Astro City Wikia

Quote1 -- and became Jack-in-the-Box -- first to rescue my grandfather, and then to continue his investigation. Quote2
--Jack-in-the-Box (Zachary Johnson)[src]

Jack Johnson was the original Jack-in-the-Box. A designer for Whamco Toys, Jack Johnson decided to become a hero after his father was kidnapped. He died in an explosion fighting against the Underlord.


Jack Johnson, known as Jack-in-the-Box, was a black designer for Whamco Toys who was hired for his considerable talent. He was only paid half the salary of his less productive white coworkers but still turned out a lot of toys. His toys were so popular they began to be used as weapons by the mob. Jack tried to get his company to understand but was fired. Deciding that Jack's knowledge was a problem, Whamco kidnapped his father. Driven to wit's end, Jack customized some of his toys and donned a costume to become Jack-in-the-Box. Eventually, he rescued his father and decided to take on the corrupt company and the mob and took them both down. But doing so drew the ire of the black masks and a villain named Underlord tricked Jack into fighting his minions in a warehouse where explosions went off and Jack was murdered.[1] It was later revealed that Jack had actually died fighting the Theatre-themed villain Mr. Drama, who had contracted a fast-acting cancer and had wanted to kill his nemesis in a blaze of glory. Underlord had been out of Astro City at the time.

Powers and Abilities[]

  • Gadgetry: Jack Johnson was hired by a popular toy company to make toys despite being black in the United States during a difficult time to get work at all. His toys were so popular that criminal began to use them instead of conventional weaponry. As Jack-in-the-Box, Jack used his toys to take down the company that kidnapped his father and defeated the mob.




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