Saturday, November 30, 2013

2009 “Martian” color art by Joel DuQue

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"A birthday picture of one of my Dads favorite character."
J'Onn J'Onzz and his Black Lantern...

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Very NOT SAFE FOR WORK language, which is pretty much the sole source of "comedy." Even if the portrayal of J'Onn J'Onzz wasn't totally uncharacteristic and obnoxious (shapeshifter = poseur,) none of the heroes are agreeable nor laughable. At least Valerie Perez looked great. Hope you like this better than I did...
It's Thanksgiving at the Justice League of America household and things are just as awkward for them as they might be for your family. Join Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and more as they give thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving from Nerdist!

Wonder Woman: Valerie Perez
Batman: James Mastraieni
Superman: Ryan Stanger
Aqua Man: Steve Szlaga
Green Lantern: William Sterling
The Flash: Steven Meissner
Raven: Celia Sutton
Ms Marvel: Olivia Taylor Dudley
Green Arrow: Bradford Jackson
Robin: Jesse McKeil
Martian Manhunter: Charlie Sanders

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

2013 Comic Vine “Justice League popularity contest”

I haven't spent as much time at Comic Vine since they got stingy with their image hosting, and never much bothered with their forums, but user and blog commentator
pointed out a thread to me a while back. The premise was simple: thread author waezi2 would offer two historic members of the JLA, and the first to receive ten positive votes would move on to successive rounds. 1550 responses later, "Martian Manhunter came in SECOND place, after Superman!"

1st Round Matches (victor in bold):
Adam Strange VS. Barbara Gordon
Connor Hawke VS. Oliver Queen
Congorilla VS. Plastic Man
Wally West VS. Barry Allen
Aquaman VS. Cyborg
Hal Jordan VS. Kyle Rayner
Captain Atom VS. Red Tornado
Wonder Woman VS. Donna Troy
Firestorm VS. Steel (Irons)
Bruce Wayne VS. Dick Grayson
Vixen VS. Black Canary
Martian Manhunter VS. The Phantom Stranger
Blue Beetle VS. Booster Gold
Elongated Man VS. Zatanna
The Atom VS. Hawkman
Hawkgirl VS. Hawkeye (WHA?)
Red Arrow VS. Mr. Miracle
Vibe VS. Gypsy
Captain Marvel vs. Big Barda
Mon-El VS. Superman
Steel II (Heywood) VS. Dr. Fate
Guy Gardner VS. John Stewart
Rocket Red VS. Dr. Light
Fire VS. Ice
Huntress VS. Lightray
General Glory VS. Orion
Maxima VS. Tasmanian Devil
The Ray VS. Agent Liberty
Bloodwynd VS. Animal Man
Metamorpho VS. Power Girl
Bluejay VS. Crimson Fox
Maya VS. Triumph
Starman VS. Supergirl
Atom Smasher VS. Obsidian
Zauriel VS. Blue Devil
Jade VS. Jesse Quick

I'd like to point out that the Manhunter from Mars took every single vote from the Phantom Stranger.

2nd Round Matches (victor in bold):
Green Arrow VS. Black Canary
Plastic Man VS. Barbara Gordon
Green Lantern Hal Jordan VS. The Flash
Aquaman VS. Red Tornado
Wonder Woman VS. Firestorm
Superman VS. Batman
Booster Gold VS. Martian Manhunter
Hawkman VS. Hawkgirl
Zatanna VS. Captain Marvel
Roy Harper VS. The Atom
Vibe VS. Dr. Fate
Dr. Light VS. Green Lantern John Stewart
Fire VS. The Huntress
Maxima VS. Orion
Animal Man VS. The Ray
Jade VS. Power Girl
Atom Smasher VS. Supergirl
Blue Devil VS. Major Disaster

Major Disaster was a second round only ringer. Maxima was a squeeker against Orion. I think waezi2 was a Hawkman fan, because he "accidentally" pitted the Winged Wonder against Big Barda after he'd already lost to the Atom, then Hawkgirl was given the only Marvel opponent of the first round, and then Hawkman was allowed to advance following the initial defeat once he won against his girlfriend. Anyway, Martian Manhunter had an actual match from Booster Gold this time instead of an absolute blowout, but still won handily 10-3.

3rd Round Matches (victor in bold):
Green Lantern Hal Jordan VS. Green Arrow
Aquaman VS. Plastic Man
Superman VS. Wonder Woman
Hawkman VS. Martian Manhunter
The Atom VS. Zatanna
Green Lantern John Stewart VS. Doctor Fate
The Huntress VS. Maxima
Power Girl VS. Supergirl
Animal Man VS. Blue Devil

Kind of lame that the already disqualified Hawkman was J'Onn's opponent, but an Alien Atlas victory of 13-5 makes it less annoying. Kind of neat that Huntress is in this long after daddy Batman.

4th Round Matches (victor in bold):
Green Lantern Hal Jordan VS. Aquaman
Superman VS. Supergirl
Zatanna VS. Martian Manhunter
The Huntress VS. Green Lantern John Stewart

Again? The previously disqualified Zee (6) was beaten twice over by lord of the scraps Martian Manhunter (11.) The Atom and Animal Man were missed entirely, advancing unscathed to the next round.

5th Round Matches (victor in bold):
The Atom VS. Martian Manhunter
Aquaman VS. Superman
Animal Man VS. Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes)

The Atom took an early, fierce lead, Manhunter closed the gap, position jockeying commenced, and finally closed 8-11 in a rally for the Martian Marvel. I forgot Jaime Reyes was ever in the League, but he snuck in to give Animal Man somebody to fight. The Huntress got free immunity as a result.

6th Round Matches (victor in bold):
Animal Man VS. Martian Manhunter
The Huntress VS. Superman

The Sleuth from Outer Space, who's only ever had one ongoing eponymous series ever and a mini-series this decade thrashed an Animal Man with two ongoings to his name and a mini-series (two of which came out in the past decade) by 11-3. Superman then walked away the ultimate champion with 12-1 against the Alien Atlas. It took over three months for the tourney to run its course. MartianManhunterIsBetterThanCyborg requested a breakdown list of the results so, hey, here you go!

Monday, November 25, 2013

2008 Martian Manhunter fan art by Amber “MyriahKamm”

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Here's a coffee painting clearly based on Alex Ross' poster from 2001. I need to post that sometime, but I can't find good reference and mine's framed on the wall.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

2013 IGN “The Top 25 Heroes of DC Comics” countdown

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Thanks to @AquamanShrine, I checked out IGN's The Top 25 Heroes of DC Comics article by Jesse Schedeen. I was happy for the Manhunter from Mars to come in at #13, ahead of Green Lantern Kyle Rayner, something you would not have seen in the JLA heyday. While both heroes have been shuffled off center stage, J'Onn J'Onzz hasn't had his own book since 2001, while Kyle hasn't been without a starring vehicle since 2007. Was this list at all objective for me to give any weight to the preference for the Alien Atlas? It also featured the art of Eddie Nunez seen above, which appears to be required by obscure federal law for at least 46% of all Martian Manhunter-related posts on the internet.

Speaking of percentages, it's possible the Sleuth from Outer Space benefited from being an "original" character. 40% of the list is made up of conceptual variants, meaning characters who are legacies that are immediately derivative of a prior character. Mantle-bearers, corpsmen, "girl" versions of male heroes, etc. Most ranked after the Martian Manhunter though, so his placement on the list isn't majorly effected. Ahead of J'Onzz were, in ascending order, Swamp Thing, Green Arrow, Aquaman, Shazam, and the usual suspects from there. I can live with that kind of company.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

2009 Martian Manhunter fan art by DarkTailss

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"I half-assed a MM and my friend Eduardo drew a rifle and helmet on him, awesome."

Friday, November 22, 2013

2013 Comic Vine Comic Book Question of the Week Results: Which DC Character Deserves a Feature Film?

Comic Vine is a fairly popular fan site, and they ran a poll this week to determine who their readers thought should get the cinematic treatment most in the DC pantheon from a list of eight JLA-centric options. The top results were extremely predictable:

  1. Wonder Woman 42%
  2. Aquaman 19%
  3. Flash 18%
  4. Martian Manhunter 8%
  5. Green Lantern 6%
  6. Green Arrow 5%
  7. Cyborg 1%
  8. Hawkgirl 1%
Wonder Woman is one of the most popular and globally recognizable super-heroes, whose TV show ran three successful seasons and whose direct-to-DVD animated film is the best-selling DC Universe Animated Original Movie not to feature "Superman" or "Batman" in the title (#5 overall.) It's a travesty that she hasn't starred in a film yet, especially since she suits Zack Snyder's sensibilities far better than Superman (not that I'm advocating Snyder as director, because please God no.) Aquaman is also extremely well known to the general, non-geek public, though his being taken seriously as a hero can be directly credited to recent successes under Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis (seeing as he was a running gag on Entourage as recently as 2006. Green Lantern presumably would have hit #3 if his realized 2011 feature film hadn't been covered in number two, so he slid to #5. In his stead was the Flash, a DC fan favorite who's never quite broken out into the mainstream. Runners aren't tagged with his name like Michael Phelps was "Aquaman," and his 1990 TV series was crushed between Cosby and The Simpsons after one season. Obviously, this blog is most interested in Martian Manhunter, a solid #4 with about 41 of the 514 total votes. The Alien Atlas edged out the franchise favorite Emerald Gladiator and Green Arrow, both of whom have had solo comic series run hundreds of issues across multiple volumes to J'Onn's measly thirty-eight issue single volume. I suspect the Sleuth from Outer Space seems due "his turn," since Oliver Queen's already taken care of by the Arrow TV series, plus the Hawkeye factor. The inclusion of Cyborg and Hawkgirl were probably obligatory for diversity purposes, since the latter only extended the life of a dwindling Hawkman volume by 17 eponymous issues before cancellation, and the former has never had an ongoing of his own.

Here's a selection of comments referencing the Manhunter from Mars...

LCazT1996: "Wonder Woman, then Aquaman, then Flash, then Martian Manhunter in Justice League."

SynCig: "I don't think Cyborg, Hawkgirl, or Martian Manhunter could support their own movie."

TheCannon: "Also, why are Cyborg, Hawkgirl, & Martian Manhunter here? There are several characters not listed that deserve films first (Static, Nightwing, Batwoman, The Question, etc.)."

Black_Arrow: "your opinion, Martian Manhunter is one of the big seven all the characters you named except Nightwing dont deserve a movie."

BritishMonkey: "Wonder Woman is the obvious choice. Martian Manhunter would get his first appearance in Justice League most likely."

Dstick88: "Martian manhunter all the way."

Overlander: "Martian Manhunter sounds like an interesting prospect until you start thinking through how Hollywood would do it."

NeonPheonix: "MMH deserves one, but I'd want a Flash one the most."

solon: "Flash and Martian Manhunter"

mtrakos: "GL please followed by MM. Keep it cosmic."

Perfect 10: "voting for wonder woman but i think aquaman, flash, martian manhunter, green lantern (that travesty doesnt count) all deserve movies."

CrazyScarecrow: "Wonder Woman of course. She needs a movie. I am not a huge fan of Wonder Woman, but she would be essential when making any DCU. My other choices would be the Flash and Martian Manhunter. I am a huge fan of both of those characters."

Kelevra216: "I chose Martian Manhunter. There might be a disconnect/an identifiability problem being an extraterrestrial and because I really think they should start with an origin story with J'onn, even though I'm strong supporter of "rolling with it." But if they start with an origin story with J'onn the audience can develop a relationship with the J'onn and his tragedy. Different from Superman being an adult and witnessing it first hand.After J'onn, I'm going to have to go with Wonder Woman, then The Flash and Aquaman."

MartianManhunterIsBetterThanCyborg: "Wonder Woman, then Flash, then Aquaman. Martian Manhunter doesn't need a movie and would be better as a "Nick Fury" role, popping up in various other movies. Him and Green Lantern can just appear for the first time in Justice League."

ComicKitten: "Martian Manhunter, Wonder Woman or Aquaman!"

McDerpyson: "hmm... I voted for the Martian. It would be a good follow-up after MOS."

kilon: "who came up with the idea that characters like MM, hawkgirl and cyborg should have individuals films, hello these are team based characters not solo acts. next time pick characters that started out solo like hawkman, atom, firestorm etc."

milkylame: "Martian Manhunter could be introduced in a JLA movie. He could be the one to gather the heroes to fight Darkseid or some other villain."
My general response: The Manhunter from Mars was a solo strip five years before the Justice League of America was created, lasting a total of thirteen years and 133 stories. 56 individual comic books are titled "Martian Manhunter." Curiously, I've never even considered abbreviating Martian Manhunter as "MMH" in all my years discussing the character. J'Onn J'Onzz could work as DC's "Nick Fury," and I'd take that over nothing, but it would be a letdown to go that derivative on a character far easier to "crack" cinematically than most. The Question was already in Watchmen. Oh, and all those folks who referenced Supergirl, Catwoman and Elektra as reasons not to make Wonder Woman must not have seen those movies, because each sucked first and had a female lead second. Try again.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Martian Manhunter & the Nolanverse Aesthetic

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2013 Benedict Cumberbatch as Martian Manhunter fancast art

A fan poll has been running on Comicvine this week asking which DC character from a set list they would like to see get a feature film. Martian Manhunter is on it, and doing well for his relative standing in sales, but what struck me was how difficult most of the characters would be to adapt under the current terms. Fans have been very critical of Warner Brother's attempts to bring DC's heroes to the big screen, and in the last fifteen years, the general audience's rejections of cinematic Steel, Catwoman, Superman, Jonah Hex, and Green Lantern have left the company gun-shy. Christopher Nolan's "Dark Knight Trilogy" has been an extremely lucrative exception, prompting his involvement in Man of Steel, which certainly fared better than Superman Returns. Warner Brothers isn't just looking to adapt DC heroes, but to processes them through the lens of the so-called "Nolanverse."

Warners are currently working on their fifth DC movie with Christopher Nolan's creative input and a screenplay by David Goyer, not to mention their third super-hero movie with director Zack Snyder. There is a consistency of vision across these films, including Watchmen: a stylized but "realistic" look; grim, operatic, largely humorless tone; judicious displays of power and downplaying of fantastic elements. This aesthetic doesn't really suit characters like Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Hawkgirl and Green Lantern, whose backgrounds require an immersion into alien environments and suspension of disbelief regarding wondrous civilizations co-existing with our own. That would be less of a problem if the heroes only showed up in a team movie, but if the discussion is in regards to their viability as feature stars, they don't process easily or well through the sensibilities of the Nolanverse.

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2011 “JUSTICE LEAGUE Theatrical Teaser” fan art by Sahin Düzgün

If the current films are leading up to DC's answer to Marvel's The Avengers, it's worth noting that Captain America, Black Widow, and Hawkeye are the characters closest to the world Nolan, Goyer & Snyder are the most comfortable in. A more sober, joyless Iron Man could fit, but Thor and the Hulk are anathema because of their extraordinary natures. The Flash seems like an obvious choice, since his costume was reasonably adapted as far back as the 1990 TV show, and his power set has already been demonstrated as acceptable through films like Man of Steel and The Matrix. Within the context of the Justice League movie, Wonder Woman could simply be a magnified Trinity/Black Widow (or a duplicate of Faora,) and only becomes problematic in her own film. Most probably, a movie with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the Flash would work just fine, but there's a tendency to want to scratch the itch of a fifth member to round out the group.

As I've previously mentioned in great detail, the Manhunter from Mars is the most obvious choice for such a role. For as much of a film as would be desirable, John Jones is a non/limited powered police detective suited to the twisting mysteries and criminal procedurals that are Nolan's forte. He can then demonstrate unique, impressive, but easily filmable abilities such as telepathy, invisibility, intangibility, and shape-shifting, much less John Carter and much more Inception. The broad science fiction aspects of his origins can be downplayed, and in fact he doesn't even have to come from Mars or tell his origin in specific detail. He's an alien acting secretly on Earth in human form and may be called simply "Manhunter." He can battle technologically enabled humans or nefarious aliens, right in the filmmakers' wheelhouse. Fans are not dogmatic about Manhunter's appearance, so a costume is optional and its particulars negotiable. He's already a gritty, cynical character who can become embroiled in violent spectacles, and his weakness is to be immolated, so a graphic, gut-wrenching torture sequence is practically assumed. David Fincher or Darren Aronofsky could be hired or emulated and Nolanverse fans would be ecstatic without the pushback from sullying a Superman-type. There is literally no other hero in the DC Universe better suited to bridging the gap between Nolan's Batman and Snyder's Superman than J'Onn J'Onzz.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Justice #12 (August, 2007)

Lex Luthor and Gorilla Grodd were in the custody of the Super Friends Justice League. Martian Manhunter instructed, "Give Grodd the [Yellow Power] ring, Atom. If he tries anything, shrink him into nothingness. Grodd understands that his world will die, those he cares for will die, if he doesn't help." Grodd agreed, "This alliance is a necessary evil." Manhunter's mind was telepathically linked to Grodd's and Luthor's (though the Super-Gorilla protested "The idea of this is repulsive. He's a human.") Nuclear missiles were in the air all over the world, with its population looking to the skies hoping for salvation, "But there is no Superman." While Batman and the Atom looked on helplessly, "Luthor's knowledge of weaponry and cybernetic systems" and Grodd's wielding of a power ring redirected the missiles intercontinentally. Luthor then managed to teleport away, but Grodd remained in custody, his final act with the ring to wipe the heroes' secret identities from the minds of the legion of doom. The Green Lantern Corps showed up to collect all those missiles and throw them into the sun, which I guess was like their own take on Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. There's a fine line between homage and an utter lack of genuine creativity. Painted prestige format grim n' gritty Challenge of the Super Friends can't even see that line from where it's standing. It's Colorforms where a story should be.

Batman marveled at a world without nukes, hoping we had finally learned our lesson, but expecting rearmament. Still, what if? "I'm sure Superman wishes his world, and his people, were still alive. Manhunter has to feel the same about Mars. But how many times have these two men saved this world? Aquaman lost both his parents, yet still forges a new family. Wonder Woman's sisters were freed from slavery. Yet look at Paradise Island... We have all been changed by our tragedies... These challenges have given each of us a desire for justice. It has changed us. It could change anybody. Everybody."

"Chapter Twelve" was plotted and painted by Alex Ross. The script was provided by Jim Krueger, and the penciled layouts by Doug Braithwaite. For me, the bloom was off the rose long ago, but Martian Manhunter is a uniquely dour and yes, pretentious character well suited to Ross' inclinations. I liked that the two non-homo sapien telepaths were pitted against one another, offering contrasting perspectives on the humans surrounding them. J'Onn J'Onzz still lacked for an arc, and the creators only know the most common surface aspects of the character's Post-Crisis interpretation. However, the fact that he was included at all in a paean to '70s cartoons and the Satellite Era League to which the Alien Atlas was never invited indications an appreciation for the character I can respect.

Continue the story through these character-specific posts:

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Fernus vs. Sinestro

The Burning
Debut: 2003
Nemesis: Martian Manhunter
Other Major Foes: JLA, Plastic Man, Scorch, Vandal Savage, & White Martians.
Appearances: 6 original comics
Powers: Super strength, speed & senses, shapeshifting, density control, flight, invisibility, telepathy, nigh-invulnerability and fire generation/control.

Fernus was a prehistoric Martian from a time when the race were demonic flaming creatures who was killed by Vandar Adg and resurrected thousands of years later in the body of J'Onn J'Onzz. The Burning proceeded to murder as many White Martians and henchmen of Vandal Savage as he could get his hands on before brutally defeating the JLA and attempting to destroy Earth. Fernus was finally halted by the combined efforts of Scorch, Plastic Man, and Martian Manhunter.

Vile Menagerie Stats
Win: Effigy (10-2)
Lose: Darkseid (6-8); Malefic (5-18)
Draw: 0

sinestro photo: Sinestro sf_sinestro.jpg

Thaal Sinestro
Debut: 1961
Nemesis: Green Lantern
Other Major Foes: Every light spectrum corps in the DCU
Appearances: 500+ original comics, numerous animated series/features, live action television, a major motion picture, toys, video games and more.
Powers: A power ring which creates potent hard light constructs and can absorb/project massive amounts of energy, as well as providing interstellar flight and impressive defensive capabilities.

Sinestro was considered the greatest of the Green Lantern Corps before his perfectionism turned him into a fascist. Ejected and incriminated, Sinestro allied with the Weaponers of Qward, who created a yellow power ring that fed off and exploited an essential vulnerability in his former corpsmen's green rings. Sinestro was the Lanterns' most tenacious foe, and eventually formed his own corps who were motivated to instill fear.

Vile Menagerie Stats:
Win: 0
Lose: 0
Draw: 0

Idol Speculation:
When I was a kid, I couldn't understand why Green Lantern wasn't the most powerful mainstream DC hero, since he had a ring that could basically duplicate any power plus create energy constructs like force fields. However, besides the very dumb advantages taken against the ring with literally anything colored yellow ("the bananarang penetrated Lantern's shield and knocked him senseless") the constructs could simply be overwhelmed by a superior force (like Superman.) Martian Manhunter's (pale shadow of) near Kryptonian powers would presumably fall into this category, but the Alien Atlas was an even more ineffectual protagonist than Hal Jordan, thanks to his extremely pacifying issues with flames. Green Lantern Alan Scott routinely manifests his powers as flames, so that wrestling match would be over at the introductions, much less in the ring.

In the cases of Fernus and Sinestro, to quote Blade II, you have representatives with "all of their strengths, and none of their weaknesses." Fernus eats, poops and breathes fire, while Sinestro has a yellow power ring that slurps Green Lantern juice, hold the weaksauce. Both of these dudes have full command of their extraordinary abilities with none of the foolishness of their heroic counterparts. The advantage I see for The Burning is his ownership of the JLA, something I cannot recall the Korugarian ever pulling off. Sinestro was created to battle Hal Jordan on a consistent basis, and has tended to pull in helpers when he's needed to deal with more than one Green Lantern. Sinestro was also a member of the Legion of Doom in animation, and the Secret Society of Super-Villains in comics, which further solidifies him as a guy who needs to work with a team. Fernus worked over the Magnificent Seven JLA and satellite members all on his own, and was on his way to annihilating the human race if not for some last minute betrayals and deus ex machina. Regardless of the Parallax avatars standing and visibility, this match is the Martians' to win.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

January 24, 2013 Our Valued Customers webcomic strip by MRTIM

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In my ongoing refusal to be the curator of a proper Martian Manhunter fan page, I confess that I don't actually like the alias "Martian Manhunter." In the seminal stories, the hero was John Jones, a police detective who was secretly an alien named J'onn J'onzz. "Manhunter from Mars" wasn't a name, just an alliterative descriptive that served as a title for the strip. Five years later, shortly before J'onn J'onzz co-founded the JLA (suck it New 52,) the alien hero became publicly known to exist and operated under the "Manhunter" alias. The term "Martian Manhunter" cropped up over the JLA years, as a soft rebranding for the super-hero set, but the solo strip remained "Manhunter from Mars" and the character's commonly used alias "Manhunter." Even his pet/sidekick called him that, as the whole super-heroes referring to one another by their secret identities crap didn't get started until Chris Claremont's X-Men redefined the tropes of the genre. The moniker "Martian Manhunter" didn't become common within the context of actual stories until the mid-1980s, by which point the simpler "Manhunter" name had been given to numerous other properties, not to mention Michael Mann's screen adaptation of Red Dragon.

It's understandable and practical, but I still find the name "Martian Manhunter" diminishing, like he's an alternative flavor of a name brand despite being far more popular than any of DC's other unspecified Manhunters. Also, because the "Martian" part is already quirky and clunky, it begs people to read too much into the "Manhunter" part. That said, is there anything more fatiguing than some nincompoop making a supposedly clever observation that's patently obvious to everyone else, with the added abrasion of corrupting the memory of an artifact from a more innocent time with cynical posturing? The Martian Manhunter is too gauche to be gay, and after a comment on the OVC site sent me on an investigation, J'onn appears to be exempted from queer variations on rule 34. There's a little bit of slash fiction out there, but I don't think there's any serious interest in the community to recruit a character quite so on-the-nose as "Manhunter." Well, again, mostly.

Not that's there's anything wrong with that, but here's a Broken Frontier article from 2004 that offers an answer to the question, "Why isn't the Martian Manhunter gay?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

2012 Martian Manhunter model sculpted by Shawn Nagle

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"Martian Manhunter 1/6 scale over 13" including base. Fully painted and assembled by artist Shawn Nagle
price: $250.00 us
Email us:"
Found a great series of photos for this swell unlicensed J'Onn J'Onzz sculpt at Behance. The pics were taken by and the copyright of Steven H. Lee, so hopefully the link and fair use principles will afford me the same grace with him as it does DC Entertainment. You can purchase this piece from Nagle works.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Martian Sightings for February, 2014

According to Comicvine, for the second straight month, the Martian Manhunter is listed as having appeared in 2,222 comics to date. Update needed?

Martian Manhunter
Written by MATT KINDT
1:25 Steampunk variant cover by MATTEO SCALERA
On sale FEBRUARY 12 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Combo pack edition: $4.99 US
Retailers: This issue will ship with three covers. Please see the order form for more information. This issue is also offered as a combo pack edition with a redemption code for a digital download of this issue.

A devastating battle against Despero begins as Manhunter and Stargirl arrive in San Francisco to save Stargirl’s family from Firestorm’s fallout!
Manhunter spotlight? Despero? A chess board? I like being catered to.

Written by GEOFF JOHNS
1:25 Variant cover by ETHAN VAN SCIVER
1:50 Variant cover by ETHAN VAN SCIVER
1:100 Variant cover by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO
On sale FEBRUARY 19 • 32 pg, 6 OF 7, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T • Combo pack edition: $4.99 US
Retailers: This issue will ship with five covers. Please see the order form for more information.

The final fate of Nightwing! The most unlikely of allies have set the Crime Syndicate in their sights — and they’re playing for keeps while the life of a hero hangs in the balance! Plus, the identity of the mysterious man in the hood is finally revealed!

Written by JOSH ELDER
On sale FEBRUARY 19 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED E •DIGITAL FIRST

Maxwell and Lily travel to Metropolis, where they find a mob of Superman protesters led by—Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen?! The Man of Steel has no idea why they have turned against him, so it’s up to the Scribblenauts and the Justice League to solve this puzzle!

Written by GEOFF JOHNS
On sale APRIL 2 • 176 pg, FC, $24.99 US

These amazing tales from JUSTICE LEAGUE #18-20 and 22-23 lead into “Trinity War,” and spotlight Cyborg, Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman! Plus: Learn the secret behind Pandora’s Box!
Solid cameo appearances by Despero and Martian Manhunter in one story, taking turns stomping mudholes.

Cover by HOWARD PORTER and LIVESAY • On sale MARCH 12 • 208 pg, FC, $17.99 US

In these stories from BATMAN BEYOND UNLIMITED #10-17, Sector 2814’s newest Green Lantern has been posing as a student to expose a secret organization called The Brain Trust that is brainwashing young students and training them to destory the Justice League.
J'Onn appears in several issues collected in this volume, plus he's drawn by Howard Porter. Anybody read these?

Written by KARL KESEL Art by TERRY DODSON, RACHEL DODSON, PHIL NOTO, CRAIG ROUSSEAU and others Cover by TERRY DODSON and RACHEL DODSON On sale MARCH 5 • 288 pg, FC, $19.99 US In this new Harley collection, HQ heads to Metropolis with allies Poison Ivy and Bizarro in tow! Collecting HARLEY QUINN #14-25.
She also appears in what amounts to a two issue epilogue for the Ostrander/Mandrake Martian Manhunter series featuring John Jones, Diane Meade, Bette Noir and Dr. Trap.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Martian Manhunter Choco Gut Figure Sketch by Kevin Maguire

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"I asked for Martian Manhunter munching on some Oreos and he delivered this hilarious piece. I love it. The Maguire humor is something that I don't think anyone can ever replicate. His run on the Justice League will always have a place of honor in my collection."
I just found out that Maguire will be at Comicpalooza 2014, so I'm aiming to score a sketch. You can count out any Oreo gags like the one above, and probably J'Onn J'Onzz himself, since Maguire's thoroughly trod that ground. It would be neat to get him to ink this piece, which would confirm it as a Kevin Maguire regardless of whether or not it was one to begin with. I think I'd rather get something entirely different, though.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

2011 Justice League of America Alex Ross Custom Set by Tony Gonzales

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Likely based on the 1999 Hasbro Justice League of America Monopoly Game, the artist "Jest84" created an "Alex Ross Collector's Edition," as detailed here. On Gonzales' board, J'Onn J'Onzz took the low rent troika of avenues Connecticut, Vermont, Oriental; renamed "Shape-Shifter," "Telepathic Powers," and "Incredible Alien Power." Check out the revised board below...

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The Justice/Batcomputer Files

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Tybalt Bak'sar vs. The Cheetah

Tybalt Bak'sar
Debut: 2000
Nemesis: Green Lantern Abin Sur
Other Major Foes: Green Lantern Corps, Guardians of the Universe, Martian Manhunter
Appearances: 1 comic
Powers: Enhanced strength, durability and longevity coupled with an arsenal of advanced personal weaponry that allows flight.

A terrorist who destroyed his own planet rather than allowing its continued slavery, Tybalt Bak'sar is similarly ruthless toward any who would defy his overwhelming rage.

Vile Menagerie Stats
Win: 0
Lose: B'rett (-1), The Prophet (4-8)
Draw: 0

The Cheetah
Debut: 1943
Nemesis: Wonder Woman
Appearances: 300+ original comics, extensive use in animation, as well as toys and video games.
Powers: Enhanced senses and physical attributes, especially speed and agility, as well as magical claws.

The Cheetahs have embodied the "cattiness" of women against one another across three generations of name-bearers who have stood as Wonder Woman's most popular adversaries. Priscilla Rich was a jealous socialite with a split personality who wished to destroy the Amazing Amazon. Deborah Domaine was an innocent brainwashed into evil by the terroristic cult of Kobra. Dr. Barbara Minerva was an afflicted archaeologist who compensated by abusing magical artifacts to become a lethal were-creature.

Vile Menagerie Stats:
Win: 0
Lose: 0
Draw: 0

Idol Speculation:
I've read a lot of theories on how to "fix" Wonder Woman, and submit that one of the most important corrections is to make the Cheetah matter. Pre-Crisis, the villainess was a crazy Catwoman way beneath Princess Diana's attention as a threat. Post-Crisis, she's one of dozens of were-cat chicks distinguishable solely by being the one who fights Wonder Woman (and still not especially credibly.) The New 52 provided a perfect opportunity to rediscover the subtext of the Cheetah lost with the passing of William Moulton Marston, or at least jazz up her powers, but it instead went with the typical tepid variation that altered Minerva just enough to be annoying without correcting anything. Cheetah's still an underwhelming wimp and a dull genre trope buoyed only by historical significance and people's enduring affection for all things Tigra.

Tybalt Bak'sar isn't fractionally as well known as the Cheetah, but he took on J'Onn J'Onzz and a Green Lantern while outfitted by the Weaponers of Qward. He destroyed a planet before that on his own. Dude's a pimp, and could throw Cheetah into a sack into a river...

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Ancestor Crystals

Inside the Martian Manhunter's temple in the Gobi Desert rested crystals "imbued with memories of the Martian race, books of solid quartz that can only be read by a telepath" through focus that allowed their "mind and the crystals to become as one..."

First Appearance: Martian Manhunter #32 (July, 2001)
Created by Tom Mandrake

Thursday, November 7, 2013

April 22, 2013 Our Valued Customers webcomic strip by MRTIM

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Hello all you nobodies reading this.

Looking at the comments under the strip, I'm surprised that so many people find Ashley Judd to be somehow obscure. I'm wondering how many folks remember the Judds from the '80s, as they were a pretty big deal, so it was novel when another one turned up as an actress in the critically acclaimed Ruby in Paradise. She was like "the" heroine of thrillers from the late '90s, but I suppose the aughts have not been kind. Say, her trajectory isn't dissimilar from J'Onn J'Onzz in that respect.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Vile Menagerie: THE B'OOL SPORATH

Occupation: Predators
Marital Status: None
Known Relatives: Yes
Group Affiliation: Yes
Base of Operations: Mobile
First Appearance: Martian Manhunter #32 (July, 2001)
Length: 20'+
Eyes: Unknown
Hair: Sparse

As a child, J'Onn J'Onzz heard ancient stories of "The Bloodworms of Mars! They were the destroyers who dissolved my people with their terrible acids and drank the remains!" The Manhunter from Mars was chilled to find similar activities occurring on modern day Earth, in Denver, Colorado. He consulted his Ancestor Crystals for more information.

"B'ool Sporath... The Destroyers... The Drinkers of our Souls... The only species on our world that we feared... They could burst upon us anywhere, even in our homes... disgorging their vile acids before we could act to save ourselves or our families. Our bodies completely liquefied... they would feast on the remains."

"For the first time in history, Whites and Greens worked together against a common foe. Together, we developed a desperate plan. We used ourselves as bait, luring the B'ool Sporath into our small space shuttles... As the doors snapped shut, we phased through the walls. The shuttle was sent to smash into our moon, Phobos, but even the force of impact did not kill them all! Finally, we blasted Phobos with plasma weapons, destroying the last of the B'ool Sporath and freeing us forever from their terror."

During his investigation, J'Onzz discovered an abandoned White Martian base deep under Denver that he believed was thousands of years old. He determined that it was a lab for genetic experimentation, and found modified versions of the type of incubation units used for White offspring. Units had been torn open from the inside out, and there were remains present that recalled the B'ool Sporath. J'Onzz theorized that the Whites diverted some of their exile shuttles to Earth in order to create a breeding project to potentially weaponize the B'ool Sporath against the Greens. However, the Whites likely lost control of their experiment, to disastrous results that were now revisiting Earth.

The three present day B'ool Sporath were attracted to telepathy, feasting on humans with latent abilities and tracking J'Onn J'Onzz across the globe once his presence was made known to them. The Alien Atlas realized that since the B'ool Sporath's acid didn't typically break down human bone, he could construct an armor against it out of calcium, phosphate, carbonite, fibrous connective protein and collagen. The Martian Manhunter was able to fly the B'ool Sporath to the upper atmosphere, so that they themselves burned to mere bones upon reentry. Only one viable bloodworm egg was left in the Whites' lab, which was taken to J'Onn J'Onzz's temple in the Gobi Desert for safekeeping.

Powers & Weapons:
The Bloodworms of Mars were many times the size and breadth of an average Martian. Their large claws could rend metal and rock with ease, allowing them to burrow at speeds that nearly matched a Martian in flight. The B'ool Sporath could appear virtually anywhere, suddenly and without warning, to expel an extremely volatile acid from their mouths at a target. The acid was powerful enough to completely liquefy a Martian's body in short order. The immature B'ool Sporath found on Earth appeared to have a far less potent acid, which failed to do serious permanent harm to the Martian Manhunter when it struck him on the arm. The earthen B'ool Sporath's acid also had a limited term of potency before breaking down harmlessly, and was unable to destroy human bone material. It is unknown whether this was true for the original Martian bloodworms. The B'ool Sporath were primitive telepaths who could "press" against the psyche of an experienced mentalist, which may have contributed to their natural fortitude against such attacks made against themselves. Once they had a telepath's "scent," they would track them relentlessly across great distances. Fantastically sturdy creatures, the B'ool Sporath could yet succumb to vast extremes of heat.


Created by Tom Mandrake

Monday, November 4, 2013

2005 Killraven vs. Martian Manhunter art by Joseph Michael Linsner

I stumbled upon this piece a while back, and hoped to find a higher resolution copy, but have since given up. A link would be welcome. I never figured to see a more elaborate Linsner take on J'Onn J'Onzz than this group shot, so color me surprised at this Marvel vs. DC piece. Killraven is one of the few '70s groovy age Marvel properties I never spent any time with to form the slightest connection to, but it's still fun seeing the star of a post-apocalyptic War of the Worlds continuation take on our own favored Martian.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

2012 Martian Manhunter fan art by Ryan

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You know those weekends where you have no interest in living up to a daily blog devoted to the Sleuth from Outer Space? Well, I do!

Also, let's all take a moment to honor the passing of Nick Cardy, one of DC's finest artists of the Silver Age and the man behind one of my all-time favorite Martian Manhunter covers...

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Doctor Trap vs. Lex Luthor

Larry Trapp
Debut: 1998
Nemesis: DEO Agent Cameron Chase
Other Major Foes: Bette Noir, Manhunter (Kate Spencer); Martian Manhunter
Appearances: 12 original comics
Powers: Devious intellect and vicious contraptions.

An engineer whose wife was accidentally killed in a metahuman clash snaps, becoming a serial murderer of super-heroes & villains using intricate death traps.

Vile Menagerie Stats
Win: Monty Moran (4/1)
Lose: Mr. Moth (5-6); Professor Arnold Hugo (6-11)
Draw: Mr. V (7-7)

lex luthor photo: Lex Luthor lex-luthor.jpg

Lex Luthor
Debut: 1940
Nemesis: Superman
Other Major Foes: Superman Family, Batman Family
Appearances: 2500+ original comics, decades of animated series, live action television, blockbuster motion pictures, toys, video games and more.
Powers: Incredible intellect and extraordinary technology.

A criminal genius intent on proving his ultimate superiority by destroying the Man of Steel.

Vile Menagerie Stats:
Win: 0
Lose: 0
Draw: 0

Idol Speculation:
I'm intent on featuring matches with every member of the Legion of Doom to appear on the 1978 animated series Challenge of the Super Friends before wrapping up these weekly versus polls. They're among the best known DC villains, making them sound subjects to measure the relative worth of the Vile Menagerie against. However, Lex Luthor is one of the greatest fictional villains of all time across all media, so any "fair" fight meant tossing a Martian Manhunter scientist adversary into the sun. Professor Arnold Hugo is Luthor's closest analogue, and I'll be honest, he would suffer a humiliating defeat. Luthor and Hugo are too similar, with Luthor's accomplishments measured in powers over Hugo's. Also, another reason I started these fights was to record the Menagerie's statistics from the March Madness events for posterity, but I've already repeated several participants, including Hugo.

I was reminded of an argument I made years back about how updating Hugo into a "grim n' gritty" version was pointless, since Chase's Doctor Trap had already been appropriated by Martian Manhunter in the late '90s, and he was basically a brutal modern take on the old criminal geniuses. I hadn't run Trap yet, he's more physically comparable to Luthor, and the Doctor's sneaky, lethal inclinations gave him an advantage against Luthor that Hugo lacked. Doctor Trap would plot a complex homicide for Lex and execute it without Luthor necessarily being aware Larry Trapp even existed, targeted by the Doctor's broad motivation. It's the Batman argument. With time to prepare and his target unaware, why couldn't Dr. Trap emphasize the "ex" in "ex-president?" Trap may not have gone after victims in Superman's league, but setting his sites lower proved violently effectiveness.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Bloomberg Businessweek: Your Martian Manhunter Comic Collection Is Worthless

An article by Eric Spitznagel went up on Yahoo Finance yesterday titled Those Comics in Your Basement? Probably Worthless. This should not be news to anyone we reads this blog, especially if they ever worked in comic book retail... but maybe your redneck cousin brought in a longbox full of water-damaged post-"Reign" triangle-numbered Superman comics that reeked of cigarettes and was appalled that he was offered a nickel each? Hell, my own father has probably given undue thought to how to divide up his complete set of "Rise of the Midnight Sons" in the will, so it's a common enough delusion.

See, there was a time when every kid in America read comic books, and those kids gave birth to a large generation of offspring noted for its nostalgia, qualities of arrested development, and hefty disposable income. Of course the Baby Boomers created an industry of paying increasingly exorbitant amounts of money for pristine copies of childhood artifacts that were previously treated as disposable entertainment, thus made rare. Further, it makes sense that these boomers would influence the successive Generation X to do the same, with the enormous caveat that the cultural impact of comic books had significantly lessened as the drive for preservation and mythologizing of value insured a much larger pool of available antiques for a smaller circle of potential buyers.

Meanwhile, the comic book characters the boomers and X loved were introduced to Millennials through non-comic media, and they're a generation who are both more monetarily savvy and less attached to material artifacts of their past when digital replicas are much more convenient and readily available for free on the internet. Of course, now that the boomers are looking to work well into "retirement age" and they have no legitimate nest egg, they're looking to cash in on their comic book "investment" by selling to the meager tens of thousands of middle aged contemporary collectors who are surviving on credit cards and already bought all the same books they're trying to dump years ago. We already knew early Image and late Valiant were worthless and abundant, but what happens when the house of cards that was the post-Silver Age back issue market collapses? Well, we have the exact same market we've had since the speculator bubble burst in the mid-90s, and some financial analyst turns it into a news story for guys who have been divorced from comics since they completed their set of Ultraverse debut issues.

My excuse for posting this rant here? To illustrate the article, someone either scored at one of the finest quarter bins in the tri-state area, or they dumped out a box of their own eclectic comics on the floor and took a picture. Surely the overprinted and ridiculously overvalued Spider-Man #1 was centered for a reason, and the blip in popularity around Byrne Superman relates to the subject. Even early Bronze Age Blackhawks and Adventure Comics fit the narrative of "old does not equaling $$$," but was anyone ever convinced Raven Chronicles was equivalent to a savings bond? My favorite though is in the upper right corner. I don't believe anyone has ever paid more than $3 for Martian Manhunter #1 in the quarter century since it was published, and quite frankly, I felt like a rube for shelling out $1.75 when I bought it in 1988. It's been cheapie bin fodder since the month after it was released. In fact, no Martian Manhunter comic has ever been worth more than cover price. Ever. And it probably never will be.

However, if you can get a copy of Detective Comics #225 slabbed at 8.0+, there will inevitably be a movie, and on the off chance that it doesn't suck, you might actually have won a straight in roulette (a win probability of 2.63% for betting a mere $5K or so.) Alternately, the oil economy will collapse into barter/barbarism by the 2040s, and it'll be like a condom over kindling. So there's that to look forward to.