Jason Ionello

Time for another Spider-Man: Homecoming character, another one of Peter‘s many schoolmates: Jason Ionello, portrayed by Jorge Lendeborg Jr. In the movie, Jason is the one hosting the school’s news along with Betty Brant, and he even tries to invite her to the homecoming, but he gets rejected live on tv. He’s later seen in the gym as well during Coach Wilson‘s class, and again on tv while he’s commenting on the Spider-Man mania spreading through school. In the comics, Jason is part of Peter’s original group of friends, but while in high school he changes quite a bit. Let’s see together.

Jason Ionello was born in QueensNew York City. As a kid, he often hanged out with a number of friends from his same neighborhood: his best friend Sally Avril, Peter Parker, Tiny McKeeverSeymour O’Reilly and Liz Allan, the same who were in his class at elementary school. The group sticked together even during middle-high school, proving to be inseparable…at least until they entered Midtown High School, the place where everything changed. Craving for popularity as all the other kids, Jason did exactly what most of his friends did: he found the most popular guy in school and started hanging out with him, doing everything he did, laughing at everything he laughed at, liking whatever he liked. The guy in question was Flash Thompson, a muscular bully who had made Peter Parker his favourite target…and Jason played along, soon forgetting an old friendship, sacrificed to the new world they were living in. Jason found an identity as the joker of the group, and he played a lot of cruel pranks at Peter, making him the lauhging stock of the entire school. Once, he even hid Parker’s clothes during gym, humiliating the boy in public…something even Flash scolded him for, considering it “going too far”. Among his old friends, only Sally remained what she used to be for him (maybe even something more…), and the two kept being two peas in a pod. When it became clear Sally wanted to go “all in” in the school’s game of popularity, Jason tried to unite her obsession to his own, that was to discover Spider-Man’s secret identity: when J. Jonah Jameson offered $1000 reward for unmasking the “menace”, Jason told Sally about it, and the two committed themselves to the task. Armed with a professional camera, they left into the night, tailing the hero to take a photo of him without the mask.

Thanks to his Spider-Sense, the hero immediately realised he had been followed, and he talked the kids out of it, even blocking Jason by webbing his feet to the floor. At that point, Jason was tired of the game already, but Sally insisted to keep following Spider-Man. Ironically, it was Jason, taking a picture of Spider-Man while he was about to be unmasked by Electro, the one who awoke the hero from the hypnosis he was victim of, allowing him to fight Electro…and to keep his mask on. As a reward, Spidey allowed the two kids to take a picture over the defeated criminal, becoming the idols of the school as it was published along with an article reading School Kids Foil Super-Villain. This was about the end of the story for Jason, who had obtained what he wanted (even Flash was jealous of him), but Sally wasn’t satisfied, she wanted more…and she eventually became the vigilante Bluebird, the self-appointed sidekick of Spider-Man. Not only Jason was worried for his friend, he was also deadly jealous of the hero, as Sally kept flirting with him. He begrudgingly accepted to help her, however, and he drove her from a city corner to the other, always on Spider-Man’s pursuit…until, one night, he sped through a red light to catch up with him, and was hit by another car. He emerged with a mild trauma from the incident, but Sally got killed. Depressed, Jason began to isolate himself from everyone, especially from his old friends, sick of Flash’s fanboy attitude towards Spider-Man, whom he now despised. His depression lasted years, with ups and downs, but eventually he decided to commit suicide, unable to cope with Sally’s death and with his own responsibility. He tried to jump from a building, but he was saved by the least likely of the saviors: the Vulture, who suggested him to stop blaming himself for his friend’s death…and to start blaming someone else, Spider-Man for example. Clearly incapable of confronting the hero on a physical level like Vulture, Jason accepted his advice nevertheless, and decided to destroy the reputation of the man who, to his eyes, had killed Sally: all he needed was a Spider-Man costume…

Jason Ionello is, and has always been, a frail young man, always relying on others to define himself, always dedicating all his energies and resources to impress other people. Either by being the school’s prankster or by turning into a vengeful depressed man, Jason always projects on others his fear of failing and his thirst for approval; there was only one true relationship in his life, unfortunately it was the one with Sally…

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3 Comments

  1. […] Jason Ionello […]

  2. […] Jason Ionello […]

  3. […] show to the others his feelings for the “loser” were different, but when Jason Ionello, another bully from his gang, stole Parker’s clothes when he was to the gym, it was him who […]


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