Wednesday, January 20, 2010
DCU Villains Secret Files & Origins #1: "Malefic" (April 1999)
Six months after his debut in Martian Manhunter #0, Malefic already had a profile page, a handful of appearances, and this one page introductory story named after him (in quotation marks-- so "clever.") Meanwhile, most of the Vile Menagerie were only ever given a single appearance, and virtually none of them have ever been mentioned in any reference book (or in Professor Hugo's case, they got his name wrong-- in the 70s!) So excuse me while I continue to hate on this prefabricated "nemesis."
The story is pretty basic Marvel Age Annual/DC Sampler fare. The White Martians had only been loose from the Still Zone (to our knowledge) for a short time, and Martian Manhunter had converted their ancient headquarters, Z'onn Z'orr, into his new secret hideout in the Antarctic. It just so happened Manhunter's evil twin brother *shudder* Ma'alefa'ak knew all of this, since he had nothing better to do since H'ronmeer's Curse wiped out their race than tool around alone on Mars. You see, after Ma'alefa'ak engineered that plague, he figured he was all done, and spent the years since watching reruns of old Ray Walston sitcoms. Having learned J'Onn J'Onzz was still alive, Ma'alefa'ak teleported to Z'onn Z'orr, assumed Martian Manhunter's identity, and began ruining his reputation before killing him. Cue purely expository internal monologue, maniacal laughter and series plug...
"Story" by John Ostrander. "Art" by Tom Mandrake.