• Total Nerd

How J. Jonah Jameson Went From Hating Spider-Man To Being Peter Parker’s Lowkey Best Friend

J. Jonah Jameson has been mayor of New York City, infected by the Carnage symbiote, and a television star, yet the craziest thing to happen to that lovable grouch J.J.J. has been his turn from a true Spider-Man hater into one of Spidey's most steadfast allies. Now, with news that actor J.K. Simmons has already filmed another appearance as Jameson for an upcoming Spider-Man film, there has never been a better time to go over the character's recent history.

While Spider-Man sure can't seem to catch a break in the pages of Marvel Comics (we're looking at you, Doctor Octopus), it hasn't really been that easy of a ride for J. Jonah Jameson of late, either. Between losing both his wife and his father and having a recent job history that can only be characterized as "erratic," Jameson really seems to be clinging on to Peter Parker to give him some kind of purpose in life. So let's look at how J.J.J. went from berating that "menace" Spider-Man only to become one of the first people on the hero's call list.

  • He Became Mayor And Used The Position To Continue His Vendetta Against Spider-Man

    What do you do when years of superhero smearing gets you nowhere with the general public? You run for the office of mayor of New York City, that's what! And, because this is the realm of comic books, you win and become NYC's spider-hating leader! Becoming the most well-known mayor in the world certainly did wonders for J.J.J.'s crusade to expose Spider-Man as a dastardly menace.

    In fact, in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man #592, Peter Parker went to Jameson right after the former newspaperman took office in order to offer a truce and begin their relationship anew. Did the newly minted mayor extend his hand to accept this offer of friendship from Spider-Man? Quite the opposite, actually: He snarled and screamed, "You're terrified! I finally have you right where I want you, and you know it!" Then Jameson's new Anti-Spider Squad of S.W.A.T. officers burst through the door, guns blazing. So much for a fresh start.

  • He Joined The Parker Family When His Dad Married Aunt May

    J. Jonah Jameson hasn't merely been a thorn in the side of Spider-Man, but of Peter Parker, as well. Since first appearing in 1963's Amazing Spider-Man #1, Jameson has been a curmudgeon of the highest order, both as Peter's boss at the Daily Bugle and outside of it, as well. And when his long-estranged father, John Jonah Jameson Sr., reappeared after decades away only to subsequently get engaged to Parker's Aunt May, J.J.J. did not take this well. 

    However, Jameson did eventually accept his father's engagement to May, as he ended up paying for and officiating the wedding in Amazing Spider-Man #600 - even if being related to that puny Parker did make him a bit sick. Funnily enough, when asked by a local reporter if the massive wedding, including lights, the use of a public park, and Fashion Week tents, was coming out of the city budget, J.J.J. sheepishly responded, "Of... course... not..." Never change, Jonah. Never change.

  • His Wife, Marla, Was Slain While Saving His Life

    One of the few people who could actually get through to the good in J. Jonah Jameson was his second wife, Marla Madison Jameson. J.J.J. can't have been an easy man to love, but he and Marla made it work, even on the worst of his cigar-chomping, Spider-Man obsessed days. In Amazing Spider-Man #654, the villainous Alistaire Smythe, AKA Spider-Slayer, attempted to wipe out Jonah by stabbing him with one of the giant blades from his metallic armor.

    With Spider-Man incapacitated and unable to save J.J.J., Marla pushed her husband out of the way and took the brunt of the weapon through the chest. While her husband begged for her to hold on, Marla uttered a few words of wisdom before passing. With tears in her eyes, she pleaded with Jonah to not blame anyone for what has happened to her. Her final words were, "Don't waste any more of your life on hate..."

    While a man with Jameson's temperament was not going to change overnight, this would become a defining moment for the character.

  • He Tried Trusting Spider-Man, Unaware That His Body Was Hijacked By Doctor Octopus

    It should come as no surprise that Jameson only started to warm to Spider-Man when Otto Octavius, AKA Doctor Octopus, switched bodies with Peter Parker and started meting out a more brutal brand of justice. The pair had an uneasy alliance for a short while, up until the events surrounding the execution of Alistaire Smythe, the supervillain who ended Marla Jameson's life.

    In classic comic book fashion, Smythe escaped custody just before he was to be executed. Jameson ended up telling Octavius to bring an end to Smythe - a conversation Octavius recorded to use against Jameson later - which he did judiciously. All did not work out in the end for Jameson, though, as Octavius's Spider-Man blackmailed Jameson into giving him the island prison known as the Raft. The tenuous relationship between Jameson and Spider-Man ended right there, and the wall crawler was back to being the "menace" Jameson always knew him to be.

    Eventually, Jameson would resign his post as mayor, a job he never really seemed all that suited for in the first place.