Jackpot (comics)

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For the MLJ/Archie Comics comic book, see Jackpot Comics. For the British comic, see Jackpot (Fleetway comics).
Jackpot
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Free Comic Book Day Spider-Man: Swing Shift (May 2007)
Created by Dan Slott[1]
Phil Jimenez
In-story information
Alter ego Sara Ehret
Alana Jobson
Team affiliations The Initiative
Abilities Sara Ehret
Superhuman strength
Alana Jobson
Superhuman strength, and stamina
Dramatic gymnast
Limited hand-to-hand combatant
Possesses some invulnerability to injury

Jackpot is the hero name shared by two fictional comic book characters, Sara Ehret and Alana Jobson, owned by Marvel Comics and primarily appearing in Spider-Man's stories. Jackpot's first appearance was in the Free Comic Book Day giveaway Spider-Man: Swing Shift, released on May 5, 2007 and set in the "Brand New Day" storyline.

Publication history[edit]

The character Jackpot, first appeared in the Free Comic Book Day issue Spider-Man: Swing Shift released on May 5, 2007 and written by Dan Slott with art by Phil Jimenez. Following the character's debut, Jackpot would appear in several The Amazing Spider-Man related titles before gaining her own mini-series Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Jackpot in 2010.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Origin[edit]

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 became a hero for a while,[4] Sara Ehret had no impulse to remain one. Instead she wanted to go back 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.

Alana Jobson[edit]

Alana buys Sara's identity, and while the latter goes in hiding, the former starts using a cocktail of enhancement drugs, including the infamous Mutant Growth Hormone to grant herself the powers of super-strength, stamina, and invulnerability associated with the Jackpot identity. Alana decided to have a crush on Spider-Man, to mask her sexuality and wanted to be like him; she later was revealed to be a lesbian; she was attracted to Sara but never told her.[4]

The new 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.

During the Secret Invasion, 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 legitimate meeting to trade goods for a drug sales group. The group however, was one connected to Walter Declun.

Jackpot is furious when she discovers the articles and goes to the Daily Bugle, along with a PR supplied by the Initiative. While there, the newspaper is attacked by a Super-Skrull in Spider-Man's form searching for the wall-crawler. After her refusal to help it, the Skrull changes from its Spider-Man form to a composite form with the powers and abilities of the Lizard, Rhino, Electro, Hydro-Man, Sandman, and Venom.[6]

Jackpot battles it out long enough for Betty Brant, Dexter Bennett, Robbie Robertson and Vin Gonzales to escape the building. While Robbie drives, Jackpot battles the Super-Skrull on the roof of the car until she is attacked by Menace who kills one of the invading Skrulls.[7] The Sinister Six-Skrull, inexplicably thinking Betty Brant is Spider-Man, is crashed into by Menace and Jackpot on Menace's glider, injuring all three of them. Menace escapes while Jackpot has to battle an even angrier Sinister Six-Skrull. Jackpot defeats him 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 trump his enemies. Spider-Man comes to the rescue with an antidote, which clears Alana's vision but the blindness serum has a terrible reaction with the combination of drugs that gave her the powers, and Alana dies shortly thereafter.[5]

Sara Ehret reclaims the identity[edit]

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]

Powers and abilities[edit]

While the first Jackpot had superhuman powers, the second and more prominent Jackpot's powers are derived from drugs that she took for physical enhancement. She has demonstrated dramatic gymnastic ability. In The Amazing Spider-Man #549, she says she has some invulnerability. She is shown to have some limited fighting ability. The abilities shown are consistent with the abilities produced by Mutant Growth Hormone users, and she requires continued use of the substance to maintain them.

Jackpot also exhibited superhuman strength, as in Secret Invasion Spider-Man #2 she was able to rip the trunk off of a car and throw it into a Super Skrull. In the same issue she withstood some serious punches at the hands of super powered Skrull warrior without developing bruises, which confirms her previous claims about possessing some sort of invulnerability.

Costume and identity[edit]

The identity of the character was kept secret and became a running feature during the year 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[9] 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."

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".[10]

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.[11]

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]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Fan Expo: Guggenheim hits the 'Jackpot'". Comic Book Resources. 30 August 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Jackpot #1 (January 2010)
  3. ^ a b The Amazing Spider-Man #546 (January 2008)
  4. ^ a b c Amazing Spider-Man Family #6 : Exit Interview
  5. ^ a b c d e Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 (2008)
  6. ^ Secret Invasion: The Amazing Spider-Man #1
  7. ^ Secret Invasion: The Amazing Spider-Man #2
  8. ^ Secret Invasion: The Amazing Spider-Man #3
  9. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #549 (February 2008)
  10. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #550 (February 2008)
  11. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #561 (June 2008)