Longtime readers will recall that I ran a fan site for a couple or three years (1999-2002, roughly) called "Martian Manhunter: The Rock of the JLA." At that time, I was largely ignorant of the character's Pre-Crisis history, and was schooled on message boards by U.S. Navy Commander Adam Benson, who posted from his ship under the handle "Commander Steel." I collected his posts into a series of articles that ran on that site, and which I repackaged for this blog late last year. In the space between, Commander Benson retired, and began writing a column for Captain Comics and the Legion of Superfluous Heroes. He's repeatedly and at length discussed our favorite Martian there, with his latest spotlight article having posted just today. It seems to me the perfect time to direct folks to the Commander's most excellent works, both here and at Commander Benson's Deck Log.
- “But I Always Thought . . . ”: the Manhunter from Mars
The Commander's latest effort concerns mythbusting...
- Myth 1: J’onn J’onzz was Could Not Return to Mars Because He Was Unable to Operate Doctor Erdel’s Robot Brain.
- Myth 2: The Martian Manhunter/Detective John Jones Operated Out of Middleton, Colorado.
- Myth 3: Invisibility Does Not Prevent J’onn J’onzz from Using His Other Super-Powers.
- Myth 4: Writer Gardner Fox Never Depicted the Manhunter Using His Non-Superman-Like Powers in JLA Stories.
- Myth 5: J’onn J’onzz Spent the Last Two Years of His Silver-Age Career Fighting the Criminal Organisation Known as “V.U.L.T.U.R.E.”
- Mars or Bust!
In this article, Commander Benson discusses how Martian Manhunter was once strictly an also-ran to most fans, and how his editor rarely checked the facts in his solo stories. Most importantly, the question is asked as to why J'onn J'onzz didn't return home to Mars once he met the space-faring heroes of the Justice League of America.
- “But I Always Thought . . . .”: the Justice League of America
Commander Benson puts to rest misconceptions about Silver Age JLA stories. This includes where the Secret Sanctuary did NOT rest, why Martian Manhunter stopped appearing in the series, and why he was NOT the heart of the team.
- Death in the Silver Age: John Jones, Detective, R. I. P.
Commander Benson takes a hard look at the brief life of the Detective John Jones identity, which many forget only ran from 1955-1964, ending in his presumed death. Also, the first appearance of the Diabolu Idol-Head is detailed.
- Commander Benson's Notebook: Introduction
More on how I met the Commander, and how he made J'onn J'onzz's acquaintance back in the 1950s. "Manhunter From Mars'" supporting cast comes up, specifically Policewoman Diane Meade.
- Commander Benson's Notebook: Notable Stories
Topics include J'onn J'onzz's original and developing power set, as well as highlights from his Silver Age solo appearances.
- Commander Benson's Notebook: Mysterious Disappearance
The question is asked: Exactly where was the Martian Manhunter when he wasn't appearing in Justice League of America between issue #29-65? Who joined him in absenteeism? Why was he M.I.A.? Finally, a recap of the Manhunter's send-off appearance in JLofA #71.
- Commander Benson's Notebook: Rogue's Gallery
Professor Arnold Hugo and Mr. V (a.k.a. Faceless) are discussed.
- Commander Benson's Notebook: "...By Any Other Name..."
Who put the capitol "O" in J'Onn J'Onzz, and why they were wrong to do so!
- Do You Know The Way To Middletown? Where I try to deduce where Detective John Jones called home, with a lengthy discussion in the comments afterward between the Commander and myself. The short answer: New England.