Sunday, February 28, 2010

Which Martian Manhunter Villains Do You Have The Most Middling Interest In?

Getting back to our analysis of the January I-HoD poll which asked "Which Martian Manhunter Villains would you like to read about here? Check all that apply," we've arrived at the middle. With a poll like this, there's a tendency to assume respondents will either cherry-pick their very favorites, or click nearly every button in a show of their fascination with all things Manhunter from Mars. I followed this poll closely throughout its duration, and I'm confident neither happened. While there were clear favorites early on, the randomness of individual selections made it obvious thought went into each choice made by an individual, even if it just came down to a really cool name for an unfamiliar character. I thank you all for your delightful consideration.

That being said, the following are characters that had a reasonable overlap among respondents, but still represent a marginal overall interest among this blog's vocal readership. Every single character offered as a selection received some votes, and these did better than the worst, but not as good as the best. That equates to an 18% positive response, or exactly one more vote each than the five allotted to the 15%-garnered from the last round.

Alex Dunster

A scientist from Detective Comics #228 who was clearly smarter than J'onn, as he managed to get Professor Erdel's teleportation device to work for his wicked purposes. A shame he never appeared again.

Bloodworms of Mars
These guys rated two Wiki-type entries, one detailed at Wikia, the other brief with terrible picture at Angelfire? Oooookay.

Cosmic Creature
In Detective Comics #321, a shapeshifting beast burst out of a space capsule buried underneath Manhunter & Zook's secret mountain hideout. Random.


The wizard who created and named the infamous Idol-Head, though Diabolu himself only appeared in House of Mystery #158. Aside from synopsizing that issue, he's got a VM listing already, so not much left to do.

The Diabolu Idol-Head

Even though it plagued Manhunter for a couple of years, I can't see giving the Idol-Head of Diabolu its own VM listing. It isn't as though it had an intelligence of its own.

Doctor Light

I never felt comfortable with this guy as a Martian Manhunter foe, since they only seemed to only be tied together because Gardner Fox couldn't find a decent Jack Miller Manhunter from Mars foe for his Justice League of America scripts. Mark Waid played with the loose relation in a retcon story, but what really rates Arthur Light is his involvement in J'Onn's murder, along with Effigy and Libra. Dr. Light is really very dead now, so nothing more seems likely to come of it.


Probably still doesn't sit well that I added this Superman villain to the Vile Menagerie, but if J'Onn must constantly be a jobber for the Man of Steel, he's earned that partial ownership.

Duffy, Serial Cop Killer
Okay, you guys don't seriously care about this random nutjob from Showcase '96 #9, do you? He would make for an easy VM entry.


He helped Dr. Light keep Martian Manhunter captive before Libra speared him, making him an accessory in the murder. Regardless of his being perfect to battle J'Onn because of his fire-based powers, he's dead and a fairly committed Green Lantern Kyle Rayner foe.

Another shot at creating an evil Martian Manhunter, but mostly just another sadistic villain with little real personality, and presumably dead now.

The Human Squirrel
A second story man who went straight, the Human Squirrel was later caught in a scheme to trap him into returning to a life of crime. This was by means of a second grown man dressing in a giant squirrel suit to make the first look guilty. Does that mean I'll need entries for both Human Squirrel I and Human Squirrel II?

The Hyperclan

I don't quite understand why these guys weren't bigger. Sure, they were '90s goofy, but they're almost nostalgic in representing the Chromium Age. In theory, evil Martians could have gotten loose and formed a legion of Hyperclans, but instead they got owned by Batman one time and dismissed. Instead of returning in distinct costumes with various strengths in power, their reappearance was as a bunch of homogenic White Martians (with only about two still identified as individuals.) I actually quite like these guys, and they should have turned up in the Martian Manhunter solo series, at least. I've been sitting on partially written individual listings, but between the overlap of information and mild interest from you folks, I expect they'll stay in their queue.

Invaders From the Space Warp
Alien crooks who each looked like a red-skinned Ric Ocasek, and were indirectly responsible for bringing Zook to our dimension in 'Tec #311


There's not a lot of ambiguity with Lobo. You're either in the minority that like him, or you absolutely despise him. I assume this is a combination of overexposure in the '90s and his being directly opposed to the aesthetic of DC Comics. Personally, I love him in small doses, and I think he works better when paired off with someone like Martian Manhunter than Superman. J'Onn is more geared for satirical humor, and he's a far better straight man, plus J'Onn allows leeway for the (im)mature themes Lobo requites access to. Superman always ran with a silly cartoonish version of Lobo, but imagine a Manhunter story playing up the carnage, with J'Onn hearing the mental screams of the Main Man's victims and placed in a situation where his powers alone won't bring a resolution.

The Magician-Thief Who Had Super Powers

I could have sworn I made a VM entry for him already. This was the first super-powered villain to appear in a Manhunter story, as well as the first Martian besides J'onn J'onzz himself. I even used him in my two-part anniversary fan fiction, the "1984 Manhunter from Mars Annual #1" parts one and two. How'd I miss that?

Mr. Moth

A silly character whose sole appearance has been covered and who already has a VM entry. We need never speak of him again.

Monty Moran: The Getaway King / Getaway Mastermind

Moran has a rare double distinction: A Manhunter from Mars villain who appeared more than once and showed up in an anti-Justice League of America group. I suspect this was because he was the closest approximation to a super-villain to appear in recent memory contemporaneous with the JLofA story, and not because Moran was especially appealing. A shame.

“The Man of 1,000 Disguises” from Detective Comics #315 who was largely defeated by Zook. So, he's a Zook-caliber threat. A'yup. On the bright side, this ginger stage act could meet Mysterio and the Chameleon halfway, which puts him in a decent power range.

A not-terrible Jovian criminal in execution, but his porcine appearance and terrible fashion sense ruin him for modern use. Unseen since 1959.

Saturninan Criminal
Powerwise, probably the best non-Martian match of the Silver Age. This red-skinned, bushy browed criminal had superhuman strength, acute vision, shapeshifting ability, and some ill-defined energy/telepathic projection. Definitely worth revisiting.

A witch who resurrected the mafia's dead as her foot soldiers in a gang war. Appeared in one comic that I'm aware of to face the Martian Manhunter and the Spectre, an impressive duo. As far as I know, she's unrelated to the Shadowpact foe, though they're both red-heads.

Vulkor, the Capsule Master

Another evil Martian, this time an inventor, who fought J'Onn and Green Arrow in their first team-up. Vulkor has personality, and was one of the few decent Silver Age entries into the Vile Menagerie.

Weapons Master

You were expecting the Silver Age JLofA's Xotar? Nope, this is the '90s version, a mercenary in battle armor who could teleport an arsenal into his hands, or use that ability to make a hasty escape. Weapons Master was also more of a J.L.A. foe, but was specifically aligned against Bloodwynd (and by extension, J'Onn J'Onzz.)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

1990 "Justice League America vs Lobo" Color Commission by Bruce Patterson

Click To Enlarge

I've gotten a little bit behind again here at the Idol-Head, and my big plans to work behind the scenes this Saturday have been a bust. I needed a subject for a double catch-up post, so I went back to working on "Which Martian Manhunter Villains Do You Have The Most Middling Interest In," which likely won't drop for a few more days. While constructing those link, image & commentary-heavy posts, I'll run web searches on the various rogues, occasionally stumbling upon some real surprises.

For instance, here's a 15x20" full (pencil) color piece by one of my favorite inkers of the '70s & '80s, Bruce Patterson. Featuring a period Lobo battling Justice League International,  one would think the vacuum of space would have taken Blue Beetle, Fire and Ice out before the Main Man (was he even the Main Man yet by that point?) could get to them. One would assume this was meant to take place during the second year space adventure when the JLI fought Lobo, except that mission was to rescue a kidnapped Mr. Miracle, who is present here (despite his best interests.) Booster Gold and Green Lantern Guy Gardner especially look worse for wear, with only our own Martian Manhunter in a position to challenge that fraggin' bastich!

By the way, this marks the 1,000th post I've written for this blog, although only about the 901st to see publication. I really have entirely too many unfinished and/or overwhelming projects, don't I?

Friday, February 26, 2010

1995 Skybox DC Villains: The Dark Judgment Lobo Trading Card #36

As I'll elaborate momentarily, Lobo just popped back on my radar, and reminded me that despite previous assertions, I hadn't really finished posting scans of all the Martian Manhunter related villains from this Underworld Unleashed tie-in card set. Besides the 'Bo here, and previously noted omissions like Silver Banshee and the Demon Etrigan (still too big a reach for me,) there's a chase card subset featuring Doomsday, Darkseid and Mongul in a nine panel image I'll have to do something with. I'd just knock the whole thing out, but I'm missing a panel (stupid Joker!) and I don't need three individual posts (as least for now.)

As for the card itself, it's painted by Lobo's most popular artist, Simon Bisley. The Biz always lent Lobo a heavy metal look, but the star spangled stretch pants strike me as a tad more David Lee Roth than James Hetfield. Then again, one of the reasons I continue to find Lobo amusing is that he's so clearly a poseur, this fashion faux pas just strikes me as another winky "tell."

Thursday, February 25, 2010

2002 DC Direct Green Lantern Corps: Effigy Action Figure

I completely forgot this Martian Manhunter murder co-conspirator got his own action figure. I thought he was a well designed new Green Lantern Kyle Rayner foe at the time, but he didn't seem to amount to much, and then Nero turned up with visually similar powers (and also flamed out without lasting effect.) I don't even remember the sword...


Endowed with the power to project and control flame by alien rivals of the Green Lantern Corps' Guardians of the Universe, Martyn Van Wyck became the deadly Effigy. Filled with hate, Effigy is out to prove what he can destroying Green Lantern. The Effigy Action Figure stands approximately 6.5 inches tall, 7 inches tall with flame, and comes with a removable flaming sword. Features 4-color resealable packaging.

Price TBA, in stores on Feb. 19, 2002

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Reilly2040's Blog

When I was putting together "Crisis On Earth-Blog: The DC Challenge," I set out to dig up as many DC-centric blogs as I could to tie into my character list. I reached out to any of the top bloggers I thought might be game (to be almost completely ignored and flagged as a spammer-- thanks, jerks) as well as anyone legitimate who came up on searches for, say "Mr. Miracle blog" (a really bright guy who courteously passed.) In my search for an Adam Strange home page, I turned up Reilly2040's Blog, run by a rather pleasant fellow who'd been "Rambling about Sci-Fi, Movies and Video Games" since 5 April, 2007. Anglophiles will recognize that wacky date scheme denotes a citizen of the United Kingdom, guaranteed to class up the crossover by adding "u" or "q" to otherwise drab English words.

Moving along, Alan's blog was pretty diverse, as he held court on British sci-fi (Dr. Who especially,) miniatures like Warhammer 40K, video and role-playing games, as well as thoughtful reviews of top Marvel and DC comics (Iron Man, Spider-Man, Flash, Green Lantern, and more.) While I mostly avoided blogs geared toward reviews (respectful as I was not to violate their typical m.o. with my tomfoolery,) Alan's posts went deeper than that. He kept a more conversational tone, and took the time to fully articulate his thoughts, making him seem more accessible. My only complaint about his blog is his false adverting of "rambling," where he is in fact quite focused on whatever topic he chooses to tackle. I'd never heard of Reilly2040's Blog anywhere before, so my goose chase yielded quality dividends.

For instance, I attempted (and plan to eventually complete) interactive stories for each of the characters involved in the crossover (as dead links across most of the blogs will attest.) With the ones I actually managed to complete, I tried to offer a short introduction to each character. Being from the U.K., Alan was one of the only guys available to discuss the crossover when I first suggested it just prior to Thanksgiving, was among the first to complete his portion of the crossover, wrote a concise but thorough Adam Strange biography, and was unfailingly a pleasure to work with. In short, Reilly2040's Blog was one of the happiest surprises of what was sometimes a rather trying endeavor, and I'll be following it from here on out.

Highlights (In Chronological Order:)
DR. WHO Index
Rann-Thanagar Holy War #1
Rann-Thanagar Holy War #3
Hawkman Special
Rann-Thanagar Holy War #4 & Robin #177
The Kingdom
Secret Invasion Finale and Dark Reign
Strange Adventures #1
Digital Comics
Atomic Robo
Timestorm 2009-2099
Captain Britain and MI13 #13
Green Lantern Fan Trailer
Dark Reign So Far
Timestorm 2009-2099: Spider-Man
My Own Worst Enemy
Iron Man: Armored Adventures
Strange Adventures
Who Was Ben Reilly?
World’s Most Wanted Conclusion
R.E.B.E.L.S. #10
Iron Man and War Machine December ‘09
Blackest Night: Adventure Comics
Green Lantern Corps #43
Whatever Happened to The Flash?
Green Lantern #49
Blackest Night #6
Iron Man’s New Armour
Green Lantern #50
Marvel in May
Changes in the Green Lantern Corps
Green Lantern #51

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

JLA Secret Files & Origins #3: White Martians Profile Page (December 2000)

I was initially put off by the debut of White Martians in the first Morrison JLA arc, but the story was very cool, and with time I realized J'Onn J'Onzz would actually benefit from losing the title "last living Martian." Besides it being terribly derivative of Superman, the Martian Manhunter works well when contrasted against others of his own species, and there's tons of '70s continuity established to that effect. Unfortunately, while John Ostrander jumped through maddening hoops to pit the Alien Atlas against green Martians, and books as low on the totem pole as Son of Vulcan were allowed to use White Martians as antagonists, their only appearances in J'Onn's solo series were in flashback. Thankfully, since his interaction with the Whites was rather light in New World Order, Mark Waid finally turned Manhunter loose on them in a story arc from his too-brief JLA run. I'm not sure how many of these guys survived Fernus' massacre, but I'll keep my hopes up for another match.

Profile text by Scott Beatty, with art by Dale Eaglesham and Andrew Hennessey, and probably the best looking White Martian I've seen at that.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Dispatches From The Arrowcave

Right after the first big "Crisis on Earth-Blog" crossover organized by the Irredeemable Shag, he suggested putting together a sort of "Justice League of Bloggers." My mind flashed to virtual meetings where each member would speak in character, or maybe photographing ourselves cosplaying so someone could Photoshop "team pictures." My reply was of course, "yeaheheh NO. Like Groucho, I'm not much for joining any group that would have me. Still, I'm a big believer in character- and team-oriented blogging. I know there are plenty of fan pages and Facebook/MySpace profiles related to specific characters, but there's something special about public blogging that I adore, and I think that in the future, every decent character should have their own blog. For the longest time, I'd quip that sooner or later, even Captain Comet needs his own blog, and when the opportunity presented itself, I made one myself.

I bring this up because of Dispatches From The Arrowcave, created by Adama on Thursday, November 15, 2007. Adama was the Green Arrow blogger of our group, offering a substantial 214 posts over two years. He came up with some wonderfully unique bits, like a guide to trick arrows, dossiers for Star City characters, and the always fun occasional mocking of Speedy. I "met" Adama through Luke of El Jacone's Comic Book Bunker, and it was partially through Adama's work on his blog that his pal Luke was inspired to produce Being Carter Hall, the Hawkman blog. Not only was Adama covering a cornerstone of the DC Universe, but he brought in a buddy to erect a whole other pillar.

The problem is, after a very productive 2008, posting dipped to roughly twice a month in 2009, and the blog has been on an indefinite hiatus since Wednesday, October 28, 2009 (aside for a few seasonal greetings, excluding the entirely appropriate recent Valentine's Day.) So not only have we seemingly lost a swell blogger, but poor Ollie Queen & family are also in limbo. With all the work Adama put into his blog, it would be nice if there was some sort of blogger support network to help a guy get through a rough patch in regular writing, so he doesn't lose his audience or sense of forward momentum. Also, Lord knows tackling a daily or multiple-times-weekly blog can burn you out.

I'm not going to say that blogging on any kind of regular basis is a snap, but it seems to me that virtually anyone could adopt a random character and give them a blog home on a weekly or even monthly schedule.  Maybe Shag's idea could even be reworked into a central blog home where different people would offer occasional pieces about their character of choice, so that they wouldn't even have to create a unique blog? All I know is, I want my Green Arrow blog!

Articulation Arrow:
25th Anniversary of the Super Powers line
DC Direct Green Arrow and Speedy
DC Direct Green Arrow and Speedy (cont.)
DC New Frontier Green Arrow
Infinite Heroes Arrow Family Set
JLU Arrowcycle

Black Canary
Mia Dearden
Roy Harper
Connor Hawke
Count Vertigo
Hal Jordan

Interview Arrow:
Mike Norton

Adventure Comics #250
Adventure Comics #251
Adventure Comics #254
Adventure Comics #255
Adventure Comics #256
Adventure Comics #257
Green Arrow vol.2 #1
Green Arrow vol.2 #2
Green Arrow vol. 2 #3
Green Arrow vol. 3 #4
Green Arrow vol. 2 #5
Green Arrow vol.2 #6
reen Arrow vol. 2 #7
Green Arrow vol. 2 #8
Green Arrow vol. 2 #9
Green Arrow vol. 2 #10
Green Arrow vol. 2 #11
Green Arrow/Black Canary #1
Green Arrow/Black Canary #2
Green Arrow and Black Canary #4
Green Lantern #76
Green Lantern #77
Green Lantern #78
Green Lantern #79
Green Lantern #80
Green Lantern #81
Green Lantern #82
Green Lantern #83
Green Lantern #84
Green Lantern #85
World's Finest Comics #95
World's Finest Comics #97
World's Finest Comics #98

Trick Arrows:
Aqua-Lung Arrow
Arrow-Bomb plus!
Balloon Arrow
Bolo Arrow
Boxing Glove Arrow
Buzzsaw Arrow
Drill Arrow
Fire Extinguisher Arrow
Flare Arrow
Glue Arrow
Grapple Line Arrow
Handcuff Arrow
Heli-Spotter Arrow
Mind Reading Arrow
Mummy Arrow
Net Arrow
Power Ring Delivery Arrow!
Tuning Fork Arrow

Sunday, February 21, 2010

2006 "Magical Lobotomy" color art by Craig Hamilton

Click To Enlarge

Starring Doctor Light and featuring Green Lantern Hal Jordan, Zatanna, an unusually tall Ray Palmer Atom, Hawkman, and the sex parts of Black Canary, Green Arrow, and the Flash. Done with colored pencils by a fellow most famous for his work on the '80s Aquaman mini-series. Of it, Craig Hamilton said...

What a thrill it was to do this piece ~ this scene certainly is the highlight of Identity Crisis! A whopping 15 inches square, this one was a labor of Love! My great Pal and comrade in shenanigans, Michael Bair hooked me up with the IDCrisis series and got me hooked on the talent of Brad Meltzer. IDCrisis is JLA meets CSI with a healthy dose of (REALLY) Desperate Housewives!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Doctor Light Sketches by Michael Turner

Click to Enlarge

I don't recall Dr. Light appearing on any of Michael Turner's Identity Crisis covers, so maybe these were done for the horrible action figure line that followed. I know my collection still feels incomplete for lack of rapists captured in three dimensions. Anyway, besides the above picture, there's a near identical yet clearly different character study you might like to look at.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Supergirl Comic Box Commentary

Last time we looked at Dixon's Crimson Lightning, which very much has its own identity, publishing schedule, and so forth. Where I find Kelson's Speed Force a Wally West flavored blog from the name down, Crimson Lightning feels like Barry Allen's blog, from its emphasis on science to its just-the-facts approach, and even its occasional tardiness factors into that.

Three months after Crimson Lightning arrived, Rob Kelly's The Aquaman Shrine came along. It proved not only a very popular blog, but also highly influential, as for many people it showed the way toward doing character-specific blogging "right." From this blog to Adama's Dispatches from the Arrow Cave, to Damian Maffei's The Tiny Titan, to Luke's Being Carter Hall, you can feel the Shrine's influence. From the general layout, post types, schedules, and even the Blogger/Blogspot hosting, there's a vestigial "Robness" to all our blogs. Even in instances where Rob himself was influenced by our efforts, it feels like we all share a bloodline, while Dixon's earlier launch allowed him a greater sense of independence.

One of the things I love about Anj's Supergirl Comic Box Commentary is that, like Dixon's work, it's character blogging done extremely well, while lacking the faint incestuousness of other post Shrine blogs. It saw its initial post on Thursday, November 29, 2007, although a second wouldn't arrive until Tuesday, April 29, 2008, with regular posting finally commencing on Thursday, May 8, 2008. Most of us start out trying for daily/several-times weekly posts that sometimes spread out into inactive months, but Anj went the opposite way, slowly becoming nigh-daily. While doing so, Anj maintained a distinct look, a broad range (pretty much anything remotely related to the Superman family gets covered, without ever sacrificing the Maid of Might's focus,) and unique features (like monthly sales analysis and objective critical reviews.) Where some blogs are relentlessly sunny (hi, Shag!)  or ceaselessly dour (me,) Anj strikes a good balance between noting weaknesses and praising strengths in each book. Anj sees the best in the many incarnations of the Girl of Steel, without turning a blind eye toward missteps, showing a welcome maturity to the writing that reads especially well. Like the Shrine, Anj does a favorite character proud, and does it so gracefully it calls for emulation.

Recent Highlights:
"Supergirl: The First Fifty Years" Library Display
Back Issue Box Review: Action #324 - The Fire Falls
Back Issue Box: Action Comics #304
Review: Superman Secret Origin #1
Review: Cry For Justice #4
Review: R.E.B.E.L.S. Annual #1
Review: Superman Secret Origin #2
Back Issue Box: Superboy #80
Ethan Van Sciver's Supergirl As Indigo Lantern
Review: Cry For Justice #5
Review: Adventure Comics #4
Review: Superman Secret Origin #3
Back Issue Box: Superman Family #171
Review: Adventure Comics #5
Review: Supergirl #48
Happy Holidays - Justice League Unlimited #162009 In Review And the Top Ten Supergirl Comic Moments
Who's Who In The DC Universe
Supergirl In The 90's Who's Who
Review: R.E.B.E.L.S. #12
Bullet Review: Outsiders #26
Brainiac 5 and Supergirl: The Levitz Years
Back Issue Box: Legion Of Super-Heroes #301
Review: Justice League: Cry For Justice #6
Review: Supergirl #49
Review: Superman Secret Origin #4
Review: Superman World Of New Krypton #12
500 Posts So ... Back Issue Box: Action Comics #500
Supergirl and Stargirl In JLU
Review: R.E.B.E.L.S. #12 
Review: Supergirl #50 Part 1

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Rogues of Wikipedia

I haven't looked at the Martian Manhunter's Wikipedia page in a few months, but while surfing the net for Vile Menagerie-related content, I was directed there by, of all people, B'enn B'urnzz. You see, someone finally edited in a Rogues Gallery into the piece, and it's not terrible.

I have high hopes for J'Onn J'Onzz's probable resurrection and possible correct usage. I'm counting on you Geoff Johns, because if you pass it to Tomasi, everything prior to 1985 stays in limbo! Should neither step up to bat, a list like this could help the next writer on our favorite Martian to do the job right this time. Also, someone finally Wiki'd up Zook, God bless 'em, especially for neglecting to reference his few unflattering modern appearances. Do please feel free to add a Zook image from this blog, eh?

Anyway, here's Wikipedia's Rogues, with my edits in italics. Seeing as this blog still receives no Wikipedia link love, and few of these guys have Wiki pages, I provided links where able:

Rogues Gallery

  • B'enn B'urnzz- A Martian criminal who was hiding on Earth in 2062 and then came back to the present time to wreak havoc.
  • B'rett- A Martian convict who escaped captivity to Earth by stowing away in an experimental missile that overshot its mark. He landed in Middletown, U.S.A., where he immediately went on a destructive rampage. He carries a Martian Ray Gun that destroys most things it hits.
  • Cay'an- Cay'an brainwashed a group of White Martians to attack the Martian Manhunter.
  • Commander [Ben] Blanx- Leader of the polar-dwelling White Martians, enemies of the desert-dwelling Green Martians.
  • He was a Pale Martian, and looking at Whites, I suspect there may be a difference. Also, where does "Ben" come from. Have I missed that somewhere?
  • The Headmen- A robotic military group led by The Headmaster.
  • The Human Flame- A villain who wore a special suit that allowed him to project fire, which is the weakness of the Martian Manhunter.
  • Malefic- The Martian Manhunter's arch enemy and evil twin brother.
  • The Marshal- A Green Martian who tried to conquer Earth. A tad vague, right?
  • The Master Gardener- The Master Gardener and his shape-shifting Lizard Man came to Earth during World War II, and took advantage of the terror and confusion of the time to infiltrate governments and communications cartels. They grew plants bearing fungus that bonded to the human nervous system, allowing them to control the very words they spoke under threat of spontaneous combustion.Wow, that's a nice, concise entry. That's better than what I got, and such an obscure character besides.

Now, three of these ten villains received less than 15% of your votes in a poll on this blog of interesting foils. Six of them have only appeared in one story ever, and several in only one comic book, period. There are some disagreeable absences (I can allow for Despero, but Cay'an over Bel Juz and Headmaster over Bette Noir?) Still, I've seen much worse...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Martian Sightings for May, 2010

Issue #1 on sale MAY 5 •Issue #2 on sale MAY 19
40 pg (#1), 32 pg (#2), FC, $2.99 US
Issue #1 1:50 variant cover by IVAN REIS & OCLAIR ALBERT •Issue #2 1:25 variant cover by IVAN REIS & OCLAIR ALBERT
BRIGHTEST DAY continues, but in ways you can’t possibly expect! What does BRIGHTEST DAY mean to the DC Universe? Is everything from here on out going to be bright and shiny? No, BRIGHTEST DAY means something else entirely, something we can’t tell you...yet. But we can tell you our heroes will need to rise up more than ever to combat the forces of evil, and a select few will uncover a secret that binds them ALL. It all begins in the specially priced issue #1!
Retailers please note: These issues will ship with two covers each. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
The real Aquaman is back, by a killer creative team! Hopefully, J'Onn J'Onzz will be joining them!

Issue #1 on sale MAY 12
Issue #2 on sale MAY 26
40 pg (#1), 32 pg (#2), FC, $2.99 US
Issue #1 art by AARON LOPRESTI
Issue #2 art by JOE BENNETT
Issue #1 1:50 variant cover by KEVIN MAGUIRE
Issue #2 1:25 variant cover by KEVIN MAGUIRE
Spinning out of BRIGHTEST DAY, DC’s new biweekly event begins here! Someone is targeting the old members of the defunct Justice League International. Now, surviving members Booster Gold, Captain Atom, Fire and Ice have to figure out what unseen mastermind is threatening to destroy the entire Super Hero community! There are no gray areas here – it’s black and white and red with blood all over for this lost generation of Super Heroes as original JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL writer Keith Giffen is joined by superstar scribe Judd Winick (BATMAN, GREEN ARROW) for a new era in excitement! And don’t miss the monumental reteaming of Giffen and his former JLI writing partner J.M. DeMatteis on this month’s BOOSTER GOLD #32!
Retailers please note: These issues will ship with two covers each. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.

Is that silhouetted figure in the center the resurrected Martian Manhunter? Maybe? Does Booster Gold look a lot like Michael Keaton? Definitely? Will I buy this with J.M. DeMatteis replaced by Judd Winick and no guarantee of J'Onn J'Onzz? Nope.

On sale JUNE 2
352 pg, FC, $24.99 US
Cover by J.G. JONES
The mind-blowing event miniseries is now in trade paperback! What happens when evil wins? Superman, Batman, the Justice League and every other super being in the DC Universe must face this reality when Darkseid and his otherworldly legion of followers actually win the war between light and dark.
See Martian Manhunter murdered by Libra again!

On sale JULY 7
304 pg, FC, $29.99 US
Written by GEOFF JOHNS
As the war between the different Corps rages on, the prophecy of the Blackest Night descends in this hardcover collecting the best–selling BLACKEST NIGHT #0-8. Now, Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps lead DC’s champions into battle to save the universe from an
army of Black Lanterns made up of the DCU’s deceased heroes and villains!
Black Lantern J'Onn J'Onzz in full effect!

On sale JULY 7
272 pg, FC, $24.99 US
Written by GEOFF JOHNS
The Black Lanterns descend on a spectrum of Corps across the universe in this hardcover collecting GREEN LANTERN #43-52. Plus: Black Hand’s connection to the Black Lantern Corps is explained, and key plot points essential to enjoying the storyline to its fullest are revealed.

Black Lantern J'Onn J'Onzz vs. the Flash, GL and more!

On sale JULY 21
256 pg, FC, $24.99 US
Black Lantern J'Onn J'Onzz is right there on the cover.

On sale JUNE 16
552 pg, B&W, $17.99 US
Captured villains are offered an ultimatum: Go on near-impossible covert missions or rot in jail. For the first time, DC collects SUICIDE SQUAD #1-19, DOOM PATROL/SUICIDE SQUAD SPECIAL #1 and JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #13.

Martian Manhunter guest stars in this long delayed collection, featuring some of John Ostrander's best writing on a book by Detroit-era Justice League of America artist Luke McDonnell!

Comrades of Mars

Miss Martian
On sale MAY 26
40 pg, FC, $3.99 US
Co-feature written by REX OGLE
Art and cover by JOE BENNETT & JACK JADSON
Co-feature art by TED NAIFEH
Wyld days are here again! The supernatural menace has returned stronger, meaner and now in possession of the one hero who could stop him! Will the addition of Superboy and Kid Flash to the Teen Titans’ ranks be enough to beat back the darkness? Or is this really the end of the world as we know it? Plus, a brand-new co-feature kicks off introducing the fresh talents of Rex Ogle and Ted Naifeh (Courtney Crumrin) as they take Black Alice, Zatara and Traci 13 into uncharted magical territories. Can this troubled trio stand together – or is this already the end of the COVEN?

Another cover without Miss Martian? Is she gone again?

Monday, February 15, 2010

2007 “Super Powers” by Ookla the Mok fan video

I was playing catch up reading the Irredeemable Shag's Once Upon a Geek while thinking about playing catch up with this "daily" blog, and found I could put both together. Yippee-skippy!

Shag posted this fan-made video for the band Ookla the Mok's song “Super Powers,” which briefly features the Manhunter from Mars. The accompanying lyrics could just as likely (re:most likely) refer to Superman, but the fan went with J'Onn, and so it goes here. Thanks to El Santo for dropping the Alien Atlas in at the 1:40 mark, and for that cool Black Goliath deal. The lyrics can be found here.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

2007 Brimstone Wizard World Philadelphia Convention Sketch by Reilly Brown

Click To Enlarge

Okay look, this is the only other Brimstone picture that came up in my search, and I'm still playing catch up, so here we go!

Also no, I don't believe he's the second lost brother of Johnny Blaze. Maybe Vengeance?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

2005 "JLA/Avengers:Galactus vrs Brimstone" Commission by Mitch Ballard

Click to Enlarge

An amazing 11x17 commission with Thor, Wonder Woman, Silver Surfer, Green Lantern & Superman!

Since MathematicsCore liked yesterday's post so much, here's some more Brimstone! I'm sure my posting filler art has nothing to do with a tight schedule! No, it's all for you!

Anyhow, here's a larger black and white version, before it was colored above by Jang. Click here for more by Mitch Ballard.

Oh, and favoritism aside, Galactus would wipe Brimstone off his shoe with a ring of Saturn. I'm pretty sure there isn't anyone pictured in this image that couldn't do Brimstone in. I like the guy, but the Detroit Justice League, Firestorm, and a side of Cosmic Boy won't earn you a rep if the Suicie Squad can put you to rest.

Friday, February 12, 2010

1995 Skybox DC Villains: The Dark Judgment Brimstone Trading Card #82

Click to Enlarge

About time for the last Vile Menagerie-flavored Dark Judgment card I promised you guys last month to make its appearance. Here's Brimstone and his flavor text...

Literally a cosmic creation, Brimstone is an artificial intelligence. Produced by the insertion of an Apokolips techno-seed into an experimental fusion reactor, this monstrous flaming giant is a super-heated hydrogen plasma, given shape by magnetic fields. Brimstone can be recreated at any time... How useful.

Once again, this was painted by Joe Devito, who was nice enough to post the enlarged virgin art.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Crimson Lightning

Crimson Lightning, launched on Friday, July 21, 2006, is the granddaddy of our participating character-specific blogs. As such, Dixon's offered up a lot of history over the years, not just of the Fastest Man Alive, but of comics blogging. Was he the first among us to use a Favicon, with his Flash wingtips appearing on tabs and bookmarks when referencing his page? I still kind of want one of those, but at no trouble to myself. Remember when DC announced Showcase Presents: Who's Who, but fouled out where Essential Marvel Universe Handbook delivered? Speculation about the line-up of Meltzer's Justice League? Game Boy Advance's Justice League Heroes: The Flash? How about when Shawn Levy was going to direct a live action Flash movie? As I recall, Dixon was the first in our group to regularly employee reader polls, and I know Rob and I get a lot of use out of those!

I'm not the biggest Flash fan, having developed an aversion to Carmine Infantino dating back to at least The Flash #308 (even with the Dennis Jensen inking him,) but I've followed the character off and on over the years (most notably during the too-brief Baron/Guice revamp.) Looking over Dixon's blog, it makes me regret not having given the Scarlet Speedster more of my time (especially Cary Bates' lengthy run.) From childhood, I was more of a Green Lantern Corps man, though the more I read of Hal Jordan himself, the less I liked. It's funny, as I've never had a lot of interest in Flash's powers, but I like Barry Allen and his Rogues Gallery. One of these days, maybe once the Showcase Presents volumes get up to the late 70s, I'll finally hop on the bandwagon.

Find the Flash: Wizard Costume Contest
Project Rooftop
Super Speed = Super Thought
Which Superhero Are You?
New Year's Day
Chain Lightning in 30 Seconds
Power Records
In Memoriam
Mike Wieringo (1963-2007)
Sight and Sound: "The Chemo-Creature"
Find the Flash: Wizard World Texas
Crisis on Earth-Blog: The Flash (v.2) #66
Flash Puzzle (1974)
The Flash Trivia Quiz (1974)
Sight and Sound: The Flash
Sight and Sound: "Conquerors of the Future"
Superfriends Model Sheet (1978)
Sight and Sound: "Secret Origins of the Superfriends"
Find the Flash: Comic-Con '09
Super Powers Collection #4
Crisis on Earth-Blog: Super Powers 25th Anniversary Part 1
Sight and Sound: Super Powers Collection
Crisis on Earth-Blog: Super Powers 25th Anniversary Part 2
Wally West's Last Stand
Find the Flash: Dragon*Con
Find the Flash: Baltimore Comic-Con
Sight and Sound: "To Catch a Blue Bolt"
Crisis on Earth-Blog: DC Comics Presents #38
Crisis On Earth-Blog: The DC Challenge
Speed Limit
The Flash Soundtrack

Classic Covers
Classic Covers: All-Flash #25
Classic Covers: Comic Cavalcade #14
Classic Covers: The Flash #130
Classic Covers: The Flash #133
Classic Covers: The Flash #139
Classic Covers: The Flash #149
Classic Covers: The Flash #156
Classic Covers: The Flash #190
Classic Covers: The Flash #192
Classic Covers: The Flash #193
Classic Covers: The Flash #199
Classic Covers: The Flash #227
Classic Covers: The Flash #246
Classic Covers: The Flash #271
Classic Covers: The Flash #350
Classic Covers: The Flash (v.2) #2
Classic Covers: The Flash (v.2) #18
Classic Covers: The Adventures of Superman #475
Classic Covers: The Flash (v.2) #79

Flash Facts:
Flash Facts: Straw in a Hurricane
Flash Facts: Quantum Tunneling
Fast Talk: The Reverse-Dimension Frequency
Flash Facts: The Year of the Gorilla
Flash Facts: Gray's Paradox
Flash Facts: The Human Nervous System
Flash Facts: Ice Crystal Aggregation
Flash Facts: The Spectroscope
Flash Facts: Aurora Borealis
Flash Facts: Meteoric Acceleration
Flash Facts: Fireflies
Flash Facts: Tunguska Event
Flash Facts: Hall of Speed Records

Live Action
Live Action: Introduction
Live Action: "Pilot"
Live Action: "Out of Control"
Live Action: "Watching the Detectives"
Live Action: "Honor Among Thieves"
Live Action: "Double Vision"
Live Action: "Sins of the Father"
Live Action: "Child's Play"
Live Action: "Shroud of Death"
Live Action: "Ghost in the Machine"
Live Action: "Sight Unseen"
Live Action: "Beat the Clock"
Live Action: "The Trickster"
Live Action: "Tina, Is That You?"
Live Action: "Be My Baby"
Live Action: "Fast Forward"
Live Action: "Deadly Nightshade"
Sight and Sound: "Captain Cold"
Live Action: "Twin Streaks"
Live Action: "Done With Mirrors"
Live Action: "Good Night, Central City"
Live Action: "Alpha"
Live Action: "The Trial of the Trickster"
Live Action: The Worst
Live Action: The Best

Quick Quiz
Quick Quiz: Favorite Flash?
Quick Quiz: Favorite Rogue?
Quick Quiz: Favorite Writer?
Quick Quiz: Favorite Love Interest?
Quick Quiz: Favorite Storyline?
Quick Quiz: Interest in Rebirth?
Quick Quiz: Most Wanted Resurrection?
Quick Quiz: Casting Call
Quick Quiz: Cast the Flash!
Quick Quiz: Favorite Reverse Flash?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Which Martian Manhunter Villains Are Your Second Least Interesting?

As we discussed yesterday, the January I-HoD poll asked "Which Martian Manhunter Villains would you like to read about here? Check all that apply." The following characters received five votes a piece, or 15% of the total votes, less than half that of the most popular selections...

Antares & the Clanetary System

A giant robot attacking Japan that set up an "homage" to Ultraman, but also heralded the eventual coming of space locust that the Martian Manhunter will battle for centuries (according to DC One Million.) I could do without Antares, but the Clanetary System makes for a decent general threat to tie our boy up for a while. Lacking a singular voice probably hurt these guys, so I can skip them when I start covering Malefic (yes, he's still coming) from the early Ostrander/Mandrake run.

B'enn B'urnzz

A pretty near identical match for the Silver Age Martian Manhunter, but in fact a refugee from the future (Earth circa 2062.) B'enn seems to have suffered from the same "generic Martian" malaise that struck down so many last time. I dropped a reference to him at the end of my fan fiction 1984 Manhunter from Mars Annual #1, a jam-session for all those discarded Martians, but I expect no one will have any further use for him.


Ditto, except I like B'rett, and he has some importance. He was after all responsible for "outing" the Martian Manhunter's presence on Earth, by disallowing his use of invisibility with any other powers (at least until the early '80s.) He's also the only yellow Martian I've ever heard of, which breaks up the green/white polemic. I used him more fully in the fake 1984 Annual, parts one and two.

Baron Voto
The evil ruler of the European nation of Lavonia from 1962's Detective Comics # 307.

The Falcon
Here's another ridiculous Silver Age villain of the type Scipio skewered at the Absorbascon. Aside from looking like a Terrible Trio reject, the Falcon actually had cool devices and put up a fight, making him one of the few solid super-villains of Showcase Presents: Martian Manhunter Volume One. Just to clarify, the guy's name was really "The Falcon," like the Marvel Comics hero. I used "Human Falcon" to jog folks' memory, and Scipio used "Mr. Falcon," which is only applied once in-story as a mocking thought balloon by Martian Manhunter.


This was the guy who fought Martian Manhunter out of a team that fought the JLA in one special I haven't synopsized... and still won't, due to lack of interest.

King Zeus
A respectably powerful nutjob from Detective Comics #302 that wasn't molested my Scipio. I think you guys missed out here, or are just sick to death of Greco-Roman mythology-themed characters. I know I am!

You guys don't care about the "Last Angry God," who fought J'Onn and the entire JLofA on Mars II? Alrighty then.

Marlon's Beast
A dinosaur-type creature created by a sorcerer who served as a precursor to the various emissions from the Diabolu Idol-Head in 'Tec #224. Diane Meade's presence is the only thing separating this from early House of Mystery fare.

Martian Marauders

I guess the image said it all, but failing that, the story encapsulation.

Professor Amos Fortune

In my experience, fans just refuse to rally behind tubby super-villains (Kingpin's exemption proving the rule, as he's supposedly all judo muscle.) Manhunter was instrumental in defeating this guy in his first appearance (stupidly, stupidly instrumental,) and killed the heck out of his Royal Flush gang in a sublime JLA: Classified story arc. I can take or leave him, and based on your reaction, the latter will do.

Professor Proxon & the College of Crime
Cover featured on Showcase Presents: Martian Manhunter Volume 1, but Jimmy crack corn, and I don't care.

The Prophet

Between his VM entry and his sole appearance in Martian Manhunter Special #1 (1996), I don't see there being much more to write, much less read. It wasn't a particularly interesting special or character.

The Pyre

There is nothing more to read here. They were a picture and a promise, but nothing more.

Renegades of Mars

So these guys were from Ancient Egypt and possessed the bodies of humans or something. I don't remember all that well.

This was the main foe in a story where J'onn J'onzz pretended to be a normal human male to convince the invading Centurians that all Earth men had Superman-like powers (while our women, exemplified by Patrolwoman Diane Meade, did not.) A bit of tongue-in-cheek sexism there, but the main concern is that the Centurians are just pink-skinned bald Caucasians who dress in white and orange uniforms. Not a lot to work with there.

Wiley Dalbert

The antagonist in a two-part modern Detective Comics story co-starring Batman, between his VM entry and the story's synopsis, there's nothing left to tell.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"Justice League of Peanuts" by Dana P

Borrowed from both Crimson Lightning, where I was just reminded of it, and The Aquaman Website, where I first saw it well before I'd begun comic blogging, here's Dana P's take on the Justice League of America as portrayed by Charles Schulz's Peanuts gang. There's  Woodstock as the Atom, Pigpen as Hawkman, Schroeder as Aquaman, Snoopy as the Flash, Lucy van Pelt as Wonder Woman, Charlie Brown as Superman, Linus as Batman, Franklin as Green Lantern John Stewart, Spike as Green Arrow, and Sally Brown as Black Canary. The Martian Manhunter is also in there, and appropriate for my favorite under-appreciated Leaguer, he's cast as a Peanut too obscure for me to identify. Shermy? For more, try here.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Which Martian Manhunter Villains Do You Least Want To Read About?

In January, I ran a poll that asked the simple question, "Which Martian Manhunter Villains would you like to read about here? Check all that apply." I then ran my list of eighty-eight bad guys I'd compiled a year or two ago as potential candidates for The Vile Menagerie, to see who readers really wanted showcased on this blog. Some of the results were quite predictable, while others were rather shocking. Since this list was longer than most state voting ballots, I'd like to congratulate everyone who took the time and effort to plow through the thing. I won't be doing one massive pie chart, but instead will break the characters up into groups for discussion. Today's batch represents the least popular choices made available.

4 votes each (12% of total respondents)
The Conjurer

Admittedly, the Conjurer was no great shakes as a villain, appearing only in January 1959's Detective Comics #263. He was a thief who made use of stage magic, but John Jones' real problem was a reporter tag-along getting in his way. I did get use out of him in my fan fiction post Manhunter from Mars #400 (November, 1997,) though I had to supply him with actual sorcerous abilities to do so. Establishing a pattern with these lowest rung characters, the Conjurer already has a VM entry (linked above,) so his only future reappearance would be in a story synopsis.


Asmodel was one of my big surprises. I realize he's tended to be a mystical foe, but he did kill Martian Manhunter in the Paradise Lost mini-series, and received a VM listing on my old Rock of the JLA site. If you folks don't believe in him, I guess I'll leave him out.

The Martian Mandrills
You don't want evil green gorillas from outer space? Fine. No Detective Comics #285 for you!

Scary Monsters

The Conjurer may have been the first case of this, but I suspect most of the lower ranking characters are so far down not because of inherent flaws, but because of plentiful exposure on this blog. Even though I still haven't finished a bunch of informational posts about the Scary Monsters, folks might just find anything else overkill after the Abel Carmody, Carmody’s Folly, Comrades of Mars: Kishana Lewis and JLA: Scary Monsters #1, #2, #3 #4, #5 and #6 entries. I'm sorry, but that was just one dense series!

So were you folks familiar with Bloodwynd's nemesis and one time Manhunter foe Rott from Justice League America, or did the extra "t" just clue you into his being from the bad 'ol '90s?

The Marshal (Soldiers of the Red Brotherhood)

This was one of my first big disappointments in this poll. Maybe the name was too abbreviated/vague? The Marshal was the second ever VM entry on this blog, one of the first ever produced for Rock, and features one of the most important Martian Manhunter villains ever. Further, I've yet to cover any of his actual appearances, just a two-part anniversary fan fiction, the "1984 Manhunter from Mars Annual #1" parts one and two. This is the first poll I myself abstained from, but I'm telling you right now, I vote for more Marshal!!!

N'or Cott

Okay, this one I get. My coverage of the 1970s Denny O'Neil/Michael Netzer mini-epic featuring this guy was pretty exhaustive, he was referenced in that fake "Annual #1" above, he was never very effective and he's dead. We can move on.


This here is another Rock port, but I understand many of you don't count the strained-to-violence relationship between J'Onn and retconned JLA "founder" Triumph as a malevolent rivalry. Maybe I could persuade you with Justice League Task Force coverage, but that won't start until next year at the earliest. Wish granted, haters!

Tybalt Bak'sar

Characters from the 1999 ongoing series tended to do very well in this poll... except for Tybalt Bak'sar. So you don't want me to cover an Ostrander story? No really, you're totally twisting my arm here. Fer shure!

And now, for the lowest ring of reader popularity hell...
3 votes each (9% of total respondents)
The Thythen

Even I'll admit that these guys royally suck. They could have been contenders, having enslaved the surviving Martian race for a time. Instead, they were the worst part of a problematic story, were beaten fairly easily, have those stupid antennae, ugly uniforms, were written out of continuity, and are so forgettable I neglected to tag them as part of the Vile Menagerie. You're right, we've done enough with these losers.

Re's Eda

Covered to death as the mastermind of a well drawn but remarkably stupid storyline, another generic looking Martian male who could be easily mistaken for J'Onn J'Onzz himself, and what is with that pony-tailed bucket on his head? Again, you called it.

The Osprey

Another near exact carry over from the Rock, with a complete history limited to a few panels, it's no wonder he was this blog's first VM entry. My only concern with his ranking is that I really would like to read more about him. Imagine how blindsided Mark Waid or Christopher Priest would be if questioned about this guy! I bet they couldn't immediately recall his very existence, and they were associated with his creation!

Bel Juz

This was your other major ball drop, gang. Are you serious? The VM's sixth entry, its first femme fatale, and the Martian Manhunter's only '70s foe to reappear in another decade? I cast her in all the same fan fictions as the Marshal and Re's Eda, plus The Martian Manhunter #150 (Winter 1976), because if anything, she's underexposed! Bel Juz is a favorite, and will reappear whenever I finally knock out my "War of the Worlds: 1984" coverage, like it or not! Jeez, people...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Girls Gone Geek

I got turned on to Girls Gone Geek by Shag, who referenced their launch at Once Upon A Geek. For the longest time, I'd stuck by Valerie D'Orazio's Occasional Superheroine out of some misplaced sense of white male guilt, even as the championing of women in comics gave way to astrology/tarot, angling for industry work, general cattiness and navel gazing. Girls Gone Geek was one of the blogs that freed me from matriarchal tyranny and reminded me that it's okay for women to discuss the simple joys of mainstream comics. Get this: Some women like versus threads! They can get into who's fighting as well as who's lovin'! They can discuss DC Comics without triggering traumatic flashbacks! Fangirls are fully-formed people, not just victims healing through public exposure!

Sorry-- I guess it's not fair to raise up one blog while trashing another. It's just such a relief to be able to have a dialogue about geek stuff with the fairer sex without it devolving to browbeating and sexual politicking. Yes, there's an emphasis on "girl power," but really, Girls Gone Geek is just a fun comics blog, gender regardless. It's true I hardly ever agree with their comic book reviews, but then, I drop f-bombs and fire hateration from a cannon. I'm kind of hard to please in that department.

I especially like their editorials and open discussions on random topics, from racism at Archie Comics to who wins in a fight between Lady Shiva and Deathstroke the Terminator. It's a good place to hang out, so give 'em a try...

Highlight Reel
Vixen’s Fashion Crisis
Wonder Woman: Second-Class Citizen?
Geek Girl We Love: Zoe Saldana
A Twi-Meh Comes to Bella Swan’s Defense
Best of the ‘09 Pull List: Batwoman in ‘Detective Comics’
3G Guest Essay: An Open Letter to Nemesis
Batman + Wonder Woman = Hotness
The Question: Will Lady Shiva Be Redeemed?
G3 Review: The Question #37
Change Comes To Riverdale!
G3 Review: Blackest Night-Wonder Woman #3
Comic Shop Unicorn-Spotting