One of the staples of The Amazing Spider-Man is that Peter Parker sells pictures of Spider-Man to J. Jonah Jameson at the Daily Bugle for money. The irritable editor frequently underpays him, and Peter occasionally threatens to sell to other newspapers in order to strike a deal.

For instance, here is a scene from The Amazing Spider-Man #38:

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If the Globe and other papers would pay more, and Peter doesn't have any particular loyalty to JJJ, why does he sell his photos to him, rather than the competing papers?

  • Because he'd like a staff job and selling pictures to the competition is a sure-fired way to make sure that never happens?
    – Valorum
    Commented May 22, 2016 at 18:02
  • According to the wiki, he's sold pictures to the Globe on numerous occasions and even had a salaried job there under Editor Barney Bushkin.marvel.wikia.com/wiki/Daily_Globe_(Earth-616)
    – Valorum
    Commented May 22, 2016 at 18:05
  • dialbforblog.com/archives/695/asm27new-buyer.jpg
    – Valorum
    Commented May 22, 2016 at 18:06
  • comicsrecommended.com/images/fourteen/…
    – Valorum
    Commented May 22, 2016 at 18:08
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    @Valorum In the first 40 issues of Amazing Spider-Man that I've read, I think he sells pictures to the Globe once and to Jameson about two dozen times. So if he did sell to the Globe, he didn't do it at the start of his web-slinging career, which goes back to the question of why. Commented May 22, 2016 at 19:53

3 Answers 3


Because the truth is while the Globe can pay twice the money for the photos, that's only if they actually do buy the photos.

Publishing photos on a large and prestigious newspaper is not as easy as it may sound and it definitively doesn't happen every day. In order for the Globe to pay for the photos they need to be really good and unique and illustrate an event the Globe is interested in running on front page or on a page with enough importance to justify paying the specified rate (and that they don't have a photo already, be it an archive photo, an in-house photoreporter photo or something else).

The Daily Bugle is a sure to go place to sell pictures of Spider-Man because Jonah Jameson is obsessed with Spider-Man and the whole editorial line of the Daily Bugle is too. That means that they overflow their readers with stories about Spider-Man and thus, there's a much higher chance they want the photos to publish a story about it.

Disrespecting of their poses, both want the same thing. Jonah wants the photos but pretends those are really bad to pay less for them. Peter says he can sell them to the Globe but that is only true if the Globe is actually interested in them... and they may not.

The truth is even in a particular situation the Globe is interested in your photo and you know it will pay more for it, you still have to offer them to Jonah first as to not damage your relationship with the newspaper that buys the most of your photos in a regular basis.

  • Are there examples of the Globe actually refusing pictures?
    – Taladris
    Commented May 23, 2016 at 12:46
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    The Globe regularly publish stories about Spider - man, just not hatchet jobs.
    – Valorum
    Commented May 23, 2016 at 13:07
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    To clarify, yes, the Globe does run stories about Spiderman but the volume of stories the Daily Bugle runs is way higher... In fact Jonah has been shown to run stories against Spiderman even against the advice of their senior staff. Commented May 23, 2016 at 14:51
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    The Globe seems more like the New York Times whilst the Bugle more of a tabloid like the New York Post or the National Enquirer that would have a lower bar of journalism. Commented Jul 24, 2019 at 18:56

Simple answer: Loyalty.

To the Bugle itself, of course, yes. But also... personal loyalty specifically to it's publisher, J. Jonah Jameson.

I know it may not seem as such on page, but believe it or not, Peter and JJ have a very long, very complicated, but also very deep, close relationship with each other. This goes beyond their long-standing Boss/Employee interaction at the Bugle, and into a kind of "Grumpy Uncle/ Well meaning Nephew" sort of vibe. While Jonah has taken personal issue with Spider-Man for years, and has busted Peter's chops on more than one occasion, Jameson has also been one of Peter's most staunch supporters and male influences on a personal level.

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Let me elaborate...

Given Marvel's sliding timeline in "our" 616 universe, Peter Parker is now in either his late 20s or early 30s. He and Jonah have known each other all those years, seeing each other almost daily during that time. Jonah has often (out of ear shot, or begrudgingly) called Peter his "best photographer." In most iterations, Peter started freelancing for Jonah when he was only 15....

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Now this might be something of a minor ret-con, but it does fall in line with what we know about JJ throughout the years: for all of his cheapness and irascibility, Jonah has pretty much always been a man of integrity who values hard work, tries to fight against evil and stands by what he believes in. And even if he is a blow hard who works them to the bone, Jameson usually goes out of his way to (low key) help or defend his employees.

Example: Remember in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man when the Green Goblin bursts in, demanding to know "Who is the photographer who takes the pictures of Spider-Man!" and Peter is literally right there? You'd think the smart thing to do would be just to give this inhuman freak the information he wants. But still...without pause, ....Jameson tries to throw the baddy off the kid's trail, even willingly endangering himself in the process.

Yeah, that's right: when facing a super-villian who could snap him like a twig, Jonah didn't cower, thought nothing of himself and protected an innocent. And this isn't a "rare" occurrence in comics or other media; that's just kind of the "often overlooked part" of Jameson's character....

Keep in mind, at this point, Peter had only been working for the guy for a few weeks, at best. But Jameson's sense of justice and his own moral code just wouldn't let him give up a kid---- especially not someone under his ambit---- to an obviously dangerous, violent criminal. He straight up denied knowing the "mystery photographer" 3 times; not only was that loyal, but it was brave as hell considering that the Goblin literally had him by the neck!

Next, it's been implied that JJ "sees a lot of himself" in Peter; Jameson started at the Bugle years ago as a "Cub reporter", and has (in his own way, usually involving a lot of shouting) tried to foster Peter to do his best at it; bring in the best shots, report facts (save where "Spider Menace" is concerned) and use the "Power of the Press" to actually do some good. Even in the early comic days, he'd encourage Peter in subtle ways, as it mutually benefited them both.

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I believe it was Robbie Robertson who pointed this out to Peter as a teen, but by the time he'd gotten to college, Peter had developed a genuine respect for Jameson. It's one of the reasons why, even when he was working as a teacher and didn't necessarily need the money, he still would take pictures for the Bugle.

Which brings up the other point: Even though he technically "freelances" as a photographer, Peter has always been "Bugle Staff" at heart. He likely views the Daily Bugle not only as an honest news house, but also as his "home", the place that kept him going financially for years and gave him his start in the business. This is likely why he'd tend to give them "first shot" at buying his work over other media houses; after working with them for between 10-15 years, that kind of allegiance to the company is to be expected.

But it's more than just "professional loyalty" to the paper I'm speaking of here; Peter's loyalty to Jonah himself runs very deep, even given their personal differences. Peter will be the first person to admit that JJ is a cheapskate, a demanding boss, and an occasional pain the ass...but he's also stood up for Jonah against the likes of Wilson Fisk and others who have come against him. Peter, Robby Robertson and sometimes Betty Brant are usually the people to let others know that there's always been more to J. Jonah Jameson than a cigar-chomping skinflint.

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In terms of their personal relationship, as well as business, again... Jameson has backed Peter's endeavors towards growth, almost in a parental way.

In various instances, he has (both directly and secretly), aided Peter when he's needed it; he has sought out medical treatment and even helped to pay for May Parker's expenses; he chipped in for elements of the Parker's wedding; at one point (I searched for a reference, but couldn't find it) when Peter Parker was on trial, it was Jonah who paid his attorney fees....there's even a version where JJ was willing to fund a young Parker's college education.

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All of these examples again show that, deep down, Jonah is a good man, and that he has developed both a fondness and respect for Peter Parker over the years. That kind of decency and care would naturally spark a certain amount of respect an fealty in a guy like Peter, who initially had so few people in his corner.

As Pete became an adult---- and Jonah's "crusade" against Spider-Man became a "norm" and he grew ever grouchier---- Peter would get even more evidence of his boss/mentor-friends underlying good nature. As such, even when JJ was at his meanest and most crochety, Peter rarely took it personally because, by then, he knew Jonah was someone he could trust, and even count on. Yes that relationship grew from avuncular to more of a man-to-man respect due to age, but the uncle/nephew dynamic never really totally changed... save for Peter becoming a bit more of a "good humored troll" to Jonah.

Not only did Pete have the knowledge that he was essentially making money by taking selfies, but as an grown up, he was less intimidated by JJs bluster. So he would purposefully poke fun at the old guy's grouchy, almost tsundere nature. That kind of teasing usually only happens between folks who are close or have a good rapport....

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This personal regard and closeness doesn't just extend to JJ, though; on some level, Peter probably has similar feelings for all the Bugle senior staff.

Considering everything they have been through together, this again, makes sense; Peter dated Betty Brant for years, and even when she married Ned Leeds---a Bugle reported and also friend---- he stood up for them at their wedding. He's always been close to Joe Robertson, seeing him as one of his "best friends" and wise counsel, and he's on a first name basis with a lot of long time workers at the paper. So even if Jonah himself left the Bugle, but these people were still there, he would likely still consider the paper a sort of second home.

There's a lot of reasons all of these people mentioned have been included on the lists of "Peter Parkers closest friends and loved ones" for years...

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Some of the non-hero people who have had the biggest impact on Peter Parker's life, including (from left to right): Capt George Stacy, Harry Osborn, Gwen Stacy, Mrs. Anna Watson, Mary-Jane Watson, Aunt May Parker, Ned Leads, Betty Brant-Leads, Joseph "Robbie" Robertson, and of course, J. Jonah Jameson

In very real ways, the Bugle staff is very much like an extended family to Peter. Remember that, after Uncle Ben's death, Aunt May was the only family he had; as a teenager, he had few friends; as a crime fighter, he wasn't part of any group like the X-Men or Avengers until his college years (either the Spider-Friends or a Reserve Avenger, depending on continuity). By his late teen years, though, the Daily Bugle was full of people whom he had developed close ties with, yet weren't "directly" involved in his life's craziness. To Peter, that newspaper is more than a "job"; it's a space he shares with a group of people whom he could count on, and who respect him.

They even formed some of his core guests at his wedding to Mary Jane, along with now best-bud Harry Osborn and "Frienemy" Flash Thompson...

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In this context, Peter's loyalty--- both to Jonah, and to the Bugle--- is more understandable.

Speaking of weddings, and of how close Peter is to Jonah personally ...they were even legally related at one point! JJ's dad, J. Jonah Jameson Sr, was actually married to Peter's Aunt May for a while!

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Both men participated in the wedding, with JJ even officiating! Peter then, like the quick-witted troll he is, joked about them being "related now" so, "can I borrow 50 bucks?" , which naturally made Jonah almost blow a fuse right there in the ceremony...

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Just look at the shit-eating grin on Peter's face; long time readers cannot deny that on some level, Peter Parker has a lot of love for this man. Even comics made after this point show them getting along very well...

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Concurrently, there are even What if? comics that show them working together as father and son. In this alternate universe tale, both Aunt May and Jonah's son, John, die as a result of a space shuttle crash; this leaves JJ without a child and Peter without a parental figure. So Jonah ends up adopting Peter, and... while Pete isn't initially too happy about it... by the end of the story, he and Jonah actually become a crime-fighting duo, with JJ encouraging the "Spider Man" to show the human face instead of hiding behind a full mask (one of the problems 616 Jonah has with secret heroes in general, and Spidey in particular).

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Now to be completely fair, this doesn't mean these men haven't had serious issues with each other or that that loyalty hasn't been tested. I'm going to quote a quick article written on it where I got the picture:

Before the "One More Day" storyline blew Spider-Man continuity to smithereens, Spider-Man's secret identity was public knowledge as the result of his unmasking in Civil War. This came as a massive shock to Peter's longtime employer, who promptly collapsed from the reveal. Not only that, but he fired his longtime Editor in Chief Robbie Robertson for his defense of Peter's activities as Spider-Man.

Upon learning this info, Peter confronted Jonah in an abandoned building, and their decades-in-the-making confrontation unfolded. By the end of it, Jonah dropped the lawsuit that he filed against Peter and he rehired Robbie back. Oh, and he beat the hell out of Spider-Man as Peter let him vent all his frustration out on him. Naturally, Peter left the scene unharmed, but we're sure Jonah would want the scoreboard to read Jameson 1, Spider-Man 0. enter image description here

The fact that Pete would face Jonah and let him wail on him just to work things out between them says a lot about their relationship; it meant enough to him that he would face JJ head on, and find a way to work out their differences.

Now to my understanding, JJ is no longer with the Bugle, so if Peter is still peddling his pictures there, it would likely be only because of his standing reputation and relationship with the paper itself. However, despite old cotton top not being publisher anymore, his regard for Jonah remains still ever present; this was shown in Spectacular Spider-Man #6 by Chip Zdarsky, when Peter unmasked himself to JJ ....

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A large reason why Jameson hates Spider-Man is that he can't put a face to what is, technically a law-breaker. However, at present time in the comics, Jameson is actually Spider-Man's largest public supporter. Why is that?... Spider-Man finally agreed to a sit-down interview with Jameson. They had the expected back and forth throughout the issue, but it ended shockingly with Peter revealing his secret identity to his former boss. With this new knowledge, Jonah finally put the pieces together and became Spider-Man's biggest public ally.

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I haven't been keeping up as much, but my guess is that even if Jonah, Robby and Betty are no longer with the Bugle, he'd still give the paper "First crack" at some pictures or a story (after Jameson's podcast, of course) due to his long standing history with the paper. Peter has always proven to be both trustworthy and a stead fast friend in most iterations, so simple loyalty to the paper that has done so much for him over two decades----if not to the people in particular who mean so much to him-----would likely be a way more major motivating factor than mere money.

Then again, the guy does own Parker Industries, right? So unless something has changed, I doubt money is still a real issue to Peter anymore, anyway.

  • 1
    Wow! About the only thing I can add is that in one of the '90s Marvel-DC crossover events, there was a direct parallel drawn between JJJ and Perry White, with them showing the same regard for and loyalty to their staff, and even being drawn similarly.
    – user888379
    Commented Sep 27, 2020 at 20:52
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    Jonah arranged to pay Peter's legal fees in SPIDER-MAN Vol 1 #57, part of the Trial of Peter Parker storyline, during the Clone Saga. Interestingly, he also asked for it to kept confidential, and feigned a lack of concern about Peter's fate in front of Joe Robertson. Commented Sep 27, 2020 at 22:28
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    Also, Peter dissolved Parker Industries a while ago, to prevent Dr. Octopus (who started the company whilst in Peter's body) from gaining access to it's resources. And even when Peter was running the company, he capped his salary at middle-management level, so he didn't get rich out of it. Oh, and one more thing: it's Ned Leeds, not Leads. :-) Commented Sep 27, 2020 at 22:39
  • @user888379 The Amalga event, yeah, I remember. Perry has always been more approachable and less penny pinching, but bot were hard boiled, somewhat grouchy old school news men who cared about their staff like family. Good call.
    – Russhiro
    Commented Sep 27, 2020 at 23:23
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    @Russhiro - In the process of dissolving Parker Industries, Peter ordered the destruction of all it's technology around the world, and put his many employees out of work. To help make amends, he liquidated the company's assets in order to pay out various settlements. See AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #790 for details. And to tie things back into your answer, after a few weeks out of work and crashing on Mockingbird's couch, Peter was rehired by Joe Robertson as the Daily Bugle's science editor. Commented Sep 28, 2020 at 0:00

Well there seems to be no clear reason other than a really messed up relationship!

It's complicated (spoilers ahead) - mostly taken from http://marvel.wikia.com/wiki/John_Jonah_Jameson_(Earth-616)

It all seems to have started when Jameson bought the Bugle and used it to fight against crime -

For decades Jameson used his newspaper to crusade in support of civil rights for minority groups and against organized crime. His efforts in the latter area led to his nearly being killed on orders of the Kingpin of Crime. However, Jameson's brush with death did not frightened him away from publishing attacks on and exposes of organized crime

This just set him up to hate Spider-Man when he moved from >! entertainment to crime fighting

Spider-Man first came to public attention as an entertainer who used his powers to perform on television and stage. But when Spider-Man captured a burglar, Jameson became outraged that this masked entertainer would use his dangerous powers to take the law into his own hands. Jameson began speaking out against Spider-Man in his lectures and newspaper editorials. Jameson raised enough public doubt about the mysterious Spider-Man's motivations that Spider-Man was blacklisted virtually overnight by the entertainment industry.

Later -

Managing to save the younger Jameson, the elder Jameson then publicly accused Spider-Man of sabotaging the capsule in order to save it as a publicity stunt, and denounced his illegal break-in at the military base. As a result, Spider-Man became an outlaw. Shortly after this, he hired a young photographer named Peter Parker who sold him pictures of Spider-Man's fight with the Vulture, never realizing that Parker and Spider-Man were the same person.

Then there is the fact that

At least once, Jameson has come to the realization that he detests Spider-Man for being the self-sacrificing hero Jameson hates himself for not being

This all explains why he hates Spidey and as far as I can see the logic on Spideys half of the relationship does not make half as much sense. After Jamerson has ruined his career

Jameson began speaking out against Spider-Man in his lectures and newspaper editorials. Jameson raised enough public doubt about the mysterious Spider-Man's motivations that Spider-Man was blacklisted virtually overnight by the entertainment industry.

and makes him a wanted fugitive he goes and works for the Bugle.

As a result, Spider-Man became an outlaw. Shortly after this, he hired a young photographer named Peter Parker who sold him pictures of Spider-Man's fight with the Vulture, never realizing that Parker and Spider-Man were the same person.

Saves his life (twice) -

Jonah yelled at Peter, causing Peter to snap and yell back, stating that his photographs kept the Bugle selling while Jonah raked in the profits and paid Peter a pittance. This caused Jonah to yell at Peter again, but he stopped short and had a heart attack. Peter gave Jonah CPR until the paramedics arrived, who rushed Jonah to the hospital.

Then there was later when -

Peter, as Spider-Man, paid a visit, and accidentally let slip that the Daily Bugle has sold to Dexter Bennett, which caused Jonah to have another heart attack, forcing Spidey to once again give him CPR. Jonah did not, surprisingly, blame Spider-Man but instead he just kept on muttering, "Dexter Bennett".

The only reason I can see for Spider-Man to wanting to work for Jamerson, Beyond the idea of keeping an eye on him and what new way he is planning to get Spider-Man was because in some strange way he found it entertaining?

I mean in everything I have seen Spider-Man has had a strange sense of humour and the result was in the end this -

When Spider-Man unmasked to reveal himself to be Peter Parker, Jameson fainted dead away at the realization that the man he'd been calling a menace had been on his payroll for years.

Then there was this moment -

Jameson had always believed that between him and Peter Parker was a bond of trust and he had always regarded him as another son, the "last honest man" in the world; he had always bought his photos, even the ones that were poor, to help him in a discreet manner. After the public confession of Peter, he felt so betrayed and humiliated that it shattered their bond and he became determined to make Peter "pay", despite Parker (as enforcer) and Jameson both actively supporting the Super-Human Registration Act.

Spider-man - Surprise! (just me being funny!)

But once again things get complicated after

Doc Ock makes Jameson like Spider-Man

This happens:

Jameson later asked Spider-Man to oversee the execution of Alistair Smythe, the person who killed his wife, at the Raft in order to ensure that he does not break free. Smythe, indeed, tried to escape, but Otto killed him at the behest of Jameson. Spider-Man then forced Jameson into giving him the Raft, which caused Jameson to hate him once more.

And yet in strange ways he keeps Spider-Man safe -

Jonah aims the camera into Spidey and announces that now has come the time to reveal the face behind the mask of Spider-Man. Of course, his ego wouldn't allow this to actually happen, and he remained in the center of the camera's shot, blocking the view of Peter's face.

So in the end it is one complicated and messed up relationship!

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    Please don't post bare links to other sites that might die or change link structures. Also, a link to a 4,000 word page, most of which is irrelevant to the actual question isn't helpful, it's saying "go look for the answer yourself". Commented May 22, 2016 at 18:43
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    Sorry about the downvotes, Rincewind (not me), but the question could benefit from some quotes or other details.
    – Adamant
    Commented May 22, 2016 at 19:24
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    I want to see you get more upvotes here. :) Maybe you could add a quote?
    – Adamant
    Commented May 22, 2016 at 22:45
  • @Jonah Ok I added as little as I could! Last night I was just really not up to trying to boil the info down to a bait size bits that sort of cover everything!
    – Rincewind
    Commented May 23, 2016 at 5:59
  • I appreciate you revising your answer, but it's quite a lot of stuff, and it's hard to know what spoilers are okay to read and what one's not. I liked the simplicity of the other answer and so I accepted it, but perhaps this one will be valuable to others too. Commented May 23, 2016 at 22:58

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