J. Jonah Jameson was raised as a child by Betty Jameson and his stepfather and uncle David. David was an officer of the United States Army, a war veteran decorated as a hero; at home, however, David regularly abused his wife and son. As a result, J. Jonah Jameson grew convinced that "No one's a hero every day of the week" and "Even the real heroes can't keep it up all the time." Jonah was a Boy Scout during his childhood. In high school, his interests were mainly boxing and photography. He met his first wife, Joan, when they both joined their high school's photo club. When the school's three top athletes started bullying him, he fought back and beat all three of them to a pulp. This impressed Joan, and they started dating. They married as soon as they finished school.
Jameson began his journalistic career by becoming a part-time reporter for New York City's Daily Bugle while he was still in high school. In college, Jonah started a rivalry with Barney Bushkin, the editor of a campus newspaper who rejected Jonah. Barney would grow up to become the publisher of the Daily Bugle's rival, the Daily Globe.
Becoming Daily Bugle Publisher
Eventually Jameson purchased then financially floundering Daily Bugle, with money obtained from his personal assets and large inheritance. Hence, the Bugle was now owned by Jameson's own company, Jameson Publications. Jameson served as the newspaper's publisher and editor in chief, and revitalized the photograph-dominated tabloid format. In 1968 Jameson's company purchased the Goodman Building on 39th Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan and moved its entire editorial and publishing facilities there. The building became known as the Daily Bugle Building. Jameson's wife Joan died at some point under unrevealed circumstances. She and her husband had only one child, John, who became an astronaut for NASA.
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 frighten him away from publishing attacks on, and exposes of, organized crime.
Later, Jameson became notorious for his editorial attacks against costumed "super heroes" in general, and against Spider-Man in particular. 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.
Soon afterwards, while John Jameson was on a mission orbiting Earth, his space capsule developed a faulty guidance module which caused the craft to spin out of control. Spider-Man and J. Jonah Jameson first met when the former went to a NASA office to volunteer his help in rescuing John Jameson. When Spider-Man managed to save the younger Jameson, the elder Jameson then publicly accused the superhero of sabotaging the capsule in order to save it as a publicity stunt, and then 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, not realizing that Parker and Spider-Man were the same person. Despite the fact that Peter's photos were amateurish, Jonah decided to bring him in, one of the reasons being that while making a background check he learned that Peter had lost his Uncle Ben not long before.
When the Vulture escaped from prison and resumed his crime spree, he attacked the Daily Bugle and demanded the money from their safe. Jonah refused and was rescued by Spider-Man but blamed him for the damage to the Daily Bugle building caused by the battle, so Spider-Man webbed his mouth shut.
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. However, this insight is apparently too painful for Jameson to bear, and he seems to ignore it. Jameson has continued his denunciations of Spider-Man over the years, basing them on his opposition to vigilantism. Although Jameson apparently dislikes all "super heroes," he presumably is more tolerant of those who work with the government, such as the Mighty Avengers. It should be noted that Jameson, a civil rights advocate, has never acted out of bigotry against superhuman beings; he does not, for example, share the widespread racial prejudice against superhuman mutants.
Despite Jameson's stand against vigilantism (which once even caused him to oppose Kraven the Hunter's idea of hunting down Spider-Man because he considered it illegal), he himself commissioned various secret attempts to bring Spider-Man to "justice." For example, Jameson had Dr. Farley Stillwell transform a man into the Scorpion to fight Spider-Man, and commissioned the creation of the first "Spider-Slayer" robots from Spencer Smythe to battle Spider-Man. He also once hired the second Mysterio to defeat Spider-Man but Mysterio ended up being defeated and sent to prison. Jameson quickly fled to France where he was kidnapped by the criminal known as the Cyclone. Still, he did not give up and hired Stillwell's brother Harlan who created the Fly who shot Stillwell and kidnapped Jameson to lure in Spider-Man.
Later while investigating a series of fires in Tenement blocks, he helped save Jake Carlton and his daughter Lucy. Afterwards he went to show his disgust to property developer Miles Warren, which ended in a restraining order against the Bugle. Still not finished with the Spider-Slayers, he hired Dr. Marla Madison to build him a Spider-Slayer robot, and subsequently fell in love with and married her. Despite the name of these robots, Jameson was no murderer, and sought only to capture and unmask Spider-Man, not to kill him.
The Hobgoblin tried to blackmail Jameson by publicly revealing his responsibility for creating the Scorpion, who is now a criminal menace. The Hobgoblin's scheme failed, but Jameson publicly revealed his guilt anyway, and, in expiation, resigned as the Daily Bugle's editor-in-chief, naming his city editor, Joseph Robertson, to succeed him. Jameson remained publisher of the Bugle, however, and took a very active role in its operations.
Jameson took an aggressive stance against Presidential candidate Graydon Creed, attacking him for his anti-mutant agenda and investigating the shadowy Operation Zero Tolerance, though he never managed to uncover the truth. Soon after this he was blackmailed into selling the Bugle to Norman Osborn after threats were made against his family; simultaneously, he was attacked and hounded by the super-villain Mad Jack. The time spent as a subordinate to Osborn took a heavy mental toll, almost driving him to attempted murder, but he was finally able to reclaim the Bugle after Osborn was driven underground by temporary insanity.
Jonah and Marla Madison also adopted their niece, Mattie Franklin, who unknown to them was also Spider-Woman. Mattie's secret was revealed, as, while searching for Jessica Drew in a drug-induced haze, she found former superhero Jessica Jones. Jones tracked down the girl and found that Mattie's boyfriend was using her blood to make Mutant Growth Hormone. For saving his daughter, Jonah heavily promoted Jones' agency and later hired her as a reporter for the Bugle's new Pulse magazine.
When a duplicate of Spider-Man, created by Mysterio, jumped in front of Jameson's car while he was driving home from work one day, Jameson crashed his car into a tree. He was believed killed in the car crash, dying upon impact, and the media blamed Spider-Man for his tragic and untimely demise. Later, he ascended to "the light", only for him to be condemned for all the injustices he committed in life. He then descended into Mysterio's staged version of Hell, where he was tormented by a Spider-Man-themed demon, though this was revealed to just be a part of Mysterio's revenge on Jameson. Eventually Spider-Man rescued Jameson.
Jameson pressured his staff into supporting the government's Superhuman Registration Act, still directing the general tone of the paper, despite losing his more hands-on position. 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. On top of the Parker revelation, he dealt with the notion that She-Hulk was now his daughter-in-law. This was not helped by the fact that She-Hulk had helped Spider-Man sue him for libel in the past.
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 Superhuman Registration Act.
He planned to sue his former protege for fraud, demanding back all the money he paid Peter over the years and more, but found the government granted Parker amnesty for all the acts he had done to protect his secret identity, which included taking photos of himself. Both this and his son's marriage to She-Hulk drove Jameson into a fit of rage, and he attacked his new daughter-in-law with the original Spider-Slayer. Luckily, she easily destroyed it and to smooth things over, said she would take the case for fraud against Spider-Man (while privately intending to drag it out as long as possible).
When Spider-Man defected from the Registration Act and joined up with Captain America's Secret Avengers, openly rebelling against the new law and fighting those attempting to enforce it. Jameson posted a reward to bring Peter in. He also committed libel against Parker by coercing Peter's old girlfriend Debra Whitman into writing an untrue account of him; Betty Brant secretly supplied information about this to The Daily Globe who published a front page expose.
Jonah's editor-in-chief and closest friend Robbie Robertson stood up to Jameson and his shoddy treatment of Peter/Spider-Man over the years. Unable or rather unwilling to admit that he had gone too far in his hatred of Spider-Man, Jameson fired Robertson. Spider-Man tried to persuade Jameson to rehire Robbie, and Jameson gave him a choice, to have the lawsuit against him dropped, or for Robbie to be rehired. Spider-Man chose the former, revealing that he did so because he believed Jameson only fired Robbie to get a rise out of him. Spider-Man then told Jameson to hit him, as many times as he'd like, to finally work out his frustrations for him. Jameson was initially reluctant, until Spider-Man started goading him, threatening to inform his wife and son of his "cowardice". Jameson snapped, and started hitting Spider-Man again and again and again. When it was over, Spider-Man gave Jameson a roll of film, containing pictures of their "fight", telling him the photographs depicting him standing back and letting Jameson beat him up would sell "a gazillion copies," and left. Later, at the Bugle, Jameson crushed the film with his foot. Some time later, Jameson rehired Robbie and dropped the lawsuit against Peter.
Events involving the Avengers Initiative members known as the Scarlet Spiders cast doubt onto whether Peter Parker was the original Spider-Man, or if there really was a single Spider-Man at all, frustrating Jameson.
Brand New Day
After Peter Parker made his deal with the demon Mephisto, Peter's identity was once again a secret and Jameson was one of the many who never knew his identity. The Daily Bugle hit hard times with Peter not selling as many Spider-Man pictures as usual and star reporter Ben Urich gone. These circumstances led to Jonah facing a buyout from the wealthy Dexter Bennett. This forced Jonah to stop everyone's checks to build the capital needed to save the paper, with everyone at the Bugle working temporarily for free as a sign of solidarity. Peter, who needed an apartment, came to the Bugle claiming Jonah owed him money. 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.
Jonah's wife began talking to a lawyer about power of attorney and selling the final shares of the Bugle without Jonah having a say. 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". Jonah's condition later improved, to the point where he took physiotherapy sessions and Tai Chi classes. However, he lost his temper if he saw or heard about Dexter Bennett and the D.B. He also faced problems with his wife, as he had yet to forgive her for selling the Bugle.
Jonah eventually turned to politics, and became the mayor of New York City. In his new office, John received a visit from his estranged father, J. Jonah Jameson Sr., demanding that Jonah cease his vendetta with Spider-Man, citing his many heroic deeds, and the fact that the Avengers, and even Captain America had accepted him. Spider-Man then entered the mayor's office, hoping to establish a truce with him, only for Jonah to announce that he has assembled an "Anti-Spider Squad" to capture Spider-Man. Spider-Man responded by taking his superhero work into overdrive, committing heroic deeds all over the city, simply to enrage Jameson. Jameson responded by putting his squad on double-shifts, severely straining the city council's budget.
After Otto Octavius, having temporarily usurped the body of Peter Parker, saved Horizon Labs from the Sinister Six, Jameson finally recognized Spider-Man as a hero, and even offered to him in his war on crime. 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. Things heated up even more when it was revealed that Jameson created a new army of Spider Slayers to take care of Spider-Man. This infuriated Gloria Grant because he was still intent on destroying Spider-Man instead of saving New York from the Goblin Nation. However, the Nation took them over, turning them into "Goblin Slayers" and sicking them on Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2099. This debacle caused a scandal that led to Jameson retiring in disgrace, though Peter Parker, now fully back in his body, attempted to amend things by returning the recordings and that there were no copies made of it.
A New Direction
No longer mayor, Jameson decided to try to go back to the Bugle. But he felt his old business turned traitor when he discovered it was boasting his fall. Later, he was contacted by the Fact Channel. Thinking it was an interview, he went in the defensive and said he would not apologize about anything he'd done as a mayor, however the reporter revealed they wanted to offer him a job because of his history with the Daily Bugle, so he accepted, saying that the media "finally justified his existence". While preparing for debut in the Fact Channel, he was told that he was being bumped from the first segment, which would be an interview to promote Parker Industries' idea of a super-villain prison. The interview is interrupted by the Black Cat and Electro. While Spider-Man and Silk battle them, he forces the cameraman to continue to film the action. Black Cat manages to deviate one of Electro's bolts hitting Spider-Man, knocking him down in the process. While she taunts Peter into her final vengeance, grabbing his head in order to pull off his mask, 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.
Death in the Family and New U Disaster
When Jonah's father fell ill, the attending physician, Dr. McCray, contacted Dr. Rita Clarkson, who worked for a biotech company named New U Technologies, that claimed they could resurrect the dead and cure any decease. Peter Parker was initially skeptical and persuaded Aunt May and Jay not to accept the treatment, which infuriated Jonah. After Jay died, Dr. Clarkson met with J. Jonah Jameson and, to prove there was no limits to what New U could do, they introduced him to his reanimated wife, Dr. Marla Madison-Jameson, who prompted her husband to use his position at the Fact Channel News to promote New U Technologies.
Jonah traveled to San Francisco, where New U Headquarters was located, to see his beloved wife, but the New U ended up being a fraud, cloning its patients, instead of curing them. Things then went from bad to worse, as Doc Ock set off a signal emitting the frequency responsible for clone decay and piped it throughout the base, turning every clone into Carrions. Ben Reilly, who was secretly behind the company, decided to broadcast the decaying signal across the entire world, via Fact Channel News, causing an outbreak of the Carrion Virus globally. Despite the complicity, Spider-Man managed to stop the decaying worldwide and save the world, but a major part of the clones fully decayed and Jonah was left widowed again, asking Spider-Man not to tell Peter Parker he was right from the beginning. When he returned to New York, he was fired and went to the Fact Channel one last time to clean his office. Despite being a Saturday, Cindy was also there, because she was gonna quit, but, before leaving, she tried to cheer Jonah up.
Interview of the Century
With nothing left in his life, Jonah resorted to pouring all of his hate towards Spider-Man in a blog called Threats & Menaces. He was anonymously contacted by a rogue S.H.I.E.L.D. division called the Gray Blade, who sent Jonah pictures that involved Spider-Man with fugitive agent Teresa Durand. Jonah investigated the situation with Betty Brant, and offered to give Spider-Man all the information he gathered in exchange for an exclusive interview with the Wall-Crawler. As the interview progressed, Spider-Man and Jameson's tensions escalated, to the point Jonah broke down in tears admitting that at this point he only hated on Spider-Man because it was everything he had. In an effort to comfort Jonah, Spider-Man decided to reveal his secret identity to him.
During The Rise of the Red Goblin, Jonah was kidnapped by the Norman Osborn and accidentally said Peter's identity to Norman when referring to Gwen Stacy about throwing "his girl of a bridge." He was rescued by Flash Thompson, now going by the alias Agent Anti-Venom, and then tried to stop the Red Goblin from hurting Peter's close ones but he always seemed to be interrupting instead. When Norman was beaten, Jameson was ready to put an end to Norman's life with a fire gun, realizing this was all his fault, but Spider-Man intervened. When asked by Jameson why, Peter said that he had the power to do it, meaning he also had this responsibility, and that it applies to everyone, even the worst of us. At Flash's funeral, Peter admitted people make mistakes and others pay for it, and knowing that since his 15 years old, Peter forgave Jameson, for everything.
Following the revelation of Peter's identity, Jonah attempted to make up for years of persecuting Spider-Man by assisting him with information on crimes to investigate. One day when he couldn't reach out to Peter, Jonah broke into a radio station to use its listeners to locate Spider-Man. The radio announcer saw potential in Jameson, and offered to give him a segment. That same day, Jonah was abducted by a robot controlled by Barney Bushkin. The robot brought Jonah to the rooftop of the Daily Globe, where Barney shot at Jonah with a realistic toy gun that squirted ink, mirroring a prank that Jonah had pulled on Barney when they were in college. It turned out that the Daily Globe had closed down, and, embittered by the contrast between his life and J.J. Jameson's constant habit of failing upwards, Barney wanted to make him feel scared like he was. Jonah forgave and comforted Barney, and even offered him to produce his radio show segment.
Jameson tried to cleanse Spider-Man's reputation he destroyed along the years at Barney's radio, Get to Work!, despite the fact the audience wasn't liking it. He was invited by the Kingpin to a party in homage to Spider-Man. However, he had to deal with problems. Arcade was paid by the new Big Man to build a "museum" to Jameson so both he and Jonah could kill Spider-Man together. When the new Big Man identity was revealed, Jameson was in shock to realize his obsession to destroy Spider-Man destroyed so many innocent lives, including the former Big Man's, who was the current one's father. After the new Big Man was arrested along with the other villains, Jameson decided to man up and came face to face with the Kingpin by saying he isn't a good mayor, just like Jonah wasn't, he was just another super-villain that one day would get what he deserved.
- The trouble with me is I'm too soft-hearted! I'm always doing favors for everyone! I'm just a big bundle of good-natured jelly! But no one ever appreciates it! It just doesn't pay to be a nice guy! The trouble with me is--I'm too sweet! That reminds me! It's time I was roasting Spider-Man's hide in an editorial again!
- --J. Jonah Jameson[src]
Jameson is a very complicated individual. He comes off as a bad-tempered, bossy, demanding and loud and rather bitter old man. His most infamous trait is his immense, almost irrational hatred of Spider-Man, and his constant attempts at proving that Spider-Man is a public menace. It is unknown why exactly Jameson hates Spider-Man so, but he alludes to several reasons. On one side, it shown that his hatred of Spider-Man is not exclusive, but comes from a general distrust of superheroes and superhumans, as Jameson believes them to be irresponsible and untrustworthy. Other times, it's shown he doesn't hate Spider-Man per se, but rather sees the hero as a figure he can slander in order to sell papers, as he is a publisher, therefore is doing it not out of malice, but rather using Spider-Man as a way to push his wares so he can get more money.
Another side of Jameson is his long-time and open support of equality. Under his purview, the Daily Bugle upheld support for the Civil Rights movement, rights for racial minorities, and mutants, often speaking out against those with anti-mutant policies.
Another reason Jonah hates Spider-Man is because he believes he overshadows his son, John Jameson, whom he believes does not receive the recognition he thinks his son deserves, and that Spider-Man steals it. His love and pride of John is one of his much more positive traits, as he thinks of John, who is an astronaut, as "a real hero". This is not limited to just John, but to all public servants, such as firefighters and police officers.
As time passed, however, it was shown that his hatred had grown beyond mere jealousy. On different occasions, he contributed in creating enemies for the wall-crawler. He notably convinced his newly-superpowered son ton try and arrest Spider-Man and worked with Alistair Smythe to create Spider-Slayers.
During Otto Octavius's time as Spider-Man, Jameson started seeing Spidey in a new light as Dock Ock was more willing to work with him and showed less restraint. However, this radically changed when Otto blackmailed him in order to force him to turn Ryker's Island into Spider-Man's base of operations. Jameson hired Alchemax to create new Spider-Slayers in order to kill the wall-crawler himself. It seems that Jameson has made a new step in his path to hatred.
After Peter revealed his identity to him, Jameson started to respect Spider-Man, trying to rebuild the reputation he destroyed at the Get to Work! radio. When the new Big Man was revealed to be the former Big Man's son, who believed at the lies Jonah said about Spider-Man, he realized all the consequences of what he said during the years, ending his crazy ego. He also managed to face Kingpin and don't involve himself with the likes of him.
|Power Grid |
Jameson is trained in boxing and later, Tai Chi, therefore he is a trained combatant, proving his skills when he beat three men with only the use of boxing and street fighting techniques.
J. Jonah Jameson possesses the normal human strength of a man of his age, height, and build who engages in little exercise. Jameson is in good physical condition despite once having suffered a heart attack and being a chain smoker.
- J. Jonah Jameson was one of the characters featured in Series A of the Marvel Value Stamps issued in the 1970's.
- Stan Lee has declared, on more than one occasion, that he would have relished the opportunity to portray Jameson in a live-action film, though he has nonetheless praised actor J. K. Simmons' performance as Jameson in the Spider-Man films.
- J. Jonah Jameson's first wife Joan also shares her name with Stan Lee's real-life wife.
- Peter Parker's ringtone for Jameson's phone calls is Run-DMC's You Talk Too Much.
- J. Jonah Jameson has admitted to committing tax fraud in the past.
- Jameson published a book on the death of Karen Page titled 'Off The Air- The Murder of Karen Page And The Growing Costume Menace'
- 1,045 Appearances of John Jonah Jameson (Earth-616)
- 76 Minor Appearances of John Jonah Jameson (Earth-616)
- Media John Jonah Jameson (Earth-616) was Mentioned in
- 173 Images featuring John Jonah Jameson (Earth-616)
- 68 Quotations by or about John Jonah Jameson (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: John Jonah Jameson (Earth-616)
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- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man #649
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man #670
- ↑ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #6
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #1
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man #1
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man #2
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man #7
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man #10
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man #15
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man #20
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man #25
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man #142
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man #143
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man Annual #10
- ↑ Daily Bugle #2
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man #162
- ↑ Webspinners: Tales of Spider-Man #1-3
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 She-Hulk #4
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man #591
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man #592
- ↑ Superior Spider-Man #31
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man Vol 3 #1
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man Vol 3 #3
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man Vol 3 #5
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man Vol 3 #6
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man Vol 4 #15
- ↑ 27.0 27.1 Amazing Spider-Man Vol 4 #16
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man Vol 4 #19
- ↑ Clone Conspiracy #1
- ↑ Clone Conspiracy #4
- ↑ Clone Conspiracy #5
- ↑ Silk Vol 2 #18
- ↑ Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #3
- ↑ Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #4
- ↑ Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #5
- ↑ Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #6
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man #797
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man #798
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man #800
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man Vol 5 #11-13
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man #796
- ↑ Webspinners: Tales of Spider-Man #2
- ↑ Daredevil / Bullseye: The Target #1
- ↑ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 6
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