Jackpot
The Mary Jane Watson incarnation of Jackpot as depicted in The Amazing Spider-Man vol. 6 #31 (August 2023).
Art by Humberto Ramos.
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearance
Created by
In-story information
Alter egoSara Ehret
Alana Jobson
Mary Jane Watson
SpeciesHuman mutate
Team affiliationsThe Initiative
PartnershipsSpider-Man
AbilitiesSara Ehret:
  • Superhuman strength

Alana Jobson:

  • Superhuman strength, speed, agility, reflexes, durability, and stamina
  • Expert gymnast

Mary Jane Watson:

  • Random superpower generation via Jackpot Bracelet

Jackpot is the name of three superheroes appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The first incarnation of Jackpot, Sara Ehret, first appeared in Spider-Man: Swing Shift (May 2007), and was created by writer Dan Slott and artist Phil Jimenez. The second incarnation, Alana Jobson, debuted in The Amazing Spider-Man #545 (January 2008). In August 2023, Mary Jane Watson was announced to be taking up the mantle as the third Jackpot.

Publication history

Sara Ehret debuted in Spider-Man: Swing Shift (May 2007), created by writer Dan Slott and artist Phil Jimenez. She appeared in the 2010 Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Jackpot series, her first solo comic book series, by Marc Guggenheim.[1]

Alana Jobson debuted in The Amazing Spider-Man #545 (January 2008), created by writer Dan Slott and artist Phil Jimenez

Fictional character biography

Origin

Sara Ehret, a pregnant scientist at Phelcorp (a subsidiary of Oscorp) works on gene therapy to cure Parkinson's disease when she is accidentally exposed to "Lot 777". The virus rewrote the DNA in her cells leaving her in a coma for 4 months. Coming out of her coma Ehret went on to have her child Madeline with no complications, however when her family came under threat by falling debris she displayed superhuman strength to save them.[2]

Jackpot went on to train and become a government sanctioned Initiative superhero for New York City.[3] Though she served as a crimefighter for a while,[4] Sara Ehret had no desire to remain one, preferring to her normal life and family.[5] When another woman, Alana Jobson, recognized Sara and showed genuine enthusiasm at paying her for the use of Sara's Jackpot identity and license, Sara took the offer and gave up costumed crime fighting.[citation needed]

Alana Jobson

Alana Jobson / Jackpot as depicted in Secret Invasion: The Amazing Spider-Man #3 (October 2008). Art by Mike McKone.

Alana buys Sara's identity, and while the latter goes in hiding, the former starts using a cocktail of enhancement drugs, including Mutant Growth Hormone to grant herself the powers of super-strength, stamina, and invulnerability associated with the Jackpot identity. In denial of her own sexuality, Alana developed a crush on Spider-Man, whom she emulated. She later was revealed to be a lesbian. She had been attracted to Sara but never revealed this to her.[4]

Alana/Jackpot teams up with Spider-Man on a search for the villain Menace. They eventually find her after she attacks a council meeting and kidnaps a councilwoman. Jackpot interferes with the fight between Spider-Man and Menace, pulling Menace from her glider. However, as a result of this action, the glider slams into the rescued councilwoman, killing her. Menace blames Spider-Man for the woman's death and escapes. Jackpot blames herself, as does Spider-Man, as seen in his internal monologue. Still, he attempts to comfort her but Jackpot, who is distraught and angered by the experience, takes it all out on Spider-Man by pushing him away and storming off.[citation needed]

During the 2008 "Secret Invasion" storyline, Jackpot is libelled by Dexter Bennett, current owner of the Daily Bugle and endorser of a series of slanderous articles about her activity as a superhero after she accidentally attacks a meeting of pharmaceutical sales executives whose company has connections to Walter Declun.[citation needed]

Jackpot is furious when she discovers the articles and goes to the Daily Bugle, along with a publicity representative supplied by the Initiative. While there, the newspaper is attacked by a Super-Skrull, who is searching for Spider-Man, and who harbors all of the superhuman abilities of Spider-Man's adversaries the Lizard, Rhino, Electro, Hydro-Man, Sandman, and Venom,[6] Jackpot battles the Super-Skrull to allow the Bugle staff to escape, but she is then attacked by Menace.[7] All three combatants are injured by the impact of Jackpot's personal glider vehicle, before Menace escapes. Jackpot defeats the Super-Skrull by freezing him to death inside a freezer.[8]

While fighting Commanda and Blindside, Alana is pumped with the blindness serum used by Blindside to defeat his enemies. Spider-Man comes arrives and administers an antidote to Alana, restoring her vision, but the serum's interaction with the drugs that gave her superhuman powers, results in a fatal side effect in Alana, who dies shortly thereafter.[5]

Sara Ehret

Sara Ehret / Jackpot as depicted in Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Jackpot #1 (January 2010). Art by David Yardin.

Investigating Jackpot's identity, Spider-Man goes to what he believes is Jackpot's house only to find Sara Ehret, who tells him she is not the superheroine Jackpot (Alana Jobson), and sends Spider-Man away, saying he "really should keep out of this."[5]

Later, Spider-Man, having already discovered the whole truth about Alana and Sara, goes to notify Sara about Alana's death, blaming Sara for evading her responsibilities and allowing the otherwise powerless and untrained Alana to go to her doom. Sara is left clutching Jackpot's costume, while Spider-Man walks away, after telling her that people with powers do not have a choice of giving up their responsibilities.[5]

Distraught, Sara reclaims her heroic identity and later comes into conflict with Boomerang and, a new Rose, who learn her identity. Under Rose's orders, Boomerang tracks Sara down at her house and murders her husband in front of her and her daughter.[2]

Sara gets revenge and unmasks the Rose, but is forced to change her, and her daughter's, identity, taking the name Alana Jobson.[volume & issue needed]

Mary Jane Watson

Further information: Mary Jane Watson

Mary Jane Watson became Jackpot during Zeb Wells' run on The Amazing Spider-Man. After Mary Jane and Peter Parker got sent to an alternate Earth that had been devastated by the god Wayep, the duo was rescued by Paul Rabin, a resident of the alternate Earth and the son of that dimension's Benjamin Rabin, Wayep's Emissary. The group was able to send Peter back to the main Earth, leaving Mary Jane and Paul stranded on this alternate Earth. MJ survived with Paul and they developed a Power Slots device, which worked as a slot machine for superpowers. MJ could activate the device and a random superpower would be bequeathed unto her. This device did come with a risk: if MJ's spin landed on three skulls, she could die.

Mary Jane and Paul were able to escape to the main Earth, bringing along with them two children they adopted from Paul's Earth. After the children were revealed to be magic constructs created by the Emissary of the main Earth and eventually ceased to exist, Mary Jane took up the Jackpot mantle to cope with their "deaths".

Characteristics

Powers and abilities

Sara Ehret possesses superhuman strength. Her power is derived from a virus she was exposed to while she was pregnant.[9] Alana Jobson possesses superhuman strength, speed, agility, reflexes, durability, and stamina. Her powers are derived from drugs that she took for physical enhancement.[10]

Mary Jane Watson wields a technologic bracelet which allows her to tap into special abilities, with the caveat that her abilities can be random.[citation needed]

Costume and identity

The identity of the character was kept secret and became part of her storyline during the year following after her first appearance. She shared many characteristics with the Spider-Man supporting character Mary Jane Watson; long red hair, and a tendency to use the pet term "Tiger", a nickname used by Watson for Peter Parker (Spider-Man) and others on many occasions. Parker himself suspects Jackpot may be Mary Jane[11] and even the name "Jackpot" itself echoes Mary Jane Watson's classic line, spoken in her first full appearance: "Face it Tiger, you just hit the jackpot".[12]

Jackpot (Alana Jobson) also used money from a modeling shoot (Watson was a model) to pay for a police scanner to use in her heroic persona,[3] though she strictly denies it, telling him her real name is "Sara Ehret".[13]

Sara Ehret would eventually be revealed to be Jackpot's original identity.[5] but not before approaching Mary Jane at an airport for an autograph. Sara claims to be "a huge fan" of Mary Jane and mentions her famous "jackpot" line, which Mary Jane has since made famous by saying it in a soap opera. The two women are shown side by side and despite different hair styles, have very similar faces.[14]

Originally sporting a disco-era costume, Jackpot wore a green jumpsuit with bell bottoms, gold cuffs, a silver stripe running down the front, and a gold mask that covers her eyes, side of her face, and apparently wraps behind her head. She also wore a belt with the numbers 777 on it, referring to the substance that gave her powers. Though not initially considered as a part of her costume, Jackpot's long red hair is revealed to be a wig.[4]

She later changes the costume to a red and black version and the Jackpot name is then associated with the substance that gave her powers ("We thought we'd hit the Jackpot").[2]

Reception

Deidre Kaye of Scary Mommy included Sara Ehret and Alana Jobson in their "Looking For A Role Model? These 195+ Marvel Female Characters Are Truly Heroic" list.[15]

Literary reception

Volumes

Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Jackpot (2010)

According to Diamond Comic Distributors, Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Jackpot #1 was the 105th best-selling comic book in January 2010.[16][17] Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Jackpot #2 was the 115th best selling comic book in February 2010.[18][19]

In other media

In 2018, Sony announced that a Jackpot film was in development as part of Sony's Spider-Man Universe.[20][21] In 2020, Marc Guggenheim, who had previously written the character's comics, was hired as screenwriter for the project and may direct as well.[22][23]

Collected editions

Title Material collected Published date ISBN
Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Jackpot Spider-Man Presents: Jackpot #1-3 and material from Amazing Spider-Man Family #6 July 2010 978-0785144847

References

  1. ^ OBrien, Paul (June 8, 2010). "Marvel Month-to-Month Sales: April 2010". Comics Beat. Retrieved 2023-05-09.
  2. ^ a b c Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Jackpot #1 (January 2010) Marvel Comics.
  3. ^ a b The Amazing Spider-Man #546 (January 2008). Marvel Comics.
  4. ^ a b c Amazing Spider-Man Family #6 : Exit Interview. Marvel Comics.
  5. ^ a b c d e Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 (2008). Marvel Comics.
  6. ^ Secret Invasion: The Amazing Spider-Man #1. Marvel Comics.
  7. ^ Secret Invasion: The Amazing Spider-Man #2. Marvel Comics.
  8. ^ Secret Invasion: The Amazing Spider-Man #3. Marvel Comics.
  9. ^ Russell, Bradley (2020-05-22). "Another Spider-Man spin-off movie is in the works and will star hero Jackpot". GamesRadar+. Retrieved 2023-05-09.
  10. ^ Harn, Darby (2022-02-06). "Madame Web And 9 Other Strange Spider-Man Allies". Screen Rant. Retrieved 2023-05-09.
  11. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #549 (February 2008). Marvel Comics.
  12. ^ Shiach, Kieran (August 9, 2016). "Hitting The Jackpot: A Celebration Of Mary Jane Watson". ComicsAlliance. Retrieved 2021-03-19.
  13. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #550 (February 2008). Marvel Comics.
  14. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #561 (June 2008). Marvel Comics.
  15. ^ Kaye, Deidre (November 16, 2020). "Looking For A Role Model? These 195+ Marvel Female Characters Are Truly Heroic". Scary Mommy. Retrieved 2023-05-09.
  16. ^ "Comichron: January 2010 Comic Book Sales to Comics Shops". Comichron. Retrieved 2023-05-09.
  17. ^ ICv2 (February 14, 2010). "Top 300 Comics Actual--January 2010". ICv2. Retrieved 2023-05-09.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  18. ^ "Comichron: February 2010 Comic Book Sales to Comics Shops". Comichron. Retrieved 2023-05-09.
  19. ^ ICv2 (March 10, 2010). "Top 300 Comics Actual--February 2010". ICv2. Retrieved 2023-05-09.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  20. ^ Lang, Brent; Kroll, Justin (August 9, 2018). "What's Next for the Spider-Man Universe After 'Venom' (Exclusive)". Variety. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  21. ^ Marnell, Blair (August 9, 2018). "Sony Plans Movies for Marvel's Silk, Jackpot, and Nightwatch — Nerdist". Nerdist. Retrieved 2023-05-09.
  22. ^ Fleming, Mike (21 May 2020). "Marc Guggenheim Scripting Spider-Man Universe Heroine 'Jackpot' Movie for Sony Pictures". Deadline Hollywood.
  23. ^ Burlingame, Russ (May 26, 2020). "Marc Guggenheim On Whether He Wants to Direct Jackpot Or Prophet". ComicBook.com. Retrieved May 31, 2020.