Friday, October 3, 2008

Martian Manhunter's Silver Age Costumes

  1. Detective Comics #225: The original costume, which appeared on only two pages in this first appearance. Standards set include: blue cape & cavalier boots, red chest straps and belt, as well as eight-slice "pie" belt buckle. Variants include the "pie" symbol colored with Green Martian flesh tone, and black briefs instead of blue.
  2. Detective Comics #227: The Martian Manhunter appeared in only one monochromatic panel in #226, and only five colored panels in this story. Throughout, J'onzz's trunks and belt are colored white.
  3. Detective Comics #231: In #228, J'onn J'onzz only appeared in one monochromatic panel, and in #229 retained Detective John Jones' plainclothes while briefly reverting to Martian form. In #230, the Manhunter was only shown once from behind. It seems the colorist plain forgot what the costume looked like by that point. In this single panel, Manhunter's straps and trunks were pink, with blue leggings, a black belt, alongside a light brown cape and boots. The Martian villain of the issue, a "Magician-Thief," was colored in much the same fashion. Note also that Dr. Erdel was given Green Martian skin color.
  4. Detective Comics #236:The Martian Manhunter surrendered all appearances to John Jones in issues #232-235. Manhunter then returned to his original costume, except for his belt buckle turning red. #237-238 returned to John Jones, while #239 was back to basics. However, Manhunter's Martian features had begun to shift, as his head was more proportionate to his body, with brow and overbite less pronounced.
  5. Detective Comics #240: The Martian Manhunter dominated this issue, though invisible. Even when his powers failed in the presence of flame, Manhunter was colored entirely in yellow and white, except for black briefs. Marvel's "The Vision" looked very much like this for much of the late '80s through early '90s. In #241, under the same m.o., Manhunter was colored grey-blue. In #242, it was all white.
  6. Detective Comics #243: During a flashback sequence, all Martians were colored a pale blue-green, while J'onn J'onzz wore a dull red-brown outfit with black briefs. In the present, Manhunter remained absent until #246, where he began another series of invisible adventures. As in his earliest appearances, he sometimes appeared entirely in monochromatic green flesh tone. Detective John Jones didn't transform in #249.
  7. Detective Comics #251: Two years after his first appearance, the Martian Manhunter's trunks finally turned blue, marking his "official" look for nearly fifty years.
  8. Detective Comics #252: Then, in the very next issue, his boots turned red, and not for the last time. Two monochromatic adventures followed.
  9. Detective Comics #255: Red trunks, looking rather odd and baboon-like during this story.
  10. Detective Comics #257: While there were several invisible adventures with some variation on the greens between flesh and clothing, in this issue the contrast was so pronounced as to constitute another costume. Also, with this issue J'onn J'onzz lost the beetle-brow and overbite, while generally filling out, to more strongly resemble a conventional super-hero. In fact, he's pretty much a bald John Jones in costume. #s 258, 260, & 285 saw the return of red trunks, while #259 was monochromatic. #261 revisited the "official" costume, while #262 & 275 were red boots' return. #263 onward mostly kept with the "official" suit, though color variations on the belt and cape clasp were common (usually white, red, or blue.)

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