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.

 

Martian Manhunter #10, DC Comics
loading...

 

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.

 

Martian Manhunter #10, DC Comics
loading...

 

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.