ICYMI: Martian Manhunter Has A New Origin, And It Is Both Bonkers And Amazing
I'll admit that I've been a little skeptical about the idea of the Martian Manhunter holding down a solo book. I even wrote a column a while back about why I'm not sure if it could ever work, but one of the biggest problems that I identified back then was that his origin story feels like something that's been done on a much grander scale with Superman. So if you're going to fix him, well, maybe giving him a new origin story is a good place to start.
And in case you missed it, that's exactly what happened this week in Martian Manhunter #10, in which Rob Williams, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira and Gabe Eltaeb give us a brand new origin for J'onn J'onzz --- and it is both completely bonkers and completely awesome.
If you're not familiar with his original origin, the basic idea is that the Martian Manhunter is the last surviving Martian, brought to earth by a scientist called Doctor Erdel in an experiment with a teleportation device. In some versions, this not only pulls him through space, but through time, leaving him with nothing on the Red Planet to go back to, and a mission to protect his new home with the shape-shifting, mind-reading, super-strong powers common to all Martians.
In the new version, though, his super-powers aren't a common thing on Mars. Instead, J'onzz is unique, a leader picked to undergo a strange experiment when the planet Mars itself tries to warn its population of impending ecological disaster and makes everyone think that there's a giant Cthulhu monster coming to kill them. J'onzz turns to a scientist named Ma'alefa'ak to undergo a procedure that will allow him to defend his planet.
Unfortunately, Ma'alefa'ak's plan is a little light on science and a little heavy on blood sacrifice.
That's right, y'all: ANCIENT, LONG-BANNED BLACK MARTIAN BLOOD MAGIC!
If your problem with the Martian Manhunter is that his origin is a little too close to Superman's, well, that should solve that. And in the process, it has made him the most sci-fi death metal superhero of all time.