The Jackson (Astro City) with claws out

The Jackson

(Astro City)


The Jackson appeared in 1995, in an early story of Kurt Busiek’s notable Astro City comics series. For context, we strongly suggest that you first read the Jack-in-the-Box (Astro City) character profile.

This entry has minor S P O I L E R S about a cool story.


  • Real Name: Jerome Johnson.
  • Marital Status: Presumably single.
  • Known Relatives: Zachary Johnson (aka Jack-in-the-Box II, father), Tamra Dixon (mother).
  • Group Affiliation: Brothers of Trouble.
  • Base Of Operations: Presumably, Astro City in the future.
  • Height: ~6’8” Weight: ~300 lbs?
  • Eyes: Yellow Hair: Red


Powers and Abilities

The Jackson has been biochemically mutated into a powerful but freakish entity. He has feral strength, speed, and perception, as well as intimidating claws.

He can also animate his salient veins like tiny tendrils and have them spray small jets of a powerful acid. One assumes that his skin is resilient against corrosives.


The Jackson is the son of Jack-in-the-Box (Zack Johnson), who died while he was still a baby. A religious organisation called the Brothers of Trouble then took him to their far future. The Brothers’ goal was to avoid a deadly catastrophe called the Wasting.

The Brothers are apparently the successors of a street gang who used to help Jack-in-the-Box. Their faith was build on historical documents about the super-hero. However, they lacked much of the cultural context to fully understand these ancient archives. Their impression thus was that Jack-in-the-Box was a much more violent figure than he actually was.

The Jackson face closeup

As the revered son of their messiah, the kid studied and memorised all the documents of the faith. As the Jackson, he was then mutated into a bestial superhuman to follow in what he thought were his father’s footsteps.

The Brothers apparently determined that there would be a murder attempt against their messiah from another possible future, by another possible son of Jack-in-the-Box. To prevent it, they set up a new time travel mission. The Jackson would thus return to the past several months before he was born – and foil the assassin.


Jackson’s “costume” and flesh are apparently one and the same. He has a white head with red hair and “clown smile”, but no visible nose (just nostril slits). Plus tufts of red fur line his shoulders, wrists, and ankles.

The rest of him is mostly a dark green, with yellow circles on his chest and red diamond patterns lining his legs.


Jackson vacillates in demeanour between a hyper-formal calm and leering viciousness. He fanatically adheres to a vigilante ideal of total, lethal justice. A literal war against criminals.

This is his faith, and he will lash out in outrage and dissonance against anything that contradicts it. When told by his father that his “holy words” were a misinterpretation, the Jackson found it easier to denounce him as an impostor than to accept that his creed was based on a mistake.


“You will not defile the Jack with your touch ! In fact, for even attempting it — you must pay the price !”

“You spit on the very building blocks of my creed ! You call the sacred words a joke ?! You are *not* the Jack — and I should not have saved you ! You are an impostor, a travesty, a lie ! And for your calumny — you must DIE !”

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

The Jackson

Dex: 08 Str: 07 Bod: 07 Motivation: Fanatic
Int: 05 Wil: 03 Min: 06 Occupation: Vigilante
Inf: 06 Aur: 04 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 000
Init: 021 HP: 040

Acid: 07, Acid immunity: 03, Analytical Smell/Tracking Scent: 06, Claws: 08, Jumping: 03

Bonuses and Limitations:
Acid has No Range, but can be used while Grappled.

Acrobatics: 08, Charisma (Intimidation): 06

Expertise (Brothers of Trouble theology), Lightning Reflexes, Sharp Eye.

Brothers of Trouble (High).

CIA toward Religious Fervor ; Serious Rage ; Strange Appearance.

By Bryant Berggren and Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Kurt Busiek’s Astro City.