidey's costume and plays make-believe in his locked office. Despite Jameson's power of the press, whatever he does will never be as good as what Spidey does in his eyes.
2 Based On Fredrich Werdham (Seduction Of The Innocent)
Stan Lee lies. Sometimes. Despite him being quoted in interviews saying that Jonah Jameson was based on him, it would be foolish to compare the two, especially when there's a much more obvious real-world figure that Jameson is based upon.
Comic book historians know and loathe the name Dr. Fredric Wertham. This was the man who labeled comic books as the primary force for juvenile delinquency and various other perceived evils in the world. Much like Wertham, Jameson thought of these costumed heroes as menaces to society especially a detrimental force to children. Given how Stan Lee and the comics world felt the attacks of Wertham in the public view, it's much more likely that Lee unknowingly or not based on Wertham.
1 The Carol Danvers Connection
Although Jameson is primarily tied to Spider-Man, there are connections between him and other characters inside the greater Marvel universe. Most notable of these though would be his link to Captain Marvel Carol Danvers.
In her origin back in 1977's Ms.Marvel #1, Carol Danvers was hired by J. Jonah Jameson as the editor of The Daily Bugle's new Women magazine. However, Danvers and Jonah clashed over the content of the magazine, as Jameson wanted patronizing content talking about diets and fashion, whereas Danvers wanted to write about the Women's Lib movement. Danvers didn't stay there for too long, but it's still a fun note about Danvers' beginnings.