The Green Goblin (Norman Osborn) might be Spider-Man's (Peter Parker) arch-nemesis, but they don't necessarily have the best chemistry in the said superhero's own universe. There are plenty of other villains and frenemies who have come close to defining (and justifying) Spider-Man's existence. One of those frenemies is John Jonah Jameson, Peter Parker's boss himself.
Jameson has always had a love-hate relationship with Spider-Man (and Peter Parker). The dynamics between the two can be even more interesting than Spider-Man's fights with more dangerous enemies. Moreover, Jameson is a complex character whose "evil" actions are somewhat understandable and make no mistake, he has done plenty of bad things both in films and comic books. Here are 10 of those foulest accolades in case you're not conflicted enough with Jameson already.
10 HE WAS A BAD BOSS
This one happened most notably in Sony's Spider-Man films (directed by Sam Raimi). J. Jonah Jameson was famously played there by J.K. Simmons and we wouldn't have had him any other way. Anyway, despite his charm, he was a pretty bad and sue-able employer and boss of the Daily Bugle, especially to his freelance photographer, Peter Parker.
Throughout the three Sam Raimi Spider-Man films, Jameson was quite a bully to Parker. Jameson actually fired Parker at least twice in Spider-Man 2 like it was nothing to the poor and struggling college kid. He also presumably knows Parker's situation yet still makes it hard for him to find a living.
9 HE HATES SPIDER-MAN
Who could hate Spider-Man? Well, there's his rogues' gallery, but that's pretty self-explanatory. Our point is, no regular law-abiding citizen would hate him... and then there's Jameson. Apparently, he hates Spider-Man with a passion and likes to make his life as a superhero more difficult both in the films and the comic books.
He's even gone out of his way to damage Spider-Man's life in all aspects, including his reputation. Thankfully, this doesn't faze Parker much and also doesn't affect the opinion of the people of New York that bad. There were even times when Jameson does it for the sake of tabloid journalism, which brings us to another point...
8 HE'S A HYPOCRITE
One of the reasons why Jameson hates Spider-Man? The superhero's deeds are what Jameson always wanted to achieve but couldn't. Hence, the Bugle boss's ego couldn't take it. Because despite his behavior, Jameson still believes that journalism is a profession that can be done for the greater good and a newspaper can be instrumental to that. The reality, of course, is a lot more complicated than altruistic ideals.
To Jameson, Spider-Man is a thief who steals the spotlight and renown he always wanted for the Daily Bugle. Jameson's unflinching ego can even sometimes reach certain extremes. There are many moments in the comic books or even films where Spider-Man saved his life yet he still adamant in his decision to wage war against the webspinner.
7 SMEAR CAMPAIGN AGAINST SPIDER-MAN
Since Jameson is the publisher, editor-in-chief, and owner of the Daily Bugle; he has the ultimate authority to control its contents. Sadly, some of the content he publishes on the Bugle involves a daily dose of libelous statements and "fake news" against Spider-Man. Yep, Jameson has no shame in using his media platform as a weapon against the biggest resident hero in Marvel's version of New York.
Even in the films, Jameson loves to portray Spider-Man as an unlawful and sometimes even criminal masked vigilante. Such actions can only be classified as abuse of power, though this also stemmed from Jameson's rough childhood with his father, David. David, despite being a war hero, constantly beat both Jameson and his mother, which led Jameson to believe that not all heroes are good. So, basically, he's venting out his rough childhood on Spider-Man.
6 ABUSED HIS POWER AS MAYOR
At one time in the comic books, Jameson became powerful enough to be a politician. He ran for mayor in New York City and actually won; that was a commendable step up from a newspaper owner. One would think that he would turn his image around and stop pestering Spider-Man since they're both significant public figures but no. He still loathed Spider-Man even as mayor.
Ignoring the fact that Spider-Man could basically do half his work for him, Jameson upped the smear campaign's intensity. Additionally, he also assembled an "Anti-Spider Squad" to capture Spider-Man. He abused his power as mayor for the sole purpose of capturing someone who damaged his big ego and even drained the city's finances trying to pursue that wild-goose chase.
5 HE WANTED TO SUE PETER PARKER
Eventually, Jameson would discover that his very own photographer, Peter Parker was Spider-Man (more than once in the comic books). Such a revelation exacted a heavy toll on him. That's because he treated Parker as a son (in the comic books) and held him in high regard. In fact, he even did some undeclared charity for Parker such as buying the struggling photographer's subpar photos just to help him.
It's too bad he seems to have forgotten all that after he found out that Spider-Man was Parker. Jameson immediately wanted to sue Parker for fraud. He also demanded that Parker return all the money Jameson paid him during his work at the Bugle. Lucky for Parker, Jameson soon discovered that his former photographer was granted amnesty by the government for all the good acts he has done. This, however, did not bode well for Jameson and his ego.
4 HIRED CRIMINALS TO UNMASK SPIDER-MAN
Before Jameson even discovered that Spider-Man was Parker, he was obsessed with trying to find out who the masked wall-crawler was. So, Jameson hired a shady private investigator named MacDonald Gargan to do the unmasking for him. Even worse, Gargan was an amoral investigator and often went to criminal lengths just to get the job done.
Essentially, Jameson turned to crime just to unmask Spider-Man, we did mention he was a hypocrite, right? Anyway, Gargan failed to discover who Spider-Man was; so a displeased Jameson offered him something else. Disappointed, he set Gargan up for a painful experiment which would give him superpowers...
3 CREATED/HIRED VILLAINS FOR SPIDER-MAN
Mac Gargan, the failed P.I. Jameson hired to investigate Spider-Man, also became obsessed with the superhero. He subjected himself to the experiment which Jameson wanted him to undergo and emerged as The Scorpion. Hence, Jameson also created himself a new supervillain in his crusade against Spider-Man. At this point, Jameson has become a fully-fledged villain to Spidey.
Of course, Gargan still failed and managed to hate Jameson as much as he hates Spider-Man. Apart from The Scorpion, Jameson has also hired Mysterio himself to deal with Spider-Man. The most recent Spider-Man: Far From Home explored such a notion. We even see him in the credits Easter Egg defending Mysterio.
2 TRIED TO FIGHT SPIDER-MAN WITH A ROBOT... FOUR TIMES
Prior to hiring baddies to end or reveal Spider-Man, it was Jameson himself who got his hands dirty. Jameson managed to obtain the deadly robot Spider-Slayer; it was made by the evil genius inventor Spencer Smythe with his funding. Jameson, seemingly fed up with Spider-Man, controlled the robot and planned to defeat Spider-Man with it.
He did this not only once, but four times... unsuccessfully. In the first three times, Jameson paired up with Smythe in order to produce different versions of the Spider-Slayer to fight Spider-Man. The fourth time was Jameson with another scientist, though he proved less capable without Smythe's genius.
1 ATTACKED HIS DAUGHTER-IN-LAW WITH A ROBOT
Those Spider-Slayer robots Jameson had? He didn't exclusively use them just on Spider-Man. Jameson, in a fit of rage upon finding out that Parker was Spider-Man, attacked the She-Hulk (Jennifer Walters)... his own daughter-in-law. Actually, Jameson sort of snapped at the fact that his son JJJ Jr. (JJJJ, if you will), was going to marry She-Hulk, and there's also the fact that Parker was Spider-Man.
So, Jameson took the original Spider-Slayer and commandeered it to attack Jennifer Walters. Since Walters is the She-Hulk, the Spider-Slayer was no match for her. She destroyed it quickly and tried to make a compromise with Jameson by taking over his planned fraud charge against Parker (with the real intention of dragging it out instead). Even so, Jameson can prove to be as much a villain to Spider-Man and his own family as the super-villains of the Marvel universe.