Characters : Robertson, Joe "Robbie"
Robbie smokes a pipe
White mottled with black and gray
Robbie has the patience of a saint.
Robbie can be a workaholic.
Robbie has no exceptional powers.
Robbie's strength is that of a normal man.
Citizen of the U.S.
Editor-in-chief of the Daily Bugle
college graduate from Columbia School of Journalism
Reporter, editor, editor-in-chief, and city editor of Daily Bugle
JJJ is a close friend to Robbie Robertson,
Martha (wife), Randolph ("Randy", son), Amanda ("Mandy", daugher-in-law), Patrick Henry Robertson (Joe's first born son who died at birth)
Criminal record (pardoned)
Tombstone, the Black Tarantula, Sam Bullit
Harlem, New York
The Daily Bugle Building, in NYC.
Joe Robertson was a hard working student growing up in Harlem, New York. His journalistic career was plagued by Lonnie Thompson Lincoln, the albino known as Tombstone. At Harlem High School, Robbie was forced to withdraw and article exposing the criminal exploits of Lincoln. Later in Philadelphia, Robertson witnessed Lincoln murder a man. Again, Robertson fled from Lincoln's threats. Moving back to New York, Robbie moved up the ranks at the Daily Bugle.
He also had to deal with his strong tempered son, Randy Robertson. Randy had a militant tendency when it came to equal rights for African American students at Empire State University. Robbie had to explain to him that the best way to get change is to work with the system. Robertson also had regular meetings with police Captain George Stacy to discuss Spider-Man, of whom both men believed to be a benefit to the city.
Robbie tended to stay out of the problems that Jonah got into, but when the Daily Bugle decided to end its support for District Attorney candidate Sam Bullit, Robbie couldn't avoid the danger. He kept a file on Bullit's support for hate groups, which didn't sit well with the bigoted Bullit. Robbie was kidnapped but was saved by Spider-Man and Ice Man.
Robbie finally had his fill of Jonah after he planned to print a story blasting Spider-Man for neglecting to help a man that had been shot by a mugger. (Peter had been too concerned to notice, as he believed that May Parker had died, a trick planned by Mysterio.) Jameson demanded that Robbie either support him or quit. Robbie told JJ that he had become too irrational in his treatment of Spider-Man (NOW he realizes this?!) and he refused to work for him. Jameson was genuinely distressed that Robertson would leave the Bugle. He didnt stay that way long. Robbie soon returned, after the Bugle Board of Directors asked him to take over as publisher.
When Tombstone returned to New York, Robbie decided to confront his lifelong nemesis. After Tombstone nearly broke Robbie's back, Robbie was subpoenaed to stand trial for failure to report a crime. Robertson was found guilty and sentenced for 3 years. (Spectacular Spider-Man #149-150) Tombstone arranged to be transferred to the same prison as Robbie. There, Tombstone broke out of jail, taking Robbie with him. Robbie eventually stabbed Tombstone with a pitchfork in a fight on an Amish farm, turned himself in to the police, and was eventually granted a pardon. This all occurred in Spectacular Spider-Man #151-157. Tombstone survived.
Robbie is currently dealing with life at the Daily Bugle as Editor-In-Chief facing a massive staff reduction and budget cuts. For a time it appeared he made the connection between Peter Parker and Spider-Man, but seeing the Ben Reilly Spider-Man with Peter together appears to have thrown him off.
Following Norman Osborn's assumption of ownership of the Daily Bugle, and various dangerous attacks to his own person (such as from Meiko Yin and the Black Tarantula) , Joe resigned from his long-held position. Determined to take back the Bugle, Robbie investigated Norman's background and learned about Alison Mongrain, the woman who poisoned Mary Jane and kidnapped her unborn baby. Bringing her back to the US from France, Robbie helped her to the Parker house, all the while dodging attacks from the Molten Man. Robbie quit the Bugle for a while, partly due to his wife, Martha, being injured by Carnage while visiting her husband.
Robbie returned to the Bugle, a much needed "good cop" to J. Jonah Jameson's "bad cop." One of Robbie's defining moments came in the after math of the Superhuman Registration Act, when Peter was forced to reveal his identity to the world. This act led Spider-Man's enemies to take shots at Peter's loved ones and a sniper hired by the Kingpin managed to badly injure Aunt May. Spider-Man spared no one as he searched for the shooter and the people that hired him, and he snapped the shotgun of an officer in half when he tried to arrest Spidey. The whole thing was caught on tape and Jonah was foaming at the mouth at the thought of getting an interview with the guy that shot the film. Robbie objected, telling Jameson "How many coincidences were needed for Peter and Spider-Man to have been two different people? It's insane!...But you loved the circulation. You loved the money....That's a man and a co-worker and maybe even, heaven forbid, a friend, and he's in a world of pain!"
Robbie told Jonah to do whatever he wanted, because, after all, he's the boss. Coming back to Jonah's office later, Robertson apologized. Jonah was glad to hear it and promptly fired him. Jonah used Robbie's firing to lure out Peter, who confronted him and got Robbie's job back.
Mr Robertson remains a man of principle in the aftermath of One More Day, when Mephisto ended the Parker marriage. The Daily Bugle was bought by Dexter Bennet after Jameson suffered a heart attack. Dexter was even more biased than Jonah Jameson and Robbie refused to work for him. He, Ben Urich, Betty Brant and many other Bugle staffers left the Bugle and started their own newspaper: Frontline. It was only after Electro destroyed the Bugle Building that Jameson let Robbie take over as owner of the new Daily Bugle.
The Bugle can never stay out of trouble for long, and it was with no surprise that Robbie commented "An attack by costumed lunatics. Now this place officially feels like the Daily Bugle," as Alistaire Smythe's "locusts" attacked him. Among them was Shawna Tyron, an angry former Bugle employee. The Avengers sent Ms Marvel and Power Woman to help the Bugle and they took Robbie away from the scene when he realized that he was the target, not the others.
Robbie continued to serve as the owner of the Bugle when Phil Urich was working as a photographer and as Wilson Fisk's hit-man, the Hobgoblin. When Spider-Man (Octavius) destroyed the Kingpin's headquarters, Hobgoblin fled for his life. Not only was he targeted by Spider-Man, he was also late in his payment to the original Hobgoblin, Roderick Kingsley. After narrowly escaping from Spider-Man for a second time, Urich went to the Bugle and demanded money from Robertson, who was reluctant to pay the erratic young man. At that moment, Spider-Man hacked into the TV news feed to announce that Urich was the Hobgoblin, for the purpose of asking New Yorkers to find him for him. (Superior Spider-Man #15)
|Jul 1997||App: Flashback - Amazing Spider-Man #Minus 1|
|Aug 1967||App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #51|
|Sep 1967||App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #52|
|Nov 1967||App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #54|
|Dec 1967||App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #55|
Here is the Full Appearance List (375 Apps) for Robertson, Joe "Robbie".
The assistance of the Marvel Chronology Project is gratefully acknowledged.
Some of the above information is extracted from the various versions of the Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe and the more recent Marvel Encyclopaedias.