The Marvel universe has plenty of mutants (i.e. homo superior, like the X-Men) who are strongly hated by a sizable population. And Spider-Man on first glance isn't all that different from them. Several mutants are animal-based, like Wolverine, and his powers developed as a teenager. Heck, there was even a question on this very site where a poster had assumed that Spider-Man was a mutant (he is classified as a mutate instead, since he doesn't have the X-gene).

It seems to me that J. Jonah Jameson, editor-in-chief at the Daily Bugle (who has been hell-bent on informing the public that Spider-Man is a menace ever since The Amazing Spiderman #1) could just call Spider-Man a mutant (regardless of his own feelings towards mutants) and get all of the mutant-haters to hate Spidey overnight. Sure, he may not have proof to back it up his claim, but that's no different than anything else the editor has written about him.

This would also further his goal of getting Spider-Man get arrested, as there have at various times been sanctioned government persecution towards mutants. And yet I've never seen him do this in anything that I've read.

So has J. Jonah Jameson ever accused Spider-Man of being a mutant? If so, why did he stop? And if not, why hasn't he?

(I'm mostly interested in the Earth-616 universe, a.k.a. mainstream Marvel comics, but if there are any relevant instances in other universes, I'm open to hearing them).

  • Probably because he wasn't born that way, he was exposed to a mutagen. However, is there any evidence that JJJ would know what a "mutant" was? Is there crossover into the spidey 'verse from the mutant 'verse?
    – JohnP
    Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 19:52
  • 3
    @JohnP Spiderman and the X-men take place in the same universe.
    – Rogue Jedi
    Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 19:58
  • @RogueJedi - Thanks. I'm only peripherally familiar with all the crossovers.
    – JohnP
    Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 20:02
  • 1
    @JohnP They are distinct universes in the movies due to licensing issues (Marvel sold the movie rights for X-Men to Fox and has not gotten them back), but in the comics and other media, they are the same universe and frequently reference each other. For instance, both Wolverine and Spider-Man have been members of The Avengers. Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 20:04
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    @Nerrolken If they don't know his origin, then they have no proof that he's not a mutant, so nobody could refute the claim if JJJ wanted to make it. Heck, the odds were far better that he would be born a mutant than that he would just happen to be bitten by a radioactive spider! Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 20:11

3 Answers 3


J. Jonah Jameson doesn't dislike Spiderman because he has powers. He dislike him because he wears a mask (among other reasons).

J.J.J. was in fact very big on civil rights. "For decades Jameson used his newspaper to crusade in support of civil rights for minority groups" (from his Marvel Wiki page.) He also used his news paper to crusade against the KKK.

He was not anti-mutant and took an aggressive stance against Presidential candidate Graydon Creed because of Creed's anti-mutant policy.

So no, Jameson would never use the term "Mutant" negatively.

  • 3
    Not being anti-mutant has nothing to do with whether or not he believes Spider-Man is a mutant.
    – phantom42
    Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 23:13
  • I personally think Jameson's hatred for Spiderman has roots so firmly placed within his own personal insecurities and issues that he would never accuse him of anything he didn't actually think he did.
    – Ender
    Commented Sep 1, 2015 at 0:05
  • 2
    @phantom42 While you're right about it not explaining if he believes that Spider-Man is a mutant, it does give a plausible reason why he wouldn't make a foundless accusation of Spider-Man being a mutant with the goal of getting the mutant-haters on his side (some of which are pretty similar to the KKK in quite a few ways). Commented Sep 1, 2015 at 0:56
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    @phantom42 You can go further than what Thunderforge says. In light of this answer, JJJ would actively avoid calling him a mutant because it would associate Spiderman with a persecuted group. That would make JJJ look like the bad guy, in his own eyes. Additionally, it could hurt the cause of mutants that he views as unjustly persecuted and would hurt his ability to help them; people would start to associate all the negative things he says about Spiderman with the mutant "class".
    – jpmc26
    Commented Sep 1, 2015 at 1:35
  • @Ender "he would never accuse him of anything he didn't actually think he did" JJJ has actively set up Spidey in all sorts of ways over the years, including framing him for crimes and anything else it takes to take him down.
    – Alex M
    Commented Jun 8, 2021 at 20:35

As far as I know, Jonah never published any articles accusing Spider-Man of being a mutant. However, in Amazing Spider-Man #282, he suggested Spider-Man was a mutant while hiring X-Factor to capture him.

Image 1 Image 2

Jonah later indicated that he didn't actually care whether Spider-Man was a mutant or not; it appears he just said what he did to get X-Factor to take the job.

Image 3

As Nu'Daq mentioned, there was also a back-up story in Amazing Spider-Man #365, where Jonah was shown making tape-recorded notes for his autobiography. While recording one of these tapes, he entertained various theories regarding Spider-Man's origin, speculating that he could be "an alien... or one of those blasted mutants!"

Image 4

Click images to enlarge.

  • 2
    Awesome job digging up these comic panels!
    – Skooba
    Commented Jan 24, 2020 at 20:58
  • @Skooba Thanks! I'm a huge Spidey nerd, so trivia like this is right up my street. Commented Jan 24, 2020 at 22:04

Actually he has- in the mid-90's someone showed me a Spider-Man comic featuring a story titled 'How I Created Spider-Man' (sorry I don't have the Issue number, I think it was Amazing Spider-Man series specifically) where Jameson ponders Spider-Man's origin out loud while talking into a tape recorder- Jameson says "Could be he's an alien- or one of those blasted mutants." He also had a third hypothesis closer to the mark but wrote it off as "too bizzare".

  • 2
    I'd be very interested to know more about this situation, but it really needs to be more concrete before I decide if I want to upvote it. Commented Sep 1, 2015 at 0:52
  • Basically Jameson records his biased opinion of the first apperances of Spider-man, occasionally paired with the same scenes but from Peter Parker's perspective. Example #1: a masked Peter takes part in amateur wrestling to test his strength and speed- JJ says he only cared about the prize money. #2: Peter designing his webshooters- Jameson accuses him (Spider-Man that is) of stealing or buying them from someone else. I'd like to give you more but this was 20 years ago, I'm surprised I remember as much as I do.
    – Nu'Daq
    Commented Sep 1, 2015 at 1:29

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