Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe Volume XIV- Martian Manhunter (April, 1986)

Alter Ego: John Jones
Occupation: Adventurer, Private Investigator
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: None
Group Affiliation: Justice League of America
Base of Operations: Brooklyn, New York
First Appearance: DETECTIVE COMICS #225
Height: 6'7" Weight: 250lbs.
Eyes: Blue Hair: None

J'Onn J'Onzz. a leading citizen on his na­tive world of Mars, was known for both his expertise in science and as a military strat­egist. When a violent worldwide racial war broke out between J'Onn's green-skinned race and the white-skinned Desert Dwellers, J'Onn was placed in charge of the army.

While J'Onn wanted to harness the Blue Flame of Mars—the planet's only source of fire—for space exploration, the Desert Dweller leader, Commander Blanx, de­sired it for conquest. The battle was climaxed by a personal fight between J'Onn and Blanx, at the Blue Flame. The battle was sabotaged by Blanx, and so J'Onn was captured and the war ground to a haft. Rather than kill the popular leader, Blanx had J'Onn exiled to the desert for thirteen years.

During that first year, J'Onn was mysteri­ously teleported to Earth. It turned out that one Professor Erdel was trying to establish communications between the two worlds, and his experimental machine became a teleporter. Erdel died of shock from the sudden arrival of the imposing Martian fig­ure.

Trapped on Earth, J'Onn used one of his natural talents to shape-shift his features so he could pass for a human. Altering his name to John Jones, he became a police detective in a small American city. J'Onn became a charter member of the Justice League of America (see JLA) when aliens attempted an invasion.

Finally, J'Onn managed to reverse the teleporter and returned home to find the once-gleaming cities in ruins. It turned out that Blanx had managed to spread the Blue Flame throughout the planet, and it destroyed everything in its path. The few remaining Martians constructed a giant space ark to transport them to another world.

After defeating the threat of Blanx once and for all, the Martians, with J'Onn in the lead, traveled safety to another world now dubbed New Mars or Mars II.

Recently, J'Onn returned once again, but this time to warn Earth that Mars was preparing to invade the world.

With J'Onn and the JLA together again, Earth barely avoided an interplanetary conflict with J'Onn once more isolated from his people. In fact, during this time, the JLA re­grouped and J'Onn chose to remain with the team—forever exiling himself from his people.

Currently, J'Onn is with the JLA and is sharing an apartment in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, with fellow teammate Steel (see Steel). As John Jones, J'Onn is also a private investigator for Biloxi Investigations in Manhattan.


All Martians possess several powers, in­cluding superior strength and reflexes. They can also alter their shapes and impersonate others (which explains J'Onn's subtle change over the years from Martian to green-skinned humanoid) and turn invisible for short periods of time. J'Onn has re­stricted telepathic abilities, usually limited to mind-reading, although telekinesis al­lows him to fly.

There remain a number of other Martian senses that have not been fully explored, such as his martian vision.

J'Onn is a superior tactician and leader as well as an excellent hand-to-hand com­batant.

His one known weakness is fire, which will sap his strength and eventually kill him.

Art by Luke McDonnell & Larry Mahlstedt


will_in_chicago said...

An excellent blog entry, Frank, as are the other recent ones. I have to wonder how much of this version of J'Onn's origin and history is still valid.

Diabolu Frank said...

Thanks Will, although in this case, it was pure cut and paste from the 1986 entry. I'd forgotten how Bronze-centric the biography was. Considering how heavily '90s writers relied upon these publisher character encyclopedias, you'd have to figure some editorial edict prevented any of this material being referenced Post-Crisis. Then again, the 1988 mini-series (and the follow-up Who's Who mini) did pretty much negate all of it.

will_in_chicago said...

Frank, there is a preview of the latest issue of Stormwatch up at . It looks like J'Onn may have a secret to be revealed later and may know a few things about the Shadow Cabinet.

Diabolu Frank said...

Just when I think Mars is dead...

will_in_chicago said...

Frank, I have no idea what was being hinted at, but perhaps J'Onn suspects that he is not the last of his kind or knows that is a fact. Hmm, considering the similarities between Daemonites and White Martians, I wonder if those similarities are more than coincidence.

Shlomo Ben Hungstien said...

i used to have this issue of Who's Who. of all the character profile images in the series this one of JJ was among the very best.