Saturday, March 5, 2011

Martian Manhunter Menagerie March Madness, Division 3, Round 1

The Final Disqualifications

N’orr Cott & R’es Eda: I'm soliciting comment on this one. My theory is that modern Martian Manhunter fans jumped in from 1984 onward, and are reasonably familiar with the villains from the Post-Crisis eras (especially since 1991 or so.) 50s-60s fans and readers who bought the Showcase Presents volumes show their preferences for the Silver Age adventures/villains. Between these two camps is the Bronze Age, of which there are no Martian Manhunter reprints, and representing a time when many Silver Age readers left comics and new readers were not properly introduced to the Martian Manhunter until the '80s. Alternately, there's the Magician-Thief's historical significance as the first Martian (space) Manhunter from Mars villain playing against the relatively insignificant N’orr Cott, but that doesn't explain how R’es Eda was annihilated 0-9 by a waste of space like B’enn B’urnzz. Maybe people just hate these two that much? Little help?

Korge: The Last Angry God immediately brings my main point above into question, as the one-shot '70s JLofA villain only just lost to Brimstone. I don't recall voting in this one.

The Mercurian: Either people are routinely changing their votes, or some hacker is manipulating them, because there was a time these two were at a dead heat. In the end, The Saturninan Criminal garnered all but one vote. The first numbers made more sence, because the Mercurian was visually a Despero prototype who looked cool enough to make appearances today without a major alteration. The Saturninan had a better costume and an equally fun story, but his face is silly. I dunno.

The General: This was one of the few outright assassinations. This guy got confused with the Shaggy Man/Wade Eiling, and I wanted confirmation that he was the piker I assumed he was. The Marshal clarified matters.

Triumph: Of course a match against Thantos, the 3-In-1 Man was a gay joke. It was never confirmed in the comics, but co-creator Christopher Priest revealed on his blog that Triumph was homosexual. All the more reason he deserves a comeback to represent among one of comics' greatest minorities, but folks don't seem to hold him in much regard as a Manhunter villain.

Rott: The Bloodwynd thing just did not happen in the minds of most people, as Rott consistently sucks in any forum I try to play him. I think he's both decent enough and historically significant, but there's little love here.

The Prophet: I personally think this guy has some serious power and some credible potential, but mystique worked out a lot better for the Osprey than it did for the Pyre. I guess I'd take a villain who was well designed, had his own logo, and appeared on one page of a Mark Waid/Sal Velluto story over a slog of a "special" edition with a one-note generic adversary.

The Martian Mandrills: I blame the twist that they were Martians pretending to be Mandrills, instead of actually simians. People love monkeys, but not people who pretend to be moneys, or kangaroos, or porcupines. Guys who pulled that at Marvel got killed by the Scourge. If people just want a Martian gang, they'll cut through the monkey business and head straight for the The Martian Marauders.

Captain Horatio Destiny: An amusing Ostrander period frienemy I need to do a proper write-up of, but no match for Commander Blanx.

Final Round 1 Division
I guess I needed to crunched the numbers in advance, because I really should have had four divisions, but not as things worked out. If I'm available near the end of a poll, I'll often decide to cast a late vote to create or make a tie regarding characters I'm neutral on. I do not believe I am alone in this occasional "strategic voting," as I'm seeing some weird number fluctuations and more ties of late. I'm wondering what effect this will have in the long run, especially since there were several "a-bomb" votes this round that will either take out major players early or promote more "ties."

Know Them By The Trail of Dead!





Marshal & Commander

The Marshal (Soldiers of the Red Brotherhood)


Commander Blanx

Duck Hunt '94!

The Osprey


Weapons Master


Hot Time In Middletown Tonight!



The Human Flame


Zap Gun Gang Violence!

The Martian Marauders


The Devil Men of Pluto (Space Hitlers!)


Illegal Aliens!

The Saturninan Criminal


S'vor (Tec 267)


Machine Head!

The Headmaster


Tor, the Robot Criminal of Mars


Mars Plows Earth!

The Magician-Thief Who Had Super Powers


Vulkor, the Capsule Master


DC Three-In-One!

Gorilla Grodd


Ryx (Tec 309)


Thantos, the 3-In-1 Man


jimmypulv said...

Marshal or Blanx, thats a tough one. Since I have read the (I think 3) issues the Marshal was in as opposed to none of Blanx; I hope the Marshal will pull it out.

Diabolu Frank said...

I have a great affection for the cover to Justice League of America #230. It was one of the first Martian Manhunter images I ever saw, it's a wonderfully visceral action piece, and is probably one of the best non-Perez covers of the entire series. I waited about fifteen years to finally read the story inside of the grand battle between J'Onn J'Onzz and the Marshal: a genetically-engineered Martian super-warrior and leader of the revolutionary militia the Soldiers of the Red Brotherhood.

The Marshal went down like a little bitch. J'Onn J'Onzz straight up kicked his butt across a short sequence of panels. The Martian Manhunter so routinely is a jobber or simply "holding the line," I have trouble recalling his having a more one-sided fight of any consequence. I'm waiting for the opportunity to read the story where the Marshal redeems himself as the badass the story tried to sell him as, instead of the candy ass depicted. Until that day, the Marshal is John Kreese to J'Onn's Mr. Miyagi.

Commander Blanx in more like Han to J'Onn's Lee. He uses a lot of thugs, underhanded tricks and weapons against the unarmed and often maverick J'Onzz, but at least Blanx brings more game than bluff. The Marshal's broad chest was filled only with hot air bluster.

LissBirds said...

The Blanx/Marshal choice wasn't that hard for me, but it did give me pause before I eventually voted Team Blanx.

Your theory about the Bronze Age gap is correct, at least for me. If it's someone I'm not that familiar with, I vote Silver Age because I've got some familiarity there.

And Scorch/Human Flame was a nigh impossible decision, might I add.

Diabolu Frank said...

I betting you didn't read Final Crisis: Run! The Human Flame skewed closer to Lobo and Brimstone than anything from the Silver Age. Scorch may be white trash, but she doesn't fly in the face of your sensibilities like a Matt Sturges script would. I don't think I voted in that one, but more out of apathy over the outcome. I convincing case can be made in favor of either character, and neither is a favorite. Giving in to Darkseid slaughtering Mongul was the heartbreaker for me, although seven of us against Apokolips' nine means it's still a contest!