Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Martian Manhunter (DC Comics) Character Review

Martian Manhunter (DC Comics) Character Review

Martian Manhunter (DC Comics) Character Review

The Martian Manhunter (J'onn J'onzz) is a fictional Character, a superhero that appears in comic books published by DC Comics. Created by writer Joseph Samachson and artist Joe Certa, the character first appeared in Detective Comics (Nov. 1955). The character is known for being one of the core members of the Justice League of America (JLA). More about Martian Manhunter (DC Comics) Character Review - keep on reading !!

J'onn J'onzz has featured in other DC Comics-endorsed products, such as video games, television series, animated films, or merchandise like action figures and trading cards.

Character Biography

Bronze age - In 1972, Superman was teleported to New Mars. J'onzz briefly returned to Earth by spaceship in 1975. J'onn made another trip to Earth shortly thereafter, leading to Superman and Batman fighting alongside him on New Mars. Three years later, he was discovered playing cosmic-level chess with Despero, using JLA-ers as the pieces. The Martian again encountered Superman in outer space. He permanently resurfaced in the DC Universe in 1984. Shortly thereafter, the League had several members resign (among many other changes), leaving an opening for the Manhunter to take. In staying on Earth, he decided to revive his John Jones identity, this time as a private detective, but had to explain his twenty-year "disappearance". This contradicts J'onzz's final story in the back of Detective Comics, wherein everyone was led to believe that Jones was killed.

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Crisis era - During the lead-up to the Infinite Crisis miniseries, the character is feared to have been killed in an attack on the Justice League's HQ. He is later revealed to be alive and a captive of Alexander Luthor, Jr. After Infinite Crisis, most of DC's series jumped ahead one year, having the weekly series 52 fill in the missing time. In 52 #24, it is revealed that the character has been working behind the scenes in an unsuccessful attempt to destroy Checkmate for its role in the death of Ted Kord (The Second Blue Beetle).

Several weeks before World War III the Martian Manhunter disguises himself as a young girl and tries to defeat Black Adam telepathically in Bialya. He is defeated by being exposed to Adam's darkest memories and flees Earth. The miniseries WW III is told from his perspective. Using these events as a catalyst, DC Comics redesigned the appearance of the character, changing his costume and giving him an appearance that more closely resembles that of his Martian form. Those changes were further explored during a Martian Manhunter limited series that spun out of the DCU: Brave New World one-shot. Written by A.J. Lieberman with art from Al Barrionuevo and Bit, the series portrayed a Manhunter more mistrustful of humanity and their actions towards each other. The miniseries focuses on J'onn's search for other survivors of Mars.

Following this miniseries, J'onn was intended to be in Outsiders. He appeared in the third issue of the Outsiders: Five of a Kind series with Thunder, and joined the team afterwards. Due to the change of writers, he was quickly written out within the last two issues. He was next seen working undercover during the events of the limited series Salvation Run. At the end of the series, J'onn is left captured and alone on an alien planet.

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In Final Crisis (2008), written by Grant Morrison the character is killed, with the death being further developed in the one-shot, Final Crisis: Requiem. The character next appears in the Blackest Night storyline as a Black Lantern At the end of the miniseries, the character is resurrected. Following this, the character is featured in the weekly Brightest Day series. During the series, J'onn encounters another surviving green Martian: D'kay D'razz, a scarred and warped psychopath who wants J'onn to be her mate.

In Brightest Day he is a very prominent character, finding a water source on Mars and meeting and talking with the daughter of Dr. Erdel, Melissa. J'onn is depicted tucking her into bed in a retirement home, in the form of her father. He later appears at Erdel's old lab. However, plant life starts to die every time he gets near. Later still, J'onn goes to see M'gann M'orzz (Miss Martian) in Australia during her mediation search, but finds her beaten and tied up. While tending to her, he is contacted by the Entity (White Lantern Corps), who instructs him to burn down the newly formed forest. When J'onn asks M'gann who did this to her, M'gann says she was attacked by a female green Martian. After this, J'onn senses something in Star City. J'onn arrives in Star City's new forest and attempts to complete his task; however, he is stopped from doing that by the Entity. The Entity reveals to him that the newly formed forest J'onn is to burn down is on Mars. After J'onn lashes out Star City's forest, he returns home. During this same time period, J'onn is found by Green Arrow, who attacks J'onn after mistaking him for some sort of monster. After being knocked unconscious and dragged out of the forest by Green Arrow, J'onn explains that the forest somehow tampered with his Martian shape-shifting abilities and temporarily drove him mad. When J'onn arrives home, he sees his planet covered in a newly formed forest on Mars.

When J'onn enters his home, he is confronted by a female green Martian named D'kay D'razz, the green Martian who attacked M'gann. D'kay explains her origins and wants to be J'onn's mate. J'onn refuses and learns that she is a psychopath when D'kay angrily lashes out to attack and enters his mind. J'onn tries to resist influence from D'kay's mind, but her control over his mind tempts him with visions of a fantasy world where all the Martians and J'onn's family are resurrected by the Entity. While re-united with his lost family, J'onn discovers that they are false and realizes that they are a ruse and the death corpse is carved of Martian symbols of love and hate from D'kay's influence. J'onn arrives vengeful and wrings D'kay's neck in disgust. J'onn defeats D'kay by forcing her into the sun, saved from the same fate by the White Lantern Entity, who informs him that his mission has been accomplished, and returns his life to him. The Entity then tells J'onn to choose between Mars and Earth. J'onn chooses Earth and returns to his adopted home world only to be absorbed into the Earth by the Entity as "part of the plan."

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When the "Dark Avatar" makes his presence known, J'onn is revealed to be one of the Elementals. Martian Manhunter is transformed by the Entity to become the element of Earth in order to protect the Star City forest from the "Dark Avatar", which appears to be the Black Lantern version of the Swamp Thing. The Elementals are then fused with the body of Alec Holland in order for Holland to be transformed by the Entity into the new Swamp Thing and battle against the Dark Avatar. After the Dark Avatar is defeated, Swamp Thing restores J'onn to normal. Afterward, J'onn helps Melissa (daughter of Dr. Erdel) remove the piece from her head after she loses her mind.

Powers and Abilities (Martian Manhunter)

The Martian Manhunter possesses a wide variety of superhuman powers— including telepathy, shape-shifting, projecting energy, x-ray vision, phasing, invisibility, flight, and super strength— but his abilities have been shown inconsistently throughout the years.

In the current DC continuity, many of his powers are similar to those of Superman, including superhuman strength close to that of Superman, flight, invulnerability, vortex breath, and "Martian Vision" (a term designating both the ability to see through solid objects and the ability to project beams of energy from his eyes). Superman once said of the Manhunter, "He is the most powerful being on the face of the Earth".

Martian Manhunter (DC Comics) Character Review - Protect her

During the 1990s, it was stated that the source of his flight and "Martian vision" is a limited form of telekinesis (he had occasionally demonstrated more traditional uses of telekinesis to levitate and animate objects during his Detective Comics and House of Mystery appearances). His "Martian Vision" energy beams have sometimes been shown to knock foes backwards. On most occasions, however, these energy beams are depicted as heating objects rather than delivering a concussive impact.

The Martian Manhunter possesses the power of shapeshifting, which he employs for various effects (adopting human or monstrous appearance, elongating his limbs, growing to immense size, altering the chemical composition of his body, etc.). His default form during JLA meetings and in public is a "human-friendly" version of his actual birth shape.

J'onn can become intangible, passing harmlessly through solid objects. He can also render himself invisible. He lost the ability to use his other powers while invisible during the Silver Age.

J'onn can become invisible to the naked eye. Until he was stripped of the use of his other powers while invisible J'onn was virtually unknown to the world except as John Jones, detective. He did his heroing while invisible as an unknown "angel" helping those in need.In "The Unmasking of J'onn J'onzz" from Detective Comics #273 where B'rett, a yellow-skinned Martian criminal, lands on Earth he reveals J'onzz's existence to Earth-1's public by using a Martian weapon to take away J'onn's ability to use his powers while he is invisible. Once visible to fight B'rett, J'onn is quickly outed as a Martian hero.

He is a powerful telepath, capable of both perceiving the thoughts of others and of projecting his own thoughts. He often acts as a "switchboard" between minds in order to coordinate the Justice League's actions. The extent of his telepathic abilities is great; several times he has connected his mind to the entire population of Earth.

In the Alex Ross series Justice, J'onn's "telepathy" is described in terms provocatively similar to the concept of grokking from Robert A. Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land. In an internal monologue, the Manhunter says:

" Since the first moment I chose this form and set foot on this world, I experienced it in ways no other human could. The humans call it telepathy. But that is only what it is like. There is no human word for how we Martians coexist with others. We don't read minds. We share in other beings' thoughts."

J'onn is also capable of absorbing energy projectiles such as beams and other energy waves.

He has demonstrated regenerative abilities, once able to regenerate his entire body from only his severed head, but with great strain (due to the loss of mass, he found it necessary to incorporate new matter from the Martian sand). Early appearances of the character show him as able to breathe underwater; he displayed this power when he encountered Zauriel in the sea of San Francisco in JLA #6. The Manhunter has sometimes been said to possess nine senses, but these additional senses are poorly defined and generally ignored by most writers.

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Aside from his superhuman powers, the Manhunter is also a skilled and very capable detective. As Batman mentions in his file, "in many ways, Martian Manhunter is like an amalgam of Superman and the Dark Knight himself."

J'onn J'onzz has also demonstrated the ability of generating and manipulating heat or energy beams, waves and blasts, and even absorbing extra mass from the earth to greatly increase his size.


One of the Martian Manhunter's signature traits is his vulnerability to fire. Although it has been an element of the character since his earliest appearances, writers have depicted it with great inconsistency throughout the character's long career. In some instances, it is portrayed as a physical susceptibility inherent to the Martian race, while at other times it has been explained as a personal psychosomatic disorder. The degree of vulnerability has also been wildly inconsistent, in some cases capable of stripping away his powers and killing him, while at other times simply inflicting pain or delirium with no actual danger of physical harm. This weakness has been diminished or cured on more than one occasion, only to have it return with a vengeance in a later story, as in the case of Justice League: Doom. Thus, it is difficult to define.

In his earliest appearances, the character was shown as having a weakness to fire while in his native Martian form. Over time, this was developed into the character having pyrophobia, with fire being the Martian's "Achilles heel", equivalent to Superman's weakness to Kryptonite. Exposure to fire typically causes J'onn to lose his ability to maintain his physical form, 'melting' into a pool of writhing green plasma. One portrayal explained that the flame weakness was tied into Martian telepathy, with fire causing so much chaos in Martian minds that they collapse. Most recently it was revealed, during the Trial By Fire storyline, that this fear was instilled on a genetic level by the Guardians of the Universe 20,000 years ago to weaken what was then a very aggressive species on the verge of interstellar conquest—this act split the race into the Green Martians and White Martians, though no mention is made of the pre-Crisis third race known as the Yellow Martians. At the end of the arc, this weakness was partially removed, with J'onn explaining that only fires of "psychic significance" were of harm to him, such as flames of suffering or passion (this was seemingly a roundabout way of limiting his weakness to flames of a mystical or pyrokinetic nature).

During the Fernus storyline, Batman noted that Martian shapeshifting was based around study and analysis of others rather than actual independent inspiration. Although their telepathy made this process virtually instantaneous, it also put the Manhunter at a slight disadvantage when faced with Plastic Man, a being immune to telepathy who could transform his shape with greater ease than a Martian's.

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Two of the earliest Manhunter Detective stories, "The Sleuth Without a Clue" had J'onn lose his powers when exposed to a specific comet. The plot in Detective #230 had J'onn J'onzz completely lose his martian powers for a period of 24 hours while the "Blazer Comet" was in the night sky and eight short months later in "Earth Detective for a Day" Detective #238, it was the "Earth-Mars Comet" that stripped J'onn of his martian abilities for only two hours this time. Perhaps the writers only meant that these comets had swung sunward from the Kuiper belt but really never got any closer than the Earth but still managed to sweep in closer than the Mars orbit.

In Other Media (Movie/Film)

  • Miguel Ferrer reprises his role as Martian Manhunter in the direct-to-DVD animated film, Justice League: The New Frontier. The movie shows his first adventures after arriving on the planet Earth. His weakness to fire is portrayed as an unexplained mixture of the psychological and the physical: when confronted with a fire, he is mesmerized, and falls to his knees, seemingly powerless to move at all, until someone else douses the fire. 
  • Jonathan Adams voices the Martian Manhunter in the direct-to-DVD animated film, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. He also has a Crime Syndicate counterpart called J'edd J'arkus (a play on the Martian "Tars Tarkas" from the Edgar Rice Burroughs Barsoom novels) who was killed during a raid by Lex Luthor and Jester.
  • Martian Manhunter appears in the animated film Justice League: Doom, with Carl Lumbly reprising his role from Justice League and Justice League Unlimited.

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Title: Martian Manhunter (DC Comics) Character Review; Written by GTS Baskoro; Rating: 5 dari 5

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