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History Edit

J'onn J'onzz: ???? - 1973 Edit

At some point, J'onn J'onzz was born on Mars. He does not discuss his childhood much but describes it as the most difficult eighty-five years of his life (due to the complexity of Martian biology, it takes about eighty-five Earth years for a Martian to reach full maturity - that's about forty-five years on Mars). At a young age, J'onn realized he was not like most Martians and had difficulty fitting in socially.

When J'onn was old enough to undertake an assignment from the Martian Council of Elders, he chose to become a Chronicler for Mars' sister planet of Earth. Here, he lived among us humans for many years as he perfected his shapeshifting abilities and would telepathically telegraph what he had learned about Earth's culture to the Martian Archivists. J'onn remained on Earth much longer than he was required to fulfill his commitment to the Martian Elders. J'onn had become fascinated by the human people and the cultures of Earth and finally felt accepted in a way that he never had on his home planet. During this time, he became a schoolteacher in the American West until a call to action led him to join a posse to pursue justice, thus introducing J'onn to what would become his lifelong ambition.

J'onn lived out no less than three lives on Earth. He was a happy Martian, but like all good things, it came to an end. In the early-1900s, Mars fought a civil war between the Insular and Colonial factions. The war ended in the 1940s, with the Insular faction proving victorious and thus all Martians were called back to Mars. J'onn resisted the call at first, preferring to remain on Earth. J'onn's resistance became such a source of contention among the Elders that a Martian by the name of M'yri'ah Thought-Mage was sent to compel J'onn to return. M'yri'ah was surprised to find that J'onn, a mere Chronicler, had the willpower to resist her telepathic advances and after months of J'onn resisting M'yri'ah's telepathic urges, the two fell in love and then M'yri'ah was able to coerce J'onn into returning to Mars simply by asking him nicely.

M'yri'ah would be the only Martian that J'onn would ever love and the two became mates in a ceremony that linked their minds together. This act would cause M'yri'ah to realize just how much J'onn hated being stuck on Mars so she would constantly argue on her mate's behalf to be granted permission to live off-world. These requests were constantly denied. But J'onn did finally find a way to cope with life on Mars when M'yri'ah gave birth to their daughter: K'hym.

J'onn became the equivalent of a constable on Mars, but the work had little reward for him as he was most asked to place sanctions against those who did not agree with the Elders and not apprehend actual criminals. J'onn missed his time as a lawman on Earth.

Eventually, J'onn would cross paths with a Martian named Ma'ale Fa'ak. J'onn initially felt like this Martian was a kindred spirit as both felt like outsiders on Mars and when tasked to put sanctions against Ma'alefa'ak, J'onn refused and for his refusal, he was dismissed from his job as a constable. J'onn, in turn, became an Arbiter (which is like a lawyer) and used his knowledge of the law to argue on Ma'alefa'ak's behalf, earning Ma'alefa'ak a reprieve from the punitive measures the Elders wished to impose upon Ma'alefa'ak for his abnormal behavior.

J'onn was praised as something akin to a civil rights leader among a minority of Martians for a time and seen an upstart by the Elders. But that was just the beginning of J'onn's relationship with Ma'alefa'ak.

J'onn J'onzz

J'onn J'onzz in his martian default form

Years after J'onn helped get Ma'alefa'ak an exoneration, Ma'alefa'ak repaid the debt by breaking into J'onn's home and murdering M'yri'ah and K'hym, believing that by doing so he would release J'onn of the only anchors tying him to Mars, thereby allowing J'onn to pursue his dreams. When J'onn discovered what Ma'alefa'ak had done, he nearly killed Ma'alefa'ak, but instead chose justice over vengeance. Ma'alefa'ak was brought before the Elders by J'onn with the Arbiter now arguing for Ma'alefa'ak's execution before the Council of Elders.

The Council could not fathom a heinous act such as execution and instead chose to send Ma'alefa'ak to Sector 2813 to be banished to the recently reinstated Kryptonian prison known as the Phantom Zone. J'onn personally escorted Ma'alefa'ak to Krypton with the Green Lantern Tomar-Re. After the sentencing of Ma'alefa'ak, and having many long conversations with Tomar-Re, J'onn decided that he was going to apply for the Lantern Corps.[1]

Martian Manhunter: 1973 - 2004 Edit

After befriending Tomar-Re, J’onn decided to join the Lantern Corps, J’onn applied to the Elders for permission to join the Corps and was told that he could only do so when there was an opening in Sector 2814. J'onn continued his work as Arbiter as he waited for such an opening to present itself. Much of his work as an Arbiter was focused on social reform and criminal justice, trying to correct the flaws he saw in Martian society.

In 1983, a position opened in the Lantern Corps, but Abin Sur overlooked J'onn in favor of Thaal Sinestro, Abin Sur’s own brother-in-law. Deciding he did not need a power ring to make a difference and more or less saying "screw you" to the Martian Elders, J’onn did what no other Martian had ever done before and joined the Manhunters. The Manhunters are a peacekeeping predecessor to the Corps which still retained nearly as much legal authority as the Corps but had become tarnished over the years, regarded as little more than galactic bounty hunters. Though J’onn did his best to elevate the position by maintaining his status as an Arbiter and conducting himself as an ethical professional, he was still shunned on his homeworld simply because of the stigma associated with his profession and J'onn's well-known nonconformity. 

As a result of this ostracization, J’onn used his status as a Manhunter to pursue criminals on Earth, thereby taking advantage of a legal loophole that allowed him to stay away from Mars as much as possible. J'onn was successful in capturing galactic fugitives that were hiding on Earth, yet despite his success, J'onn did not make any friends among his own people; and his growing attachment to Earth’s people, cultures, and desserts did not do him any favors. 

Eventually, upset with Martian isolation and ignorance, J’onn exiled himself to Earth, bringing with him a youngling Martian obsessed with Earth culture (see “M'gann M'orzz"), also eager to put her planet’s prejudices behind her. Using his people’s natural shape-shifting talents, J'onn began his fourth main identity as an Earthling, taking the name 'Mark Shaw', an identity he would uphold for many years in the eighties and nineties, as he lived out the life of a police detective by day and a Manhunter by night.

During this time, J'onn apprehended the fugitive Zazzala and brought her to justice, rescuing the life of Garfield Logan in the process.

When J’onn learned of an approaching Kryptonian vessel heading to Erath, piloted by Brainiac, the rogue A.I. that had destroyed Krypton, J’onn gathered up several of the nearest of Earth’s “heroes” and together these “Super Friends” took a stand against Brainiac’s invading robot army. This act resulted in the birth of the Justice League. Since then, J’onn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter, has been a key member of the Justice League, I’m pretty sure J’onn also has about 10% of the world’s supply of Chocos stockpiled in the basement of the Hall of Justice.[2]

John Jones: 2004 - Present Edit

After the founding of the Justice League of America, J’onn J’onzz decided he would adopt a permanent human identity. Naturally, J’onn settled into the identity of a wannabe cowboy due to his interest in the classic western genre of our planet’s cinema. The simplicity of good guys versus bad guys appealed J’onn’s personality, I guess.

At first, the identity of John Jones was intended as a hobby or recreational retreat from the burden of superheroics and his duties as a Manhunter; but in 2005, J’onn J’onzz and M’gann M’orzz received word to return to Mars. J’onn suspected that something was strange but did not expect he and his apprentice were being led into a trap. Upon arrival, they found their homeworld overrun by a biological weapon in the form of a disease engineered by Brainiac and implemented by a maniacally deranged Martian named Ma'ale Fa'ak (or “Malefic” as he is known now). This bioweapon (based off the enzymes from the creature known as Doomsday and fused with an alien virus from deep space) hijacked the shapeshifting abilities of the Martian populace and robbed them of their sentient though and skin pigmentation, transforming the entire world into rampaging ghostly white mutants. Basically, like living space zombies, I guess.

John Jones

US Marhal John Jones

Though J’onn was able to avoid infection thanks to the intervention of the Lantern Corps and an injection of Malefic’s own immunization serum, the rest of the Martian populace was not as fortunate. J’onn helped the Lantern Corps destroy the spaceports on Mars and install a worldwide quarantine in hopes that a cure could one day be found.

After returning from that ordeal, J’onn decided to put his training as a Martian constable and Manhunter to use as a sheriff’s deputy in Blue Valley, Colorado. In time, John Jones became a fed, transferring to the United Stated Marshal’s Service. It wasn’t long after that transfer that John Jones was reassigned to serve as the USMS’s liaison to the newly created A.R.G.U.S. sponsored Interagency Meta-Criminal Apprehension Taskforce where he arranged to be assigned Diana Prince as his partner so that the Martian Manhunter and Wonder Woman could help cover for each other.[3]

Powers and Abilities Edit

Powers Edit

  • Martian Physiology: Martian Manhunter has been described as "a living Swiss Army knife" as he possesses more abilities than Superman. J'onn's powers come from his alien physiology which seems to be composed of a complex molecular chain that resembles polymer bonds but with the ability to be altered at will. The Martian Manhunter can change his mass, color, relative shape, imitating even clothing if desired. The biopolymer is extremely flexible, durable, incredibly strong for a biological material and relatively self-sustaining.
    • Shape-Shifting/Malleability/Plasticity/Elongation:

Arguably one of the most incredible powers possessed by the Manhunter is the ability to shape-shift. He is able to literally control the molecular structure of his body's biopolymers and manipulate them into any construct he desires, in addition to and including his own body. He can form clothing and weapons with non-moving or non-functioning parts. J'onn is particularly skilled at adopting the human form and has stood in as a double for many famous people. His ability to imitate people and their mannerisms have stood him in good stead for his disguises. He is also able to change colors at will.

    • Invisibility: The Manhunter can cause the biopolymers in his body to lose their ability to reflect light, rendering the Manhunter invisible to normal light and human sight.
    • Density Control: By manipulating the density of his molecular bonds, the Manhunter can phase through solid matter. Likewise, the biomorphic structure of the Manhunter's body allows him to absorb almost all kinetic energies such as high caliber bullets, shrapnel, or flying debris easily. He can harden his biopolymers by rebinding them and increase his durability to the point where he is nearly on par with Superman. Along with his nigh-invulnerability, his shape shifting makes him even more difficult to harm. Hazardous environments practically do not affect the Martian Manhunter. In addition, Martian Manhunter's immune system protects him from many toxins and diseases that are hazardous to other lifeforms.
    • Superhuman Strength: The Martian Manhunter is one of the strongest beings on the planet. The Martian's superhuman strength comes from his Biomorphic structure formed from immensely long and complex molecular chains and is further augmented with his psionic and telekinetic abilities allowing him to lift incredible weights without these weights crumbling under the stress. The Martian has been seen able to stalemate powerhouses like Superman, and has even drawn blood from beings as durable as Kryptonians with his punches alone. By modifying the density of these biopolymers, the Manhunter can make himself stronger by forcing them into tighter bundles. While at a resting state the limits of his strength are categorized as Enhanced Strength Class VI, thus able to lift 300 ton, he can increase this to Class VIII or possibly beyond with exertion, making him even stronger than the likes of Superman when concentrating his biopolymers to their full capacity.
    • Superhuman Stamina: J'onn's endurance is just as formidable as his strength and invulnerability. He can operate under extreme conditions for an indeterminate period of time without showing signs of fatigue.
    • Regeneration: The Martian Manhunter has shown amazing regenerative capabilities.
    • Flight: By controlling his density, weight, and utilizing his telekinetic abilities, J'onn can combine all of these to give him the ability to fly great distances with little fatigue and at great speed. The Manhunter has also been seen flying in space with no difficulty and even in space. J'onn's maximum speed has been shown to be limited to Mach 1 (approximately 700 mph) but even then he rarely exercises such an ability for long distances, preferring to use a Javelin.
    • Longevity: J'onn is well over 200 years old and he still describes himself as 'in his prime'. Apparently Martians are known to live in excess of 700 Earth years.
  • Telepathy: J'onn's telepathy is heightened beyond the Martian normal limits due to his melding of minds with his mate M'yri'ah and thus he is able to read the mind of any human with no difficulties. He is able to read minds over great distances. In addition to reading minds, the Martian Manhunter has a multitude of other telepathic capabilities, one of which allows him to literally reprogram the mind of a subject into believing whatever he wants them to. He can use this ability to help subjects forget things that he does not want them to remember as well as set up post-hypnotic suggestions.
    • Telepathic Relay: Otherwise known as a telepathic link. The Manhunter is able to use his telepathic prowess as a relay station for a group of minds, who can then "speak" to each other through him. This relaying ability seems to be limited to the same range as the Manhunter's normal telepathic range.
    • Telepathic Assault: The Martian Manhunter can also use his telepathic abilities in an offensive manner. He has the ability to cause mental shutdown in a target using his psionic powers. The Manhunter does not use this power often due to the invasive nature and harshness of such a telepathic attack.
    • Thought Sensing: The Manhunter can use the mental signature of a being to track it and can detect life forms by their empathic as well as telepathic signatures. He can detect whether a being is intelligent or not, and can communicate with it empathically if it does not have a communication-driven frame of reference with which normal telepathy may function. He can also detect various states of mind from anywhere in the world.
  • Telekinesis: A further remnant left on his mind by his beloved M'yri'ah, J'onn possesses the ability to move objects with his mind.
  • Meditation: Martians enter a meditative state as a form of sleep.

Abilities Edit

  • Genius Level Intellect: The Martian Manhunter possesses highly advanced reasoning and logic capabilities and uses them to great effect. Despero once claimed that Ted Kord's mind (IQ 192) was the most intelligent mind he had ever encountered, with J'onn J'onzz being the previous bearer of such an honor. The Martian Manhunter's particularly astute reasoning capabilities and long-term association with Earth's global population give him an edge in dealing with humans of diverse governments, cultures, and religions. As a result, in the northern hemisphere of Earth, the Manhunter is one of many costumed adventurers battling against entropy, yet in the southern hemisphere, he is more well-known than even Superman and is very highly praised in South American nations.
  • Investigation: J'onn is a skilled detective, having been in some form of law enforcement for centuries, though by his own admission he is merely a hobbyist when compared to the likes of Batman.
  • Multilingualism: Through his own life experience and telepathic training, J'onn is a gifted linguist and is able to learn an entire language within an hour.

Weaknesses Edit

  • Vulnerability to Fire: The Martian Manhunter has an allergic reaction to fire and intense heat. Exposure to heat causes Martians to become stressed, fatigued, and delirious; and thus unable to utilize their abilities effectively. Direct exposure to fire or extreme heat will cause a Martian to lose his control over his biomorphic form, reverting into their natural form. The Manhunter is much vulnerable in this form.
  • Chocoholism: Something within J'onn's physiology makes him addicted to the chemicals used in the Earth snack, Chocos. Withdrawal symptoms include violent bursts of rage and loss of intellect.
  • Insanity: Telepathic contact with a mind driven to insanity can cause a telepathic feedback effect that can have disastrous consequences for J'onn.

Trivia and Notes Edit

  • In Earth-27, J'onn is a composite character with John Tane and Mark Shaw. John Tane is the western era hero Johnny Thunder, who was also part of the Rough Bunch, with Hawkman's previous reencarnation as Nighthawk and Jonah Hex; Mark Shaw was one of the people who took the name Manhunter in the comics.
  • J'onn is adicted to Chocos, the comic book version of Oreos.
  • From his work as a Manhunter, J'onn has developed a friendship with fellow Manhunter Lobo, and and enemy rivalry with Despero.
  • In comics, usually white martians are the other race of martians, evil and warmongers. Roy didn't like the racist undertone of this so he changed the story to white martians being the result of a virus. Also, in comics Malefic is J'onn's brother, but Roy felt that since J'onn is the ultimate lawman of Mars, the connection between him and Malefic could be based more on their opposing legalities, with J'onn the Sherlock to Malefic' Moriarty.

Links and References Edit

  1. JL-007: J'onn J'onzz / Martian Manhunter
  2. Oracle Files: Martian Manhunter
  3. Oracle Files: John Jones

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