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...


mathematicscore said...

I'll try to keep this quick...
The conjurer: Relatively lame one time foe. Meh.
Asmodel: His first appearances, while read off the stands, have never been fully available to me for some reason. Also, I had no idea this Paradise Lost thing existed. I may have even voted for this.
Mandrills: Would certainly be referenced in Geoff Johns style in any MM series I were to write, but for now, don't really give a...
Scary Monsters: Yeah, I've heard enough, at least until I actually read the series.
Rott: Not familiar. Dan Jurgen's run is pretty much a haze to me, and I'd just as soon keep it that way.
The Marshal: Haven't read really any of the bronze age stuff yet, so, we'll see
N'or Cott: Ditto
Triumph: yeah, I can't really see him fighting J'onn on a regular basis, so Menagerie, no. Minimal coverage where appropriate, I've no problem with that.
Tybalt: He looks a little too much like he belongs in Lobo or L.E.G.I.O.N. I don't hate him.
Thythen: Like you said, forgettable
Re's Eda: Again Bronzed, so I don't know. His serpent crown dovetails rather nicely with Ostrander's "Martians impersonated the Egyptian gods" stuff.
Osprey: If I ever meet Priest or Waid, I'm definitely asking them about this.
Bel Juz: Eh... Martians with hair sort of weird me out.

But yeah, in light of a recent reread of Salvation Run and my new blog (which I swear I'll be posting on soon) I'd like to offer up Bane for the Menagerie, as he was slightly mischaracterized into playing dickish jailer to MM in that series. NO JOKES! (Well maybe a slight joke)

Diabolu Frank said...


Paradise Lost was a 3(?) issue mini-series starring Zauriel that gave back story and follow-up to his debut in JLA #6-7. Martian Manhunter was effectively his co-star. Azmodel killed J'Onn J'Onzz early on, allowing him to join Zauriel in Heaven for the big battle with the Bull Host. Batman and Aztek were also prominent, presumably because Mark Millar and Grant Morrison wrote it for Ariel Olivetti to draw.

As for Bane, I'm gonna say no, but folks can give their own opinion next month (or so.) God Willing, March will be the return of "Black Lantern J'Onn J'Onzz" month, leading into his probable resurrection at the end of that series. In the meantime, I'll hit the books that led to his demise, like Salvation Run.