The Martian Manhunter
The Martian Manhunter in promotional art for JLA: Secret Origins (January 2013).
Art by Alex Ross.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceDetective Comics #225 (November 1955)
Created byJoseph Samachson
Joe Certa
In-story information
Full nameJ'onn J'onzz
SpeciesGreen Martian
Place of originMars
Team affiliations
Miss Martian
Notable aliasesJohn Jones
Gold Hunter
Hank Henshaw
See list
    • Superhuman strength, speed, agility, reflexes, stamina, metabolism, and durability
    • Super vision
      • Martian vision
      • Heat vision
      • Infrared vision
      • Electromagnetic spectrum vision
      • Microscopic vision
      • X-ray vision
      • Night vision
    • Genius-level intellect
    • Advanced hand-to-hand combatant
    • Multilingualism
    • Expert detective
    • Shapeshifting
    • Elasticity
    • Density control
    • Invisibility
    • Intangibility
    • Regeneration
    • Bio-fusion
    • Extended longevity
    • Flight
    • Invulnerability
    • Martian nine senses
    • Telekinesis
    • Telepathy
      • Telepathic link relay
      • Telepathic assault
      • Mind control
      • Thought sensing
      • Pain inducement
      • Astral projection

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

He has also been featured in other DC Comics products, such as video games, television series, animated films and merchandise like action figures. In live action, the character first appeared in the television pilot Justice League of America, played by David Ogden Stiers. He also appeared in the series Smallville, played by Phil Morris, and in the Arrowverse series Supergirl, played by David Harewood, also appearing on other Arrowverse shows. Harry Lennix played the character in the DC Extended Universe, under the guise of General Calvin Swanwick, in the films Man of Steel (2013) and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), and appeared in his Martian form in Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021).

Publication history

Silver Age (1950s–1960s)

Martian Manhunter aka John (J'onn J'onzz) debuted in the back-up story "The Strange Experiment of Dr. Erdel" in Detective Comics #225 (November 1955), written by Joseph Samachson and illustrated by Joe Certa.[Note 1] The character is a green-skinned humanoid from Mars, who is pulled to Earth by an experimental teleportation beam constructed by Dr. Saul Erdel. The Martian tells Erdel where he is from, and Erdel tells him that to send him back will require the teleportation beam's robot brain to be recalibrated, and that this may take years. J'onzz changes into the shape of a human to blend in until he can return to Mars. The shock of seeing this kills Dr. Erdel and leaves J'onzz with no way of returning home. The character decides to fight crime while waiting for Martian technology to advance to a stage that will enable his rescue.[1] To that end, he adopts the identity of John Jones, a detective in the fictional Middletown, USA.[2]

During this period, the character and his backstory 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 in this version of him, 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 such as his younger brother T'omm J'onzz.[6] 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. 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.[7] The Martian and the archer inaugurated the team-up format of The Brave and the Bold.[8] J'onzz appears there one other time, working with the Flash.[9] In some stories he is shown travelling through space at near-light speed[10] or to other planets.[11]

The detective John Jones is ostensibly killed in action by the Idol Head of Diabolu, an artifact which generates supernatural monsters. J'onzz abandons the civilian identity as he decides fighting this new menace will take a great deal of his time.[12] At this point his feature moves to The House of Mystery, where J'onzz spends the next few years in battle against the Idol Head.[13] Shortly after its defeat, he takes the persona of Marco Xavier to infiltrate the international crime cartel VULTURE, which he defeats in the final installment of his original series.[14]

As Superman was allowed by DC to become a fully active member 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 (The House of Mystery #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.[15] Over the next 15 years, J'onzz appeared sporadically in various DC titles.

Bronze Age (1970s–mid-1980s)

In 1972, Superman was teleported to New Mars.[16] J'onzz briefly returned to Earth via spaceship in 1975.[17] J'onzz made another trip to Earth shortly thereafter,[18] leading to Superman and Batman fighting alongside him on New Mars.[19] Three years later, he was discovered playing cosmic-level chess with Despero, using JLA-ers as the pieces.[20] The Martian again encountered Superman in outer space.[21] He permanently resurfaced in the DC Universe in 1984.[22] Shortly thereafter, the League had several members resign (among many other changes), leaving an opening for the Manhunter.[23] While staying on Earth, he decided to revive his John Jones identity, this time as a private detective, but had to explain his 20-year "disappearance".[24]

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. 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'onzz 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'onzz's obsession with Chocos cookies, due to Shazam's influence).

The 1988 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 language (a nod to "Malacandra", the name used by the inhabitants of Mars in C. S. Lewis' novel Out of the Silent Planet).[citation needed] 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.[25]

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.[26] J'onzz assumed the physical form, stand-offish mannerisms and magical powers of Bloodwynd, while Bloodwynd himself was transported and trapped inside of his "blood gem". It was during this time the 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'onzz had accidentally bonded with Bloodwynd prior to his joining the League. The two are eventually separated and [27] 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 J'onzz 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 38 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, though his primary and first secret identity is still John Jones. However, after Cameron Chase reveals some of his identities to the public, he begins to use fewer secret identities.[28] In another incident, part of his psyche splits off from his main personality, taking on the identity of John Jones, and dies, leading J'onn to decide to focus on his original human identity and retire the others to honor of the part of him that died.[29]

The series establishes that J'onzz has a disturbed brother, Ma'alefa'ak, who uses his shapeshifting abilities to pose as J'onzz, 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'onzz has turned into a sociopath. However, J'onzz 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'onzz subsequently assumed his identity to complete an important court case.

In issues of JLA written by Joe Kelly, J'onzz attempts to conquer his fear of fire and makes a deal with a flame-wielding villainess named Scorch, who wants J'onzz's telepathic help in dealing with her own mental issues, the two falling in love in the process.[30] This effort results in J'onzz 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'onzz breaking the genetic blocks against fire, also giving him access to race memories of the Burning Martians.[31] Despite Fernus' power, the League were able to help J'onzz reassert himself over Fernus, Manitou Raven helping key League members access J'onzz's mind and draw out his true self while Plastic Man battled Fernus directly,[32] allowing the true J'onzz 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' physical form defeated, J'onzz'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".[33] This change is forgotten about in later series and adventures [citation needed].

Crisis era (mid-2000s–early-2010s)

Textless cover of Martian Manhunter (vol. 3) #2 (November 2006), art by Al Barrionuevo

Several weeks before World War III, 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 World War 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 miniseries 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'onzz's search for other survivors of Mars.

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.[34] He is later revealed to be alive and a captive of Alexander Luthor, Jr.[35] 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.

Following this miniseries, J'onzz was intended to be in Outsiders [citation needed]. He appeared in the third issue of the Outsiders: Five of a Kind series with Thunder, and joined the team afterward. Due to the change of writers, he was quickly written out within the last two issues [citation needed]. He was next seen working undercover during the events of the limited series Salvation Run.[36] At the end of the series, J'onzz 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[37][38] At the end of the miniseries, the character is resurrected.[39] Following this, the character is featured in the weekly Brightest Day series. During the series, J'onzz encounters another surviving Green Martian, D'kay D'razz, a scarred and warped psychopath who wants J'onzz to be her mate.[40]

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'onzz is depicted tucking her into bed in a retirement home, in the form of her father.[41] He later appears at Erdel's old lab. However, plant life starts to die every time he gets near. Later still, J'onzz goes to see M'gann M'orzz in Australia during her mediation search, but finds her beaten and tied up.[42] While tending to her, he is contacted by the Entity, who instructs him to burn down the newly formed forest.[43] When J'onzz asks M'gann who did this to her, M'gann says she was attacked by a female Green Martian. After this, J'onzz senses something in Star City.[44] J'onzz 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'onzz is to burn down is on Mars. After J'onzz lashes out at Star City's forest, he returns home.[45] During this same time period, J'onzz is found by Green Arrow, who attacks J'onzz after mistaking him for some sort of monster. After being knocked unconscious and dragged out of the forest by Green Arrow, J'onzz explains that the forest somehow tampered with his Martian shape-shifting abilities and temporarily drove him mad.[46] When J'onzz arrives home, he sees his planet covered in a newly formed forest on Mars.[47]

When J'onzz enters his home, he is confronted by a female Green Martian named D'kay D'razz, the same Green Martian who attacked M'gann. D'kay explains her origins and wants to be J'onzz's mate. J'onzz refuses and learns that she is a psychopath when D'kay angrily lashes out to attack and enters his mind. J'onzz 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'onzz's family are resurrected by the Entity.[40] While reunited with his lost family, J'onzz 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'onzz arrives vengeful and wrings D'kay's neck in disgust.[48] J'onzz 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'onzz to choose between Mars and Earth. J'onzz chooses Earth and returns to his adopted homeworld only to be absorbed into the earth by the Entity as "part of the plan".[49]

When the "Dark Avatar" makes his presence known, J'onzz is revealed to be one of the Elementals. Martian Manhunter is transformed by the Entity to become the element of Earth to protect the Star City forest from the "Dark Avatar", which appears to be the Black Lantern version of the Swamp Thing.[50] 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'onzz to normal. Afterward, J'onzz helps Melissa (daughter of Dr. Erdel) remove the piece from her head after she loses her mind.[51]

The New 52 (2011–2016)

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'onzz is reintroduced as a member of the covert Stormwatch organization, which had previously appeared exclusively in comics set in DC's Wildstorm Comics imprint.[52] J'onzz is initially stated as being an ex-Justice League member in Stormwatch #1,[53] before the phrase "with the Justice League" is retconned as shorthand for being a public superhero, with J'onzz saying he never tried to join the League due to his commitments to Stormwatch. This same position is stated by J'onzz again in Legion Lost (vol. 2) #6.[54] However, later Justice League comics show that J'onzz was indeed a member of the League for a time.[55][56] Later, DC chose to move Martian Manhunter to its Justice League of America title, a spin-off from Justice League. In Stormwatch (vol. 3) #12, J'onzz quits the team and uses his telepathy to erase his existence from the minds of his Stormwatch teammates.[57]

In Justice League of America, Martian Manhunter is a member of the U.S. government-sponsored Justice League, taking orders from Amanda Waller and Steve Trevor.[58] 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'onzz is Superman's counterpart.[56] 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 Kahndaq 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 soundly defeated, and 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,[59] 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.[60]

J'onn's new origin is revealed in vol. 4 of Martian Manhunter (2015–2016). When he lived there, Mars was originally a living, thriving world millions of years ago. After received a psychic warning, a young J'onn was recruited along with others by the Martian government to investigate a potential threat. He was eventually betrayed by fellow again Ma'alefa'ak, who murdered all of the subjects except J'onn. He was then subjected to a magic blood ritual that gave him his powers. After escaping, he began to hunt down Ma'alefa'ak, only to discover a monster which was the cause of the psychic warning. The monster, taking the shape of J'onn J'onzz's son, revealed that it was the physical manifestation of Mars, saying that it needed help, only to believe that the Martians were unworthy of life. As a result, Mars and all of its inhabitants died and J'onn was sent to Earth. Before he landed, he split himself into multiply identities that would not reunite until millions of years later but with no memories of his origins.

Martian Manhunter seemingly died while trying to stop a series of bombings. However, it was revealed that there were still pieces of him that lived on after he landed on Earth, and they began to bring him back together. After being teleported to an alternate Mars, Ma'alefa'ak, revealed to be another construct of J'onn's memories, plans to use them in another ritual to bring back the actual Mars with himself as its ruler. After this plan was foiled, J'onn was later revived with all of the remaining constructs merging back with him, finally coming to accept that he truly is the last Martian.[61]

DC Rebirth (2016–present)

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (January 2018)

Prior to the events of Dark Nights: Metal, J’onn had left for Thanagar looking for Nth metal. After freeing an imprisoned Mister Terrific, Green Lantern, and Plastic Man, three Dark Knights appeared and used Thanagar's Phoenix Cannon to fire Plastic Man at Earth's core, causing a chain reaction that will drag everything into the Dark Multiverse. He was imprisoned by the Dark Knights along with other heroes but was rescued by Wonder Woman to help battle the forces of Barbatos. The heroes won, but at the cost of the destruction of the Source Wall. Following the conclusion of No Justice, he rejoins the Justice League as its new chairman.

Powers and abilities

J'onzz possesses a wide variety of abilities native to the Green Martian race such as super-strength, nigh-invulnerability, superspeed, flight, regeneration, shapeshifting, intangibility, invisibility, telepathy, telekinesis, and heat vision.


The Martian Manhunter has shapeshifting abilities. He often takes the human disguise of Detective John Jones. He has often been shown to grow an extra pair of arms to supplement his fighting abilities and his strength, such as when he helped move 1/3 of the Earth with Superman and Wonder Woman, knocked out Shazam once, stopping a ship many times larger than the planet from colliding with Earth in tandem with Superman, and destroying the Moon whose gravity was increased a billionfold to the point it was tearing off the Earth's crust and ejecting every continent into the atmosphere. He can become stiff or malleable, as well as alter the size and length of limbs. He has elongated parts of himself into bladed weapons during combat. His density is also variable and changes as he wills it. He can use this ability to become intangible and move through objects or allow attacks to fly harmlessly through him or to become extremely dense and increase his invulnerability. J'onzz can also become invisible. In addition to these powers, he can fly and possesses super strength.

Psionic/mental/psychic and extrasensory

J'onn J'onzz is the most powerful telepath on Earth, being able to control and affect even the Spectre and Doctor Fate with his telepathy. Aquaman has stated that Martian Manhunter's telepathy exceeds even the telepathy of other members of the Martian race. He said that with J'onzz's great telepathic power, his own telepathy just "pings" off of him while, when Aquaman was in the presence of J'onzz's brother, Ma'alefa'ak, there was no such effect. J'onzz is capable of linking the minds of all superheroes at once from a distance of the Moon to all corners of Earth, even once scanning the entire galaxy to see if anyone was not experiencing a brief moment of transcendent bliss. He is also capable of reading the minds of all inhabitants of Earth at once. His telepathic abilities also allow him to create realistic illusions; telepathically trace and locate people; shut down people's minds; brain blast; mental shield; influence thoughts; mind control people; manipulate memory; astral projection; possession; induce sleep; reprogram or reorder minds; and transfer information directly into people's brains. Martian Manhunter's mind control capabilities have allowed him to mind control the Joker and make him temporarily sane, as well as mind controlling several White Martians at once. He is also capable of mentally shielding those around him from telepathic assault. His own mental defenses are so strong that he is able to telepathically shield himself from the combined might of several White Martians and from the Mageddon machinery. He has at times also demonstrated limited telekinetic abilities, though such showings are rare and often forgotten.

Enhanced Martian senses

J'onzz 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'onzz also has nine senses compared to humans, giving him clearer and more numerous perceptions.[62]

Natural skills and talents

Aside from his superpowered abilities as a Martian, J'onzz is also a very capable detective and sleuth. Due to his training as a Manhunter in Mars, he is also an expert tracker and hand-to-hand combatant, far above the average Martian, as he has been shown able to defeat many White Martians at once.[63] As Batman mentions in his file, "in many ways, Martian Manhunter is like an amalgam of Superman and the Dark Knight himself".[64][clarification needed]

Weakness and limitations

One of J'onzz's signature traits is his vulnerability to fire. Although it has been an element of the character since his earliest appearances, it has been depicted differently by writers 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'onzz 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.[volume & issue needed] 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 to reproduce. At the end of the arc, this weakness to mundane fire was removed, with J'onzz explaining that now only fires of "psychic significance" could harm him, such as flames of a magical or pyrokinetic nature, or even flames created by an arsonist.

During the Fernus storyline, Batman noted that Martian shapeshifting was an instantaneous reflex based around the psychic study of others, allowing J'onzz 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 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 anxiety, due to the trauma of witnessing the fiery death of his race, an explanation previously established in the 1988 Martian Manhunter miniseries.[25] J'onzz himself notes that it is ridiculous that he is one of the most powerful beings alive and has such a simple weakness.

List of enemies

The following are enemies of 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.

Earth-22: "Kingdom Come"

Kingdom Come features a J'onzz 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, with J'onn surviving into the 853rd century while merged with the planet's dust.


On Earth-3, the Crime Society of America exists, with a monstrous version of J'onzz showcased.[73]

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.[74]

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.[75]

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'onzz, 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 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 1960s prevails, where John Fitzgerald Kennedy was not 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'onzz is known as the "Sramian Snitch".

Earth-32: Super-Martian

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

Earth-50: Justice Lords

On this penultimate New 52 alternate Earth, 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'onzz, 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'onzz was teleported to Earth and held captive in one of the Outsider's research facilities. After studying and torturing J'onzz, the Outsider then sold him to the Russian government, after which J'onzz attacked them and took over the country.[76] He disguises himself as Blackout for undercover work against the Outsider. After a confrontation with the Outsider, J'onzz's cover was blown when the Outsider tells him that Blackout has no skill.[77] During the battle, Outsider used the recovered teleportation technology device to trap J'onzz. The Outsider then threatened J'onzz to tell him about any future assassins; when J'onzz refuses, the Outsider closed the teleport, cutting J'onzz in half and killing him.[76]

Homages, pastiches and parodies

In other media



This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources in this section. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Martian Manhunter" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (September 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)




Martian Manhunter as he appears in Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021).


Video games



This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (July 2020)

The Arrowverse and Young Justice incarnations of Martian Manhunter received figures in Mattel's "DC Multiverse" line.



IGN ranked Martian Manhunter as the 43rd greatest comic book hero of all time.[92]

Collected editions

Title Material collected Published date ISBN
Showcase Presents: Martian Manhunter Vol. 1 Batman (vol. 1) #78, Detective Comics #225-304 August 2007 978-1401213688
Showcase Presents: Martian Manhunter Vol. 2 Detective Comics #305-326, House of Mystery #143-173 May 2009 978-1401222567
Martian Manhunter Vol. 1: Son of Mars Martian Manhunter (vol. 2) #0-9 March 2014 978-1401243869
Martian Manhunter Vol. 2: Rings of Saturn Martian Manhunter (vol. 2) #10-17, #1,000,000 September 2014 978-1401251413
Martian Manhunter: The Others Among Us Martian Manhunter (vol. 3) #1-8 and material from DCU: Brave New World #1 July 2007 978-1401213350
Martian Manhunter Vol. 1: The Epiphany Martian Manhunter (vol. 4) #1-6 and material from Convergence: Adventures of Superman #2 February 2016 978-1401261511
Martian Manhunter Vol. 2: The Red Rising Martian Manhunter (vol. 4) #7-12, Justice League of America (vol. 4) #5 December 2016 978-1401265328
DC Meets Looney Tunes Martian Manhunter/Marvin the Martian Special #1 and Batman/Elmer Fudd Special #1, Jonah Hex/Yosemite Sam Special #1, Wonder Woman/Tasmanian Devil Special #1, Lobo/Roadrunner Special #1, Legion of Super-Heroes/Bugs Bunny Special #1 February 2018 978-1401277574
Martian Manhunter: Identity Martian Manhunter (vol. 5) #1-12 June 2020 978-1779500441

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[93] and the theory that the earlier story served as inspiration for Samachson and Certa's Martian Manhunter has been advanced.[by whom?]


  1. ^ Schelly, William (2013). American Comic Book Chronicles: The 1950s. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 140. ISBN 9781605490540.
  2. ^ Detective Comics #322 (December 1963)
  3. ^ Detective Comics #227 (January 1956)
  4. ^ Detective Comics #228 (February 1956)
  5. ^ Detective Comics #231 (May 1956)
  6. ^ Detective Comics Vol 1 287
  7. ^ Detective Comics #273 (November 1959)
  8. ^ The Brave and the Bold #50 (October–November 1963)
  9. ^ The Brave and the Bold #56 (October–November 1964)
  10. ^ Justice League of America #3 (March 1961)
  11. ^ Justice League of America #12 (June 1962)
  12. ^ Detective Comics #326 (April 1964)
  13. ^ The House of Mystery #143 (June 1964) to #158 (April 1966)
  14. ^ The House of Mystery #160 (July 1966) to #173 (May–June 1968)
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  60. ^ Justice League United #1
  61. ^ Martian Manhunter (vol. 4) #1-12 (June 2015–Mayz 2016)
  62. ^ JLA Year One #6
  63. ^ JLA #55-58
  64. ^ Justice #1 (October 2005) – 12 (August 2007)-from Bruce Wayne's private files in the Batcomputer
  65. ^ Detective Comics #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.
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  86. ^ Nathan Fillion, Tim Daly and Michael Rosenbaum Join an All-Star Cast for Justice League: Doom
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