Saturday, January 3, 2015

Podcast: 60 Years of Martian Manhunter - 1955

Episode #3

Look for us on iTunes, or elsewhere

  Three episodes in, we finally cover the debut comics of J'Onn J'Onzz, the Manhunter from Mars. The Batman and Roy Raymond TV Detective stories from Detective Comics #225 are given brief nods before diving into a synopsis of "The Strange Experiment of Dr. Erdel" (01:46). A rather overwrought analysis of this first story of Detective John Jones (05:54) precedes coverage of the second "half" of the origin, the run-of-the-mill mostly standalone tale "The Case of the Magic Baseball" (18:46). Finally, "Martian Morphing Mail" (21:10) has already morphed away from the previous episode's audio, and is a bit livelier this round. Coming in at a stout 31:24, look for the show to lean back up again now that the heavy lifting of our subject's introduction is out of the way (and hopefully less painful voice "acting.")

We enjoy dialogue on the red planet, so here are our non-telepathic contact options:


Anj said...

Thanks for another great show! I have never read the earliest Martian Manhunter stories so this was definitely educational. I am fascinated by the array of powers he had even in these first stories. It makes the 'simple' weakness stand out a bit ... odd.

I wonder if the baseball story was somehow inspired by 'It happens every spring' which starred Ray Milland?

I do think that mixing this podcast up between story reviews, villain spotlights, supporting cast information will keep the format fresh. I liked the Despero episode a lot. And this one was certainly educational.

As for PAD's Supergirl, we are in complete agreement. I would hold those first 50 issues up against many long arcs. It is just fantastic long arc of discovery and redemption. And you are right that it skirted Vertigo with its supernatural and religious overtones. This wasn't simply a female Superman.

Then 51-75 came out, trying another redemption arc for Linda Danvers this time with a more classic Superman powerbase, no more Angelic stuff, and the DCAU costume. That 2 yr arc lasted about 1yr too many.

Still, I consider that series one of the highpoints of Supergirls history, even though it is pretty far from Kara Zor-El and is reviled by many. Their loss.

Count Drunkula said...

Another great episode! The dramatic readings and character voices are silly in just the right way. It offers variety and spice to the normal story review.

I read this story a couple years ago in Showcase Presents Martian Manhunter. I didn't remember it very well, so this episode was a nice reminder. Well, nice might not be the best word since the story was pretty mediocre. I remember it taking quite a while for DC to figure out how to balance the detective angle with the alien powers in a way that wasn't utterly contrived. I guess I'll confirm that idea as you chronicle the stories.