"Here’s the latest of the daily voting threads for The Greatest ____ Stories Ever Told!
Our next character up for voting is Martian Manhunter.
J’onn J’onnz, the Martian Manhunter, was one of the rare superheroes DC had in the years between the Golden Age and the beginning of the Silver Age (although he was not really much of a “superhero” to start – more of a science fiction character). One of the founding members of the Justice League, Manhunter served with the team in most of the incarnations of the League, taking on a higher profile on the team during the 1980s. Manhunter had an ongoing feature for a number of years in Detective Comics and House of Mystery and had a solo title during the late 1990s/early 2000s. He currently is a member of Stormwatch.
You have until 11:59 PM Pacific time, November 13th to vote for your top ten favorite comic book stories starring Martian Manhunter! Your choices will be revealed on November 14th. I will leave what “starring” entails up to you."
Voting began on the 8th, offering readers a week to send in their emails. According to them, these are The Greatest Martian Manhunter Stories Ever Told!
10. JLA Secret Files and Origins #1 “A Day in the Life”
Probably the first and sometimes the only Martian Manhunter solo story many readers brought in by the surprise success of JLA have ever read. Pretty nifty one, too.
9. JLA #84-89 “Trial by Fire”
This was something of an updated Bronze Age story. It has all the hallmarks: J'Onn going nuts; beating up other super-heroes for no good reason; a romantic interest that never shows up again; massive alterations to continuity and the people of Mars; despicable, genocidal villain. I figured the appeal of this thing would wane over time, but I guess folks still like it. The absence of any serious Fernus coverage over four years of blogging probably expresses my own feelings...
8. Final Crisis: Requiem
The only issue on the list to come out since I started the blog. A great looking book with an alright story that gets points for remembering Gypsy but loses them for neglecting Manhunter history prior to 1997.
7. Martian Manhunter #17 “Hidden Faces”
This one was the biggest head-scratcher for me, since it undid several years of work into making the Manhunter an international hero with longstanding secret identities across the globe.
6. Martian Manhunter #1,000,000 “The Abyss of Time”
This one I get. It was essentially the mission statement of the entire Ostrander/Mandrake series. It introduced a slew of new villains, infused the New Gods into Martian life, foretold the ultimate defeat of Darkseid, and offered a roadmap for Manhunter stories across millenia.
5. DC: The New Frontier #1-6
No other character benefited from this book like John Jones. It combined elements of the original stories with retcons of the 70s, 80s & 90s into one well received package that introduced a lot of people to material they'd never seen before. The book also led to the first recognizable origin story to hit animation, after the liberties taken on Justice League. Having already been familiar with the source material, I never felt as strongly about this book as others, but I appreciate its impact and new additions (King Faraday, J'Onn's interest in John Henry, etc.)
4. Martian Manhunter: American Secrets #1-3
This is the one I'd expect readers here to rally around, based on a seeming consensus. I see this as the closest thing so far to a Watchmen for the Martian Manhunter set, but it's also a difficult, quirky book lacking flash and action.
3. Martian Manhunter #33-36 “In My Life”
I found this one really interesting. Rather than the origin story from #0 or the story arc that introduced Malefic, fans took to this piece on the early days of the J'Onzzes and the impact of Apokolips on Mars. It's not a bad story, and it's much tighter (yet more expansive in scope) than other Ostrander arcs. Still, it traded Tom Mandrake for Ed Barreto at his worst, plus a tacked-on ending with Jamal Igle to wrap up some subplots.
2. Martian Manhunter #20-24 “Revelations”
No surprise here. Manhunter fans love stories where he's woven into the fabric of DC history, and the series of short stories were well received upon release. However, the majority of votes came from "Double Stuff," the humorous JLI flashback with guest art by Doug Mahnke. I suppose "Mars Needs Chocos!"
1. Justice League America #38-40 “Justice League versus Despero
In terms of the great Martian Manhunter nemesis, this blog's Great Taste/Less Filling debate has always trended toward Commander Blanx vs. Malefic. Ma'alefa'ak may have smoked Blanx on this countdown, but it's pretty clear Despero is the true threat. Considering I run Despero theme months here, and made a point of covering this epic last year for Despero's 50th birthday celebration, I'm cool with that. This is certainly one of the greatest and most broadly read Manhunter stories, though the shared spotlight and aspects of the ending sees it lowered in my esteem.
Now that you've heard my thoughts on CBR readers' choices, I'd like to hear yours! Drop a comment, or vote for the best of CSBG's selections in our new poll on the sidebar. We'll be revisiting this topic a few times in the near future...