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Art by Jim Cheung.
|First appearance||Tales of Suspense #59 (Nov 1964)|
|Created by||Stan Lee (writer)
Don Heck (artist)
|Full name||Edwin Jarvis|
|Supporting character of||Avengers
|Notable aliases||Crimson Cowl|
|Abilities||Trained unarmed combatant|
Edwin Jarvis is a supporting character in the Marvel Comics titles Iron Man, The Avengers and Spider-Man. He is the loyal household butler of the Stark family. 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., an artificial intelligence that assists the superhero Iron Man.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, J.A.R.V.I.S. is voiced by Paul Bettany in the live-action Iron Man films while Edwin Jarvis is portrayed by James D'Arcy in the ABC television series 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 Mightiest Heroes! from an Avengers backup story featuring Jarvis.
Fictional character biography
Born of modest origins, 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 Howard Stark and Maria Stark and watched over the Starks' mansion even after the two deaths.
When Iron Man (Tony Stark) called the Avengers' first meeting and donated the Stark house as the Avengers Mansion headquarters, 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 (Steve Rogers), to be a member of the Avengers. 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 the two Fantastic Four members were residing at the mansion. He also served as the sponsor to Silverclaw while the latter was growing up, and the future Avengers member 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. He tendered his resignation during Iron Man's battle with alcoholism, but returned not long afterwards.
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 that had moved into Stark Tower with Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson after her house burnt down. When Spider-Man switched sides during the Civil War, however, 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 who was opposed to Tony Stark using technology invented to enforce the Superhuman Registration Act. However, it appears Jarvis recovers from this wound as he is shown to be working again in Civil War: The Initiative. He also humorously mentions that if 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 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 May's hospital bills following an assassination attempt in the aftermath of Peter's own decision to publicly reveal Spider-Man's true identity. Jarvis visibly breaks down upon seeing May 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's relationship with the Parkers.[volume & issue needed]
Later that year, the Secret Invasion storyline revealed that Edwin Jarvis has been replaced by a Skrull agent for some time. Using a computer virus, he disables a number of Stark Enterprises facilities, as well as Iron Man's armor. This agent also obtained access to Tony Stark's records on the Sentry (Robert Reynolds) in order to discover weaknesses, as the Skrulls were unable to duplicate Sentry's powers because Sentry's limits were unknown even to Iron Man. He later approaches Maria Hill on the destroyed S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier in the middle of the ocean and tells Maria to surrender along with the S.H.I.E.L.D. crew. Maria 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 Jarvis is discovered alive, prompting Jessica 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 impersonator is eventually found in a hideout and was shot by Bullseye after returning Luke's and Jessica's baby. Having refused to serve under Norman Osborn's personal 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.
During the Fear Itself storyline, Jarvis manages to escape Avengers Tower when it's under attack by the Thing (in the form of Angrir: Breaker of Souls). Red Hulk tries unsuccessfully to stop him but the Tower gets destroyed and he's knocked out of the city and into Vermont.
During the AXIS storyline, when key members of the Avengers and the X-Men underwent a moral inversion, Jarvis and the Hulk tried to stop the Avengers when the group planned to kill the Red Skull, but were ignored and attacked, Jarvis being knocked aside while Hulk's anger triggered his own inverted transformation into 'Kluh'. However, Jarvis had anticipated a problem based on the Avengers' actions since the group's return from the island, and had already hidden Red Skull away until he could explain the situation to Steve Rogers and was then able to retrieve Red Skull and return the heroes and villains to normal.
As part of the All-New, All-Different Marvel, Edwin Jarvis is welcomed to the new headquarters of the Avengers. When Jarvis wonders if his services are needed or not, Iron Man convinces him to help out the Avengers. Jarvis is present with the Avengers when they meet Nadia Pym, Hank Pym's daughter through Maria Trovaya who now sports a modified Wasp suit. After Nadia helps to stabilize the Vision, Jarvis takes Nadia on a road trip to meet the latter's extended family.
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 Silverclaw's sponsor in the hope that his ties to the Avengers could be useful. Silverclaw's trip to the United States to meet Jarvis would be foiled when the youth was forced into helping terrorists in a massive attack. Silverclaw's efforts helped the people in danger at the airport, including Jarvis himself. Since then, Silverclaw has referred to him as 'Tio (Uncle) Edwin', with Avengers such as the Janet van Dyne noting that Silverclaw's ties to Jarvis made the girl practically family.
While Jarvis was shown dating May Parker during Spider-Man's initial career in the New Avengers, this relationship has been negated by the revelation that the man that May had dated was a Skrull impostor.
Powers and abilities
Edwin Jarvis is skilled at self-defence and basic hand-to-hand combat. 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.
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Following the release of the film Iron Man, J.A.R.V.I.S. (Just A Rather Very Intelligent System) was introduced in the comic books as the program that helps operate Pepper Potts's Rescue suit. When Iron Man has been incapacitated, J.A.R.V.I.S. encourages Pepper to assume the Rescue armor which Pepper 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 Rescue to remove the boot from Iron Man, which shows Pepper that War Machine isn't dead. When Pepper discusses thoughts about Iron Man keeping everyone on a need-to-know basis with Carson Wyche, the two confront J.A.R.V.I.S. about this. J.A.R.V.I.S. warns the two 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 Pepper. 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, and powers up the coil, killing J.A.R.V.I.S. Iron Man clearly feels J.A.R.V.I.S's death on his own 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 Edwin 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]
Edwin 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, Jarvis attempts to aid and assist the Avengers anyway he can. He was 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 Iron Man (Tony Stark). Jarvis is only Tony's personal butler. While Tony dated and became engaged to Natasha Romanova, Jarvis was shown to be continuously at odds with Natasha and both were quick to hurl insults at one another. Jarvis was later shot in the head by Natasha, a 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 in the "Captain America" segment of The Marvel Super Heroes, voiced by Vernon Chapman.
- 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 Iron Man: Armored Adventures. He appears as the Extremis 16.5 operating system for Andros Stark (aka Iron Man of 2099).
- 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 the Iron Man armor, Stark Industries and the Avengers Mansion.
- J.A.R.V.I.S. appears in Avengers Assemble, voiced by David Kaye. Again depicted as Tony Stark's A.I. system, this version also appears to have a sense of humor which he displays on a few occasions.
- J.A.R.V.I.S. appears in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon series, once again voiced by Phil LaMarr in "Flight of the Iron Spider" and later by David Kaye in "The Avenging Spider-Man" Pt. 1.
- Edwin Jarvis appears in Agent Carter, portrayed by James D'Arcy. Depicted as Howard Stark's butler, he is an assistant to Peggy Carter's missions, and would canonically serves as inspiration for the J.A.R.V.I.S. A.I. system.
- J.A.R.V.I.S. appears in the Christmas TV special Marvel Super Hero Adventures: Frost Fight!, voiced by Trevor Devall.
- Edwin Jarvis made a quick appearance in Ultimate Avengers, voiced by Fred Tatasciore.
- Edwin Jarvis appears in Ultimate Avengers 2, voiced again by Fred Tatasciore. He is seen when Tony Stark 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, presented as a sophisticated A.I. voiced by Paul Bettany. Modeled after H.O.M.E.R. from the comics, this was done to avoid similarities to Alfred Pennyworth and Batman. Paul Bettany admits he had little idea of what the role was, even as he recorded it, simply doing it as a favor for Jon Favreau.
- The character makes his debut in the 2008 film Iron Man, and subsequently appears in the 2010 film Iron Man 2, the 2012 film The Avengers, and the 2013 film Iron Man 3. J.A.R.V.I.S. functions as an interface that functions as Tony Stark's assistant: Running all the internal systems of Stark's buildings and the Iron Man suits. 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 Stark can converse at any length; J.A.R.V.I.S., as a machine, 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 Tony 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 Iron Man contact Pepper Potts when the act of carrying a nuclear warhead into an inter-dimensional wormhole seems likely to cause death. In Peter David's novelization of Iron Man, J.A.R.V.I.S. is said to be an acronym for "Just A Rather Very Intelligent System". J.A.R.V.I.S. also appears in the Disneyland attraction Innoventions. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, J.A.R.V.I.S. is apparently destroyed by Ultron. However, J.A.R.V.I.S. distributed his consciousness throughout the Internet, allowing his security protocols to delay Ultron's attempt to access Earth's nuclear launch codes long enough for Tony to work out what had happened. Stark and Bruce Banner use J.A.R.V.I.S. as the core software of the android Vision, still portrayed by the same actor but established as a distinct individual from the AI.
- J.A.R.V.I.S. appears in Iron Man: Rise of Technovore, voiced by Troy Baker.
- J.A.R.V.I.S. appears in Heroes United film series entries Heroes United: Iron Man & Hulk and 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. 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 the J.A.R.V.I.S. program in a plot to create Ultimo.
- J.A.R.V.I.S. appears in Iron Man 3: The Official Game, voiced by Jeff Bottoms.
- Edwin Jarvis appears in Marvel Heroes, voiced by Enn Reitel.
- J.A.R.V.I.S. appears in Lego Marvel Super Heroes, voiced by Troy Baker.
- J.A.R.V.I.S. appears in Disney Infinity 3.0, once again voiced by David Kaye.
- J.A.R.V.I.S. appears in Lego Marvel's Avengers.
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