Jonah vs. Jonah #1
It’s no secret that J Jonah Jameson is the greatest journalist of all time. Both Nick and Sam count themselves amongst his disciples, but have taken different paths in their quests to become the best damn Jonahs they can be. Sam has taken the path of the J.K. Simmons live-action Jonah, and has begun founding his own media empire and talking as fast as possible. Nick has opted instead for the way of comic book Jonah, and has set about having heart attacks and demanding pictures of Spider-Man from anyone who will listen. Both men have adopted Jonah’s love of Scotch, and his penchant for shouting at anyone named “Parker,” “Brant,” or especially “Urich.”
Now, for your amusement, the two Jonahs answer the questions YOU asked (or, on slow weeks, the questions they made up like any good newspaper man would).
Interview conducted and transcribed by yours truly, Ben Urich. Lucky me.
Question #1: “Really?”
N. Jonah Jameson: Yes, really. As soon as Miss Brant brings me my coffee. So, hopefully, some time before the heat-death of the Universe.
J. Sam Jameson: Absolutely! If that moron Osborn can hold ridiculously dangerous weapons tests with no safety supervision, we can answer some damn questions!
J. Sam Jameson: Nick, m’boy, this question is so ludicrously easy I assume one of the secretary pool guilted Urich into typing it for her. Which, incidentally, means that instead of a bonus this year for Urich, I’ll just buy you more Scotch!
N. Jonah Jameson: ‘Fraid I can’t let you do that; I’ve already spent Urich’s bonus on fine Cuban cigars. And Spider-Slayers.
J. Sam Jameson: Ha! Fantastic! And speaking of Fantastic, I’ve been loving Hickman’s Fantastic Four, though it turns out the Future Foundation will be featuring that wall-crawling menace as a replacement for that wonderful Human Torch kid. If we’re lucky, he’ll be used as Galactus-bait in the first 3 pages and I can get back to enjoying my comic! I’m also keeping up with Secret Warriors and the SHIELD miniseries that are by Hickman as well. Batman Inc., X-Men Legacy and Uncanny X-Force are on my monthly pull list, as are The Darkness (when that buffoon Silvestri remembers he’s in charge of a comic book company), the current Silver Surfer mini by Greg Pak and Stephen Segovia, The Boys, and Deadpool. I’m positive I’m reading more, but that web-headed imbecile just swung by and I spilled my coffee on my desk. *AHEM* Ms. Brant!
N. Jonah Jameson: The best work on the shelf today has got to be Mark Waid’s Irredeemable and Incorruptible, which showcase just what a menace so-called “heroes” like Spider-Man can turn into if we don’t keep an eye on them. Alex Grecian’s Proof is fantastic whenever those boneheads at Image can meet their shipping dates. Ditto for Kirkman’s Invincible. Pretty much any time alleged Greek God Hercules turns up is great fun; man knows how to drink, and it wasn’t that long ago he dropped a couple dozen cars on that smug webheaded malcontent. Magneto’s more or less the only thing keeping me reading Uncanny X-Men, but he’s damned sure keeping me reading it. Ditto for Fantomex over in Uncanny X-Force. A lot of people are doing good work in Gotham City these days as well, though Judd Winnick certainly isn’t one of ‘em. I’d like to give special mention to Bryan Q Miller and Grant Morrison, who stand alone at DC Comics as men (along with Gail Simone, who stands, and does most other things I assume, as a woman) who remember that comic books are supposed to be fun.
J. Sam Jameson: Whoa, whoa, whoa! How do we know that bald Scottish “do-gooder” isn’t actually working with Miller to sabotage everyone else’s comics with his Wiccan Eurotrash voodoo? The man’s a druggie who believes in Tibetan aliens, for goodness’ sake! In fact, I can say without a shadow of a doubt, I have never seen Grant Morrison and Spider-Man in the same room together. On the other hand, Urich keeps telling me he actually has something called “rights” when I’ve bludgeoned him with his own nameplate again, so what do I know about what’s real or not, whether it’s legitimately good Batman comics or a broken man’s dignity! You’re damn right about those comics being fun, though, which is something this industry desperately needs.
N. Jonah Jameson: I’ll tell you what the industry needs! More editorial integrity and less Spider-Man! While I’ll grudgingly admit the web-heads’ managed to entertain the masses every now and then (no doubt as part of some scheme to pull the wool over the eyes of the American public. It won’t work on me, though. As a cautionary measure, I’ve decided to have a lit cigar in my mouth at all times. I have it on good authority that both wool and Spider-Man are flammable.), time and again he’s crowded other, nobler heroes off the shelves. Also, I won’t stand for another pejorative against Grant Morrison, or any other Scotsman for that matter. Scots are the finest people on this Earth: they invented Scotch. And besides, they have Sean Connery; it’s bad business to tick them off.
J. Sam Jameson: Fantastic idea! I myself tend to just make sure Urich’s pulled proofreader duty if the Rhino ends up near the Daily Bugle building, and plan on simply throwing his depressed, listless mass into the path of whichever costumed nincompoop gets closest. And Hell’s bells, you’re exactly right about the Scotch, I’d almost forgotten! I redact any and all negative statements about that gentleman and scholar Grant Morrison and demand he be knighted posthaste!
Verdict: Grant Morrison’s good, Scotch is better.
N. Jonah Jameson: First of all, it’s Mr. Jameson you wrinkled old never-was. Call me Jonah again and your next paycheck’s going to those starving kids in Ghudaza. Second of all, there’s bucketloads more deserving than that wall-crawling pest. But, if I have to pick just one, (and passing on folks who are least getting work in team-up books, like the everlovin’ blue eyed Thing, or in their own series, regardless of how terrible, like T’Challa, the Black Panther) I’d have to say vampire detective Hannibal King. Marvel’s been trying their darndest to figure out “noir”, and I think letting King bust a few deserving (web)heads around town will get them there.
J. Sam Jameson: Now, Nickelby, you know I respect you as a newspaperman and as a snappy dresser. But I have to absolutely disagree with your decision there. Of all the heroes being bullrushed off the market for that creepy web-slinger to have more press before his movie with that goofy British kid comes out, I would say Cable is getting the shortest end of the red and blue webbed stick. Sure, his history is convoluted and he is the epitome of excess in the 1990s, but Mike Carey and Duane Swierczynski were doing some interesting things with him in the X-Men titles and his own named series, turning him from a typical meathead soldier into an excellent father figure and a mysterious protector.
N. Jonah Jameson: I’m sorry, Samuel, but I’m afraid I couldn’t hear you over the sound of how wrong you are. That ‘roided-up chump couldn’t hold King’s trench coat. That lunatic Deadpool dragged him through his only decent runs, and has been thriving without him. Newsflash, pal, the 90s are over and not a moment too soon. Cable needs to be shipped off to whatever island they’ve been keeping punks like Adam X the X-Treme and Spidercide, or DC’s Gunfire, stashed. And he needs to stay there. We should probably nuke the island, just to be safe.
J. Sam Jameson: I wholeheartedly agree that the 90s are over, which is fine, since Cable hasn’t acted like a typical “extreme” dunce since The Shattering, I’m almost positive. But you have to face facts now, they were working on changing his character for the better, and taking him in directions that a Rob Liefeld creation had no business travelling. I’m speaking specifically of something I just made up and patented called “Quality-Land”, the magical place where characters you’ve incorrectly written off as dumb go to become good. You’re welcome to the opinion that pointy-toothed Sam Spades need more shelf-space, and in any other venue I might agree. But this question demands that I put my integrity on the line and tell the truth you’re afraid to: Cable was becoming a fantastic character, and we don’t need more Spider-Man books preventing us from exploring his further adventures!
N. Jonah Jameson: I’ve seen him kill Apocalypse (another non-starter who gives the rest of the mutants a bad name). I’ve seen him time travel pointlessly. I’ve seen him carry guns twice the size of his absurdly over-muscled, duct-tape wrapped arm. I’ve seen him lead teams of also-ran mutants I don’t care about who drop like flies. He’s got a limited playbook, and we’ve all read it. It’s in large print and uses small words, so his fans can understand it. The guy hasn’t carried a good story on his own since the last time Urich had a date. And to make things worse, he’s one of that Summers bunch, who seem to have some sort of allergy to personality or charisma. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I don’t read Cable books. I have one I keep by my bedside for those nights when I’ve had too many cups of coffee (meaning the days Miss Brant calls in sick and the temp agency sends over someone competent), and it puts me right out.
J. Sam Jameson: Now see here. Insult Urich’s pitiful love life all you want, but I won’t take any libel against the Summers clan. Sure, one of them went bonkers and decided to take over a space-bird empire, but you have to admit, the rest of the family has one thing going for them that you can’t deny. Know what that is?
N. Jonah Jameson: They’re not Urich?
J. Sam Jameson: OK, two things. The one I was talking about, though, is that none of them are Spider-Man. And that’s a truth fit to print!
N. Jonah Jameson: Hey, I hate Spider-Man as much as humanly possible (and maybe even more than that; I think having a space-werewolf son makes me some sort of honorary space-werewolf, and therefore more than human. Will have to check into that), but at least the wall-crawler evokes an emotional response. The only thing I feel when I read about Cable is bored.
J. Sam Jameson: I think you’re mistaking “reading Cable” with “listening to Parker ask for a raise.” I find it difficult to believe you could be bored reading about a man being consumed by his own body while trying to protect and raise the messiah of his race.
N. Jonah Jameson: Giving him an adorable kid sidekick with a stupid name doesn’t give the man personality. How many times better would that story have been headlined by Magneto? All the times, that’s how many!
J. Sam Jameson: Ah, I must be slipping as a journalist, because I completely failed to notice when Nick left and was replaced by Chris “I Hate New Ideas” Claremont. Your love of boring villains aside, the man had personality, such as an indomitable will, a drive to succeed, and a metal arm. That, mixed together, equals a hero for our times! A man to challenge all evil doers! A man to punch Spider-Man in the face with a metal fist! And that is surely the greatest gift of them all.
N. Jonah Jameson: See, that’s the difference between you and me, SamueLiefeld, you want other people to do your metal-fisted Spider-punching for you. Me, I build Spider-Slayers so I can do it myself. Like a real man, not one who has a sparkly eye and breasts bigger than Power Girl.
J. Sam Jameson: It’s always the Spider-Slayers with you, isn’t it? How’d that last batch turn out?
N. Jonah Jameson: Well, admittedly they were only simple, soulless robots, but they still had more personality than Cable.
J. Sam Jameson: Touche, alternate universe version of me. Well played.
Verdict: None reached.
Question #4: “Spider-Man: Hero or Menace?”
J. Sam Jameson: Menace!
N. Jonah Jameson: Menace!
J. Sam Jameson: Get us pictures! Pictures of Spider-Man! Being punched in the face by Sean Connery!!
Send your questions (and pictures, if you got ‘em) to: firstname.lastname@example.org