Joseph “Robbie” Robertson was born in Harlem, New York. His passion for journalism began in high school. One of his more ambitious articles at the time featured Lonnie Thompson Lincoln, who would later become the brutal hit man Tombstone. However Lonnie threatened Robbie and he was forced to not publish his article. Years later, while working as a reporter in Philadelphia, Robbie encountered Lincoln again, who this time had just murdered one of Robbie's contacts. Once again, Lincoln threatened Robertson, and the journalist fled to New York and began working for the Daily Bugle. He told no one of the murder he witnessed. He is married to Martha and they have had two sons. Growing up in a working-class family and being a member of an ethnic minority, Robertson seemed to sympathize with the downtrodden, including mutants.
Robbie Robertson was created by Stan Lee and John Romita and first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #51 from 1967.
Mayor Story Arcs
The Daily Bugle
Eventually Robbie became Editor-in-Chief and J. Jonah Jameson's right hand man. Robbie is also the only Bugle employee who does not fear the wrath of his boss and is ready to stand up to him on editorial matters. Unlike Jameson, Robbie remained somewhat objective towards Spider-Man instead of automatically assuming he is a criminal. Robbie has served as Publisher when Jameson temporarily stepped down. Robbie was a close personal friend of Captain George Stacy, and it has been implied, although not outright stated, that Robbie had deduced Spider-Man's secret identity, as Stacy did.
When Tombstone started to work for the Kingpin, Robbie, determined not to be intimidated again, began collecting evidence in order to incarcerate him. Enraged at this, Tombstone hunted him down and apparently broke his spine. As a result Robbie was laid up for months, but managed to make a full recovery, as his spine was not broken after all. Eventually, Tombstone was arrested and breaking 20 years of silence, Robbie testified against his old schoolmate in court. However, the judge was on the Kingpin's payroll and Robertson was sentenced to serve 3 years himself for withholding evidence on the Philadelphia murder. Robbie and Tombstone ended up in the same cell block, where the hit man tormented the journalist finally breaking his spirit. So much so that when Tombstone engineered a jailbreak, Robbie halfheartedly went along with it. However when Spider-Man interfered, Robbie regained his nerve and fought back. The two men fell out of the escape helicopter and landed in a river near an Amish farm. Robbie was found by a farmer, with whom he stayed until he had fully recovered. However the peace did not last long for Tombstone had also found the farm. Finally confronting Tombstone Robbie stabbed him in the stomach with a pitchfork. Tombstone was only minorly injured and escaped. Robbie received a pardon for his efforts to protect the Amish family, and resumed work at the Daily Bugle. He remained there as editor-in-chief until Norman Osborn bought the Daily Bugle, when he decided to retire. When J. Jonah Jameson took back control of the Bugle, Robbie returned to work for him.
One More Day
After Peter's "coming out", Robbie revealed he had known for some time that Peter was Spider-Man and stood up to Jameson about his poor treatment of him. Unwilling to admit that he had gone too far in his hatred, Jameson fired Robertson. Later, Jameson shows up at his house, with a bottle of wine, two black eyes and a broken hand. Letting him in, Jameson tells Robbie how he discovered his office at the Bugle covered with webbing, with a note attached telling him to meet Spider-Man at an old gangster lair. There Peter tried to persuade Jameson to rehire Robbie, and Jameson gave him a choice; against him or get Robbie rehired. Spider-Man chose to drop the lawsuit, revealing that he did so because he believes Jameson only fired Robbie to get a rise out of him. Spider-Man then told Jameson to hit him, as many times as he'd like, to finally work out his frustrations for him. Jameson was initially reluctant, until Spider-Man started goading him, threatening to inform his wife and son of his "cowardice". Jameson snapped, and started hitting Spider-Man again and again and again, resulting in his broken hand. When it was over, Spider-Man went into the rafters and gave Jameson a roll of film, containing pictures of their "fight", telling him it would sell "a gazillion copies", and leaves. Later, at the Bugle, Jameson crushed the film with his foot and as he turned to leave, Betty Brant accidentally hit him in the face with a door, resulting in his two black eyes. Back in the present, Jameson tells Robbie that he is rehired. Robbie asks why he should come back and Jonah tells him that he looks up to him as the person he still aspires to be.
Front Line & the New Daily Bugle
After the Bugle was bought out by Dexter Bennett, Robertson decided to stay despite his distaste for Bennett's methods, hoping that either Bennett would change his ways or that Jonah would buy back the paper. However, after realizing that the DB was indirectly responsible for the death of a woman, Robbie left feeling he couldn't work in Bennett's hype styled way of journalism. He soon finds work at Ben Urich's newspaper Front Line.
Sometime after the DB's destruction at the hands of Electro, Marla Jameson bought back the Daily Bugle shares from Bennett. Jameson, now the mayor of New York cashed in the shares and gave the money to Robbie, asking him to remake Front Line into the new Daily Bugle.
Earth-295: Age of Apocalypse
He appears as one of few humans that survived Apocalype's North America invasion, he continues his work as a journalist. He helps Christopher Summers -father of prelates Summers- giving him information, shelter and weapons. Out of frame he is killed by Summers then he was infected by Brood. His dead body is found by Sinister's Elite Mutant Force but it is knock off definitely by Aurora.
In earth 982, Robbie was killed by Doctor Octopus
Spider-man Animated Series (1995)
Robbie was a vital part of the show, but appeared younger then in the comics. He was voiced by Rodney Saulsberry.
Spectacular Spider-Man Animated Series
Robbie Robertson was voiced by Phil LaMarr in the Spectacular Spider-Man animated series. LaMarr also provided the voice of Robbie's son Randy, who was a fellow student of Midtown High with Peter Parker in the series.
Robbie was portrayed by Bill Hun in Spider-man 1, 2 and 3.