Sunday, October 5, 2008

Martin Smith

Martin Smith was an alternate identity employed by the Manhunter from Mars in JLA Annual #1 (1997.) Smith was a very large, imposing figure, much closer to the Martian Manhunter's typical dimensions than most of his aliases. Smith was late middle-aged, with a graying flattop. He was often seen in rectangular sunglasses, fashionable black suit, and trench coat. Smith claimed to have ties to the United Nations over the course of an investigation, but pregnant pauses while making this assertion brings the likelihood into doubt.

The Smith identity was exceptional in that it inspired J'Onn J'Onzz to, in his own words, go deeper "into character" than ever before. Smith was a provocateur, surly and intimidating. He openly threatened a police sheriff during their first meeting, and talked his way into a fistfight with a deputy. Smith was also more libidinous than J'Onzz, as he painfully lusted for the flirtatious wife of a suspect. Smith even slipped mention of his dead wife and fire vulnerability into his clumsy courtship.

With initial reservation, Smith reveled in a violent brawl with a mob of angry rednecks. Smith was later felled by a larger group of the same, and left to die tied to a chair in a burning boathouse. The Martian Manhunter escaped, and in bringing media attention to his attackers, also tipped his hand that he and Smith were one and the same. "A lonely, human fool had died in the blaze. I was a manhunter, an avenger... and I had unfinished business."

Sample Dialogue: "You have my word, Sheriff, I'm not interested in starting any trouble... but I'll finish any that gets thrown at me. Good day..."

"I'll go when I'm ready, Deputy. And get your hands off me... I don't want a fight-- and you'll regret it if you start one--"

"It would be a pleasure to speak to someone in this town who wants to talk."

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