Martian Manhunter

Martian Manhunter

The Martian Manhunter painted by artist Alex Ross
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Detective Comics #225 (Nov. 1955)
Created by Joseph Samachson (concept writer)
Joseph Certa (designing artist)
In-story information
Full name J'onn J'onzz
Species Martian
Place of origin Mars
Team affiliations
Partnerships Zook
Notable aliases John Jones, Gold Hunter, Hank Henshaw

The Martian Manhunter (J'onn J'onzz) is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Created by writer Joseph Samachson and designed by artist Joe Certa, the character first appeared in Detective Comics #225 "The Manhunter From Mars" in November 1955. He is one of the seven original members of the Justice League of America.

J'onn J'onzz has featured in other DC Comics-endorsed products, such as video games, television series, animated films, and merchandise like action figures and trading cards. He was ranked #43 on IGN's greatest comic book hero list.[1] David Harewood portrays a human form of Martian Manhunter on Supergirl.

Publication history

Silver Age (1950s–1960s)

The Martian Manhunter (J'onn J'onzz) debuted in the back-up story "The Strange Experiment of Dr. Erdel" in Detective Comics #225 (Nov. 1955), written by Joseph Samachson and illustrated by Joe Certa.Note 1[] The character is a green-skinned extraterrestrial humanoid from the planet Mars, who is pulled to Earth by an experimental teleportation beam (originally presented as an attempted communication device) constructed by Dr. Saul Erdel. The Martian tells Erdel where he is from, and is told that to send him back will require the Computer Brain's thinking plot to be changed. The shock of the encounter kills Dr. Erdel and leaves J'onn with no method of returning home. The character decides to fight crime while waiting for Martian technology to advance to a stage that will enable his rescue. To that end, he adopts the identity of John Jones, a detective in the fictional Middletown, U.S.A.[2]

During this period, the character and his back story differ in some minor and some significant ways from modern treatments. Firstly, as with his counterpart, the Silver Age Superman, J'onzz's power range is poorly defined, and his powers expand over time as the plot demands. The addition of precognitive abilities (Detective Comics #226) is quickly followed by telepathy and flight,[3][4] "Atomic vision", super-hearing,[5] and many other powers. In addition, his customary weakness to fire is only manifested when he is in his native Martian form.

A more significant difference is that at this time, there is no suggestion that Mars is a dead planet or that the character is the last of his kind. Many of the tales of the time feature either Martian technology or the appearance of other Martian characters. Detective Comics #236 (October 1956), for example, features the character making contact with the planet Mars and his parents.

J'onzz eventually reveals his existence to the world, after which he operates openly as a superhero and becomes a charter member of the Justice League (JLA). During the character's initial few years as a member of the Justice League, he is often used as a substitute for Superman in stories (just as Green Arrow was for Batman) as DC Comics were worried about using their flagship characters too often in Justice League stories, fearing overexposure.[6] The Martian and the archer inaugurated the team-up format of The Brave and the Bold.[7] J'onzz appears there one other time, working with fellow JLA member, the Flash.[8] In some stories he is shown travelling through space at near-light speed[9] or to other planets.[10]

The detective John Jones is ostensibly killed in action by the Idol Head of Diabolu, an artifact which generates supernatural monsters. J'onn abandons the civilian identity as he decides fighting this new menace will take a great deal of his time.[11] At this point his feature moves to House of Mystery, where J'onn spends the next few years in battle against the Idol Head.[12] Shortly after its defeat he takes the persona of Marco Xavier in order to infiltrate the international crime cartel known as VULTURE, which he defeats in the final installment of his original series.[13]

As Superman and Batman were allowed by DC to become fully active members of the Justice League, J'onzz's appearances there dwindled. He last participated in a mission in his original tenure in #61 (March 1968), shortly before his solo series was discontinued (HoM #173, May–June 1968). In #71, his people finally came to Earth for him, and he left with them to found and become leader of New Mars. Over the next fifteen years J'onn appeared sporadically in various DC titles.

Bronze Age (1970s–mid-1980s)

In 1972, Superman was teleported to New Mars.[14] J'onzz briefly returned to Earth by spaceship in 1975.[15] J'onn made another trip to Earth shortly thereafter,[16] leading to Superman and Batman fighting alongside him on New Mars.[17] Three years later, he was discovered playing cosmic-level chess with Despero, using JLA-ers as the pieces.[18] The Martian again encountered Superman in outer space.[19] He permanently resurfaced in the DC Universe in 1984.[20] Shortly thereafter, the League had several members resign (among many other changes), leaving an opening for the Manhunter to take.[21] In staying on Earth, he decided to revive his John Jones identity, this time as a private detective, but had to explain his twenty-year "disappearance".[22]

Post-Crisis (mid-1980s–mid-1990s)

J'onn J'onzz, trying (and failing) to relax in his true form and reflecting on his history with the League

In early 1987, DC revamped its struggling Justice League of America series by re-launching the title as Justice League International. This new series, written by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis with art by Kevin Maguire (and later Adam Hughes), added quirky humor to the team's stories. J'onn is present from the first issue and within the stories is used as a straight man for other characters in comical situations. The series also added a number of elements to his back story that have remained to the present (such as J'onn's obsession with Oreo cookies, partially due to Captain Marvel's influence).

The 2456 four issue miniseries Martian Manhunter by J.M. DeMatteis and Mark Badger further redefined the character and changed a number of important aspects of both his character and his origin story. It is revealed that Dr. Erdel did not die and that the character's humanoid appearance was due to physiological trauma and attempts to block out the death of his race, his familiar appearance a "compromise" between his true form and a human appearance based upon Erdel's mental concept of what a Martian should look like. Later series use retroactive continuity (retcon) to establish that his real form is private and that, even on Mars, his "public" appearance was the familiar version. The native name for Mars is said to be "Ma'aleca'andra" in his native tongue (a nod to "Malacandra", the name used by the inhabitants of Mars in C. S. Lewis' novel Out of the Silent Planet. . The series also adds to canon the idea that J'onzz was not only displaced in space but in time and the Martian race, including J'onzz's wife and daughter, has been dead for thousands of years.

The 1990s saw the character continue to serve in many different versions of the Justice League of America. In addition to serving in the League under his own identity, he also joins (under duress) disguised as "Bloodwynd," a mysterious and powerful necromancer.[23] J'onn assumed the physical form, standoffish mannerisms and magical powers of Bloodwynd, while Bloodwynd himself was transported and trapped inside of his "Blood Gem". It was during this time that JLA engaged Doomsday in The Death of Superman series. After being hurled by Doomsday into a burning building, Blue Beetle discovers the merged identity of the two heroes. Soon after, it is revealed that J'onn had accidentally bonded with Bloodwynd prior to his joining the League. The two are eventually separated and [24] both continue their associations with the League.

The 1992 miniseries American Secrets is set in the character's past, exploring a previously unknown adventure against the backdrop of a changing America during the 1950s. Written by Gerard Jones and with art by Eduardo Barreto, the series finds the Manhunter drawn into a murder mystery that rapidly escalates into paranoia and alien invasion.

Post Zero Hour (mid-1990s–mid-2000s)

In 1997, J'onn became a founding member of Grant Morrison and Howard Porter's new JLA where the team fought a group of White Martians, the Hyperclan.

Martian Manhunter began as an ongoing series in 1998, written by John Ostrander and illustrated by Tom Mandrake (with fill-in art provided by Bryan Hitch among others). The series lasted 36 issues before being canceled due to low sales. Ostrander established that Martian Manhunter is the most recognized hero in the Southern Hemisphere, and that he maintains a number of different secret identities, many of them outside the United States. However, following two incidents later in the series in which John Jones separates from Martian Manhunter, he decides to focus on his original human identity and retire the others.

The series establishes that J'onn has a disturbed brother, Ma'alefa'ak, who uses his shape shifting abilities to pose as J'onn, capturing and torturing Jemm, Son of Saturn, and terraforming part of Earth to resemble Mars (areoforming). This is all part of a grand plan designed to convince the rest of the Justice League that J'onn has turned into a sociopath. However, J'onn is able to clear his name and defeat Ma'alefa'ak despite having most of his body destroyed in an exploding spaceship (he is able to regenerate his body from his severed hand after 'transplanting' his soul into his hand and sending it back to his home fortress so that it can regenerate).

The series also further established the history of both the Manhunter and the Saturnian race. The first issue revealed that there was a "real" human John Jones, a police detective who is murdered by corrupt colleagues, and that J'onn subsequently assumed his identity to complete an important court case.

In issues of JLA written by Joe Kelly, J'onn attempts to conquer his fear of fire and makes a deal with a flame-wielding villainess named Scorch, who wants J'onzz' telepathic help in dealing with her own mental issues, the two falling in love in the process.[25] This effort results in J'onn briefly transforming into the Burning Martian, Fernus, an ancient version of the Martian race that were modified by the Guardians of the Universe; the Guardians had recognized the danger that the Burning Martians posed to civilized life as they 'reproduced' through the psychic energy generated by suffering and grief, but had simply engineered the Martians into their new state rather than destroy them. As part of this engineering, the Martians had been 'programmed' with a new vulnerability to fire, with J'onn breaking the genetic blocks against fire also giving him access to race memories of the Burning Martians.[26] Despite Fernus's power, the League were able to help J'onn reassert himself over Fernus, Manitou Raven helping key League members access J'onn's mind and draw out his true self while Plastic Man battled Fernus directly,[27] allowing the true J'onn to manifest when Fernus attempted to spawn using the psychic grief caused by the destruction of the city of Chongjin, the sorrow enough for at least one spawning even if the Flash had saved the city's residents. With Fernus's physical form defeated, J'onn's traditional aversion to fire was redefined, as he is now invulnerable to flames unless they are "flames of passion" or of some other "psychic significance".[28] This change is forgotten about in later series and adventures .

Crisis Era (mid-2000s–early-2010s)

Cover artwork for Martian Manhunter (vol. 3) #2 (November 2006) by Al Barrionuevo

During the lead-up to the Infinite Crisis miniseries, the character is feared to have been killed in an attack on the Justice League's HQ.[29] He is later revealed to be alive and a captive of Alexander Luthor, Jr.[30] After Infinite Crisis, most of DC's series jumped ahead one year, having the weekly series 52 fill in the missing time. In 52 #24, it is revealed that the character has been working behind the scenes in an unsuccessful attempt to destroy Checkmate for its role in the death of Ted Kord.

Several weeks before World War III the Martian Manhunter disguises himself as a young girl and tries to defeat Black Adam telepathically in Bialya. He is defeated by being exposed to Adam's darkest memories and flees Earth. The miniseries WW III is told from his perspective. Using these events as a catalyst, DC Comics redesigned the appearance of the character, changing his costume and giving him an appearance that more closely resembles that of his Martian form. Those changes were further explored during a Martian Manhunter limited series that spun out of the DCU: Brave New World one-shot. Written by A.J. Lieberman with art from Al Barrionuevo and Bit, the series portrayed a Manhunter more mistrustful of humanity and their actions towards each other. The miniseries focuses on J'onn's search for other survivors of Mars.

Following this miniseries, J'onn was intended to be in Outsiders . He appeared in the third issue of the Outsiders: Five of a Kind series with Thunder, and joined the team afterwards. Due to the change of writers, he was quickly written out within the last two issues . He was next seen working undercover during the events of the limited series Salvation Run.[31] At the end of the series, J'onn is left captured and alone on an alien planet.

In Final Crisis #1 (2008), written by Grant Morrison the character is killed, with the death being further developed in the one-shot, Final Crisis: Requiem. The character next appears in the Blackest Night storyline as a Black Lantern[32][33] At the end of the miniseries, the character is resurrected.[34] Following this, the character is featured in the weekly Brightest Day series. During the series, J'onn encounters another surviving green Martian: D'kay D'razz, a scarred and warped psychopath who wants J'onn to be her mate.[35]

In Brightest Day he is a very prominent character, finding a water source on Mars and meeting and talking with the daughter of Dr. Erdel, Melissa. J'onn is depicted tucking her into bed in a retirement home, in the form of her father.[36] He later appears at Erdel's old lab. However, plant life starts to die every time he gets near. Later still, J'onn goes to see M'gann M'orzz in Australia during her mediation search, but finds her beaten and tied up.[37] While tending to her, he is contacted by the Entity, who instructs him to burn down the newly formed forest.[38] When J'onn asks M'gann who did this to her, M'gann says she was attacked by a female green Martian. After this, J'onn senses something in Star City.[39] J'onn arrives in Star City's new forest and attempts to complete his task; however, he is stopped from doing that by the Entity. The Entity reveals to him that the newly formed forest J'onn is to burn down is on Mars. After J'onn lashes out Star City's forest, he returns home.[40] During this same time period, J'onn is found by Green Arrow, who attacks J'onn after mistaking him for some sort of monster. After being knocked unconscious and dragged out of the forest by Green Arrow, J'onn explains that the forest somehow tampered with his Martian shape-shifting abilities and temporarily drove him mad.[41] When J'onn arrives home, he sees his planet covered in a newly formed forest on Mars.[42]

When J'onn enters his home, he is confronted by a female green Martian named D'kay D'razz, the green Martian who attacked M'gann. D'kay explains her origins and wants to be J'onn's mate. J'onn refuses and learns that she is a psychopath when D'kay angrily lashes out to attack and enters his mind. J'onn tries to resist influence from D'kay's mind, but her control over his mind tempts him with visions of a fantasy world where all the Martians and J'onn's family are resurrected by the Entity.[35] While re-united with his lost family, J'onn discovers that they are false and realizes that they are a ruse and the death corpse is carved of Martian symbols of love and hate from D'kay's influence. J'onn arrives vengeful and wrings D'kay's neck in disgust.[43] J'onn defeats D'kay by forcing her into the sun, saved from the same fate by the White Lantern Entity, who informs him that his mission has been accomplished, and returns his life to him. The Entity then tells J'onn to choose between Mars and Earth. J'onn chooses Earth and returns to his adopted home world only to be absorbed into the Earth by the Entity as "part of the plan".[44]

When the "Dark Avatar" makes his presence known, J'onn is revealed to be one of the Elementals. Martian Manhunter is transformed by the Entity to become the element of Earth in order to protect the Star City forest from the "Dark Avatar", which appears to be the Black Lantern version of the Swamp Thing.[45] The Elementals are then fused with the body of Alec Holland in order for Holland to be transformed by the Entity into the new Swamp Thing and battle against the Dark Avatar. After the Dark Avatar is defeated, Swamp Thing restores J'onn to normal. Afterward, J'onn helps Melissa (daughter of Dr. Erdel) remove the piece from her head after she loses her mind.[46]

The New 52 (20112016)

In 2011, DC relaunched its continuity following its Flashpoint company-wide crossover as part of its "The New 52" publishing event, which saw the cancellation and relaunch of all DC titles. In the new continuity, J'onn is reintroduced as a member of the covert Stormwatch organization, which had previously appeared exclusively in comics set in DC's Wildstorm Comics imprint.[47] J'onn is initially stated as being an ex-Justice League member in Stormwatch #1,[48] before the phrase "with the Justice League" is retconned as shorthand for being a public superhero, with J'onn saying he never tried to join the League due to his commitments to Stormwatch. This same position is stated by J'onn again in Legion Lost #6.[49] However, later Justice League comics show that J'onn was indeed a member of the league for a time.[50][51] Later, DC chose to move Martian Manhunter to its Justice League of America title, a spin-off from Justice League. In Stormwatch #12, J'onn quits the team and uses his telepathy to erase his existence from the minds of his Stormwatch teammates.[52]

In Justice League of America, the Martian Manhunter is a member of the US government-sponsored Justice League, taking orders from Amanda Waller and Steve Trevor.[53] Like other members of the team, he has been selected as a counterpart for a member of the independent Justice League, should they ever go rogue; J'onn is Superman's counterpart.[54] He also appears in Justice League; when Despero assaults the Watchtower, he is mentioned by Firestorm as having been a member of the Justice League when it initially fought with Despero. When Despero incapacitates Firestorm, Element Woman, and the Atom, Martian Manhunter appears and defeats him with a telepathic assault. Working with his JLA colleagues in Justice League of America, he investigates the activities of the Secret Society of Super Villains, led by the Outsider. Later, the two leagues meet, along with the supernaturally powered Justice League Dark in the "Trinity War" crossover storyline because of a diplomatic crisis in Khandaq triggered by the young superhero Shazam. The three leagues are gathered together when the Outsider reveals himself to be an evil counterpart of Batman's butler Alfred Pennyworth, from Earth-Three, and witnesses the arrival of Earth-Three's evil Justice League's counterparts, the Crime Syndicate. The three leagues are roundly defeated, and the Martian Manhunter is trapped inside the Firestorm matrix along with his colleagues by Firestorm's evil counterpart Deathstorm. While inside Firestorm, for the duration of the Forever Evil-themed issues of the Justice League of America title, Manhunter and Stargirl shared a close adventure interlinked with one another's memories as Despero assisted the Syndicate with keeping the JLA imprisoned. After being freed in Forever Evil #7, the two remain close friends,[55] and along with Green Arrow go on to form the core of a new successor Justice League based out of Canada, in Justice League United.[56]

Powers and abilities

J'onn J'onzz possesses a wide variety of abilities native to the Green Martian race such as superhuman strength, durability, flight, regeneration, shape-shifting, intangibility, invisibility, telepathy, telekinesis, extrasensory input, and optic blasts. Many of his powers resemble those of Superman. Superman once said of him: "He is the most powerful being on the face of the Earth."[57]


J'onn uses his power of shapeshifting for various effects, such as adopting human or monstrous appearance, elongating his limbs, growing to immense size, altering the chemical composition of his body, etc. His default form during Justice League meetings and in public is a "human-friendly" version of his actual birth shape. J'onn can alter his molecular density allowing him to phase-shift, becoming intangible to pass harmlessly through solid objects, or to phase through people and machines in order to damage them or cause pain. He can increase his density allowing him to become virtually invulnerable, but like all his powers it takes extreme concentration. He can also bend the light waves around him to match with his surroundings to become near or completely invisible, he originally acted as an invisible hero or unknown "angel", helping those in need without revealing himself. In the Silver Age story "The Unmasking of J'onn J'onzz" he lost the ability to use his other powers while invisible and was revealed to the world as a Martian superhero, although his civilian identity of John Jones remained a secret.[6] He has demonstrated regenerative abilities, once regenerating his entire body from only his severed head, but with great strain. (Due to the loss of mass, he found it necessary to incorporate new matter from sand.)[58] J'onn can alter his lungs so they can breathe in various atmospheres and environments, he can breathe underwater, such as when he encountered Zauriel in the sea of San Francisco.[59] He can alter the inner valves and chambers in his air canals, allowing him to expel a large amount of air just by exhaling.[60]


A powerful telepath, J'onn can both perceive others' thoughts and project his own thoughts. He often acts as a "switchboard" between the minds of his teammates in order to coordinate their actions. The extent of his telepathic abilities is great; several times he has connected his mind to the entire population of Earth, such as in the Trial by Fire story arc,[61] in which he connects to the whole population of Earth in order to find a rogue telepath who has been brainwashing prominent criminals and political figures. He also uses his telepathy for creating illusions, locating other sentient beings, controlling other’s minds, manipulating memory, inducing sleep, travelling on the astral plane, transferring information to people directly, and creating brain blasts and mental shields.

His telekinesis allows him to move objects with his mind, which he describes as "Martian mind-over-matter". He uses his telekinesis to manipulate and move or push multiple objects, as well as to fly at high speeds and to create a telekinetic push or a telekinetic shield.[62]


J'onn possesses "Martian Vision" allowing his eyes to see across the electromagnetic spectrum, including X-Ray Vision. He can also project energy beams, known as "Martian Beams", the exact effects of which have varied in different decades from incendiary effects to concussive impacts to disintegration. J'onn also has nine senses compared to humans, giving him clearer and more numerable perceptions.[63]


Aside from his superhuman powers, J'onn is also a very capable detective. As Batman mentions in his file, "in many ways, Martian Manhunter is like an amalgam of Superman and the Dark Knight himself".[64]


One of J'onn's signature traits is his vulnerability to fire. Although it has been an element of the character since his earliest appearances, writers have depicted it with inconsistency throughout the character's long career.

In his earliest appearances, he was shown as having a weakness to fire while in his native Martian form.[65] Over time, this was developed into pyrophobia, with fire being the Martian's "Achilles heel", equivalent to Superman's weakness to Kryptonite. Exposure to fire typically causes J'onn to lose his ability to maintain his physical form, so that he "melts" into a pool of writhing green plasma. One portrayal explained that the flame weakness was tied into Martian telepathy, with fire causing so much chaos in Martian minds that they collapse. It was revealed during the Trial By Fire storyline[66] that the Martian weakness to fire is a built-in psychosomatic effect, placed in the Martian race long ago by the Guardians of the Universe to prevent them from reverting to a previous evolutionary state in which they were highly aggressive, on the verge of interstellar conquest, and in need of flames and the psychic suffering of others in order to reproduce. At the end of the arc, this weakness to mundane fire was removed, with J'onn explaining that now only fires of "psychic significance" could harm him, such as flames of a magical or pyrokinetic nature.

During the Fernus storyline, Batman noted that Martian shapeshifting was an instantaneous reflex based around the psychic study of others, allowing J'onn to adapt rapidly to any opponent's physiology or fighting style. Curiously, this aspect of his power puts him at a slight disadvantage when faced with Plastic Man, who is immune to telepathy (being inorganic) and who has no set fighting style, but is instead described as "inspiration given form", a completely spontaneous and unpredictable being.[67]

In the New 52 the weakness to fire is pyrophobia that is unique to him as a crippling fear, due to the trauma of witnessing the fiery death of his race. J'onn himself notes that it's ridiculous that he is one of the most powerful beings alive and has such a simple weakness.


The following are enemies of the Martian Manhunter:

Other versions

Within the publications of DC Comics, many alternate versions of the characters have appeared. Some of those have appeared in stories that set within the shared fictional DC Universe and others in self-contained stories.

Those alternative versions have appeared in a range of genres and time periods and many appear in Elseworlds stories featuring a Justice League, including JLA: The Nail, JLA: Act of God, Justice Riders, the fantasy-themed League of Justice, the World War II-set JSA: The Liberty Files, and John Arcudi's dark JLA: Destiny which features a world without Superman or Batman. Other notable stories provide a more pessimistic future for the character.

Kingdom Come

Kingdom Come features a J'onn mentally shattered from his attempts to understand humanity by attempting to open his mind to all human thoughts at once. He is now apparently stuck in his human form, demonstrating no flight or superhuman strength and possesses no apparent control over his phasing abilities; requiring Batman to hold up his coffee cup as his hands pass through it. He is shown to still possess some limited control over his remaining telepathy and at Batman's request makes a mind scan of Captain Marvel, the effort of which is shown to very nearly overwhelm him. Despite showing a willingness to stay and continue aiding Batman in his cause, Batman tells him to go and rest, saying he has earned it more than any other of the original Justice League members.

DC One Million

In the Grant Morrison penned series, DC One Million, a version of the character is shown merging with Mars and turning it into a home for humanity and other races.


On Earth-3, the Crime Society of America exists, with a monstrous version of J'onn J'onzz showcased.[69]

When it came to "The New 52" during the "Forever Evil" storyline, Pandora was transported to Earth 3 upon the Crime Syndicate arriving on Prime-Earth. She has an encounter with Earth 3's Martian Manhunter who is badly injured and begs to know whether the rest of the Crime Syndicate made it through the portal. The Crime Syndicate had left him behind so that his wounds wouldn't slow them down. They were seeking another world after their world was destroyed. They knew there was another universe waiting to be conquered. Horrified, Pandora demands to know how she can get back to prevent that conquest, but the Earth 3 Martian Manhunter dies in her arms.[70]

Antimatter Universe

In the Antimatter Universe where that universe's version of the Crime Syndicate resided as seen in JLA: Earth-2, Martian Manhunter's antimatter reality counterpart is a White Martian and was Ultraman's chief rival until Ultraman killed him.[71]

Earth-10: "The Martian"

In Grant Morrison's Multiversity series, there is an alternate Martian Manhunter visible within the "New Reichsmen", the "Justice League" analogues on this Nazi-dominated alternate Earth. Although "The Martian" is mentioned in passing and appears in several ensemble scenes, he has no dialogue. It is uncertain whether this is therefore J'onn J'onnz, or another Green Martian. Moreover, Nazi Germany has colonized the Moon and Mars in this alternate universe.

Earth-17: Post-Apocalyptic

Similarly to the above, on the current New 52 Earth-17, ravaged by nuclear war in 1963, an angular bodied radiation-suited character with the same coloration and original elongated cranium has appeared, apparently analogous to the Martian Manhunter, but again, this character has no dialogue.

Earth-21: New Frontier

In the alternate New 52 Earth known as Earth-21, an idyllic Silver Age version of the sixties prevails, where John Fitzgerald Kennedy wasn't assassinated in 1963, and an analogue Justice League exists, with a Martian Manhunter as one of its members, although troubled by US anti-communism and xenophobia in this Cold War historical context.

Earth-29: Bizarro Universe

Although this New 52 alternate universe centers on Earth-29 (the cuboid Htrae), there is also an overpopulated Sram in this universe. Therefore, its Bizarro- J'onn J'onnz is known as the "Sramian Snitch".

Earth-32: Super-Martian

On this alternate Earth, Super-Martian contains attributes of Superman and the Martian Manhunter both. He is a member of the Justice Titans of America, alongside other amalgam metahumans.

Earth-42: Little League

In this New 52 universe, the "Little League" are diminutive robotic analogues of Earth-0's Justice League, including a miniature replica of J'onn J'onnz.

Earth-50: Justice Lords

On this penultimate New 52 alternate Earth, the Martian Manhunter is a member of Superman's repressive authoritarian Justice League global tyrants, the "Justice Lords".

Countdown to Adventure

Countdown to Adventure #1 depicts the Forerunner planet, in an alternate universe (Earth-48) where the races of the planets and dwarf planets in the universe conquer Earth; the leader of the Martian army and populace is General J'onzz. Given the re-calibration of Earth-48 within the New 52 DC Multiverse, it is unclear whether that alternate Martian Manhunter still exists.

The Dark Knight Strikes Again

Frank Miller's dystopian The Dark Knight Strikes Again has a powerless alcoholic J'onn, his powers lost due to nanites in his brain hindering his abilities, murdered by Joker/Dick Grayson using fire.


In the alternate timeline of the Flashpoint event, J'onn J'onzz was teleported to Earth and held captive in one of the Outsider's research facilities. After studying and torturing J'onn, the Outsider then sold him to the Russian government, after which J'onn attacked them and took over the country.[72] He disguises himself as Blackout for undercover work against the Outsider. After a confrontation with the Outsider, J'onn's cover was blown when the Outsider tells him that Blackout has no skill.[73] During the battle, Outsider used the recovered teleportation technology device to trap J'onn. The Outsider then threatened J'onn to tell him about any future assassins, when J'onn refuses, the Outsider closed the teleport cutting J'onn in half killing him.[72]

Injustice: Gods Among Us

In the alternate timeline of Injustice: Gods Among Us, J'onn sides with Batman and the Insurgency as Superman begins to kill his foes after the Joker destroys Metropolis. He masquerades as Hawkgirl in the League (the real one being kept captive) and becomes Batman's eyes and ears on the League's actions. Eventually, after an encounter between Batman and Damian Wayne in the Batcave, the ruse is discovered by the latter and outs this truth to the League. Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and the Flash go to confront Batman at the entrance to the cave, only to discover Batman has long since left and that Hawkgirl has been released. J'onn pretends to be Batman but reveals his true persona and is chased by Superman and Wonder Woman; he knocks Lantern out of the sky and as Wonder Woman goes to find him, J'onn confronts Superman as the Kryptonian questions his allegiance to the Insurgency. J'onn admits he recognizes Superman's actions as that of a man who claims peace when he really just wants control, having seen this on Mars after the White Martians took over and took J'onn's daughter. Wonder Woman attacks him, but he gets the drop on her and reveals he is aware of her recent grisly actions; he attempts to stop Wonder Woman by shapeshifting to attack her inside her body, Superman uses his heat vision to burn J'onn out of Wonder Woman as his burning body falls into the ocean. Batman assumed that he was dead.

Homages, pastiches and parodies

There have been few pastiches and parodies of and homages to the character due to the concentration on more well-known heroes like Superman and Batman.

In other media



Live action

Phil Morris as John Jones in Smallville
David Harewood as Martian Manhunter on Supergirl


Video games




IGN ranked the Martian Manhunter as the 43rd greatest comic book hero of all time.[78]

Collected editions

Some of his appearance have been collected into trade paperbacks:

See also


^ Note 1: Roh Kar, Lawman of Mars, appeared in an earlier story "The Manhunter From Mars" in Batman #78 (August–September 1953). Some analysts have noted similarities between Roh Kar and the Martian Manhunter[79] and the theory that the earlier story served as inspiration for Samachson and Certa's Martian Manhunter has been advanced.


  1. Martian Manhunter is #43
  2. Detective Comics (vol. 1) #322 (December 1963)
  3. Detective Comics (vol. 1) #227 (January 1956)
  4. Detective Comics (vol. 1) #228 (February 1956)
  5. Detective Comics (vol. 1) #231 (May 1956)
  6. 1 2 Detective Comics (vol. 1) #273 (November 1959)
  7. The Brave and the Bold #50 (October–November 1963)
  8. The Brave and the Bold #56 (October–November 1964)
  9. Justice League of America (vol. 1) #3 (March 1961)
  10. Justice League of America (vol. 1) #12 (June 1962)
  11. Detective Comics (vol. 1) #326 (April 1964)
  12. House of Mystery #143 (June 1964) to #158 (April 1966)
  13. House of Mystery #160 (July 1966) to #173 (May–June 1968)
  14. World's Finest Comics #212 (June 1972)
  15. JLA #115 (January–February 1975)
  16. Adventure Comics #449 (January–February) to #451 (March–April 1977)
  17. World's Finest #245 (June–July 1977)
  18. JLA #177-178 (April–May 1980)
  19. DC Comics Presents #27 (November 1980)
  20. JLA #228 (July 1984)
  21. JLA #233 (December 1984)
  22. JLA #248 (March 1986)
  23. Justice League America (vol. 1) #63 (June 1992)
  24. Justice League America (vol. 1) #77 (July 1993)
  25. JLA #83
  26. JLA #87
  27. JLA #88
  28. JLA #89
  29. JLA #118 (September 2005)
  30. Infinite Crisis #3 (February 2006)
  31. Salvation Run #3 (March 2008)
  32. Blackest Night #1 (July 2009)
  33. Green Lantern (vol. 4) #44 (July 2009)
  34. Blackest Night #8 (March 2010)
  35. 1 2 3 4 Brightest Day #12 (December 2010)
  36. Brightest Day #2 (May 2010)
  37. Brightest Day #6 (July 2010)
  38. Brightest Day #7 (August 2010)
  39. 1 2 Brightest Day #8 (August 2010)
  40. Brightest Day #9 (September 2010)
  41. Green Arrow (vol. 5) #4 (February 2012)
  42. Brightest Day #11 (October 2010)
  43. Brightest Day #15 (December 2010)
  44. Brightest Day #21 (March 2011)
  45. Brightest Day #23 (April 2011)
  46. Brightest Day #24 (April 2011)
  47. DC Universe: The Source » Blog Archive » Welcome To The Edge
  48. Stormwatch (vol. 3) #1 (November 2011)
  49. Legion Lost (vol. 2) #6 (April 2012)
  50. Justice League #8 (June 2012)
  51. Justice League of America (vol. 3) #1 (April 2013)
  52. Stormwatch (vol. 3) #12 (October 2012)
  53. Catwoman, Martian Manhunter Form New Justice League of America - IGN
  54. Justice League of America #1 (April 2013)
  55. Justice League of America #14
  56. Justice League United #1
  57. JLA #86 (Early November 2003)
  58. Justice League vs Predator (2001)
  59. JLA #6
  60. Brave and the Bold (vol. 1) #28 (March 1960)
  61. JLA Volume 1, Issue 85 (2003)
  62. Detective Comics (vol. 1) #226 (December 1955)
  63. "JLA Year One #6
  64. Justice #1 (October 2005) – 12 (August 2007)-from Bruce Wayne's private files in the Batcomputer
  65. Detective Comics (vol. 1) #233 (July 1956)
  66. JLA #84-89 (October–December 2003)
  67. Woliin, David. "Seventeen Fish Sticks: Why Plastic Man is the Best | Wolkin's House of Chicken and Waffles (and Comics!)". Retrieved 2015-08-28.
  68. Secret Origins (film) November 17, 2001
  69. 52 #52
  70. Trinity of Sin: Pandora #4
  71. JLA: Earth-2
  72. 1 2 Flashpoint: The Outsider #3 (August 2011)
  73. Flashpoint: The Outsider #2 (July 2011)
  74. Young Justice (vol. 2) #6 (July 2011)
  75. Supergirl Manhunter Episode
  76. Nathan Fillion, Tim Daly and Michael Rosenbaum Join an All-Star Cast for Justice League: Doom
  77. Perry, Spencer (July 26, 2016). "Justice League Dark Featurette Reveals Matt Ryan Returns as Constantine!". Superhero Hype.
  78. "Martian Manhunter is number 43". IGN. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
  79. Diabolu Frank (January 6, 2008). "Batman #78 (Aug.-Sep. 1953)". Idol-Head of Diabolu. Retrieved May 26, 2014.

External links

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