Monday, September 5, 2016

Podcast- Adjudicating J'Onn J'Onzz (ComicsVerse v Martian Manhunter)

Episode #28

Look for us on iTunes, ShoutEngine or directly download an art-tagged MP3 from the Internet Archive

The website Comicsverse, "your source for in-depth comics analysis" very very briefly ran a series of podcasts (exactly two to date, the last one in January) under the banner "Best Underrated Characters in Comics." Mind, this is out of 80 shows in total, and there've been 19 since, so perhaps they just abandoned the premise. I tend to think that's for the best, since I find the title misleads one into thinking they're going to select a character they find deserving of attention they haven't received and tell you why they're boss.

Unfortunately, in the episodes shining a white hot interrogation lamp on two heroes I'm very fond of, the shows instead felt like inquisitions to determine whether they are in fact underrated, or just poo (with the moderator's thumb on the scale weighing toward poo in both cases.) One was Doctor Strange, and you should know by the subject of this blog who the other was...

Join me for a special feature length episode with Diabolu Frank for the defense in the case of ComicsVerseS the Manhunter from Mars, but you should lead with the prosecution's case before you allow me to retort! Superman, Batman, Aquaman, and the rest of the Justice League will be called into question and occasionally treated as hostile witnesses as part of The Trial of the Incredible Hulk Sleuth from Outer Space!

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


Anj said...

I very much enjoyed this podcast and let me say right up front, I empathize you.

With the inception of the Supergirl television show, any number of Supergirl websites, podcasts, think pieces, and videos have cropped up. And, like your experience with the podcast you review, most don't have an in-depth understanding of the character outside of the New 52 and Crisis 7. Initially, I was irked as I would listen to some of the shows and cringe. But then I had to come to two realizations. 1) I should be happy there is such interest in the character. And 2) if I wanted a bigger voice, I should leave the dying medium of blogging.

Anyways, I think your discussion of their piece was fair and even. Many of the questions and complaints leveled at J'onn here have been asked of Kara as well. (Why is she needed? Isn't she just like Superman? She has no villains. She has no supporting cast. What are her motivations ... etc etc). And like J'onn she has gone through any number of incarnations and reimaginations to make someone not well-versed a bit confused at times.

All that said, I think I like your idea of J'onn taking up the mantle of race war/holocaust survivor. That seems to be the background that resonates the most for me.

I read the New 52/DCYou comic and as I said many times, while I didn't think it was a great Martian Manhunter book, it was a wildly imaginative run touching on Sci-fi, Philip K Dick identity wonkiness, fantasy, giant mecha, and Kaiju. It could just as easily have been Shade the Changing Man book with but a few tweaks. I would still like to hear your thoughts on it. Maybe one episode wrapping up the remaining issues?

The Irredeemable Shag said...

Really, really enjoying this episode! I'm alternating between nodding my head in agreement and laughing hysterically at your acrid comments. I've missed your Martian Manhunter coverage. Also, lots of insightful observations on the character from you that I would never have considered.

With that said, please don't ever dissect one of my podcasts sentence by sentence. Not sure my fragile ego could handle the abuse! LOL!!

Grant Richter said...

Well done counterpoint arguments to the cocky millennials (of course I don't really know how old they are, but I'm picturing top knots and skinny jeans).

Since you brought up my character while defending your character I have to throw my two cents in. I agree that if the Vision had been introduced any time after 1985, given the same storyline, there is simply no way he would have been accepted into the Avengers. It was simply a matter of typical Silver Age "because comics" story telling.

I agree on the Skynet-esque subplot from the early 80s. I like Roger Stern's run on the Avengers as a whole but I don't feel like he had found his own voice on the title when this arc was published.

My take on the Vision coming across as aloof and distant in the comics, with the exception of the take on the character that was perpetuated by John Byrne, has never been that he's a creature of logic because he's a machine. For most of his history as a character, he's been written as a being that is functionally human, just of artificial creation, with emotions and all. Rather than naturally defaulting to logic, I've always read him in the majority of his incarnations as being distant because he has emotions and feels them very strongly but doesn't necessarily know what to do with them, of them being like a second language in which he isn't entirely fluent. In that respect I think of him more as a very high functioning austisitc.

All in all, great episode, and I can't wait to start on the next.