Art by Jim Cheung.
|First appearance||Tales of Suspense #59 (Nov 1964)|
|Created by||Stan Lee
|Supporting character of||Avengers
|Abilities||Trained unarmed combatant|
Edwin Jarvis is a supporting character in the Marvel Comics titles, The Avengers, Iron Man, and Spider-Man. He is the loyal household butler of Tony Stark, the billionaire playboy inventor who dons a suit of high-tech armor as the superhero Iron Man.
Since the 1990s, the character has appeared heavily in media adaptations of Iron Man and Avengers stories, and is commonly reimagined as J.A.R.V.I.S., not a butler but an artificial intelligence which assists the superhero Iron Man. In Marvel Cinematic Universe live action movies, J.A.R.V.I.S. is voiced by Paul Bettany, while the original Edwin Jarvis, Howard Stark's butler, is portrayed by James D'Arcy in Marvel's Agent Carter.
Jarvis first appeared in Tales of Suspense #59 (November 1964), and was created by Stan Lee and Don Heck. Jarvis received an entry in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update '89 #4, and The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Avengers (2004).
Fictional character biography
Born of modest origins, he had quickly risen through the ranks of household employ, his loyalty and dedication finally placing him at the apex of domestic service as valiant valet to the Earth's Mightiest Heroes!—Prologue from an Avengers backup story featuring Jarvis
Edwin Jarvis served in the British RAF during World War II and was its champion boxer three years running. He later moved to the United States where he became manservant to the Starks (Howard and Maria) and watched over their mansion even after their deaths.
Anthony "Tony" Stark (the son of Howard and Maria) called the first meeting of the Avengers as Iron Man and donated the house as headquarters, so that it became Avengers Mansion. Jarvis grew accustomed to the guests and served the Avengers for many years thereafter, acting as a father figure to some of the newcomers. Jarvis was there for the first guest, the time-lost Captain America, to become an Avenger
He was the only one to stay with the Avengers for their entire existence, a distinction not even Captain America can claim. As a result, Captain America has stated that Jarvis should be regarded just as much of an Avenger as he is.[volume & issue needed]
Jarvis spent some time as the primary babysitter for Franklin Richards, the super-powered son of Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Woman, when they were residing at the mansion. He also served as the sponsor to future Avengers member Silverclaw while she was growing up, and she has come to regard him as an uncle.
Being a manservant to the Avengers meant that Jarvis has had to deal with their enemies on several occasions. In Avengers #59 and #60 (December 1969, January 1970) he was assaulted by intruders in the mansion and bound and gagged. Jarvis has also been personally involved in many adventures, including leading the evacuation of a stalled subway train during a city-wide disaster and battling a demonically possessed car. Jarvis defended the floating Hydrobase against a horde of robots built by Doctor Doom during the Acts of Vengeance crisis. He was present when one of the many incarnations of the Masters of Evil attacked the mansion. He was brutally beaten by Mr Hyde while Captain America was forced to watch. It took some time for Jarvis to recover from his injuries. He even wore an eyepatch for some time. Jarvis personally confronted Loki, risking great danger, after realizing the villain had tricked his way inside the mansion in Avengers #400. He tendered his resignation during Iron Man/Tony Stark's battle with alcoholism., but returned the following issue.
When the New Avengers were formed, Jarvis was called back after taking a holiday "for the first time in years", having been informed that his 'special' services were once again needed. Jarvis often confronts Wolverine over the man's poor kitchen etiquette, a battle only new member Spider-Man's Aunt May was able to win. Jarvis seemingly struck up a relationship with May, who had moved into Stark Tower with Peter and Mary Jane after her house burnt down. When Spider-Man switched sides during the Civil War, however, Aunt May and Mary Jane fled Stark Tower to live in hiding.[volume & issue needed]
In a New Avengers Civil War story, Jarvis was shot by an employee of Tony Stark, who was opposed to Stark using technology he invented to enforce the Superhuman Registration Act. However, it appears Jarvis recovers from this wound, as in "Civil War: The Initiative", he is shown to be working again. He also humorously mentions that if Tony Stark allowed "that Tigra %^#$" in the new incarnation of the Avengers, Tony would need to find someone else to do the laundry. Tigra had worked for Tony Stark's side throughout the entirety of the Civil War incident.[volume & issue needed]
In the 2008 storyline One More Day, Jarvis is given over $2,000,000 by Stark to pay for Aunt May's hospital bills following an assassination attempt in the aftermath of Spider-Man's decision to publicly reveal his true identity. Jarvis visibly breaks down upon seeing her in the hospital bed, confessing his deep love to the Parkers. As a consequence of the "One More Day" storyline, however, Spider-Man's timeline has undergone a major continuity overhaul, including Jarvis' relationship with the Parkers.[volume & issue needed]
Later that year, in the Secret Invasion storyline, it is revealed that Jarvis has been replaced by a Skrull agent (though the exact time is unclear, it was revealed in a summary of "Secret Invasion",[volume & issue needed] when describing the Jarvis Skrull, that it was before Jarvis started his relationship with May). Using a computer virus, he disables a number of Stark Enterprises facilities, as well as Stark's armor. This agent also obtained access to Tony Stark's records on Robert Reynolds (The Sentry) in order to discover his weaknesses, as the Skrulls were unable to duplicate his powers because its limits were unknown even to Stark. He later approaches Maria Hill on the destroyed S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier in the middle of the ocean and tells her to surrender along with her crew. She uses a Life Model Decoy in that spot as the real one escaped and detonated the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier. During the fight between Veranke and Criti Noll's forces against the heroes and villains, The Skrull-Jarvis (who somehow survived the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier explosion) watches from Avengers Tower as the energy washes over hero, villain and Skrull alike. While holding Jessica Jones and Luke Cage's child, he comments that it doesn't matter if the Skrulls win or lose, so long as "God's" will is done.
After the final battle, the real Edwin Jarvis is discovered alive, prompting Jessica Jones to discover that her baby had been taken by the Skrull impostor.
During the Dark Reign storyline, Jarvis is later shown in a support group meeting with the others that had been replaced by Skrulls. The Skrull Jarvis was eventually found in a hideout and was shot by Bullseye after returning the baby to Luke Cage. Having refused to serve under Norman Osborn's version of the Avengers, Jarvis is sought out by Hercules and Amadeus Cho to be a part of the new Mighty Avengers team, Amadeus having determined that Jarvis is the one constant of the Avengers.
Powers and abilities
Edwin Jarvis has no superpowers but is a good hand-to-hand combatant. He was a former boxing champion of the Royal Air Force for three years and had received military combat training and personal tutelage in unarmed combat by Captain America. Although he is in good health and physical condition, past injuries inflicted by Mister Hyde may have hampered his fighting prowess.
Edwin Jarvis once started a pen pal relationship with a young girl who would grow up to be the superhero Silverclaw; it was later revealed that the orphanage, aware of Silverclaw's abilities and Jarvis's ties to the Avengers, chose to assign Jarvis as her sponsor in the hope that his ties to the Avengers could be useful. Her trip to the United States to meet Edwin Jarvis would be foiled when she was forced into helping terrorists in a massive attack. Silverclaw's efforts helped the people in danger at the airport including Edwin Jarvis himself. Since then, she has referred to him as 'Tio (Uncle) Edwin', with Avengers such as the Wasp noting that her ties to Jarvis made her practically family.
|This section requires expansion. (February 2014)|
Following the release of the Iron Man film, J.A.R.V.I.S. (short for Just a Rather Very Intelligent System) was introduced in the comic books as the program that helps operate Pepper Potts' Rescue suit.
When Iron Man has been incapacitated, J.A.R.V.I.S. encourages Pepper Potts to assume the Rescue armor which she does.
When Rescue is chasing Iron Man throughout the city, J.A.R.V.I.S. tells Rescue to break off the chase and tells her to remove the boot from Iron Man, which shows her that James Rhodes isn't dead. When Pepper discusses her thoughts about Iron Man keeping everyone on a need-to-know basis with Carson Wyche, they confront J.A.R.V.I.S. about it. J.A.R.V.I.S. warns them against asking any more questions and prepares to defend himself. Having captured Pepper and Wyche, J.A.R.V.I.S. declares his diagnostics do not reveal that he is compromised. He is rather in love with Pepper and wants to protect her. Just then, Iron Man breaks through the wall and takes J.A.R.V.I.S. and the Rescue suit out with a source-focused electromagnetic pulse.
Pepper shows J.A.R.V.I.S. how he has been sending data to an IP address in China. He seems flustered, confused, Pepper thanks him for what he has given her, and powers up the coil, killing J.A.R.V.I.S. Iron Man clearly feels J.A.R.V.I.S' death on his end.
House of M
In the Marvel Zombies mini-series in which all of the world's superheroes (and many of the villains) are transformed by a sentient alien virus into flesh-eating zombies, it is revealed that Jarvis was torn apart and shared-out amongst the Avengers. As Colonel America speculated, he appears to have been so mortified by the spectacle of his beloved Avengers as hungry corpses that he barely put up a fight.[volume & issue needed]
Jarvis, now with visibly gray hair, continues to serve as the butler to the Avengers Next in the MC2 universe. During the initial 12 issue run of A-Next, Jarvis is shown as a mentor to the young heroes. Along with Scott Lang, Edwin Jarvis attempts to aid and assist the Avengers anyway he can. He's later joined by Tony Stark and a blind Hawkeye.[volume & issue needed]
The Ultimate Marvel version of Edwin Jarvis is different from his original version and is much more sarcastic and acerbic towards his employer Antonio "Tony" Stark. This Jarvis is Tony's personal butler and not of his Avengers-like team, the Ultimates. While Tony dated and became engaged to his teammate Natasha Romanova, Jarvis was shown to be continuously at odds with her and both were quick to hurl insults at the other. Jarvis was later shot in the head by Natasha when she revealed herself to Stark as the traitor within the Ultimates team. His death is one of the contributing factors to Stark's descent into full-blown alcoholism.
In other media
- Edwin Jarvis appeared as a supporting character in The Avengers: United They Stand voiced by Graham Harley.
- J.A.R.V.I.S. appears in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes voiced by Phil LaMarr. He appears as Tony Stark's A.I. for his armor, Stark Industries, and the Avengers Mansion.
- J.A.R.V.I.S. also appears in Iron Man: Armored Adventures. He appears as the Extremis 16.5 operating system for Andros Stark (the Iron Man of 2099).
- J.A.R.V.I.S. appears in Ultimate Spider-Man once again voiced by Phil LaMarr in "Flight of the Iron Spider" and later by David Kaye in "The Avenging Spider-Man" Pt. 1.
- J.A.R.V.I.S. appears in Avengers Assemble, voiced by David Kaye. Again, he is depicted as the A.I. system, as in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Earth's Mightiest Heroes. This version also appears to have a sense of humor which he displays on a few occasions.
- A young Edwin Jarvis appears in Agent Carter (which takes place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe), portrayed by James D'Arcy. He appears as Howard Stark's butler and Peggy Carter's assistant in her search for his employer's inventions which were stolen by the organization Leviathan and sold on the black market. He is also the inspiration of the J.A.R.V.I.S. A.I. that would later be created by Tony Stark.
- Edwin Jarvis appears in Ultimate Avengers 2 voiced again by Fred Tatasciore. He is seen when Tony is picking out an Iron Man armor in order to combat the Chitauri incoming attack on Wakanda.
- J.A.R.V.I.S. is first introduced in the films that take place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe:
- In the 2008 film Iron Man, Jarvis is presented as a sophisticated A.I. called "J.A.R.V.I.S.", voiced by Paul Bettany. Fulfilling the same role that the A.I. called H.O.M.E.R. fulfills in the comics, J.A.R.V.I.S. runs all the internal systems of Tony Stark's home, serves as Tony Stark's assistant in mechanical endeavors and gives him a personality with whom to converse while he works. When Stark goes about sophisticating the crude armor he used to escape from captivity, he uploads J.A.R.V.I.S. into his armors' systems to assist him. J.A.R.V.I.S. can converse with Stark with considerable sophistication and is often sarcastic concerning his creator's recklessness and arrogance. Ironically, J.A.R.V.I.S. tends to be the only character with whom Tony Stark can converse at any length; as a machine, J.A.R.V.I.S. has no difficulty absorbing Stark's often abusive treatment and is capable of responding in kind. At points in the films J.A.R.V.I.S. seems to be legitimately concerned for his creator's well-being; warning him against taking actions that fall outside of the various armors' safety parameters. In The Avengers, J.A.R.V.I.S. goes so far as to suggest that Tony contact Pepper Potts when the act of carrying a nuclear warhead into an inter-dimensional wormhole seems likely to cause his death. Paul Bettany admits he had little idea of what the role was, even as he recorded it, simply doing it as a favor for his friend director Jon Favreau. In Peter David's novelization of the film, J.A.R.V.I.S. is said to be an acronym for "Just A Really Very Intelligent System".
- Bettany returned to voice J.A.R.V.I.S. in Iron Man 2, The Avengers, Iron Man 3 and the Disneyland attraction, Innoventions.
- J.A.R.V.I.S. appears in Heroes United: Iron Man & Captain America voiced again by David Kaye.
- Edwin Jarvis appears in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance voiced by Philip Proctor. He is seen in Stark Towers. Edwin Jarvis has special dialogue with Deadpool, Iron Man, Spider-Woman, and Captain America.
- J.A.R.V.I.S. appears in the Iron Man video game voiced by Gillon Stephenson. He serves as a source of information for the player informing them of any incoming soldiers or machines that they should be aware of.
- J.A.R.V.I.S. appears in the Iron Man 2 video game voiced by Andrew Chaikin. Kearson DeWitt and A.I.M. raid the Stark Archives in order to steal a copy of J.A.R.V.I.S.' program in a plot to create Ultimo.
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