Sunday, November 30, 2008

Craig Hamilton & Ray Snyder Justice League of America vs. Starro (1997)


More seafood leftovers featuring a turkey of a villain! This pin-up was taken from the JLA Gallery, and was produced by Craig Hamilton, best known for his 80s' Aquaman mini-series (the one with the blue "camouflage" costume. That thing really should have been collected by now.)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Who's Who Vol.VII: The Elongated Man (9/85)


I believe one of the first times I ever saw the Elongated Man, not to mention the whole of the Justice League (as opposed to "Super Friends,") was on George Pérez's magnificent cover to 1983's Justice League of America #217. I noticed this stretchy guy flinging his neck about in the background, and my response was, "oh, another one." Like most people, I never particularly liked super-heroes with that particular power set, and am never pleased when Martian Manhunter shows similar plying inclinations. What respect I have for Mr. Fantastic comes from his superior intellect, where I've had to unlearn decades of Plastic Man hate based on his cartoon show and lousy modern comic appearances. Turns out the Jack Cole originals are some of the best comics of the Golden Age.

Leading the discussion back to Elongated Man, I'm already fighting the urge for another tangent. Ralph Dibney's was an okay guy, and I liked Sue quite a bit. That doesn't change the fact that as far as I'm concerned, the only interesting thing Elongated Man did in 2 1/2 years of Detroit League service was to pown Vibe in his final outing. His time with Justice League Europe was similarly misspent-- the hero most obviously suited to be in a "funny" League that never pulled any laughs. When your non-powered, unadventurous wife outshines you simply by providing decent supporting work to other characters, you should have your hero card revoked. The only time Elongated Man ever worked for me was as a straight detective, but he was rarely shown in that light, and that was Plastic Man's original territory to boot!

Poor Elongated Man. So little love for you. Many heroes gain a soul with their passing, but even in death, Sue Dibney upstaged him...

Art by Carmine Infantino and Dick Giordano

Friday, November 28, 2008

2002 DC Direct The Brave & The Bold #28 Statue


"Based on art by Mike Sekowsky and Murphy Anderson; Sculpted by John G. Mathews

From the historic comic that introduced the world to the Justice League of America...the cover of THE BRAVE & THE BOLD #28 by Mike Sekowsky and Murphy Anderson (March, 1960) is recreated as a stunning hand-painted, cold-cast porcelain statue, sculpted by John G. Mathews. The heroes of the first super-team of the Silver Age (Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman and Martian Manhunter) struggle against the menace of Starro the Conqueror, with each figure measuring approximately 5" tall. The Statue stands approximately 6" tall x 10.5" long x 9.12" wide. Packaged in a 4-color box.

$195.00 US, in stores on July 17, 2002. Released by DC DIRECT."

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mars Needs Merchandise!



Tomorrow is Black Friday, so I thought it would be a good idea to start collecting all the great Martian Manhunter related merchandise under one easy to visit banner, for your Christmas shopping needs. I'll also try to spotlight a lot more items than usual over the next month...

Action Figures

Activity Books

Apparel

Bookmarks

Candy & Prizes

Collector's Plates

Commercials

Costumes



Figurines

Foreign Editions

Games

Glasses & Mugs

Greeting Cards

Jewelery

Magazines

Magnets



Martian Sightings: Solicitations
2001: 11/01
2007: 11/07, 12/07
2008: 1/08, 2/08, 3/08 (1), 3/08 (2), 4/08, 5/08, 6/08, 7/08, 9/08
2009: 2/09, 3/09, 4/09, 5/09, 6/09, 7/09, 8/09, 9/09, 10/09, 11/09, 12/09
2010: 1/10, 2/10, 3/10, 4/10, 5/10, 6/10, 7/10, 8/10, 9/10, 10/10, 11/10, 12/10
2011: 1/11, 2/11, 3/11, 4/11, 5/11, 6/11, 7/11, 8/11, 9/11, 10/11, 11/11, 12/11
2012: 1/12, 2/12

Mini-Comics

Point of Purchase/Merchandising Displays

Postcards

Posters/Prints/Wall Scrolls

Sculptures (Busts, Statues, etc.)


Trading Cards

Universe Retro Argentinian Detective Martiano Trading Card
1966 Comic Book Foldees Card #15 (Topps)
1989 Mayfair Games DC Heroes Martian Manhunter Character Card
1991 Impel DC Comics Cosmic Cards #121: Martian Manhunter
1993 Justice League Task Force Official Membership Card
1993 Skybox DC Cosmic Teams Cards #43: Bloodwynd
1994 Skybox Superman: Man of Steel Platinum Series Card #40

1996 DC Outburst: Firepower
#04: Martian Manhunter by Chris Renaud
#75: Martian Manhunter by Chris Renaud

1997 Fleer/Skybox Justice League (JLA) Overpower Collectable Card Game

2004 Post Cereal Justice League Trading Card #5 of 7: Martian Manhunter (s04)

2005 Upper Deck VS System Collectible Card Game: Despero- Master of the Third Eye

2007 Alfajor Maxi Max Cookies DC Super Heroes Cartas De Poder

2007 Rittenhouse Archives DC Legacy Card #21: Martian Manhunter

2007 Rittenhouse Archives DC Legacy Sketch Cards

2009 Rittenhouse Justice League of America Archives Sketch Card by Tone Rodriguez

Current as of 11/25/11

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Jeff Lemire Justice League of America vs. Starro (2005)


Found on the Top Shelf Comics "Hey, Bartender!" blog, where Brett Warnock noted, "Jeff Lemire did these two JLA drawings just for fun. I love it so much when indy cartoonists draw super-heroes. It's as good as peanut butter and chocolate."

Also, I'll be out of town with limited internet access throughout the holiday weekend, but the site will continue to auto-post new entries every day at 7 P.M. Only approval/replies to comments might have to wait.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Frienemies of Mars: Superman



Many of the Martian Manhunter's relationships with fellow super-heroes are curious and complicated... none more so than the one with the Man of Steel.

Going all the way back to the beginning, riding high on a hit television show and widespread acceptance in Post-Code comics, Superman was the big dog at DC in the '50s. Batman, watered down and stripped of his greatest foes, was not. Superman editor Mort Weisinger exerted a good deal of influence at DC, even over Batman editor Jack Schiff. Pressure was leveled to make the Batman books more like Superman's (see: Bat-Mite, Bat-Hound, the Batman Family, etc.) and this extended to the back-up feature "John Jones: Manhunter from Mars." Where once the strip was about a plainclothes detective who was secretly an alien visitor on a crusade against Earthling criminals, it shifted focus to a super-hero who fought aliens with a cop secret identity and supporting cast. Once the Silver Age revivals led to the Justice League of America, where initially both Schiff and Weisinger refused to allow their World's Finest more than occasional appearances, J'onn J'onzz's transition to ersatz Superman was complete.

The first meetings between Martian Manhunter and Superman took place in those early League stories, where all interaction was strictly platonic and colorless. As the popularity of the book prompted the inclusion of more members, and the higher profile of Superman rendering the Alien Atlas redundant, our hero was pushed out. Through League ties though, J'onn J'onzz began appearing in a number of books, including Superman's. There, he was always a caring friend, whether mourning the Kryptonian's seeming demise or impersonating him to safeguard Metropolis. His loyalty was rewarded after the cancellation of Martian Manhunter's solo feature, when occasional appearances in Superman and JLofA titles were the only things keeping the character in the public eye.

Martian Manhunter's m.o. changed massively in 1972's World's Finest Comics #212: punch your friends. It was a whole new ballgame with the words, "Not only are you human, Superman-- but I've made you bleed!" After graciously hosting the Sleuth From Outer Space in his books, this must have been like biting the hand that fed him. J'onzz was rarely seen throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, and often in a misguided adversarial relationship with his fellow heroes, especially Superman. After one image of humiliation for the Man of Steel, Martian Manhunter has spent decades receiving payback. For starters, the other major 1970s pattern: A problem emerged that was too big for J'onn J'onzz, he contacted Superman & friends, then they solved the problem with little input from the Martian.

Redemption was found in the 1980s, when it was decided that Superman's membership in the Justice League would be retroactively negated. Martian Manhunter was again used to fill the void of Superman's absence, as a classical super-heroic founder amongst the punks, clowns, and c-listers that comprised the Justice League until the late '90s. The Martian rarely beat up fellow heroes anymore. J'Onzz and Kal-El interacted irregularly in those years, but J'Onn did return to the role of friendly impersonator and reliable comrade on occasion. However, DC cannot abide any hero to in any way compromise Superman's stature (see: Captain Marvel.) Beginning in the late '80s and going full steam since, the Martian Marvel has been routinely beaten by Superman foes, or the Kryptonian himself, under various circumstances. Also, in nearly every alternate future/Elseworld/etc., especially those spotlighting Superman, Martian Manhunter is humbled or killed outright.

An interesting wrinkle turned up while moving into the new century: although Superman's status as a Justice League founder was eventually restored, writers still hew to the new cannon that Martian Manhunter's heroic activities on Earth began in the 1950s, where Superman got his start at some vague point a decade or so back (a truth for about twenty years now, with the start date just sliding forward with the passage of time.) Though a respected senior status was alluded to in Grant Morrison's "JLA," the contemporaneous Superman writers (including Jeph Loeb, Joe Kelly, and J.M. DeMatteis) recontextualized the rapport to that of J'Onn as more of a personal confidant and repected mentor. This take carried over into the popular "Smallville" television series, and seems increasingly likely to stick. What a long strange trip, from a quasi-imitation to a surrogate to an associate to an abuser, to a hanger-on, to a punching bag, to near equal and finally to elder statesman...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Commander Benson's Notebook: Rogue's Gallery


When I was first putting together my fan site "Martian Manhunter: The Rock of the JLA," U.S. Navy Commander Adam Benson became my guru with regard to the Manhunter's Silver Age stories. I ran a series of "articles" culled from his message board posts from 1998-2000, and thought it would be nice to return the pieces to the web. If you'd like to read more current and thorough offerings, visit the index of his Commander Benson's Deck Log columns at Captain Comics and the Legion of Superfluous Heroes.

"The Manhunter from Mars had only two recurring arch-foes from his old Detective Comics/House of Mystery days. The first was Professor Arnold Hugo, who switched from being a Bat-villain to confronting J'onn J'onzz in Detective # 322 (Dec., 1963), and returned to plague the Manhunter in House of Mystery issues # 153, 157, and 165. The Batman also made a cameo appearance in that first Hugo-Manhunter story; in fact, that was the only instance--at least in the Detective/House of Mystery issues I have--where another DC hero made an appearance in the Manhunter strip.

The other regular foil was Mr. V, a.k.a. Faceless, and his international criminal organization, Vulture, who J'onn J'onzz opposed through most issues of House of Mystery, starting with issue 160. Ironically, in the old Certa strip, the one regular J'onn J'onzz foe--Professor Hugo--was given more dimension and background than the friends in his regular supporting cast. I don't know how much potential Professor Hugo would have as a viable villain for today's version of the Manhunter; but I can see an updated version of Vulture as a worthy regular foe.

This modern incarnation of Vulture could be an organisation of international terrorists, headed by a new Mr. V--an individual of such considerable personal fortune that he can finance the research and development of super-scientific weaponry to advance their manifesto. As a hero with few personal relationships, J'onn J'onzz would be in position to cross the world, combating Vulture's global threats. Just a thought.

(By the way, I didn't forget about the Idol-Head of Diabolu arc in the Manhunter strip; I just don't consider that as an arch-foe as much as a recurring gimmick.)"

Edited by Frank Lee Delano from posts made by "Commander Steel" on the DC Comics Message Boards. All material used with the written consent of the author.

Bibliography
Martian Manhunter's Rogue's Gallery - posted September 04, 1999

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Darwyn Cooke Justice League of America vs. Starro (2004)



I warned you I had more Starro! This image is taken from the final page of DC: The New Frontier, issue #6. The well liked prestige mini-series was adapted to animation earlier this year.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Vile Menagerie: THE HYPERCLAN

From Top, left to right: A-Mortal, Tronix, Armek, Zenturion, Fluxus, Primaid, Protex, and Züm


A flying saucer hovered above the White House and dropped eight silvery spheres on the lawn. Eight costumed super-beings emerged seamlessly from the spheres, claiming to be alien super-heroes. Their spokesman was Protex, whose own home planet had been destroyed by its inhabitants, leaving the superhuman survivors to wander the universe in search of new worlds. The Hyperclan members had been traveling for what scientists estimated "may have been anything up to several million years of our time." Protex insisted, "Our homeworld was destroyed by negligence and greed and profiteering. Our forests were pulped, our lakes and oceans choked and dried, our Plague Weapons ran riot."

All of this was true, after a fashion. In the Bronze Age of comics, Mars was destroyed by the negligence of her people in a land deal brokered with aliens by Commander Blanx. If you subscribe to the Post-Crisis narrative, everyone and everything that wasn't burnt out by that Blue Flame of Mars fell victim to a mysterious plague called "H'ronmeer's Curse." One imagines the Hyperclan would have visited Mars first thing after their release from the "Still Zone," (generally theorized to be the Phantom Zone) after millenia of captivity for their crimes against Mars and Earth. All that time, and the White Martians went straight back to their very old ways, plotting to conquer our planet!

To further impress Earthlings, the Hyperclan partook of some seemingly beneficial but actually superficial improvements, and began executing super-human criminals they'd managed to capture. This brought them into conflict with the JLA, but the Martians had already begun broadcasting signals to control human minds, turning the populace against her true defenders. The plan was wildly successful at first, until the JLA recovered and routed the Hyperclan.

In single combat with Superman, Protex explained his tribe's true, infamous history. "...Long before there was human life, we journeyed to this planet. Earth creatures were primitive and easy to manipulate but... ah... Unfortunately, our interventions provoked a biological catastrophe: Earth was to have been the cradle of a superhuman race. But we snapped one too many DNA chains and the creatures that should have been gods ended up just... humans. The Green Martians punished us by trapping us in the Still Zone. Can you imagine what that was like? There are... things in there, imprisoned by titanic races long gone. But we learned and used the Still Zone to travel and gain knowledge, until our return here. You see, this world is ours by right. We created its inhabitants..."

Since their being captured and telepathically forced to live as humans, the Hyperclan as a team have made no further appearances. Protex and Primaid continued to use those assumed names during a second invasion attempt, but retained their natural White Martian forms. Their only other named compatriot in that failed endeavor was Z'ush. It is unknown whether any members of the Hyperclan survived the massacre of White Martians conducted by Fernus the Burning.

Leadership: Protex
Membership: Primaid, A-Mortal, Fluxus, Tronix, Züm, Armek and Zenturion
First Appearance: JLA #1 (January, 1997)

Created by: Grant Morrison & Howard Porter

See Also:

JLA #1 (1/97)
JLA #2 (2/97)
JLA #3 (3/97)
JLA #4 (4/97)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Alex Ross Justice League of America vs. Starro (2002)



Since I kicked off coverage of Silver Age JL of A adventures last Friday with an Alex Ross piece, I figured I'd nod toward their first appearance with another. Truth to tell, I've got a whole bunch of Starro pin-ups waiting in the wings, so expect lots of seafood with your turkey over the holidays next week. Mm-MMM! Fishy!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Justice League Spectacular #1 (1992)


Vibe: Still dead, five glorious years and counting.

Steel: Also dead, but soon to be replaced by a black man with a big hammer.

Dale Gunn: Last appeared about the time Steel was revealed to not be dead, so he could be killed again.

Gypsy: In limbo, aside from cameos in Justice League Quarterly as part of the Conglomerate.

Vixen: Suicide Squad was getting canceled hereabouts, though Mari had left the team by this point, in favor of the occasional "Animal Man" guest spot.

Elongated Man & Sue Dibney: Wrapped up their four issue mini-series, which led them to join a European diplomatic trip to Florida's Funny Stuff Park. Taken hostage by the Royal Flush Gang, who'd been hired by Maxwell Lord to cause an incident that would inspire the formation of a new Justice League. Things got out of hand when a second benefactor offered the the Gang advanced new weapons. Still, a new League did form, with Ralph's assistance and membership, and throttled the Royals. "I may not be as powerful as Big Blue over there-- or as fast as the kid [Flash]-- but give me a diversion and I can hold my own!" In fact, he even rescued Superman...

Batman: Approached by Max Lord to run a new League, but refused. Instead tried to recruit Superman for the role. "With the Martian Manhunter gone they need your muscle! They need your leadership, Superman. Care to sign up?" No, as he found the JLI to be a ridiculous bunch whose "nonpowered heroes" could never keep up with him. Superman was promptly captured when he brainlessly stormed Funny Stuff Park, was released by Elongated Man, and agreed to join one of two new Justice Leagues. Batman was wisely nowhere near Florida for any of this.

Aquaman: Helped Dr. Light II construct a suboceanic farm. Recruited by Green Lantern Hal Jordan as part of a third wave of heroes to enter Funny Stuff Park. Had Power Girl's back in the fight. Asked to join one of the new Leagues by Hal, his first time serving since the Detroit years. "...after what happened the last time I was a member-- I swore I'd never get involved with a team again! ...I don't know. Booster and Beetle acted so rashly today that they could have gotten civilians killed!" Finally sucked it up and fell in line.

Martian Manhunter: Name-checked by Batman above, as well as Green Lantern Hal Jordan, who said of the Detroit League. "Look, I realize things went badly back then-- but that should hardly be a condemnation for all time! ...with J'Onn and Captain Atom gone [the League is] going to need big-time muscle to do it!"

Bloodwynd: First unnamed cameo appearance, looking like a punch drunk boxer while watching a television in his apartment announce the new League. While the anchorman and the United Nations considered that the team may have previously been premature disbanded, Bloodwynd concurred. "Yes. I wonder too. If they're getting back together-- the Justice League will have me to deal with!"

Weapons Master: Seen only in shadow. Outfitted the Royal Flush Gang to test his toys and the super-heroes. On a mission for a Dominator to steal Guy Gardner's Power Ring. Only kept his blond bimbo Kiki around for the sex, which he indulged in during a slow point in the festivities. Worked out of his personal yacht.

Justice League America: Superman, Green Lantern Guy Gardner, Fire, Ice, Booster Gold, and Blue Beetle.

Justice League Europe: Green Lantern Hal Jordan, Aquaman, Elongated Man, Power Girl, Dr. Light II, Crimson Fox and the Flash.

The Creators: Dan Jurgens looked nice inked by Rick Burchett, but consistently wrote Superman as an overbearing jerk, Ice as a sentimental idiot and Fire as a valley girl. Gerard Jones continued to write the European League as painfully boring. Ron Randall looked great embellished by Randy Elliot, especially when drawing women in form-fitting duds.

J’Onn J’Onzz’s Nicknames of the Issue:
"Martian Manhunter" -The Batman
“J'Onn" -Green Lantern Hal Jordan

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Commander Benson's Notebook: Introduction


When I was first putting together my fan site "Martian Manhunter: The Rock of the JLA," I knew virtually nothing about J'onn J'onzz's adventures prior to the 1980s. As a regular on the DC Comics Message Board at the time, I made the acquaintance of U.S. Navy Commander Adam Benson, who posted from his ship under the handle "Commander Steel." Benson became my guru with regard to the Manhunter's Silver Age stories, and with his permission I edited together posts he'd made on the boards to create the first section devoted to the '50s and '60s on my site. I eventually caught up on the "House of Mystery" run myself, but before the "Showcase" edition of last year, my main connection to the "Detective Comics" feature was Commander Benson.

Like most of the old site, I saved the text from "Commander Steel's Notebook," and thought it would be nice to return the pieces to the web. In this edition, Benson spoke of his introduction to J'onn J'onzz and his supporting cast. If you'd like to read more, visit the index of his Commander Benson's Deck Log columns at Captain Comics and the Legion of Superfluous Heroes.

"I have been buying old issues of Detective Comics for years now--to collect the "J'onn J'onzz" stories, rather than the "Batman" ones. (I already own the Manhunter's complete run in House of Mystery.) My preference for the Manhunter from Mars is as the character was depicted in his DETECTIVE COMICS/HOUSE OF MYSTERY days (and in that incarnation, I suspect he would be almost unrecognisable to today's J'onn J'onzz fans).

The characters in the Manhunter's supporting cast from his old DETECTIVE COMICS days were his boss, Captain Harding, and his co-worker, Policewoman Diane Meade. The strip never made full use of these recurring characters, except to advance the plot and nothing more. The possibilities for good stories involving any of them abound. What if evidence appeared to show Harding or Diane to be a corrupt cop? Nor do detectives work in a vacuum--even in a small town like Middletown. There would have been a squad room of detectives with whom Jones worked and interacted every day. Even John Jones himself was never explored. I recall only one story which ever showed him in his apartment. The fact that the Manhunter was human in his John Jones form was rarely explored.

Occasionally, Diane Meade featured prominently in a story; but she was never given a background, depth, or much of a personality. The final panel of the story "The Cosmic Fun House", from Justice League of America # 7 (Nov., 1961), shows police detective John Jones out on a date with Meade. However, you really couldn't call his relationship with the girl a romance. I have over thirty of J'onn J'onzz's appearances in Detective Comics, including the last appearance of Diane Meade, in "The Death of John Jones, Detective" (Detective # 326 [Apr., '64]). If there was any scene of them going on a date, I do not recall it; nor was their deportment anything other than friendly-but-professional."


Edited by Frank Lee Delano from posts made by "Commander Steel" on the DC Comics Message Boards. All material used with the written consent of the author.

Bibliography
Who is your favorite JLA member? - posted August 04 & 07, 2000
J'onn's supporting cast. - posted June 15 & 16, 1999
Has J'onn J'onzz ever fallen in love with an Earthwoman? - posted August 01, 2000
Martian Manhunter in DC Archives - posted March 08, 2000

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.

Meanwhile...

Monday, November 17, 2008

JLA #4 (April, 1997)



Inside Z'Onn Z'Orr, Superman finally deduced the Hyperclan were Martians, and because his prolonged exposure to Kryptonite hadn't killed him, that it was in fact illusory. "We thought J'Onn was the only one left. How can this be? Martians. I should have seen it before."

As the Man of Steel faced Protex, Primaid commanded Armek to guard the Justice League, whom she felt could still be eliminated in total. "I don't think so." Armek was revealed to actually be the Martian Manhunter in disguise. "Yours is not the only deception, Primaid. And I left the real Armek in the Gobi Desert. Did you really think I wouldn't recognize this city you've unearthed? Z'Onn Z'Orr, the most infamous name in Martian history?" Primaid screamed, "J'Onn J'Onzz! Betrayer! TRAITOR!"

Meanwhile, the real Armek and Züm were trekking to Antarctica:
"This is what happens when you deal with a Green Martian! They're all the same! What makes him think he can just steal a form I designed? ...I'll kill him!"
"We were going to kill him after he'd betrayed the JLA anyway... So he didn't betray his friends... The rest of the plan's still good."



Primaid lunged at the Martian Manhunter. "Now to finish what we started millennia ago." The Alien Atlas backhanded her across the room. Primaid chided, "You hit like what you are: a Green philosopher. I am a true Martian soldier. I can transform my body into a thousand battle configurations: the Flesh Vortex, the Storm of Hammers..." J'Onn J'Onzz reached a switch to release his teammates from captivity. "Of course you can. That was all the Pale Martians ever had to offer our culture: war and hatred and destruction. We reached out to you. You responded with genoc--UNGH!" Primaid melted her humanoid form into a stream of hail that assailed the Martian Marvel, launching him through the roof and out into the Antarctic.

Left flat on his back, Primaid assumed the predatory appearance of a White Martian warrior. "If you had any self-respect, any pride in your heritage, you would have joined us." J'Onn answered, "The Paratexts spoke at length of your tribe. They told us what you did to the Earth and how you were punished." Primaid snorted, "And this planet means so much to you, is that it? You can never be one of them. The best you can ever hope to be is a Green freak! Who cares for a thing like you? Where are your friends now?..."



Wonder Woman affirmed, "Where we always are. Right here." Flanked by Green Lantern, Flash, and Aquaman, the Pale Martians would finally be met with full vigor. The three males trounced Armek and Züm, while Wally West asked, "What happened to Primaid?" Gazing up into the outer atmosphere, Martian Manhunter replied, "Wonder Woman happened to Primaid. She went up there."

Superman bested Protex, ending the threat of the Hyperclan, but not the White Martian invaders. "We can't waste time. The invasion fleet has already arrived on Earth and Martian mind control has been overridden by terror." Martian Manhunter explained of a lab in Z'Onn Z'Orr, "These cameras are connected to every television set in the world. The Hyperclan intended to broadcast our executions. Everything's set up. Who wants to do the talking?"

Click To Enlarge


The Man of Tomorrow was the obvious choice. As flying saucers filled the skies and armored aliens set foot on our world, he spoke. "People of Earth! This is Superman. I know it's difficult right now, but try not to panic. You must fight against the invaders. We're on our way but we can't reach everyone in time. It's up to you to defend one another. They're afraid of fire! Use fire against them! Stand firm. Right now, courage is all that can light this darkness!"

Matches... cigarette lighters... these were all it really took to force the Martians' surrender.



In the Still Zone, an other-dimensional limbo where the invaders had been imprisoned thousands of years past, the JLA inspected the Pale Martian mothership. Superman learned that J'Onn J'Onzz knew who they were as soon as Z'Onn Z'Orr was revealed, but kept the information to himself. "Forgive me, Superman. I allowed personal feelings to endanger you and the others. I miscalculated. They were Martians. This is the last relic of the world I lost... I..."

"Forget it, J'Onn. We won. I'm more concerned about what we do now. This is your call. Who else can judge these people?"

"Martians are shapechangers, Superman. We're familiar with a wide range of mind control techniques. There are... methods. Punishments. You may not approve but I must be the final arbiter. You do not know the culture. You were not there."



The JLA visited the Sahara Desert, where the Hyperclan's work to create a new Garden of Eden had crumbled to dust, an unsustainable ecology. To safeguard the world, the JLA built a Watchtower on the moon out of parts mined from the Overmaster's ship, fortified with promethium and advanced technology.

Meanwhile, 70 "humans" in countries all around the world felt like they'd "been lobotomized with a corkscrew." They'd had strange dreams since the invasion, and felt in their guts they had "somehow lost something of infinite value." They worked jobs that brought them into regular proximity with fire, and served a sentence for crimes their memory implants would not allow them to remember...

By Grant Morrison, Howard Porter, John Dell and Pat Garrahy

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Brave and the Bold Team-Up Archives Volume One (2005)



Excerpts from the foreword by Robert Klein and Michael Uslan

“BRAVE & BOLD’s new series was launched with fanfare including a big house advertisement. It even added a short-lived letter column to encourage fans to nominate their own ideas for team-ups.”

“The series started with a very surprising choice for a team-up – Green Arrow and Martian Manhunter, each a long-running backup to major characters. It was the first time either a Green Arrow or a Manhunter from Mars logo appeared atop a comic book. It was also the first time (outside a group JLA shot) Green Arrow was cover-featured since MORE FUN COMICS #103 in 1945, and the first time ever for J’onn J’onzz. One reason these two characters may have been selected for the first B&B team-up is the success of Batman and Superman in WORLD’S FINEST. What DC hero was most like Batman? With his red-clad sidekick, Arrow Car and Arrow Cave, wealthy playboy Oliver (Green Arrow) Queen was certainly at the time being presented as an imitation Batman. And what super-hero was most akin to Superman? But for the fact that his weakness was fire and not Kryptonite, the Manhunter from Mars best qualifies. More likely, this was a way to promote the Martian Manhunter, who would shortly gain his very own cover-featured series beginning in HOUSE OF MYSTERY #143.”

“Issue #56 featured two returning alumni of the B&B team-ups, the Martian Manhunter and the Flash. This was another concerted effort to get exposure for the Manhunter... thus, the importance of pairing him with a first-string DC hero... Bernard Baily handled the artwork. Baily, the legendary artist responsible for the cocreation of the Golden Age Spectre and the Hourman, was a regular on DC’s mystery titles of the 1960’s.”

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Senor Mendez & Section T2



Member of VULTURE's four man Section T2, which had the worst record in the organization. Senor Mendez hired Marco Xavier to discover which of Apollo Magnus' ships would be transporting a large gold shipment, not knowing the Manhunter from Mars had assumed Xavier's guise. Senor Mendez and the rest of Section T2 manned a submarine intended to pirate Magnus' gold, but were foiled and captured by the Manhunter from Mars. None of Section T2 has appeared since House of Mystery #160.

Friday, November 14, 2008

JLA: Secret Origins: Justice League of America (2002)

Click For Full Enlarged Image

"THE FLASH. AQUAMAN. WONDER WOMAN. GREEN LANTERN. MARTIAN MANHUNTER. FIVE HEROES WHO BANDED TOGETHER TO BATTLE A COMMON THREAT FROM THE STARS.

THEY WERE SOON JOINED BY SUPERMAN AND BATMAN, AND IN TIME, AN EXTENDED TEAM OF EARTH'S MIGHTIEST PROTECTORS WAS ASSEMBLED.

EACH MEMBER BRINGS TO THE GROUP THE DEEPEST COMMITMENT TO PRESERVING JUSTICE AND THE RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES OF ALL MANKIND."

by Paul Dini and Alex Ross

Thursday, November 13, 2008

DC Sampler #2 (9/84)

Presenting: the first ever appearance of Justice League Detroit! Click on the image below to see the full, high resolution glory...

Drawn by Chuck Patton with inks by future "Martian Manhunter" artist Tom Mandrake, this piece was part of a free comic DC used to circulate once a year to hype their entire line. I loved these things growing up, as they really did feel like a window into another universe; always featuring exclusive art, synopsis, and other information on comics I didn't or couldn't read.

As was the case for most of Patton's run, J'Onn J'Onzz and Zatanna are the furthest in the background, though it's strange Steel is also way out. Maybe Patton wasn't as enthusiastic about a carryover from a long-canceled series by writer Gerry Conway as he was the new characters they co-created? After all, Gypsy is surprisingly prominent... as is her green eyeshadow, making her look like a glamorous raccoon. The Disco Dazzler had even abandoned that look by then.

Poor Aquaman. Patton drew him so well, and he seems so hopeful about his newfound spotlight as team leader. A shame he was guiding the lot to infamy, and that he himself would bail out midway through their run as Justice League of America. It's also funny that he's directly below Batman, his successor in the role, who himself vanished after one story arc without explanation.

Vixen was another leftover of Conway's, but Patton got to design an entirely new costume for her, though the domino mask vanished before it appeared elsewhere.

I wonder if Patton misjudged how much space he needed, crowding five team members onto one page, while only three spread out in the next. I suspect that's why Elongated Man was given such attention, as his power allowed his to cover a lot of ground. It's also funny to see Vibe so dark complected, a real reminder of the multicultural aspect of the team. I don't think he ever wore those dish washing gloves again, thankfully.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Chase #1 (2/98)



The Martian Manhunter made a cameo on the cover of Chase #1, sitting on a couch watching TV and eating Oreos with milk. Innocent enough, except that he himself was made visible on a monitor bank alongside images of other remotely observed metahumans at the headquarters of the Department of Extranormal Operations. The D.E.O. was a government agency with the mission to gather information on and sometimes exploit the powers of superhumans, with Cameron Chase being amongst their newest operatives at the time.

Chase was late for her first day of work at the New York City office because she chose to drive, and a super-hero battle jammed traffic. She met her immediate superior, Field Personnel Manager Sandy Barrett, who advised her to learn how to use the subway. Barrett immediately shuffled Chase out the door for a plane headed to Daily, Ohio. During this bum's rush, J'Onn J'Onzz had a second cameo, pressing a D.E.O. staffer against a wall while wagging his finger in the man's face. "Tell the Director I have had enough of permits."

Earlier that morning, creepy nerd Jerry Harris had been threatened with a beating from Chad Flint at their junior high cafeteria. Jerry had the hots for Chad's girlfriend Amy Emerson, and the beau was sick of his staring. Jerry had fire-based powers, and often thought about changing his outsider status by becoming a super-hero. Instead, he erupted, injuring many of his classmates.

New elements in standardized testing intended to detect metahumans had already alerted the D.E.O. to Harris' potential, and with this event, Cameron Chase had been dispatched to investigate. Chase and local authorities soon found Harris walking down a back road. Harris again erupted, destroying a police car and igniting an officer. Chase muttered, "That's it then. One less meta in the world." She was prepared to fire on the teen, but instead became disoriented as Jerry fell backwards into water, his flames doused. "I felt this way back in Gotham. Maybe something is wrong."

Barrett convinced Jerry Harris to enter the D.E.O.'s metahuman youth training facility instead of prison, and he was excited by the prospect. "Do they teach you how to be, y'know, a superhero at this place?" In private, Chase objected. "If he attacked all those people with an axe, he'd be in a high-security mental hospital. Instead, we send him to Club Med for superkids."

The bullying boyfriend, Chad Flint, died from his injuries. A lynch mob stormed the local jail, where an officer was intent on releasing Harris to them. "Just you try that super-voodoo, son. Make me shoot in self-defense." Harris lit up, was shot, but melted his way out of bondage. Members of the mob and houses were set ablaze in his wake, as Jerry headed for Amy Emerson's house. Chase guessed as much, and intercepted him. As bullets had proven ineffective, Cameron allowed the enraged Jerry to leap at her. "STILL WANT TO MAKE ME A SUPER-HERO? DO YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT THIS FEELS LIKE?"

"I have about two seconds to hope that my plan will work. Then something tugs inside. Suddenly, I can feel Jerry's presence. It feels... The power around him hovers like a cloud of bees. It's almost tangible. Then something inside me reaches out... and swats it all away from him. Just like that. He hits the ground, unprotected, and crumples immediately..." Singed and bald, the boy moaned in pain.

"Whatever happened to me here today was not a fluke. Something is different now..."

Story by D. Curtis Johnson. Art by J.H. Williams III and Mick Gray, with colors by Lee Loughridge.

See also:
Chase #2-3 (3-4/1998)
Chase #6 (July 1998)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

JLA #3 (March, 1997)



Primaid promised that, with the kryptonite radiation pulses under the Hyperclan's complete control, they could subdue Superman indefinitely without killing him. Protex taunted, "Oh, Superman... all those people you've saved over the years: where are they now? No one is coming. No one cares. You are alone, at the end of the world. Completely alone."

Or not, as the Batman had survived his crash, deduced the Hyperclan's secret, and invaded their base. Flash fought a winning battle against Züm and Zenturion. Green Lantern defeated Armek.



Flash and Green Lantern entered the Gobi Desert watchtower, and the Fastest Man Alive learned to work their technology well enough to discover their orbital mind control transmitters were extra-dimensional. The heroes were then captured by Zenturion and Armek, who transported them to Z'Onn Z'Orr. As the pair were being prepared to join the rest of the JLA in being tortured to death, Armek explained, "When they realized their comrade was a traitor, the fight left them. It was easy." Protex continued, "You hear that, Superman? J'Onn J'Onzz, your faithful 'Martian Manhunter,' has betrayed you." Armek added, "Everything is ready for broadcast. The Martian Manhunter will join us shortly, to denounce his comrades as enemies of Earth." Of Wonder Woman, Protex stated, "It seems almost a shame to destroy this one... Still. The whole world is calling for your deaths, Superman, and we intend to oblige. Then, when you are gone, we will show our true faces to the world. Our ships will come from the skies. And the rivers will run red with the blood of mankind."



A-Mortal found that five defense drones had been disabled, and when he investigated, was humbled by the Dark Knight. Fluxus, Tronix and Zenturion followed, finding A-Mortal down and Batman waving a box of matches. "Super-strength, flight, invulnerability, shape-changing, mind control: You're Martians, aren't you? And when you brought down my aircraft you didn't dare search the wreckage because of the one thing which robs your people of their powers. Fire." The Hyperclan realized too late that they were standing in a circle of gasoline, and went down in a ring of fire. As they panicked, the Caped Crusader spoke to an unseen party, "Ready when you are."

Protex couldn't believe the trouble one powerless man was causing. He backhanded Superman, and called out orders to his fleet. "This is your commander! Emergency code T'ann T'azz! Target Earth cities! Initiate Operation Hard Rain. Seventy more of us, Superman! All with the power to level mountains! Seventy more! The gods have come to lay waste the world! We win! WE WIN!"

By Grant Morrison, Howard Porter, John Dell and Pat Garrahy

Monday, November 10, 2008

Green Lantern Corps: Recharge #1 (11/05)



After Kyle Rayner and Guy Gardner were chosen as the new Earth representatives on Oa as part of the restored Green Lantern Corps, they paid a farewell visit to their friends at the JLA Watchtower on the moon. Rayner would be training new recruits from across the universe, prompting J'Onn J'Onzz to suggest, "Always keep in mind, Kyle, that sentient beings share more similarities than differences."

Guy's goodbye was a tad less cordial, as he pressed his bare butt against a window outside the tower, writing the words "Bye Bye Bats" with his power ring. The Dark Knight deadpanned, "Tell Guy he needs a shave."

By Geoff Johns, Dave Gibbons and Patrick Gleason

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Batman: Mitefall (1995)



A probable delusion in the mind of an insane Gotham junkie named Bob Overdog, but possibly an other-dimensional imp version of the Martian Manhunter, appeared in this parody tie-in to the "Knightfall" crossover by Alan Grant and Kevin O'Neill. After the Bat-Mite is broken, the world's heroes banded together in a fruitless battle against Bane-Mite. The mite Martian Manhunter lost his front teeth and had knots beaten all over his cranium by Bane-Mite. The Martian was one of many left chained up, as all other mite heroes failed to stop the evil-doer. Finally, the goodness in Bob's soul erupted, felling Bane-Mite before Bob fatally overdosed and/or was murdered by a gang. The Mites erected a statue in Bob Overdog's honor, for whom the Mitian Mitehunter-Mite mourned and beamed with pride.

Not a shining moment for anyone involved...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Sour Punch Straws Comic Book Ad (2004)



Never tried this stuff before in my life, but the apple-flavored Sour Punch Straws candy offered a limited edition version of Justice League Adventures #1, one of several variations, including a Free Comic Book Day offering. Maybe they should have gone #2 instead, but that Bruce Timm/Alex Ross dazzled them?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Female Versions of Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter by Mitch Foust

Click To Enlarge


Yesterday, I posted a piece of fan art by a woman who shifted J'Onn J'Onzz's gender to female. This made sense in context, as it would be great to have more female super-heroines of the stature enjoyed by the founders of the Justice League of America. Now this piece, while very well rendered, is a horse of a different color. I have a hard enough time understanding women seeing sex appeal in the Martian Manhunter. A man looking at a seven foot tall, muscular, bald, green-skinned fellow and thinking "I wants to see that with teh biggun breasteses?" I'm flabbergasted.

Anyway, the art looks good, and you can see more of Mitch Foust's work here.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Previews Vol.XVIII, #11 FANtastic Art


During the speculator boom years, I collected both the Diamond Distribution "Previews" and Capitol City "Advance Comics" pre-order catalogs. For years, I carted milk crates of the things from apartment to apartment as I moved around. Years of handling the things as a retailer finally broke me of that awful, potentially debilitation habit. Now they get passed off to friends as soon as I can possibly unload them. That's also why I've scanned and posted this piece of fan art by Jennifer Mannino with all due haste. I think it's a pretty nifty take on a JLA without a single y-chromosome between them.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Legends #3-6 (1-4/87)



Suicide Squad: Initial line-up of Captain Boomerang, Enchantress, Blockbuster, Bronze Tiger, Col. Rick Flag, and Deadshot defeated Brimstone at Mt. Rushmore with a special weapon designed specifically for the task. Blockbuster killed in the process. Later aided in riot control during a G. Gordon Godfrey rally.

Vixen: No further relevant appearances in the mini-series, but will join the Suicide Squad early into their ongoing spin-off.

Elongated Man & Gypsy: Appeared in a couple of flashback panels recounting previous events.

Steel & Vibe: Same, but pretty much dead at this point.

Batman: Beat up the Joker for the billionth time. Among the heroes magically materialized at a G. Gordon Godfrey rally in Metropolis by Dr. Fate. Also included were Captain Marvel, Blue Beetle, the Flash, Black Canary, Changeling, Green Lantern Guy Gardner and Superman. Disabled a Warhound. Whupped a gang of thugs. Proud of Robin II's rallying of youth to convince their parents Godfrey was wrong. Co-founded a new incarnation of the Justice League.

Martian Manhunter: "I see Godfrey hasn't changed his tune at all, Doctor Fate!" Not summoned by the heroic mystic, but "Nevertheless, I go where I am needed!" Batman agreed, "Well, you're certainly needed here, Manhunter-- welcome!" Wonder Woman would also crash the party later. Superman asked if the rest of the League was coming. "I'm afraid not... At this moment in time... the Justice League of America no longer exists!" Disappeared during the action...

President Ronald Reagan: "They've come-- as I expected!" Masked gunmen blasted their way into the White House. "This office will not bow to terrorism! You have exactly five seconds to surrender yourselves!" Shot repeatedly in the chest, to little effect. "Now you have two seconds! Time's up! Game's over! What idiots!" Punched out the terrorists and revealed to be the Martian Manhunter as the real Ronny entered the Oval Office. "Green-skinned or otherwise, this man just risked his life for mine-- and I intend to thank him!"

Martian Manhunter: "There are no thanks necessary, Mister President. With my Martian physiognomy, I was never in any real danger! It was a simple matter of transforming myself to resemble you-- and then awaiting the inevitable!" Shook Reagan's hand.

President Ronald Reagan: "Nevertheless, I am in your debt. I won't soon forget what you did for me today."

Martian Manhunter: "I'd have done the same for anyone. Now if you'll excuse me, sir-- there are others who have more pressing need of my services!"

President Ronald Reagan: "Callahan, call the Press Corps. I'm rescinding my executive order banning super-heroes-- effective immediately! ...Wisest thing I've done these past few days!"

Martian Manhunter: Returned to the fray, standing amongst the heroes to confront Godfrey and control his mob. After Godfrey was rendered temporarily catatonic from donning Dr. Fate's helm, his spell was broken, and J'Onn J'Onzz accepted Fate's call to form a new League. "Indeed I will. Nowhere else is truly home." So too did Batman, Guy Gardner, Black Canary, Captain Marvel, and Blue Beetle. Flash, Changeling and Superman refused, while Wonder Woman returned to hiding wordlessly. "That lady is the very essence of the term hero."

The Creators: Is it just me, or did anyone else think J'Onn wasn't so much modest as a mildly resentful Carter/Mondale supporter who really would have saved the life of anyone like he did Reagan?

J’Onn J’Onzz’s Nicknames of the Issue: "J'Onn" -Superman
"Manhunter" -Batman
"The Martian Manhunter" -Dr. Fate

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

JLA #2 (February, 1997)



Taylor Mills reported for WGBS News from the Antarctic Ice Fields, which had been revealed to host "the global headquarters of the Hyperclan," the team had previously thawed out. Lisa Haymore was assigned to the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier "Triumphant," in the Pacific Ocean near Midway Island, where the Hyperclan constructed another mammoth base in the blink of an eye. The same was observed by Dave Trimble in Mongolia's Gobi Desert. Back in Antartica, Primaid and A-Mortal were present with Protex, who said, "Call them Watchtowers. We intend to divide our forces into three groups, each of which will be permanently stationed in one of these headquarters. We want to be able to respond to any emergency as quickly as possible. This planet is destroying itself. Your people need help to build a paradise and that help has arrived. The Hyperclan is here to stay. You can print that."



Superman and Green Lantern Kyle Rayner could find no sign of mind control transmitters, but determined the flying saucer over Washington D.C. was just a sophisticated projection. Lantern asked for Batman's plan, but the Dark Knight deferred to Martian Manhunter. "We do what we always do; divide our forces and investigate the threat. Destroy their transmission facilities if need be. I suggest Batman and Superman travel to the Antarctic nerve center-- and perhaps you'd like to take a trip to the Pacific, Wonder Woman. [Kyle Rayner] and Flash can accompany me to the Gobi Desert. Superman complimented, "Good choices, J'Onn." With a smirk, J'Onzz requested as the groups set out, "Try to take this seriously, Green Lantern.

Wonder Woman and a late arriving Aquaman were defeated by Fluxus and Tronix.

Flash and Green Lantern wondered where J'Onn J'Onzz had disappeared to en route, having beaten him to the desert. "So where's J'Onn? He's usually right behind." GL had lost him over the sea, but assumed, "Hey! Looks like the Jolly Green Giant's on his way." This was not as it appeared, as the duo were instead ambushed by Züm, Armek and Zenturion.



Martian Manhunter's unexplained absence was due to a meeting with Protex in orbit. "You've never really been one of them, have you, J'Onn? At best they've tolerated you, treated you as a mascot. That's why you asked to meet me in secret, isn't it? Grown tired of pretending to be human? Grown weary of their banal conversation, their brief lives. You're far from home, with only memories of a long dead world. I understand that. We're the same, you and I. Both strangers in a strange land. Surely you must have asked yourself why you've never showed them your true form."

"Perhaps they'd be afraid of me."

"Then give them a reason to be afraid, J'Onn. Seize your destiny. Join us."



Superman spoke about Martian Manhunter with Batman as they flew south. “J’Onn’s very astute, don’t you think?”
“He has a fine tactical mind. He’s been with the Justice League since the beginning and he understands group dynamics better than anyone I’ve ever met.”

The World's Finest were attacked by the Hyperclan stationed in the Antarctic. Batman's plane was shot down, and he was left to die in the smoldering wreckage. Protex produced a Kryptonite nugget, and dragged the lame former Man of Steel off to torture him. "Every last detail of this operation was carefully planned. Including this... Batman is dead. Wonder Woman is dead. The Flash. Green Lantern. Aquaman. All dead. There's only you, and us. And a whole world on its knees."

By Grant Morrison, Howard Porter, John Dell and Pat Garrahy

Monday, November 3, 2008

Justice League Quarterly #8 (Summer 1992)


The JLI were wrapping up their intervention in a terrorist plot when the Blue Beetle's Bug got caught between the guy wires of a commuter tramway along the 59th Street Bridge. Martian Manhunter and Fire had to exit the vehicle to manually release the Bug, which then plunged into the river "ungracefully" before recovering.

Max Lord was congratulating the JLI on a job well done, with one slight snag, when a television news anchor reported on the snag, with a slight job done. "That malicious harpy--" Lord was so ticked at Sylvia Duani, he spat out his cigar and dropped his butane lighter... igniting a newspaper... which he was too rattled to notice Martian Manhunter rolling and patting out with his hands.

As it turned out, while Lord was at the Tuck School of Management, he met and briefly married Dartmouth College undergraduate Duani. The pair had a passionate but tempestuous relationship, ending with Duani serving Lord his first set of divorce papers, after less than a month together. Lord also felt he couldn't make his second marriage to Claire Montgomery work, due to its comparative lack of "heat."

Lord was in a tizzy over Duani singling out the JLI's blunder, even though Booster Gold noted, "What's the big deal? Everyone know... when the Justice League falls on its face, it's news!" Fire just figured Max needed some "attention," and set up a double date with her friend Bambi. When neither of their dates panned out, Max talked with Bea about his relationship with Sylvia. "I remember every word... every move... The good times were great... The bad times were hell... We would have ruined each other's careers. Just the thought of her drives me crackers."

Fire decided to film an exclusive interview with Sylvia Duani, and along the way set her up on a blind date that would reunite her with Max. As Bea schemed, J'Onn J'Onzz mostly looked on, and nudged as able. "Max... the fact remains... that you're still wound rather tightly... Earth humans have a continuing need, I have noticed, for recreation. Max, you need to get out more." The Martian Manhunter helped guide Max to his date, at one point assuming the role of a derelict who hit Lord up for change. Manhunter then whistled at the various other Leaguers in hiding and spying around the scene. From inside the restaurant, loud crashing could be heard. Fire linked arms with Martian Manhunter and Blue Beetle (themselves with Booster and Ice) and walked away. "Ahh... the sounds of young love... My friends, our work is done. This could be the resumption of a beautiful friendship."

"Yesterday's News" by Elliot S! Maggin, Tim Hamilton and Trevor Scott.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Mr. Steele



Operating in the vault-like headquarters of a special secret department, it was Mr. Steele who first briefed Martian Manhunter on the world-wide criminal organization VULTURE. Steele had little information to offer beyond a VULTURE insignia and possible connection to Marco Xavier, the internationally famous playboy whose identity J'onn J'onzz would eventually assume. Mr. Steel only appeared once, in House of Mystery #160.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Marie Fouchere



A double agent with the French Secret Service who occasionally dated Marco Xavier. Fouchere worked with VULTURE to kidnap a pair of scientists and record their memories. She then drew the Manhunter from Mars into her web when he masqueraded as Xavier, and led him into a trap set by Abba Sulkar. Fouchere later freed "Xavier" and the scientists, restoring their memory and destroying their tapes. Discovered as a traitor by Sulkar, Fouchere was rescued by the Manhunter from Mars. Sulkar's subsequent death kept Fouchere's dual life secure.

First Appearance: House of Mystery #161 (September, 1966)
Height: Above average (5'7-5'10)
Build: Very slim (108+ lbs.)
Eyes: Blue.
Hair: Blond.
Quote: “Marco-- mon amour! How handsome you look! How terribly I have missed you! How desperately I need you! ... You weel help me, mon cher?!”