Zachary Johnson was born to fairly a normal childhood until, at the age of twelve, his father mysteriously passes away and throughout his adolescence grew up fatherless. Depressively theorizing all kinds of stories as to what happened to his father if he grew tired of them or in a witness protection program. Zach simply wanted the truth, nothing but the truth ever since.
At the age of eighteen, his mother tragically passes away from cancer, Zach began to collect his parents' estate until he discovered very ominous paraphernalia. What he witnessed was his father's memorabilia, other stuff, and a briefcase that contained Jack-In-The-Box's uniform and gadgets. He discovered the truth, his father was a superhero. At first, he was proud of him but at the same time unsure if he should be considering he believes he spends his time risking his own life senselessly rather than spending his time with him and his wife. But nevertheless, he wanted to know more.
Major Story Arcs
He researched to see who killed his father back in 1983 and who orchestrated the explosion. After hearing about The Underlord. He went after his father's killer and confronted him about it, but also brought him to justice. Ever since that day in 1989, he continued in his father's footsteps to protect the innocence of Bakerville and Astro City as Jack-In-The-Box. While the press believes that the original has "returned" after a long while of disappearance, Zach continued on.
Jack joined many big adventures along with many brave heroes and protected the streets of Astro City for many years, managing to start a toy company titled "Z.J. Toys." became the CEO of his own work, and married a beautiful personality TV reporter Tamra Dixon. During the infamous invasion, he was hunted and attempted to be murdered but managed to escape death unscratched and continued back his work after The Confessor exposed the shape-shifter on live TV everywhere.
Serpent's Teeth Arc
Two twisted individuals from different universes in a dystopic future, two of whom take the mantle of Jack-In-The-Box who claims to be the children of Zachary Johnson. The Box and The Jackson, while Jack managed to defeat the two psychotic future children of his. He later began to question himself if he should continue his career as Jack and await for his son to take the mantle much as his father did to him as a child. That was until his encounter with another version of his unborn child instead of being a megalomaniac version of Jack, his depressed college professor reassured him that they'll be okay and nothing to worry about who went back in time to see his face and say hello.
It simply made Zach more worried and guilty. After his future son left, Zach began to think of plans as he believes Bakerville can't go without Jack-In-The-Box taking care of the neighborhood. He instead passes the mantle to someone who isn't related to the Johnson, Roscoe James. And teaches him the ropes to becoming the masked vigilante so Zach can still be alive when his son is born without wallowing in his stubbornness of refusing to stop being Jack. Zach believes that Jack-In-The-Box's legacy never mattered specifically to his family lineage, as he thinks that he's just wisecracking hero.
Zach possesses no superhuman abilities or anything special like other Astro City heroes like Samaritan. But is a gifted genius who displayed intelligence in the fields of engineering and robotics. Managing to invent new gadgets and further augment his father's previous works. He created variety of toy-themed gadgets and weaponry carried within his satchel.
His toys consist of extendable gloves and boots that he can use for short-distant attacks or bounce across the skies and skyscrapers with the greatest of ease. His gloves also allow him to fire a cone of colorful thermoplastic confetti streamers. Allowing him to capture his enemies with his threads such as tieing them up or capturing them in a wide net.
He also carries within his satchel electrified rubber clown noses that he places on his opponent's noses that can induce extreme shock in an electrifying manner, greatly stunning them and adding distractions. He often tends to have other gadgets up his sleeves but often relies on his gloves and boots and his confetti at most as his trademark when he faces.
Jack-In-The-Box was created by Kurt Busiek to explore the "urban trickster" archetypal design of the character, as such, he's themed after an actual toy called Jack-In-The-Box. He was heavily inspired conceptually and iconography by Spider-Man, and his clownish thematic that of The Creeper. Essentially making Kurt's very own Steve Ditko-type character. This resulting considering him an equivalent of Spider-Man because of his characteristics and personality.
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