Jack-in-the-Box (Roscoe James)

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Jack-in-the-Box (Roscoe James)
© Juke Box Productions


Status: Active
Real Name: Roscoe James
Origin: Kurt Busiek's Astro City Vol.2 #12
Base of Operations: Astro City
Range of Operations: Astro City

Personal Data

Date of Birth: early 1980s (likely 1982-1983)
Height: 5' 11" (estimate)
Weight: 175 lbs (estimate)


Appearances (in Publication Order): As Roscoe James

Kurt Busiek's Astro City Vol.2 #11

As Jack-in-the-Box
Kurt Busiek's Astro City Vol.2 #12
Astro City: Local Heroes #1
Astro City #13, 15, 24, 35

Event Timeline


Jack-in-the-Box (Roscoe James)

Famously described on his debut as a "goofy clown," and the Harlequin of Justice, Jack-in-the-Box has become one of the most easily identifiable and popular heroes of Astro City. Almost as famous for his love of wordplay during a battle as for the battles themselves, Jack has attracted considerable attention from the media and the public, not all of it positive. Since the start of his career in 1964, he has been the subject of debates about his background, motivations and alliances.


Roscoe James

Roscoe James grew up in Astro City's Bakerville area. He founded the Trouble Boys as an alternative to the more criminal gangs in his neighborhood. Through his years with the group, which did after all like to run around the rooftops alongside Jack-in-the-Box, Roscoe developed quite the prowess as an acrobat.

In 1997, the Deacon was recruiting away members of the Trouble Boys, to Roscoe's frustration. When Zachary Johnson offered him the Jack-in-the-Box mantle, Roscoe saw it as an opportunity to bring down the Deacon.

His first mission in the role was stopping a museum heist by the Brass Monkey.

("Serpent's Teeth") ("Father's Day")



Spring-like mechanisms in his boots. Used to make amazing leaps, and the apparent source of some of his amazing athletic feats.


Similar to Footapults in design, but mainly used for physical combat. Effectively increases the range of both fist and grasp severalfold.

Rubber Noses

Deliver an electric shock comparable to a police taser.


A multi-chain thermoplastic resin that hardens on contact - usually used to restrain criminals that Jack has caught or disabled. Fired from his gloves.


One of the many inventions at Jack's disposal includes this all purpose mobile monitor. Handy for spying, surveillance and remote visual feedback in dangerous environments. In conjunction with a handy microphone, Zachary Johnson used this devise to monitor and advise his successor, Roscoe James during his early sabbatical missions.

He has also been known to carry other gadgets in his satchel, and even devise impromptu devices at the scene of a conflict or emergency.


Footapault-height estimates range from 120 to 200 feet. Fully extended, they could be much greater.

Jack-in-the-Box's Rogues Gallery

Brass Monkey
The Deacon
The Human Weasel
Smoke & Mirrors

Other Timelines

Jack-in-the-Box Cases and Adventures