28 February 2012

Onscreen History of the Martian Manhunter and Other DC Martians

The Martian Manhunter, J'onn J'onzz AKA John Jones first busted onto the scene working his detective angle in a back-up story within the pages of Detective Comics #225 in 1955. John is perhaps the least recognized charter member of the Justice League who has often served as a supporting member in team books, but did at one point land his own ongoing series.

J'onn's first appearance in 1997's failed Justice League of America TV pilot is better left forgotten.

Our favorite Martian is probably best know for his inclusion in the main line-up of the Justuce League animated series. In the series, J'onn was rarely if ever called the Martian Manhunter, preferring for his friends to just all him John.

As a shapeshifter, John could take human form, though he usually opted for a shape part way between human and his native martian form. He also enjoyed wearing a cape and shorts, but no shirt.

In the episode, A Better World, John's Justice Lord counterpart with a seemingly better fashion sense opted for a more modest costume.

In 2003, J'onn and Static teamed up against Brainiac on the Static Shock crossover A League of Their Own.

For his appearances on The Batman, beginning in the series fourth season finale, The Joining, John upgraded from briefs to boxers.

Beginning in 2006, Detective John Jones became a recurring character on Smallville possessing the characters affinity for Oreo cookies.

Though nearly always maintaining human form, a glimpse of the green heroes true form was hinted in the Absolute Justice episode which introduced the Justice League to the veteran Justice Society.

The Martian Manhunter played a substantial role in the Justice League: The New Frontier movie in 2008.

Once again, John chose to appear as a friendly green guy as opposed to his more sinister looking native martian form.

In 2010, J'onn Jonzz found love with an alternate Earth's Rose Wilson better know in his world as Ravager. The movie updatted the characters look, giving him pants, a high collar, and a slightly less human shape. 

In the film, John's alternate Earth counterpart Jed Jarkus fortunately met a quick end saving us from too many scenes of his hideous froglike face.

The movie also offered a quick look at the White Martians who were in part responsible for the annihilation of the Martian race as well as J'onn's happy little family.

In 2010, John returned to the animated small screen in Young Justice. In the series, John's "niece" M'gann M'orzz AKA Megan Morse AKA Miss Martian served as one of the covert team's core members.

In 2011, the Martian Manhunter was introduced as a member of the Justice League International on Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Although John enjoyed cookies, he did not seem overly particular about the type of cookie he would consume.

Once again, John will be one of the core Justice League members in Justice League: Doom appearing very similar to his presentation in Crisis on Two Earths. 

In the movie, John will match off against Legion member and fellow martian, Ma'alefa'ak AKA Malefic where the two battle for the title of Master Martian. 


  1. Interestingly, both Hawkman and Martian Manhunter were featured prominently in the Blackest Night books I read recently.