Spider-Man: Far From Home has a pretty wild pair of , leaving us wondering happens next as we look forward to of the in .
You were probably familiar with the character who showed up and turned Peter Parker’s life upside-down in the first extra scene, but here’s a fun refresher on this person’s long-running rivalry with our web-slinging hero across various media.
In the movies
The Far From Home mid-credits scene introduces us to the MCU’s version of J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons), the Daily Bugle web show host who that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. It sucks for Peter, but brought joy to fans across the globe — a classic Spidey character is back, played by the actor who first defined him on the silver screen in a pre-MCU era.
Simmons made his big-screen debut as Jameson in the first Spider-Man back in 2002, and his fun scenery-chewing performance made him the best thing in director Sam Raimi‘s trilogy. This cigar-chomping old-school newspaperman is the boss of The Daily Bugle (a New York tabloid in the Raimi-verse), with a major grudge against our hero.
“Who is Spider-Man? A criminal. A vigilante. A public menace. What’s doing on my front page?” he barks in his introductory scene but changes his tune when he realizes that New Yorkers will buy his paper to see more Spidey.
“Put an ad on the front page ‘Cash money for a picture of Spider-Man!”http://www.cnet.com/”
Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) takes advantage of this and sets up a camera to take photos of him when he goes into action as Spidey, then sells the shots to Jonah. Status quo, established.
However, the Bugle boss shows his true decency by lying to save Peter when Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe) bursts into his office and demands he gives up the photographer who takes the shots of Spidey.
In 2004’s Spider-Man 2, Jameson gets a hold on Spidey’s costume after Peter temporarily abandons his superhero-ing ways and (in a deleted scene seen in the 2.1 cut) does what we’d all do: he puts it on and jumps around his office, making webbing sound effects with a cigar in his mouth.
When the city descends into chaos under Doctor Octopus (Alfred Molina), Jameson admits that Spidey was a hero … but reverts in the very same scene after Peter sneakily reclaims the costume.
“He stole my suit! He’s a menace to the entire city … I want that wall-crawling arachnid prosecuted!” he yells at his staff.
“I want him strung up by his web! I want Spider-M-a-a-a-a-a-a-n!“
Unfortunately, Jameson’s role is smaller in 2007’s Spider-Man 3, where he pits Peter against unethical jerk Eddie Brock (Topher Grace) as each tries to earn a staff photography job. It’s no surprise that this is the weakest of the Raimi trilogy — less Jameson = less good.
This notion is proven in Marc Webb‘s Amazing Spider-Man duology, where Jameson doesn’t appear at all. Peter emails him a photo of Spidey in the second movie, but the newspaperman rejects Peter’s request that he be less negative about his superhero alter-ego.
In the games
Jameson’s shown up in countless Spidey video games over the years, but his coolest role by far was in the 2018 PS4 one. He’s retired from the Bugle and started his own podcast, Just the Facts, along with writing Spider-Man: Threat or Menace. Which sounds like a scintillating read.
You hear his antisuperhero (mostly anti-Spider-Man) rants throughout the game, and he consistently puts a negative slant on Spidey’s acts of heroism. Developers Insomniac even recorded more Jonah for the downloadable add-on missions, so Jolly Jonah is always with you.
In one episode, a woman tells Jameson how Spidey was swinging by her apartment window as she got out of the shower.
“Just imagine what sort of deviant personality would dress up like that in the first place, and it’s a short step from there to peeping Tom activity,” he says in response. “Folks, it doesn’t matter if you live on the first floor or the 31st. Keep your curtains drawn! Lock your windows! A webbed pervert walks among us!!“
This seems pretty similar to his role in Far From Home, even though we’ve only had a glimpse of his MCU counterpart so far.
In the comics
Jameson made his first appearance in Amazing Spider-Man No. 1, where he puts all clout as Daily Bugle publisher behind his campaign to destroy Spidey’s reputation, and Peter profits off this obsession by selling him photos.
Over the years, Jameson’s zeal led him to bankroll the creation of the Spider-Slayer robots for the express purpose of hunting down his superhero nemesis and made him responsible for the creation of two supervillains: the Scorpion and the Human Fly. We might see something similar happen in the MCU, since we met Mac Gargan (who becomes Scorpion in the comics) in Homecoming, and he ended up with a grudge against Spidey.
The character spent much of his 56-year-old comic history in journalism, aside from a term as New York’s mayor. But he’s lost the Bugle and his wife, Marla, in recent years and ended up as Peter’s stepbrother after his father, Jay Jameson, married Peter’s Aunt May. He also found himself railing against his webbed nemesis on his Threats & Menaces blog (his only remaining outlet).
This led to a major status quo shift in 2017’s Spectacular Spider-Man No. 6, after Spidey agrees to be interviewed by Jameson in exchange for vital information. The pair share a delicious lasagne — apparently, Jameson is a good cook — and argue over their shared history. Ultimately, Jameson breaks down, realizing that he’s lost everything and is utterly alone.
Seeing Jameson, a man who gave him work as a teenager and who became family, so despondent hits a nerve in Peter. He takes a leap of faith and unmasks for his frenemy, leading to a whole new relationship. This issue, written by Chip Zdarsky with art from Michael Walsh, is utterly brilliant and you should read it.
In the wake of Far From Home, it offers a fascinating contrast between Peter’s willing unmasking for Jameson in the comics to Jameson horribly outing Peter in the MCU.