Spider-Man and J. Jonah Jameson...Superhero Partners?

In every installment of I Love Ya But You’re Strange I spotlight strange but ultimately endearing comic stories. Feel free to e-mail me at brianc@cbr.com if you have a suggestion for a future installment!

Today, we look at a delightfully bizarre What If...? comic book where Spider-Man and J. Jonah Jameson ended up as superhero partners!

The issue was What If...? #82 by William Messner-Loebs, Anthony Williams and Andy Lanning.

The issue opens with that fateful mission to the stars by John Jameson from Amazing Spider-Man #1. Only this time around, the Chameleon's sabotage of the take-off actually succeeds and it succeeds in horrific fashion, with the capsule plummeting back to Earth where it kills both John Jameson and a bunch of bystanders there to watch the launch, including Peter Parker's beloved Aunt May!

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A grieving J. Jonah Jameson decided to adopt the now-orphaned Peter Parker, and Jameson quickly gives him all sorts of nice things and pays for him to go to a fancy school but Peter realizes that Jameson has convinced himself that Spider-Man was responsible for the death of John. Peter had actually quit being Spider-Man, but he realized that Jameson actually NEEDED Spider-Man in his life to give him something to CARE about as he was otherwise devolving into a mess of depression.

So Peter (by this point, Peter had been given his own small newspaper by Jameson) decides to become Spider-Man again. Jameson hires Flash Thompson to become Peter's bodyguard and Jameson begins developing the various anti-Spider-Man methods that he did in the original comics, like the Spider-Slayer...

In a really clever bit by Loebs, Peter decides to start promoting Spider-Man in his newspaper (as always, Peter continues to be an unehtical journalist) and Jameson rips Spider-Man in the Daily Bugle (amusingly, Jameson isn't mad at Peter over this as he sees it as just Peter trying to sell papers)...

However, when Jameson offers a million dollar to the person who could uncover Spider-Man's secret identity, things took a turn...

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