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Martian Manhunter

Martian Manhunter (JLA Annual 2 1984)

Det. John Jones (JLA 144)

Information
Real name: J'onn J'onzz
AKA: John Jones
Species: Green Martian
Homeworld: Mars
Universe: Earth-One
Earth-1A
Hair: none
Eyes: red
Occupation: Manhunter
Adventurer
Police Detective
Base: Middleton, Colorado
JLA Watchtower
Affiliations: Justice League of America
Justice League Detroit
Voiced/Played:  ???[1]
Martian Manhunter Gallery

Justice League of America Team Member

You've seen all sorts of detectives in action - - F.B.I. Agents, Private Eyes, Treasury Men. But here - - for the first time anywhere - - is the most unusual of them all ... A slueth "from out of this world!" Yes - - straight from Mars comes a man who patrols the streets of Earth on a quest to wage war on crime. A man brought here by ... the strange experiment of Dr. Erdel.
Detective Comics #225/3 (November 1955)


Martian Manhunter 3 (Limited Collector's Edition)

The Manhunter
Image from Limited Collectors' Edition, #C-41 (December 1975/January 1976).

Transforming (Detective Comics 287)

Transforming
Image from Detective Comics, #287 (January, 1961)

J'onn J'onzz is a green-skinned extraterrestrial humanoid from the planet Mars, who worked as a detective in Middleton under the persona of "John Jones".

He is a charter member of the Justice League of America.


Background Information

Arrival on Earth

Arrival on Earth

In the parallel universe, known as Earth-One, the year is 1955 (1967 in the Earth-1A universe) and Professor Mark Erdel (world-famous scientist) is working on a communication device, with the hope of making contact with extraterrestrial life in his lab.[2] Upon its first use, he realizes that he had inadvertently created a teleportation beam. Amazingly, this device pulls J'onn J'onzz to Earth in his Martian form. The shock of the encounter kills Prof. Erdel and leaves J'onn with no method of returning home.[3]

Since the Manhunter (type of law enforcer) from Mars is now on Earth, J'onn J'onzz, decides to use his shapeshifting power to appear human. He then assumes the identity of John Jones and secures a job as a Middleton (a city in the state of Colorado) police detective. All the while, he hopes that Martian technology will advance to a stage that will enable his rescue.[4] Not quite a year later, J'onn J'onzz is able to briefly make contact with his home planet Mars and his parents.[5]

The Beginning of the Justice League of America

The Beginning of the Justice League of America

Over the next few years, he had realized that working in the shadows and exacting justice as police detective John Jones was the right course of action,[6] as people everywhere feared an alien invasion. Everything went along smoothly in his hidden persona, until the evening of February 11, 1959 (1971 in the Earth-1A universe)[7] That night everything changed. A panic is generated by the revelation of the presence of Martians on Earth. The invaders had come to earth in search of earth’s newest arrival, the Martian Manhunter. Commander Blanx, and a small squadron of White Martians have been scouring the universe looking for the Manhunter. The Manhunter confronted Blanx, and the White Martians. Their conflict was interrupted by Barry Allen a young and inexperienced Flash. He and the Manhunter partner up, but realize that the civilians, upon seeing the aliens began to panic. The Flash decides to seek help from other well-known heroes. He is able to gain the help of Superman, Batman, Robin, Hal Jordan, a pilot for Ferris Aircraft (before he became the Green Lantern) and several other heroes. After their success, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash and the Manhunter discuss forming a club or a society to uphold Justice in the World. Batman says he’s not much of a joiner and the rest discuss the panic that was involved in this Martian excursion and the fear that coming together as a team with a Martian might foster. So they decide to wait until the time is right. Hal Jordan and the gathered reporters present also offer their oath of silence believing that global panic would not be good.[8]

From this point on, with the existence of Martians known to be on earth; despite the concern of many, J'onn began to openly fighting crime in a green-skinned form.[9]

He subsequently acquired policewoman Diane Meade as his partner,[10] and an pet Zook who helped him solve cases.[11]

A few years later (February 1973 in the Earth-1A universe), earth’s mightiest heroes (the Flash, Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter and the Green Lantern) are called together again to stop the invading Appellaxians. The assembling resulted in the formation of Justice League of America![12]

By 1964 (1974 in the Earth-1A universe), J'onn's career as a police detective was ended by the Idol Head of Diabolu. This evil statue expelled a deadly cloud. John Jones saved a child from the cloud, but in doing so he was engulfed by it. His fellow policemen believed he must have died. J'onn took this as an opportunity to abandon his double life. He allowed the police department (even Diane Meade) to believe he had died, and as the Martian Manhunter he even attended his own funeral.[13]

A "special security department" alerts J'onn J'onzz to the existence of the international criminal organization VULTURE. They tell him that a wealthy playboy and mystery man 'Marco Xavier' is reputed to have ties to it. Later, as the Manhunter observes Zavier from the shadows, Xavier's car goes over a cliff, seemingly killing him. J'onzz takes this opportunity to assume Xavier's identity as a cover with his chameleon powers, knowing this could help him in infiltrating the international crime cartel. He fakes having amnesia from the car crash, and shortly thereafter is contacted by a VULTURE.[14]

Resigning the JLA and Leaving Earth

Resigning the JLA and Leaving Earth

J'onn would serve as a regular member of the Justice League of America over the next several years. On one occasion (1975 in the Earth-1A universe), a group of evil Martians led by (the now) General Blanx, destroyed the surface of Mars, forcing all the good Martians to leave and colonize another planet. The Manhunter is able to arrive in time to defeat and kill General Blanx. With his homeworld destroyed, J'onn decides to accompany the survivors into deep space to find a new home and bids farewell to his friends in the Justice League.[15] Soon J’onn and his people are able to settle on an ancient, yet uninhabited planet called Vonn.[16] Vonn, which they rename Mars II (or New Mars), is the fourth planet from the red sun of the Star-System Cygnus.[17]

Manhunter and Snapper

The Manhunter and Snapper Carr as wax figures in the Hall of Justice.

Early the next year, young Jr. SuperFriend Marvin is on tour of the Hall of Justice. As they walk through the wax figures, Superman points out the figure of the Manhunter and says that, "J'onn J'onzz, Manhunter from Mars, left (Earth) when Mars became desolate and his people went to search for a new world."[18]

J'onn would occasionally help the JLA.[19]

Eventually J'onn is awarded leadership of Mars II. Shortly after he is voted leader for a second term, he travels to earth to find a killer.[20] This leads to the investigation moving to New Mars. Superman and Batman aid J’onn on his new home world to bring down the criminal.[21]

J’onn would aid the JLA when he could - on earth[22] and in space.[23]

Returning to Earth and the End of the Justice League

Returning to Earth and the End of the Justice League
Main Article: Justice League Detroit

On one notable occasion, the Martian Manhunter is seen rapidly entering the earth’s atmosphere and crashing into the East River off Manhattan. As several JLA members (Aquaman, Black Canary, Elongated Man, Firestorm, Green Arrow, Hawkman, Hawkwoman, Red Tornado and Zatanna) comes to his aid, he tells them that a squadron of Martian warships hot on his tail with plans to conquer the earth. The Manhunter is eventually able to confront the fleets Marshal in open combat. He defeats the Marshal and is able to convince the remainder of the fleet to agree to a cease-fire. They leave Earth's orbit to return to Mars II. J'onn however, elects to stay behind on earth. In the aftermath of the confrontation, the JLA HQ Satellite is virtually destroyed.[24] With the half Justice League off-world, others badly wounded and and the sattelite damaged, Aquaman, as a charter member of the League and the only original League member present,[25] addresses the general assembly of the United Nations, announcing that they cannot protect the Earth without complete commitment from all of their members - so he disbands the team![26] Having been off-world, Superman, the Flash and Wonder Woman accepts Aquaman's decision, and gracefully bow out of the new Justice League![27] Aquaman decides to reform the League in a new location and with a few openings in this new League, Martian Manhunter takes a spot.[28] The new team that rises in their place includes Aquaman, Elongated Man, Gypsy, Steel, Vibe, Vixen and Zatanna. To remain closer to those they’re sworn to protect, they establish new headquarters in a Detroit compound operated by Dale Gunn.[29]

J’onn also decides to revive his John Jones identity.[30]

The Crisis on Infinite Earths

The Crisis on Infinite Earths

Shortly after John Jones settles into his secret identity, the red skies of the Crisis begin to appear on both Earth-One and Earth-Two. As they do, the Manhunter and the Detroit Branch of the JLA is engaged in battle with Earth-Two’s Infinity, Inc.. The JLA is defeated. The Manhunter is able to ferry his unconscious comrades away.[31]

As red skies consume the earth, J’onn finds himself aboard a strange satellite orbiting the earth along with a massive congregation of heroes from Earth-One and Earth-Two – against their will. They have been summoned by three individuals. One is Alex Luthor, Jr. from Earth-Three. The other two are called Pariah and the Harbinger. Together the three explain how a being called the Anti-Monitor has released a massive antimatter wave, absorbing the energies of the destroyed positive matter universes and growing stronger even as his counterpart, the Monitor grew weaker. Now his counterpart is dead. They are told there is chance to defeat the Atni-Monitor if they protect a series of ‘Anti-Tuning Fork’ which are dispersed across space and time. This task will not be easy, as they will surey be attacked by the Anti-Monitor's Shadow Demons along the way. These ‘Anti-Tuning Forks’ were designed to protect the multiverse, by merging the five surviving Earths [Earth-One, Earth-Two, Earth-S, Earth-X, and Earth-Four] into a single one that could resist the Anti-Monitor's on-coming wave of anti-matter,[32] or else all worlds will be destroyed.[33]

It soon becomes clear that the plea of the three must not go unheeded. J'onn, along with Azrael, the Earth Two Flash, Katana, Blue Beetle (of Earth-Four) and his Bug are transported to Earth-Four to stop the impending doom. They are hindered by Earth-Four heroes: Captain Atom, Judo Master, Nightshade, Peacekeeper, Thunderbolt, and the Question who appear to be mind-controlled by a strange unseen force. [NOTE: We learn later that the Anti-Monitor has employed the Psycho-Pirate to use his emotion control powers to terrorize the populations of the planets he sought to conquer and destroy.].[34]

The next mission for J'onn, involves the Supermen of Earth-1 and Earth-2, Mon-El, Lady Quark, Captain Atom, Jade, Green Lantern of Earth-2, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel from Earth-S, the Ray from Earth-X, Wildfire, Firestorm, Dr. Light, and Supergirl. They are led by Pariah through the portal between the two universes, that was opened by Alex Luthor, Jr. They are poised to do battle against the Anti-Monitor in his floating stone fortress in the Antimatter universe. As the heroes converge on their powerful foe, Supergirl is dealt a deathblow. The Anti-Monitor, is weakened but escapes. His fortress falls apart and our heroes head back to back to their own universe.[35]

J’onn soon finds himself on the nearly destroyed JLA Satellite with Cyborg and Ray Palmer, the Earth-One Atom (despite him being on hiatus from super-heroics).[36] They are waiting for Vixen to bring them the famed robotics expert Professor T.O. Morrow, so they can perform repairs upon the robot that he invented – Red Tornado. On the way to the Satellite, she gains the aid of Firestorm and Firehawk. Soon they are joined by John Stewart (aka the Green Lantern) with the Blue Devil. Suddenly, something deep within the Tornado's bio-system activates and a huge explosion tears through the satellite. Morrow appears to be killed, and the Blue Devil finds himself transported to the Vegan system to deal with the Omega Men.[37] The rest of the heroes are able to escape with a wounded Manhunter.[38]

As the Crisis continues, J’onn recovers and finds himself on another mission on the partially merged Earth-S. They are sent to aid in the rescue of the captured Marvel Family by Doctor Sivana, Doctor Cyber, Per Degaton, Houngan, Phobia, Despero, Deathbolt, Hector Hammond and surprisingly, Professor T.O. Morrow. J’onn arrives with the Atom, and Platinum of the Metal Men. The heroes are successful.[39]

Meanwhile, the Harbinger has been gathering heroes for one last heroic confrontation on the planet of Qward (a planet located at the very center of the antimatter universe). The Supermen of Earth One and Two, Power Girl, ‘Martian Manhunter’, Kid Flash, new Dr. Light, Captain Atom, Lady Quark, Firestorm, Firehawk, Captain Marvel, both Wonder Women, Negative Woman, Superboy-Prime and other heroes are on hand. As they arrive, the Kid Flash sees an image of the Flash—the last one Barry cast before his death. Wally follows the after-image to where an insane Psycho-Pirate clutches at an empty uniform. Kid Flash knocks him out and Lady Quark finds his ring. Pariah senses evil and the Anti-Monitor appears. Our heroes strike at the Anti-Monitor. He falls back to a nearby planetoid seemingly killed and our heroes cheer. The heroes retreat through the portal that a weakened Alex Luthor, Jr. is trying to keep open. As they begin to disappear, the Anti-Monitor strikes at the Wonder Woman of Earth-One and she appears to disintegrate. The elder Superman of Earth-Two, believing he has the least to lose (no world and no wife to return to), confronts the evil Monitor head-on. Superboy of Earth-Prime decides to stay and comes to Superman’s aid. Alex warns that the he has very little power left to keep the portal open. This is the last J’onn sees of the Earth-Two Superman, Superboy-Prime and Alex.[40]

J'onn J'onzz re-emerges on the New Earth as private detective (no longer police detective), John Jones.[41]


Powers and Abilities

Martian Manhunter

Manhunter from
Battle At The Earth's Core.

Martian Manhunter 4 (Limited Collector's Edition)
Martian Manhunter 5 (Limited Collector's Edition)

Powers


Weaknesses

  • Psychic Pyrophobia: An unusual and unexplained fear of fire.


Appearances

Earth-One Appearance:

  • Justice League of America, Vol. 1 #61 (March 1968)[61]


Earth-1A Appearance:


Justice League Team Members

Members of the Justice League of America

Aquaman (founding member) • Batman (founding member) • Superman (founding member) • Flash (founding member)
Green Lantern (founding member) • Martian Manhunter (founding member) • Wonder Woman (founding member)

Comic Book JLA Team Members:
Black CanaryElongated ManRed TornadoZatanna Zatara
Phantom Stranger (part-time Leaguer) • Sargon, The Sorcerer (honorary Leaguer)

Other Known Justice Leaguers:
The HuntressBlack OrchidCaptain MarvelSupergirlGreen FuryPlastic ManAtomGreen Arrow

SuperFriends Founding Members:
SupermanBatmanWonder WomanAquaman
HawkmanSamuraiGreen LanternFlashBlack Vulcan

Other Known SuperFriends Members:
HawkgirlApache ChiefEl DoradoRima

Junior SuperFriends:
RobinCyborgFirestorm
ZanJayna
Marvin WhiteWendy Harris

Mascots:
GleekWonder Dog


Notes

  • J'onn J'onzz first appears in Detective Comics, #225 (November, 1955).[62]
  • He was created by writer Joseph Samachson and artist Joe Certa.


Trivia

  • In his earliest appearances, the Martian Manhunter resembled a normal human, albeit with green skin. He was drawn with standard human eyes and eyebrows. In later years however, creators decided to give J'onn a more alien appearance and provided him with the more modernized beetle-brow look.
  • In some of his earliest adventures, the Manhunter possessed the ability to see into the near future.[63] However, there have been scant examples of this, and it is no longer a power that he possesses in modern continuity. By his own account, the Martian Manhunter cannot perceive the future.
  • A 1964 editorial shake-up resulted in J'onn J'onzz's ouster from Detective Comics in favor of a Flash supporting character, the Elongated Man. The Martian was transferred to House of Mystery, which had hitherto carried only non-series sci-fi/fantasy stories. He started in the 143rd issue (June, 1964).[64]
  • After over eight years in comics, he finally held down a lead feature, appearing regularly on the cover all by himself. Apparently, tho, he wasn't working all that well there, as within a year the non-series stories started occasionally pre-empting him.[65]
  • In #156 (January, 1966), the every-issue cover spot, along with the lead position inside, was taken over by a new series, "Dial H for Hero", and J'onn J'onzz was right back where he started — back pages, no covers, but this time it was in a comic that came out only eight times a year instead of 12. And then, he lost even that. With its 174th issue (May, 1967), House of Mystery was converted back to non-series stories, leaving "Dial H" out in the cold and J'onn J'onzz with only his Justice League membership keeping him in the public eye.[66]


Appearances in Other Media

In Martian Form

John Jones


References

  1. Someone provided his voice in the Super Powers cartoons, but I don't yet know who.
  2. This was not the only time an attempt at communication turned into teleportation in DC Comics — that's also how Adam Strange got to the planet Rann.
  3. As revealed in Detective Comics, #225 (November, 1955), which can be found at the DC Database. The Martian’s origin is retold in Justice League of America, #144 (July, 1977).
  4. As revealed in Detective Comics, #225 (November, 1955) and Detective Comics, #322 (December 1963).
  5. As revealed in Detective Comics, #236 (October 1956), which can be found at the DC Database.
  6. See Detective Comics #264/3 (February 1959) for how the Manhunter saved earth by acting in the shadows.
  7. This date is revealed in Justice League of America, #144 (July, 1977).
  8. The above adventure is revealed in Justice League of America, #144 (July, 1977).
  9. As revealed in Detective Comics, #273/3 (November, 1959).
  10. As revealed in Detective Comics, #275 (January 1960).
  11. As revealed in Detective Comics, #311 (January 1963).
  12. As revealed in Justice League of America, #9 (February, 1962).
  13. As revealed in Detective Comics, #326 (April 1964). This was the end of the Martian Manhunter series in Detective Comics, which had lasted from #225 (November 1955) to #326 (April 1964). After this, the series moved to House of Mystery.
  14. As revealed in several issues of the House of Mystery, issues #160 (July 1966) - #173 (April 1968)
  15. As revealed in Justice League of America, #71 (May, 1969).
  16. As revealed in World's Finest Comics, #212 (June 1972).
  17. As revealed in DC Comics Presents, #27 (November, 1980).
  18. As quoted by Superman in the SuperFriends Comic Book (1976-1981) issue: Limited Collectors' Edition #C-41 (December 1975 / January 1976).
  19. As revealed in the World's Finest Comics, #212 (June 1972) and Justice League of America, #115 (January/February 1975).
  20. As revealed in Adventure Comics, #449 (January/February) to #451 (May/June 1977).
  21. As revealed in World's Finest Comics, #245 (June/July 1977).
  22. As revealed in Justice League of America, #177 (April, 1980) - #178 (May, 1980).
  23. As revealed in DC Comics Presents, #27 (November 1980).
  24. This ‘Earth-Mars Conflict’ is revealed in Justice League of America, #228 (July 1984) - #230 (September 1984).
  25. The reason that Aquaman is the only original Leaguer present when he disbanded the JLA is because Batman is now with the Outsiders, the Green Lantern has turned in his ring to the Guardians in the wake of the Satellite’s destruction, wanting to marry Carol Ferris. This story is revealed in Green Lantern, #181 (October 1984). The Flash, Superman, Wonder Woman are on Earth-Two, having left before Martian Manhunter’s arrival. This story is revealed in Justice League of America, #231 (October 1984).
  26. As revealed in Justice League of America Annual, #2 (October, 1984).
  27. As revealed in Justice League of America, #239 (June 1985).
  28. As revealed in Justice League of America, #232 (November 1984).
  29. As revealed in Justice League of America Annual, #2 (October, 1984).
  30. As revealed in Justice League of America, #244 (November 1985).
  31. As revealed in Justice League of America, #244 (November 1985).
  32. As revealed in Crisis on Infinite Earths, #1 (April, 1985).
  33. As revealed in Crisis on Infinite Earths, #5 (August, 1985).
  34. As revealed in Crisis on Infinite Earths, #6 (September, 1985).
  35. As revealed in Crisis on Infinite Earths, #7 (October, 1985).
  36. Ray Palmer’s desire to step down from crime-fighting is chronicled in a four-part limited series called: ‘Sword of the Atom’ which ran from September – December 1983 and the first two issues of ‘Sword of the Atom Special’ issues #1 (March, 1984) and #2 (1985).
  37. For background on the Omega Men see: Omega Men, #31 (October, 1985). To see how the Blue Devil gets out of this situation see: Blue Devil, #18 (November, 1985).
  38. As revealed in Crisis on Infinite Earths, #8 (November, 1985).
  39. As revealed in Crisis on Infinite Earths, #10 (January, 1986).
  40. As revealed in Crisis on Infinite Earths, #12 (March, 1986).
  41. As revealed in Justice League of America, #248 (March 1986).
  42. The powers and weaknesses listed are based on the common abilities of Martians first demonstrated by J'onn J'onzz. The references listed are based on J'onzz as depicted in the Earth-One and New Earth continuities.
  43. citation needed
  44. As revealed in Detective Comics, #225 (November, 1955)
  45. As revealed in DC Comics Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded
  46. As revealed in Who's Who: Update '88 #2 (September, 1988)
  47. As revealed in DC Comics Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded
  48. As revealed in Detective Comics, #225 (November, 1955); #227 (January, 1956); and #228 (February, 1956)
  49. As revealed in Martian Manhunter, #4 (August, 1988)
  50. As revealed in Detective Comics, #225 (December, 1955)
  51. As revealed in Detective Comics, #225 (November, 1955); #227 (January, 1956), and #228 (February, 1956) which can be found at the DC Database.
  52. As revealed in Detective Comics, #226 (December, 1955), which can be found at the DC Database.
  53. As revealed in Detective Comics, #225 (November, 1955)
  54. As revealed in Detective Comics, #225 (November, 1955)
  55. As revealed in Detective Comics, #225 (November, 1955)
  56. As revealed in Detective Comics, #225 (November, 1955)
  57. As revealed in Detective Comics, #225 (November, 1955)
  58. As revealed in Detective Comics, #225 (November, 1955)
  59. As revealed in Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe, #14 (April, 1986).
  60. As revealed in Detective Comics, #225 (November, 1955)
  61. Go to the DC Database for more on Justice League of America, #61 (March 1968).
  62. Go to the DC Database for more on Detective Comics, #225 (November, 1955).
  63. As revealed in Detective Comics, #226 (December, 1955).
  64. From J'onn J'onzz, Manhunter from Mars at Don Markstein's Toonopedia.
  65. From J'onn J'onzz, Manhunter from Mars at Don Markstein's Toonopedia.
  66. From J'onn J'onzz, Manhunter from Mars at Don Markstein's Toonopedia.
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