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Didja Know... The History of J. Jonah Jameson

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Didja Know digs into the fun facts, strange stories, and divine details that helped build the hallowed halls of the House of Ideas!

As peerless partisans of modern Marvel masterpieces, you’re aware of the role J. Jonah Jameson plays as a supporting cast member in the life of our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. But their connection runs far deeper than that, True Believers. In fact, you might say that Jonah stands as a crazy catalyst for many of the wall-crawler’s earliest events.

Next week, new era begins between Super Hero and sourpuss in Nick Spencer and Ryan Ottley's AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #11, and we’re here to fill you in on some of their harrowing history.

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Didja Know… Spider-Man took a ride on a space capsule because of Jameson?

Right out of the starting gate in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1, J. Jonah Jameson set himself up to be the thorniest thorn in our hero’s paw. He hit center stage railing about Spidey’s “bad influence on our youngsters” and the potent possibility that “children may imitate his feats.” Using his position as Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Bugle newspaper, he held up his own son, astronaut John Jameson, as a real hero…and that’s where the trouble began.

The Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #1

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During a mission, John’s orbital flight lost a section of its forward guidance package and all heck broke loose from there. Spidey, that selfless, long-suffering Super Hero, rushed to the control center and informed the assembled administrators that he’d get a new module to the capsule, and do you know what? You guessed it! Somehow, against all odds, the wondrous web-head pulled it off with nothing but gumption, guts, and a few well-placed Thwips!

You may now be wondering what Jameson thought of all that heroism on display. Well...we think you may already know the answer to that, Marvelite.

Didja Know… Peter Parker met the first real love of his life through Jameson?

Peter first sold himself as a photographer to Jameson in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #2, and in entering that ominous office met the ol’ crank’s secretary Betty Brant. The dominoes began to fall from that point on, and our pal Petey soon found himself crushed underneath them. By AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #5, he realized he had an amazing ally in Betty, someone who’d support him during Jonah’s tireless tirades…and boy was she pretty, too!

The Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #2

    • publishedMAY 4, 1963
    • added to marvel unlimitedNOV 1, 2007
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The two kids’ flirting hit high-gear in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #7 and when they sat together behind Betty desk after the Vulture’s audacious attack on the Bugle offices, and the spark’s really flew. They became what’s known as an “item” then, ducking Jameson’s brick-a-bats as a team and, by AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #9, recognized their unspoken love for each other.

If you know Peter Parker, you know it couldn’t last. The beginning of the end occurred in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #10, and Peter and Betty became “just one of those things.”

Didja Know… Jameson’s responsible for the creation of some of Spidey’s earliest enemies?

See, here’s the thing about Jonah—he never knows when to stop. Using the Bugle as his bully-pulpit to accuse the arachnid of being a public menace never seemed good enough for him; he insisted on hitting new heights of lowness to prove his point…even though it was on top of his head the whole time.

In AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #20, Jameson approached Dr. Farley Stillwell to use genetic mutation and other kooky scientific ideas to change Mac Gargan into a super powered agent of doom. Thus, the Scorpion emerged, and much to Jonah’s eternal chagrin, almost immediately became a criminal, as well as one of Spidey’s greatest foes.

The Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #20

    • publishedJAN 6, 1965
    • added to marvel unlimitedNOV 1, 2007
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Then, never one to learn lessons, Jameson contacted another dubious doctor, this one named Spencer Smythe, to build robots he could control to capture our hero in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #25. Operated by Jonah and projecting his ugly mug, the Spider-Slayer tracked down the wall-crawler for the first of many titanic tussles, later continued by Smythe’s son Alistaire and Dr. Marla Madison—Jameson’s future wife!

Year later in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #10, jolly Jonah funded the creation of a new Super Hero with the marvelous moniker of the Human Fly, but, as these things will, it went all wonky and the Fly joined the riotous ranks of Spidey’s rogues' gallery. And Jameson continued on his path, one he still treads today.

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