Episode 175: J. Jonah Jameson, Superhero (Amazing Spider-Man #20) -- January 1965
In this episode:
Mike and Ed discuss JJJ’s claim that he single-handedly defeated the supervillain called “The Scorpion”. This strains credulity… which makes us question the integrity of the Daily Bugle. Is the publication a newspaper, or a tabloid? In a world of real alien invasions and superpowers, what is the difference anymore? If Big Foot attacked Seattle, would any of us really be surprised? How can tabloids even compete with reality these days? What is the truth, really?
Behind the issue:
This was the first appearance of the Scorpion, who would go on to be one of Spider-Man’s continuing archenemies. It is also revealed that JJJ was directly responsible for the villain’s origin (if not his first defeat).
In this issue:
Peter is wandering around town, wondering if people are following him, and concerned that he may inadvertently reveal his secret identity. Meanwhile, J. Jonah Jameson is mumbling to himself in his office at the Daily Bugle, obsessing about Spider-Man and finally deciding that he needs to meet with a scientist who has apparently figured out how to cause artificial mutations. He convinces the man whom he hired to follow Peter (in hopes of finding Peter’s favourite photo subject, Spider-Man), Mac Gargan, to volunteer for an experiment which will give him the powers of a scorpion. The expieriment works, augmenting Gargan’s strength, and when combined with a scorpion costume, Gargan, now called the Scorpion, feels invulnerable. He heads out and confronts Spider-Man, defeating the young hero. Scorpion, flush with victory, decides to take over the city. He beats some cops, and he then ignores the scientist who gave him his powers, following which the scientist falls to his death. Spider-Man meets up with the scorpion for round two, and they battle. JJJ has second thoughts about his creation of a mutated supervillain when he finds out that the scientist is now dead, and he happens to be at the right place at the right time when Spider-Man defeats the Scorpion, taking credit for the superhero’s victory.
Assumed before the next episode:
People are wondering how a middle-aged newspaper published such as J. Jonah Jameson defeated an artificially enhanced, animal-themed supervillain.
This episode takes place:
After JJJ has “defeated” the Scorpion.