10 Things That Prove J. Jonah Jameson Isn’t All Bad
J. Jonah Jameson is no supervillain, but he is a menace to everyone's favorite wall-crawling, web-slinging hero. As editor-in-chief of The Daily Bugle, Jameson has made it his mission to turn public opinion against Spider-Man. His reasons vary, from simple money-raking sensationalism to a misplaced trust in masked men.
Despite his Spider-Man slander, abrasiveness, and penny-pinching, Jameson isn't an entirely bad person. It may be a stretch to say he's a good person, but he has a softer side. There are a few instances where J. Jonah Jameson shows a moral side.
10 He Truly Loves His Son, John
Jameson's most consistently humanizing trait is his relationship with his son, John Jameson III. John is an astronaut, quite a different profession from his newspaperman heritage. Jameson couldn't be a prouder father. Depending on the iteration, Jameson's dislike of Spider-Man stems from the wall-crawler's exploits stealing coverage away from John's astronaut career. After all, when Spider-Man (and Jameson) debuted in the 1960s, being an astronaut was considered the pinnacle of American heroism.
9 He Gave Peter A Credit Reference To Buy A Motorcycle
Since he got his powers, Peter Parker's preferred method of travel has been web-slinging. But during his college days, Peter's preferred method was a motorcycle. Peter first got the bike in The Amazing Spider-Man #41. Considering Spider-Man's fame as the working man's superhero, it shouldn't be surprising that Peter needed a credit reference to buy the bike. Jameson gave it to him. It was a kind gesture, even if he looked forward to holding the favor over Peter's head.
8 He Helped Expose Sam Bullit As A Racist
In Amazing Spider-Man #90, Captain George Stacy was killed saving a child from falling debris during a battle between Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus. Spider-Man was blamed for the murder. Sam Bullit used this as a springboard for a District Attorney campaign. Jameson initially supported Bullit, whose anti-vigilantism was one plank of his "law and order" platform. Bullit was actuallyplanning to crack down on minority communities.
When Bullit's ties to racist groups were discovered, Jameson pulled his support. Jameson is usually depicted as a progressive on civil rights. Jameson was based on Stan Lee, who spoke out against racism.
7 He Hired Matt Murdock To Defend Peter Against Treason Charges
In Spider-Man (1994) season 3's two-parter Framed and The Man Without Fear, Peter was hired by Wilson Fisk as a computer analyst. The new job gave Peter such a pay raise that he was able to quit The Daily Bugle. Jameson was infuriated and called Peter ungrateful. Peter's new job at Fisktronics was too good to be true. Peter was hired to be the fall guy for Fisk's dealings with foreign governments.
Peter was tried for treason. Luckily, he had the best lawyer in New York City (Matt Murdock) defending him. Murdock wasn't a court-appointed public defender. Jameson secretly hired him to defend Peter against the trumped-up charges. Although, Jameson wouldn't let Matt tell Peter this, fearing it would "spoil his image."
6 He Refused To Give Peter Up To The Green Goblin
The Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies take the most inspiration from Spider-Man's earliest adventures - the Silver/Bronze Age stories penciled by Steve Ditko and John Romita. This era's Jameson is one of the least sympathetic. However, Raimi gives Jameson a humanizing moment early on. After Jameson callously brushes off Peter's charge that the Bugle is slandering Spider-Man, the Green Goblin bursts into Jameson's office.
The Goblin grabs Jameson by the throat, demanding the identity of the photographer who takes the pictures of Spider-Man. Showing courage in the face of possible death, Jameson refuses to give up Peter. A similar moment happens in Spectacular Spider-Man, only it's Rhino invading the Bugle in search of Parker.
5 He Fired Eddie Brock For Fraud
Jameson will spin facts and paint Spider-Man as a menace to sell papers, but he's also a journalist to his core. This means that fake news, drummed by incompetence and malevolence, is a bridge too far for him. Spider-Man 3 shows this clearly. To secure a staff job at the Bugle, Eddie Brock photoshops one of Peter's old Spider-Man photos to make it look like the new Black Suit Spider-Man is robbing an armored car.
Eddie's photo is printed in the Bugle. Peter quickly discovers the fraud and reports it to Robbie Robertson, who presents it to Jameson. With cold but terrifying fury, Jameson fires Eddie on the spot. Jameson begrudgingly prints a retraction in the paper's next edition.
4 In Ultimatum, Jameson Admitted He Was Wrong About Spider-Man
UltimateSpider-Man'sJ. Jonah Jameson was frequently written as more sympathetic than his mainstream counterpart. Jameson's arc is one of the few good things to come out of the reviled Ultimatum event. When Magneto floods New York City, most of the city's skyscrapers wind up underwater, including The Daily Bugle.
From his drowned office, Jameson gets a firsthand view of Spider-Man diving into the water to save drowning civilians. Awed and overcome with guilt, Jameson pens a column for the Bugle recanting his earlier views of Spider-Man and calling him a hero.
3 He Offered Peter Parker A College Scholarship
Unlike the static Earth-616, Ultimate Marvel could make lasting changes to their characters. This meant that Jameson's realization about Spider-Man in Ultimatum stuck. After a run-in with the Chameleon, Jameson finally deduces that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. A year before, Jameson would've dropped the scoop of a lifetime. Instead, Jameson meets with Peter privately and asks if there's a way he can make amends for his smear campaign. They settle on Jameson paying Peter's college tuition.
2 He Refused To Publish Miles Morales' True Identity
Tragically, Peter didn't live long enough for his and Jameson's bargain to play out. In The Death Of Spider-Man (Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley), Peter was shot while saving Captain America from the Punisher. Peter then saved his friends and family from a cabal of super-villains led by Norman Osborn. The bullet wound and strain of the battle were too much, and Peter died.
Thankfully, a new Spider-Man appeared soon after, whose real name was Miles Morales. Betty Brant discovered Miles' true identity through good old-fashioned investigative reporting. Jameson, however, was done with hurting Spider-Man and refused to print it.
1 He First Hired Peter After Learning About Uncle Ben's Death
Chip Zdarsky has said that Jameson is his favorite Spider-Man character. Unsurprisingly, Jameson plays a large role in Zdarsky's run on Peter Parker, Spectacular Spider-Man. The main story in Spectacular Spider-Man Annual is Paper Trail. Paper Trail spotlights Jameson, with flashbacks woven through a present-day storyline.
The final flashback shows Jameson first hiring Peter as a freelance photographer for The Daily Bugle. Jameson had read about Ben Parker's murder and knew Peter needed whatever support he could get. Therefore, Jameson hired Peter Parker.