Jack-in-the-Box (Jack Johnson)

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As Jack Johnson
© Juke Box Productions


Status: Deceased - October 13, 1983
Real Name: Jack Johnson
Earliest Appearance: June 16, 1964
Base of Operations: Astro City
Range of Operations: Astro City

Personal Data

Date of Birth: Uncertain
Height: 6' (estimate)
Weight: 200lbs (estimate)


Headlines: June 17, 1964: Bizarre Clown Saves Hostages

April 8, 1968: Jack-In-The-Box Exposes WhamCo Corruption
September 10, 1976: Mob War Becomes Surprise Party
October 14, 1983: Jack-In-The-Box Trapped In Fiery Explosion

Appearances (in Publication Order): Kurt Busiek's Astro City Vol.1 #3

Kurt Busiek's Astro City Vol.2 #12, 14
Astro City: Local Heroes #4
Astro City: The Dark Age Book One #1, 3, 4
Astro City: The Dark Age Book Two #3, 4
Astro City: The Dark Age Book Three #1, 2

Event Timeline

1964/06/16     Headline

1966     Flashback


Jack-in-the-Box (Jack Johnson)

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.


Jack Johnson worked as an engineer for the toy company WhamCo in the 1960s. Though incredibly talented, he was paid only a fraction of what his white peers were. When he realized WhamCo was using his designs to create underworld weaponry, he went to police but was only met with disbelief. Furthermore, to silence him, WhamCo kidnapped his father. Jack created the Jack-in-the-Box get-up to rescue his father and bring his former employers to justice. He went on to have a lengthy and storied run as a superhero.

In 1983, while fighting the villainous group called the Weirdies, Jack-in-the-Box was killed in an enormous explosion that destroyed most of Torres Island. He left behind a wife who died six years later. They had a son named Zachary.



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