Wednesday, July 27, 2016

366 Days with J. Jonah Jameson, Day 209: Crisis on Infinite Jonahs Week, Day 4: Jonah of Two Earths

Welcome to Crossover-Earth, aka Earth-7642, aka the One Where All Those DC/Marvel Crossover Events Took place, more or less, sorta. It's a world where Spider-Man and Superman work for competing newspapers, where two guys named Bruce can fight evil, where some titanic teens battle alongside the children of the atom, where Galactus eats Darkseid, and where Howard the Duck could team up with Detective Chimp, if only Marvel and DC didn't start getting ticked off at each other and pretty much put an end to all those inter-company hoopla. Yep, I'm talking about what started off in 1976's Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man, comics' first appearance of Earth-7642. I'm not certain why they didn't call it Earth-617 (1 + 616), but hey, that's why Carmine Infantino made the big bucks. And it wouldn't be an earth we could enjoy if it didn't have J. Jonah Jameson up to his usual old penny-pinching tricks. (Buckle in, kids, this is gonna be an extensive one!)

Panels from Superman vs. The Amazing Spider-Man one-shot (January 1976), script by Gerry Conway, pencils by Ross Andru, Superman redraws by Neal Adams, Peter Parker/Marvel character redraws by John Romita Sr., inks by Dick Giordano, background inks by Terry Austin and Bob Wiacek, colors by Jerry Serpe, letters by Gaspar Saladino

Boy! I really hope somebody got fired for that blunder.

Oh! Whoops! The somebody who got fired was Peter Parker. Well, that'll teach you to stick with old-fashioned film over digital, Petey. Get with the times!

Then, extended intro section with Clark Kent, Lois Lane, Steve Lombard (whoopee) and Morgan Edge — remember, this was the era Clark worked for Galaxy Broadcasting as a news anchor for WGBS ("The Super(man)Station"). then, assemble the whole cast on stage! They all meet up at The Museum of Science and Industry The World News Conference a double-page spread. Hey, where's Dan Ackroyd and Jane Curtin from NBC's Weekend Update?

(Click picture to Broadcast News-size)

Peter, in the sweater Mrs. Weasley knitted for him at Christmas, finally grows a Spider-backbone and tells his ex-boss off. Next, he dressed down Flash Thompson, and then kicked Aunt May in her bad hip. I am Spider, hear me roar!

While obviously Pete 'n' Clark (and Spidey and Supes) will mix it up a lot in this story, there actually isn't a lot of crossover between JJJ and his Earth-Dc equivalent, except for this kinda lovely scene where he and Morgan Edge drown their sorrows in alcohol, the primary source of — and letter to the editor to — all journalism.

Ew, I don't wanna hear anything about Morgan Edge "letting it all hang out."

A more complete (and traditional) blending and mash-up of the books' distinct cast of supporting characters would have to wait for the follow-up five years later, where Pete's once again in Dutch with JJJ. But this time, Jonah has one of those posters of Superman you could mail away for up on his wall instead of a photo of Conan. Not seen on the other wall: that one of Farrah Fawcett, and a "Hang In There, Baby" cat poster.

Panels from Marvel Treasury Edition #28 [Superman and Spider-Man] (July 1981); script by Jim Shooter,; plot suggestions by Marv Wolfman; pencils by John Buscema; figure inks by Joe Sinnott; background inks by (inhale) Terry Austin, Klaus Janson, Bob McLeod, Al Milgrom, Steve Leialoha, Walt Simonson, Bob Layton, Brett Breeding, Joe Rubinstein, and Bob Wiacek (exhale); colors by Glynis Wein; letters by Joe Rosen

Jimmy Olsen and Peter Parker share their photographers' sob stories over a cuppa joe down at a diner while there's a woman on the outside looking inside. Does she see them? No, she does not really see them, 'coz she sees her own reflection.

Perry White (hooray! It's not really a Superman story without Perry) finally decides maybe a Great Metropolitan Newspaper needs more than one photographer and hires Peter for work at The Daily Planet. A planet is definitely better than a bugle. Especially if you're Galactus. Maybe not so much if you're Chuck Mangione.

While, over at the Bugle, Jonah hires Clark Kent as his new star reporter. In the background, Ben Urich begins to plot his revenge.

Clark Kent (who, I should point out, is secretly the Man of Steel known as Superman) begins his first work day by pausing for thirty seconds to think himself up a monologue before he answers Robbie's simple question. Y'know, maybe that's why Lois thinks you're a bit of a drip, Clark.

At the Bugle, Clark scores himself a fancy office with a window and a locked door, which is a step up from the Planet, where he frequently had to change in storerooms. "Kent! Are you in there? I need the mop and bucket! And we're low on paper towels in the men's room!"

Superman seems to settle in pretty nicely in New York. Maybe he suddenly realized that after years in Smallviulle and Metropolis, it would be nice to live in a town that wasn't fictional. This extended stay in the Big Apple would account for the fact that Marvel Team-Up #101-102 featured Superman with Hawkeye and Mockingbird, and how he actually managed to join the Avengers and the New Defenders. Busy boy, our Kal is.

But in the end (oh yeah, there's some stuff in the middle with the Parasite and Doctor Doom too) the big giant Crossover-Earth cosmic reset button is pushed and everyone is back where they should be. Except for Jimmy Olsen, who got stuck in Doctor Strange's wardrobe and spent six years ruling Polemachus as "King Turtle-Boy the Wise."

Sadly, though, J. Jonah Jameson would never gain play such a major role in a Marvel/DC crossover book. There's some brief appearances during DC vs. Marvel (or, as we Marvel fanbulls knew it, Marvel vs. DC), where he's the editor-in-chief of the Daily Bugle, which I imagine had daily headlines of THE CREEPER: THREAT OR MENACE OR YELLOW GUY RUNNING AROUND IN HIS UNDERWEAR AND A FEATHER BOA?

Panels from DC vs. Marvel #1 (February 1996), script by Ron Marz with thanks to Peter David, pencils by Dan Jurgens, inks by Joe Rubinstein, colors by Gregory Wright, color separations by Digital Chameleon, letters by Bill Oakley

And he appears as J. Jonah Jameson in the Amalgam Universe's Earth-9602 as...J. Jonah Jameson. Aw, man, that's kind of lazy, Amalgam Universe. Why not Jonah White? Or P. Perry Pameson?

Panels from Spider-Boy #1 (April 1996), script by Karl Kesel, pencils by Mike Wieringo, inks by Karl Kesel and Gary Martin, colors by Joe Rosas, letters by Bill Oakley

Although the level of journalistic quality is about the same in this universe, which also included Amalgam-squished comic strips like Andy Capp and His Peanuts and Dilbert Does Brenda Starr, and a bridge column co-written by Omar Sharif and Ray Palmer.

Finally, although I couldn't find him in the story, I'm pretty sure JJJ must be in the dimension-spanning JLA/Avengers, since George Pçrez threw everybody else in. Here, you see if you can find him. My button eyes are too wide and shiny for that kind of detail work.

In short: J. Jonah Jameson — even Superman gets ticked off at him!

1 comment:

Dave said...

Where do you buy a green sports coat?