Tuesday, November 18, 2008
The Brave & The Bold #28 (Feb./Mar. 1960)
One of DC's many anthologies, The Brave and The Bold, was very good to J'Onn J'Onzz. In that title, J'onzz became a founding member to a new group of heroes called the Justice League of America, successors to the popular Justice Society of America from the World War II era. As with the JSofA, the JLofA's seven member team (also including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and The Flash) would break into smaller groups to combat a menace. This was the case from their very first appearance, in which each individual member had a roughly equal share of the spotlight.
An oddly blond plainclothes John Jones was saying his goodbye to Captain Harding at the precinct when his "Martian Super-Hearing" picked up that first JLofA sonic distress signal. "I'll spend my "vacation" not as John Jones, detective--but as J'onn J'onzz, Manhunter from Mars!"
After meeting up at the "modernistically outfitted cavern" that was the League's headquarters, The Flash assigned Manhunter and Wonder Woman to protect Science City from a giant purple mind-controlling starfish. In what other medium do you have things like that? This deputy of Starro the Conqueror was pelted by Martian Breath-propelled meteors, before friction caused a fire. Exposed to his greatest weakness, Manhunter used his "Martian Super-Vision" to spot rain clouds in the distance, then literally sucked them overhead until the downpour doused the flames. After that, the Starro couldn't handle the combined might of the Amazing Amazon & Alien Atlas, who wrestled it to exhaustion.
Tracking the Starros back to their progenitor, the League used a tip from teen hipster and subsequent team mascot "Snapper" Carr. While the Flash and Wonder Woman ripped open bags of lime, Martian Manhunter blew the calcium oxide into a lime-storm that incapacitated the would-be alien conqueror. The JLofA made two more appearances in TB&TB before graduating into their own hit series, which didn't hurt the Martian Manhunter's popularity any.
By Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky, Bernard Sachs, and Joe Giella. Garish “pop art” coloring by Frank Lee Delano, without any reference, so grain of salt.