Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
J'onn J'onzz, the Martian Manhunter, is a comic book hero appearing in DC Comics. He is a native of the planet Mars and possesses powers beyond those of normal human beings, including telepathy and the ability to change shape. His usual appearance is of a tall, hairless, green-skinned humanoid.
J'onn J'onzz first appeared in 1955, in a back-up story in Detective Comics #225 written by Joe Samachson and illustrated by Joe Certa . In the story, J'onn J'onzz was accidentally teleported to Earth by a human scientist, who immediately had a heart attack and died, leaving the Martian stranded. Fortunately, he was able to use his powers to fit in; adopting a human-like appearance and calling himself "John Jones", he joined the police force, secretly using his alien powers to help the inhabitants of his new home planet.
Later, during the revival in superheroes that became known as the Silver Age of Comic Books, the Manhunter from Mars adopted a more characteristically superheroic modus operandi, openly fighting crime in his real green-skinned form.
The history of the Martian Manhunter is closely linked with that of the Justice League - he was a founding member of the superhero team in the 1960s, and his appearances with the League kept him in the public eye long after his own series (which ran as a back-up in Detective Comics and later in House of Mystery) was cancelled.
In addition to serving in the League under his own identity, he also joined (under duress) under the alias of "Bloodwynd".
The Martian Manhunter received his own ongoing series in 2000. Written by John Ostrander, and illustrated by Tom Mandrake (with fill in art provided by Bryan Hitch, among others) it lasted 36 issues before being cancelled due to low sales. Outside of this, the Manhunter appears predominantly in the Justice League comic book. He is, famously, the only character to be involved with every "incarnation" of the league.
In other media
In the Justice League animated series, the Martian Manhunter's history is even more closely tied with that of the League. In the series, the Justice League originates as a temporary uniting of Earth's heroes against an alien invasion; the invaders had previously invaded Mars, wiping out all the inhabitants except J'onn J'onzz, who travels to Earth to warn of the invaders, and joins the fight against them. When the invaders are defeated, he chooses to remain on Earth as a member of the League. In the animated series, J'onn J'onzz is voiced by Carl Lumbly.
One plot hole in the series is the matter of J'onn's appearance. His original Martian form is loosely similar to his well-known form, but his skin is scaly, his head and some of his extremities end in sharp points, his eyes are further apart, and he has no nose. In the series, he adopts his well-known form when Batman is skeptical to believe an alien he has just met: J'onn responds by transforming into his famous form and suggesting that Batman would be more comfortable with this appearance. The paradox is that the Manhunter's new form, although slightly more human in appearance, is no less alien and unsettling than his original form. So the question arises as to why J'onn thought this form would be more appealing to Batman and why he did not just assume a completely human form instead. Another question that arises is how J'onn is able to sustain this form at all times, even when unconcious, when he cannot hold most of his other forms for extended periods of time and loses any new form when he is no longer in control of his body (unconcious or otherwise).
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