On Spiderman

J. Jonah Jameson

Just What the Heck Is That Guy's Major Malfunction, Anyway?

By Adam-Troy Castro

Nothing will ever make him change his mind. Logic won’t do it. Integrity won’t do it. The evidence of his own two eyes won’t do it. The sage counsel of his most trusted advisors won’t do it. The awareness that he owes his life, and his son’s life, and the lives of everybody he knows, won’t do it.

J. Jonah Jameson, publisher of the tabloid Daily Bugle, will never admit that he was wrong. He will always hate Spider-Man beyond all reason, and will always distort his headlines far out of proportion with the facts on hand to blame Peter Parker’s alter-ego for everything from Electro’s latest crime spree to unhappy political developments in outer Mongolia. His stand on this matter is no mere editorial position, but a genuine mania. We know this. But just what the blue blazes is the guy’s problem, anyway? Why won’t he see reason?

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The easiest answer is that it’s his story function.

Spider-Man’s initial success as a character had less to do with his costume design, and his specific skill set, than it had to do with the way everything about him resonated to the specific problems of adolescence. This remains true even though the character that appears in the mainstream comic books has moved well past his high-school and college years into the realm of adulthood. In essence, the character speaks to the specific problems of puberty. Think about the sea change that rocks the world of young Peter Parker. He finds himself strong and capable  …

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