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Why Does J. Jonah Jameson Hate Spider-Man So Much?

by  in CBR Exclusives, Comics, Comic News Comment
Why Does J. Jonah Jameson Hate Spider-Man So Much?

Comic Book Questions Answered – where I answer whatever questions you folks might have about comic books (feel free to e-mail questions to me at brianc@cbr.com).

Reader Darryl M. wanted to know what exactly is the origin of J. Jonah Jameson’s problem with Spider-Man?

Technically speaking, J. Jonah Jameson gave his reasons for hating Spider-Man as soon as he debuted in Amazing Spider-Man #1 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, when he ruined Spider-Man’s career in show business…

After Spider-Man saved the life of Jameson’s son, Spidey figured that he was done with the bad publicity, but he was way off…

In Amazing Spider-Man #11 (by Lee and Ditko), the “real” reason for Jameson’s hatred of Spider-Man was revealed…

While that’s a powerful scene, I don’t know if I necessarily buy it. It doesn’t really “sound” like Jameson.

In Spectacular Spider-Man #175 (by David Michelinie and Sal Buscema), Mary Jane came up with an interesting theory…

And perhaps the most recent explanation came from Zeb Wells and Dean Haspiel in Spider-Man’s Tangled Web #20, where they showed how Jameson grew up – his step-father was an abusive jerk who was also technically a war hero and Jameson grew wary of people who CLAIMED to be heroes, especially when they wear masks…

In the Spider-Man cartoon series in 1990s, Jameson’s wife was killed by someone wearing a mask, which also led to Jameson not trusting anyone in a mask, but that didn’t make its way into the comics, but her death DOES sort of support a general “Jameson doesn’t believe in heroes period” approach…

In Amazing Fantasy #18, Kurt Busiek and Paul Lee came up with a funny reason…he was just pissed off that his son was bumped off of a talk show!

Now, in general, I would tend to credit the Lee/Ditko reason, as they invented the guy, after all, but I dunno, I think that matched better to their original version of Jameson and not the more developed Jameson that has popped up in the years since. So I guess I go with the “He doesn’t trust people who claim to be heroes but don’t want people to know who they are” reasoning, which would also serve to explain why he’s constantly trying to unmask Spider-Man.

Thanks for the question, Darryl!

If anyone ELSE has a question they’d like to see me address, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

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