Thursday, August 16, 2012

AlphabeThursday Superhero Style – M is for Martian Manhunter!


 Martian Manhunter, also known as John Jones, is a true Martian.  Like all good superheroes, his story has many versions.  This is the one I like the best.

 Born J'onn J'onzz he was destined to be special from birth.  He was a twin, with a brother named Ma'alefa'ak.  If ever two children were aptly named it would be these.  J'onn's name means "Light to the Light" - his brother's, "Darkness to the Heart."  J'onn grows up to be a model citizen, a police officer, a fine husband and father.

That is probably all you need to know to figure out the rest.  If you guessed that the evil twin becomes a lunatic madman, you guessed right.  (but if my parents named me "Darkness to the Heart, I might have a chip on my shoulder as well)  Ma'alefa'ak (Malefic) wasa special kind of crazy, and he went as far as to develop a way to kill off the entire Martian population.  It was extremely unpleasant, and it is passed from one to the other by using the martian power of telepathy.  To try and turn the power off would be like telling a human to stop thinking.

Before long, the sickness reaches J'onn's wife and daughter, and sees them die a terrible death.  He imprisons his crazy genocidal brother under a mountain, and then roams the desolate, barren surface of Mars lone while he goes half mad himself and slowly loses his will to live.  Luckily for him, a scientist back here on Earth is, at just the right moment, working diligently to find life on Mars.  Since most of the planet is dead, he happens upon our hero and manages to beam him down to Colorado.
Martian Manhunter

Interestingly, as he tries to return the martian to health, the scientist is able to connect with J'onn  through psychic telepathy.  He becomes aware of the horrors that have occurred to J'onn while he was on Mars, and realizes that if the martian body is ever going to get well again, this alien visitor will need to have healing in his mind.

Since it's a comic book, anything is possible, and Dr. Erdel plants some happier, but fictitious memories into J'onn's brain, and the Martian is eventually restored to health.  His good heart remained unchanged through it all, so he decides to use his powers for good right here, on this planet.

He assumes the identity of John Jones and goes to work as a police officer.  He is a very good cop, but the fact that he can morph and shape shift, and has a host of other super powers, it is not long before he finds his rightful place with the Justice League.

In addition to his ability to take on the appearance of anything he wants, he also has invisibility powers.  That's why we have two different versions of the action figure.  The one on the right is the invisible version.

m manhunter 01
And, there is more, of course.  Martian Manhunter has incredible speed, he can absorb many types of assault and even regenerate.  He reads minds, see through walls, use his eyes like laser beams or just to warm things up.

His brain is also a huge asset.  He has mind control abilities, empathy linking, and telepathy powers.  All he has to do is think something, and anyone that needs the information needs gets the message delivered straight to their brains.

The first Martian Manhunter appeared in a DC comic book in 1955.   There have been several variations of his story, and he has had many looks since his inception.  This is the version I am most familiar with, because I watch all these shows with my sons.

As a member of the Justice League, he plays a significant part in this animated series.

m manhunter jlu

The only weakness Martian Manhunter has is that he has a paralyzing, terrifying, fear of fire.  This is common to all of his species.  Otherwise, he is pure butt kicking awesome.

Thanks go out to Ms Jenny Matlock who blogs at on my tangent... for hosting his weekly alphabet meme.  Stop by and see what other "M" topics are linked up.