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The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character
Above: J. Jonah Jameson offers a $1,000 reward for the capture and conviction of Spider-man. [From: Amazing Spider-Man #50 (June 1967), page 8; written by Stan Lee, pencilled by John Romita, and inked by Mickey Dimeo.]
Since the character of Spider-Man was first introduced by Marvel Comics in 1962, J. Jonah Jameson has been an important part of Spider-Man's cast of supporting characters.
J. Jonah Jameson has often been cast in the role of the antagonist, because of his harsh criticism of the vigilante superhero Spider-Man. Jameson's bluster, abrasive personality and irritating character traits paint him as both a comical character and also a negative one. Because Spider-Man's stories are typically told from the perspective of Peter Parker, we sympathize with Spider-Man and naturally reject Jameson's philosophy when he denounces the hero. Yet if one steps back and looks at the Spider-Man mythos objectively, and considers what Jameson is actually saying, one realizes that the man makes some excellent points.
The truth of the matter is, if Spider-Man existed in our real world, countless respected people would be among his harshest critics. People from all major political philosophies - liberal and conservative, Republican, Democratic, Libertarian, etc., would denounce Spider-Man, often with the same arguments that J. Jonah Jameson uses. Jameson may seem like a buffoon and a stumbling block to Spider-Man, but he really is a man who cares passionately about New York City specifically and about law and order in general.
Despite all the good that Spider-Man does, if the character existed in our real world, there would be people who question why he has to wear a mask and hide his identity. There would be people who call for his arrest in light of his illegal vigilante activities. There would be people who call into question his right to work outside the law and interfere with police matters. There would be people who cite the tremendous level of destruction to property, bodily injury, and sometimes even deaths of innocent people that seem to be left in the wake of Spider-Man's many public battles with other super-powered beings. There would be insurance adjusters who point out that there are no costumed vigilantes such as Spider-Man in big cities such as Houston and Philadelphia, and those cities never fall victim to the property damage caused by the battles that such individuals engage in.
As much as we are all entertained by Spider-Man and root for this everyman hero, it is worth remembering that one of his greatest rivals, J. Jonah Jameson, also sees himself as a champion of the people. In the real world, it's quite possible that more people would side with J. Jonah Jameson's position than Spider-Man's.
From "TS: Liberality For All vs. DMZ" discussion page started 30 November 2005 (http://ilx.wh3rd.net/thread.php?msgid=6419391; viewed 13 June 2006):
Huk-L (handsomishbo...), November 30th, 2005
Now I don't think that titles such as "Liberality for all" are the way to go either as its viewpoint is so extreme that it can, based on your perspective, be considered as either fanatical or subtly making fun of consrvative themselves. However I do belive that a center right superhero... would appeal to a large percentage of Americans who may either purchase very few or no comics at all.
kingfish hobo juckie (jdsalmo...), November 30th, 2005
Oh man, so much good stuff in that. Let's begin!
Would the Punisher, J. Jonah Jameson, or Nick Fury count as conservative?
Andrew Farrell (afarrel...), November 30th, 2005
Not so much a deconstruction as a fundamental tenet, in fairness.
JJJ = lefty as [expletive] (at least in Alias). He just hates heroes, and Spiderman in general. Probably quite Tuomasian on the subject.
[This poster is saying that J. Jonah Jameson is extremely liberal.]
From: Doug Tonks, "A Higher Power", posted 22 October 2006 on "All New! All Different! Howling Curmudgeons: Two-Fisted Comics Commentary and Criticism!" blog website (http://www.whiterose.org/howlingcurmudgeons/archives/009995.html; viewed 25 April 2007):
From: "Religions of super heroes" forum discussion page started 14 August 2006 on "Wizard Universe" website (http://wizarduniverse.invisionzone.com/lofiversion/index.php/t1595.html; viewed 25 April 2007):
The never-identified but usually heeded "they" claim that there are two topics you should never talk about: religion and politics. But since Mike already brought up religion... I'll follow it up with a link to this page [link to: http://www.adherents.com/lit/comics/comic_book_religion.html], which lists the religious affiliations of various comic book characters. Many of the religious identifications are backed up with lengthy supporting arguments, but some of the more minor characters get little or nothing in the way of explanation.
Some of them are not too surprising... Others are obvious...
But this being comic books, it's not too long until things start getting a bit less clear... And some are just silly. Here are a few characters and their religious affiliation as listed: Bart Allen... -- "Zen Speed Force." The original Mr. Terrific -- "agnostic; 'fair play.'" Ms. Marvel--"mildly feminist; Alcoholics Anonymous." J. Jonah Jameson--"hates Spider-Man."...
Posted by Doug at October 22, 2006 7:12 PM
Aug 14 2006, 04:49 PM
I didn't know Hating Spiderman (J. Jonan Jameson) and Mildy Feminist, Alocoholics Anonymous (Warbird) could be considered religions. I belong to the Loves Captain and Coke religion.
Aug 14 2006, 06:17 PM
...Since when is Communist, Liberal Marxist, "fair play", animal rights, mildly feminist, Alcoholics Anonymous, pro-abortion activist, Nazi, obsession with duality, and hates Spider-Man a religion???
From: comments to "Comic Book Heroes Faith-by-Faith" post on "Give Me a Pony" blog website, 21 June 2006 (http://givemeapony.blogspot.com/2006/06/comic-book-heroes-faith-by-faith.html; viewed 25 April 2007):
It's an interesting undertaking, but when you really start digging into the complete list (at http://www.adherents.com/lit/comics/comic_book_religion.html) and are a supercollossal dork with an entire room devoted to comics, you see lots of flaws... and a few are flat-out wrong or bizarre:
...Also, they've invented a few weird new sects for the list, such as "Cajun Catholic", and list things like "GLBT", "animal rights" "mildly feminist" (!), and my favorite, "Hates Spider-Man", as religious affiliations...
From: "Religion of comic book characters" forum discussion started 17 March 2006 in "Media & Popular Culture" section on "IIDB General Discussion Forums" website (http://www.iidb.org/vbb/archive/index.php/t-158938.html; viewed 10 May 2007):
March 17, 2006, 09:54 PM
This might be old, but I found it interesting,
Supervillains tend to be atheists, superheroes tend to be theist...
March 18, 2006, 08:47 AM
J. Jonah Jameson has by far the coolest religious affiliation. ["hates Spider-Man"]
Makes you wonder if that makes Spiderman God or the Anti-Christ?
March 21, 2006, 11:13 PM
I love how hating Spider-Man is a religion. Does this work for non-superhero, non-fictional characters? Because I really hate Carrot Top.
From: "The Church of Superman" forum discussion started 19 June 2006 on the "James Randi Educational Foundation" website (http://www.randi.org/forumlive/showthread.php?t=58627; viewed 15 May 2007):
19th June 2006, 06:03 AM
The Church of Superman
Hmmmm... the "religious" affiliations of comic book characters. Huh?
19th June 2006, 10:26 AM
I read a couple of entries (mostly for characters I'm familiar with) and it seemed reasonably even-handed, although... I think they need to retitle their "Religious Affiliation" column in the tables, when they list such things as "feminist" and "hates Spider-Man"...
From: "Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Characters" forum discusion, started 28 March 2006 on "Comic Book Resources" website (http://forums.comicbookresources.com/archive/index.php/t-116753.html; viewed 28 May 2007):
03-28-2006, 07:55 AM
It never ceases to amaze me the amount of time people have to put stuff together on the web. Anyway, if you were ever wondering about the religious affiliation of a certain comic book character, check out this site:
03-28-2006, 07:50 PM
I like how J. Jonah Jameson's religion is actually listed as "hates Spider-Man".
From: "Legion of Atheist Super-Heroes" forum discussion, started 17 November 2006 on "Comic Book Resources" website (http://forums.comicbookresources.com/archive/index.php/t-152692.html; viewed 30 May 2007):
11-18-2006, 12:13 AM
...A lot of the stuff on this list makes little sense or just plain made up.
11-18-2006, 12:33 AM
J. Jonah Jameson: Religious Affiliation - hates Spider-Man
Ms. Marvel - Carol Danvers: Alcoholics Anonymous
From: "Superheroes/villains and their religions" forum discussion, started 16 March 2006 on "Animation Insider" website (http://www.animationinsider.net/forums/archive/index.php?t-17835.html; viewed 28 June 2008):
03-16-2006, 05:16 AM
Someone pointed this out at another forum. I found it to be quite amusing that someone would actually have enough time on their hands to ponder about this.
King of the Worthless
03-16-2006, 10:54 AM
I like how J. Jonah Jameson's religious affiliation is "hates Spider-man."
From: "Stuart Moore's A Thousand Flowers: O Deadly Night" forum discussion, started 2 December 2003 on Newsarama website (http://forum.newsarama.com/archive/index.php/t-6949.html; viewed 28 June 2007):
12-02-2003, 02:28 PM
Can anybody help me? I've been looking for years for a Spider-Man Christmas story written by Kurt Busiek from his "Untold Tales of Spider-Man" period. I believe the story was published in some kind of Marvel Holiday Special, and has Spidey and J. Jonah Jameson trapped in a warehouse, pinned under a beam or something, and forced to spend Christmas night together. I know I'm not imagining this story, but haven't been able to find it before. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
12-02-2003, 10:19 PM
I'm actully really really fond of the early - mid 90s Marvel Christmas specials. I remember some really good stories in there particularly a Spidey/JJJ one and a Shadowcat one. It's been years, but I think some of them were even better than that.
From: "Super-Friends", posted 17 June 2006 on Galent/"Whatever Remains..." blog website (http://galent.livejournal.com/17249.html; viewed 6 July 2007):
galent (galent) wrote,
@ 2006-06-17 11:48:00
So, lacking any real life, and pushing the cause of the comic book geek back about 20 years, some dork working for Adherents.com has put together a website of The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Characters. Is this an interesting subject? Absolutely. Does it make one a dork for thinking about such things? No. So why am I characterizing it so negatively? Because I wonder about anyone who would make a list of almost EVERY comic hero, villain, and supporting character, and chart their religious affiliations in depth. The site is huge...
And the meat... er.. supporting characters: ...J. Jonah Jameson "hates Spider-man." That's his religion...
The things I never knew.... (Like who half of these people are.)
I love pop-culture, in a sort of train wreck way, and I am fascinated by religion. This is a great site. Watch them grasp as straws and pigeon hole fictional characters into religious denominations! Great! Next up, possible alien homeworlds of today's politicians and celebrities.
2006-06-19 01:42 am
...Their religion categories were actually fairly funny. As I mentioned Communism and "hates Spider-man" were religions (as was "atheist" but we all knew that)...
2006-06-19 02:19 am
I don't have a problem with "hates Spider-man" being a religion...
From: "The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Characters" forum discussion, started 27 June 2007 on "City of Heroes" website (http://boards.cityofheroes.com/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=8576731; viewed 6 July 2007):
06/27/07 02:31 PM
The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Characters [link to: http://boards.cityofheroes.com/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=8576731]
My Local newsradio station pointed this site out.
Let the battle begin.
06/27/07 03:32 PM
This one comes around now and then. If it's new to you, it's worth pointing out Jonah Jameson's rather unique faith.
06/27/07 08:34 PM
Some are quite funny.
Mister Miracle: Apokolipsian Darkseid worship (lapsed).
Longshot: Mojoworld Television worship.
J. Jonah Jameson: Hates Spiderman.
From: Brad Meltzer, "Jewish Superhero Website Listing", posted 28 June 2007 on his official MySpace website (http://www.bradmeltzer.com/labels/Comics.html; viewed 9 July 2007):
Thanks to Jack G. for this. And I so admire The Acidic Jew [link to: http://www.adherents.com/lit/comics/AcidicJew.html].
Jewish superhero website listing:
[reader comments posted in response to this, at:
I know your purpose was different than as taken, but, I still think it's very interesting that both Marvel and DC (as well as independents) have incorporated religions in their characters' backgrounds.
Sure, we know some have religious/mythoological backgrounds (Thor, Nightcrawler, Daredevil, Bibleman) but, to see how many do, is interesting.
Also, I didn't know "hates Spiderman" (J. Jonah Jameson) and "being Batman's arch-enemy" (Joker) was a religion, lol, I found it interesting that these universes incorporated religions from all over the world, just like a real universe would...
Thanks for that interesting link, Brad.
Posted by LegendsOfBatman on Monday, July 02, 2007 at 9:32 AM
From: "Superheroes and Religion" forum discussion, started 17 May 2006 on HERO Games website (http://www.herogames.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-42820.html; viewed 12 July 2007):
Mar 17th, '06, 10:51 AM
Ever wonder what religion you favorite hero is? Check this out.
Mar 17th, '06, 11:00 AM
I like what they have listed for JJJ's religion. :rofl: [rolling on the floor laughing]
Mar 20th, '06, 06:07 AM
I admit I liked JJJ's religion as well.