Monday, January 21, 2013
Alter Ego: Hannibal Martin, PhD
Occupation: U.S. State Department representative
Group Affiliation: United States Department of State
Base of Operations: Washington, D.C.
First Appearance: Justice League Task Force #1 (June, 1993)
Height: Approx. 5'9"
Weight: Approx. 250 lbs.
Hannibal Martin is a food connoisseur who has angled for his entire career to become the U.S.A.'s ambassador to France in order to relish its culinary delights. Instead, Martin and his aide Marietta Bowes were called to a meeting at the Pentagon where Martin was assigned to shepherd a special missions task force consisting of super-heroes selected for a secret mission. Martin was completely disinterested in the position, but feared angering his superiors by refusing, and so took on his temporary role with an aggressive zeal.
The mission force was tangentially related to Justice League International, as it had been sanctioned by the highest levels of the United Nations. It was thus unsurprising that Martin's first recruit was the Manhunter from Mars, who in turn insisted on the inclusion of his former protege Gypsy. As then current members of the League's European branch, Martin was able to take J'Onn J'Onzz's suggestions of Aquaman and the Flash and turn them into direct orders for participation. Martin was unable to similarly compel the Batman, but when his former sidekick Nightwing volunteered, Martin overrode dissenting opinions in the group to employ him. Martin brusquely debriefed the collective for their assignment to halt revolutionary forces with a weapon of mass destruction on the Caribbean island of Sanobel.
Martin used manipulation and hostile posturing to achieve a by-the-numbers success in Sanobel, hoping the efficient victory would secure his ambassadorship and extricate him from the world of metahumans. Instead, his superiors were so impressed that they decided to maintain the Justice League Task Force operation indefinitely with Martin as head of operations. Trapped, Martin intended to take out his frustrations on the heroes who passed under his command, with Martian Manhunter and Gypsy as two constants. Other heroes would join the pair for individual, short term assignments. At one point, Gypsy requested the JLTF investigate a missing persons case in New York. While Martin dismissed the matter as beneath a team effort, he used reverse psychology to goad Gypsy into pursing the matter herself as a means of gauging her abilities. Martin also had J'Onn J'Onzz discretely follow her in case of trouble, which went by the name Lady Shiva. Gypsy's performance led her to a special assignment as a favor to Bruce Wayne.
Later, Martin needed an all-female team to tackle an isolated band of green-skinned amazons from a lost civilization in Africa to retrieve "the McGuffin virus" that included Gypsy, Maxima, Vixen, Wonder Woman, Dolphin and a shape-shifted Martian Manhunter.
Hannibal Martin's final mission for the Task Force involved a cooperative effort with the F.B.I. to stop a terrorist group called the Aryan Nation from unleashing a genetically engineered plague intended to wipe out non-Caucasian people across the globe. The terrorists had their own metahuman protectors, the Aryan Brigade, who had murdered the feds' inside man and necessitated a superhuman response. Martin chose Hourman, Black Canary, Elongated Man, and Thunderbolt to join Martian Manhunter and Gypsy in a successful intervention.
During Overmaster's bid to exterminate the human race during the event dubbed "Judgment Day," Hannibal Martin delivered the United Nations' order to sanction the Justice League and prohibit their involvement. One contingent of the team ignored the U.N. immediately, and the rest eventually, leading to the League's severing close ties to the world body. Hannibal Martin has not played a role with the team since.
Quote: "I've as much interest in musclebound do-gooders as I have in the history of lint... if the costumed buffoons in my charge don't like the way I do things, well... perhaps I'll even enjoy myself!"