Saturday, December 13, 2014

A Simple Question About J. Jonah Jameson

Doug: Is J. Jonah Jameson filled with hate?


MattComix said...

Wow, when you put those panels together like that maybe if there's another reboot "Daily Bugle" should be a show on Fox News.

Joking aside, I think somewhere inside Jameson is a decent guy that's just nearly smothered to death underneath all that hate and (perhaps more importantly) fear.

The top sequence of panels I think also illustrates that desire for some to tear down anything that seems too far out of reach for the rest of us rather than to view it as inspirational or something for one to aspire to.
Jameson's reaction to Spidey there kind of reminds me of some peoples reactions to Superman. The old saws of "He's too perfect, he's too good, he's too powerful" yada yada etc.

Speaking of Superman I really think Jameson is a character who exists in stark contrast to Perry White. Perry is guy trying to keep his paper honest even in the face of corporate interest and the 24 hour newscycle. Jameson is the guy running his paper with an agenda with a very flexible view of journalistic integrity.

Martinex1 said...

I think Jonah just thinks he is right and cannot admit he is wrong. He is more stubborn than hateful. Once he adopted the approach that Spidey was a menace nothing could sway him. He is self righteous, impatient, high demanding, and a great character. As was stated by MattComix I think much of Jonah's approach is driven by fear.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, even if he really thinks Spidey is a good guy, he can't admit it now because he'd look like an idiot. Of course, it depends who's writing him too...some writers make Jameson more of a crusty-curmudgeon-but-ultimately-not-evil kinda guy (Conway comes to mind); others write him as a complete scumbag.

Mike W.

dbutler16 said...

If you go by one of the early Lee-Ditko Spidey stories, then he's filled with jealousy (jealous that Spidey can be so good and selfless whilst he's a selfish crumb). I sorta like that explanation, as it's a bit unexpected.
Anyway, I've always despised JJJ and he's a main reason I couldn't get into the Spidey comics even more.

david_b said...

"Sexual Tension....??"

Nah, just kiddin', I surmise that JJJ just didn't understand a pure superhero like Spidey, since he's more a money-hungry, opinionated publisher who adores attention.

It's changed alot over the years.., it's hard to know what the current generation's looking at for who he is.

Redartz said...

J. Jonah Jameson is one of the reasons that Spider-Man has always been my favorite character/title. Over the years many stories have dealt with JJJ's attitudes and foibles. Starting with Stan and Steve's classic monologue shown above, his obsessive hatred for the wall crawler has led to numerous memorable scenes. One great one that comes to mind is from Amazing Spider-Man 58, when Spencer Smythe returned to provide an updated robot for Jameson to pursue his vendetta. Yet when Smythe uses powerful beams to attempt to kill Spidey, JJ protests that Smythe is simply out for murderous revenge. Smythe, of course, calls out Jameson for his hypocrisy, accusing JJJ of lying about Spider-man in the Bugle for years!

Edo Bosnar said...

Guess I never gave much thought to JJJ's motivations, although I would say, as the others did above, that it's some mixture of hate, fear and possibly also paranoia.
I always liked the character, though. He's such a great foil for Spidey/Peter - truly one of the great supporting characters in any comic book series.

Humanbelly said...

He sort of serves the same purpose as Eddie Haskell or Reggie Mantle, doesn't he? Not only does the audience love to hate them, but somehow in the world of the story, they're always a central part of the "gang" (or immediate group), even though nobody particularly likes them. In JJJ's case, in fact, nobody really likes him at ALL!

But JJJ's been written inconsistently over the years, as mentioned above, so it's a little hard to pin his true nature and motivations down. IIRC, that earlier monologue shown above was reinforced many years later (after Gwen's death) in a story where he and Spidey were shackled together w/ a wrist-bomb or something. . . and after Spidey got he and an ungrateful JJJ free, Spidey swung off in disgust to leave Jonah alone doing a similar soliloquy.

But-- he's crossed the line soooo many times. The man should have been imprisoned pretty much after his first Spider-Slayer venture--- not to mention the countless other completely illegal schemes and plots he's initiated directly on Spidey's life. Like ol' Thunderbolt Ross, there seem to be no consequences for wildly irrational, irresponsible, illegal and (at times) treasonous behavior.

Lord, he's funny, though, isn't he?


Anonymous said...

Agree about the inconsistent approach to characterisation, and I'd add that its often been poor... I'm unclear even about what kind of paper the Bugle was supposed to be. Was it like the New York Times, or a more downmarket tabloid? Seemed to vary, according to the story.

Best writing for Jonah - or at least, the closest to a half way believable editor figure - wasn't in any Spiderman comic, but in Frank Miller's Daredevil. Compare the panels above with those from Daredevil 230 shown at


Anonymous said...

J. Jonah Jameson...Bill O'Reilley...separated at birth?

Humanbelly said...

It's easily forgotten in the fog of early Spidey-history memory, but Stan was able to reveal Jonah's surprisingly admirable core of decency in his relationship and loyalty to one Fred Foswell-- an ex-con former reporter whom Jonah kept on the staff in spite of taking a LOT of heat for it, simply on the basis that he believed the guy deserved a second chance to make good. The irony, of course, was that Jonah (correctly) chose to see the good in a man that others viewed as a cast-off, even as he refused to publicly acknowledge any good whatsoever in a hero who openly risked his life on the side of the angels every day. I do think that the first, early monologue above was likely forgotten completely by many, many later writers.


Robert L. said...

I always thought J. Jonah Jameson was what Stan Lee was like in real life. That credit stealing, glory seeking publisher who tries to convince the world he's a humanitarian......

But I digress, I have to agree that J.J. would have his own program on Fox News. He's a character that embodies the ever present media types who proclaim they have the public's interest at heart. In reality he's out to elevate himself at the expense of hard working people whom he exploits ruthlessly.

Robert L. said...

I have to look at my Spidey collection of comics on CD Rom to find the issue....There was an issue drawn by John Romita that took us to Jameson's past and the ruthless publisher he worked for at the was a poignant little story where Jameson tried to help someone from the clutches of the mob only to meet with disaster. The only reason I remember it was because it was an 80's or 90's John Romita Sr. drawn issue. I don't know if Stan wrote the story but I do remember the had rows of squares on the cover featuring the many faces of Jameson.

Anon said...

Jameson doesn't deserve to be liked or loved because of how much of a self-righteous, hypocritical, ungrateful bastard he is. The people who think that he's funny are blind in the head and are probably devoted to him blindly. Hell, he makes me ashamed to be human.

If Jameson dies, I'd rejoice because of how much of a bully he is.

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