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Top Five Most Iconic Martian Manhunter Covers

Here are the top five most iconic covers featuring Martian Manhunter (with iconic being determined mostly subjectively by what covers are called to mind when one thinks of Martian Manhunter, but first being determined with a prominent objective standard of whether a cover is homaged a lot or featured a lot in histories of the character). The notable exception is no covers from a character’s first appearance (which isn’t applicable to all characters, of course, just those who appeared on the cover of the comic they debuted in)! Here‘s a list of all characters featured so far.

Enjoy!

J’onn J’onnz is a tricky one, as he really has not had all that many covers – in fact, during almost the entire Giffen/DeMatteis JLI run, J’onn was, of course, a major part of the book and yet did not get a single cover spotlight until the very end of the run when it is a little hard-pressed to call it an “iconic” representation of J’onn’s JLI tenure.

5.

Artist: Howard Porter

Therefore, since he did not get any spotlights from the JLI, I thought it only right to note that early on, J’onn was chosen to be the JLA “representative” in DC’s “Full Face” cover month (and yes, it was because he was the only one without his own title, but shaddup!).

4.

Artist: Joe Certa

This was J’onn’s first series that he starred in – you’re a bit hard-pressed to pick ANY of these covers as iconic, but I felt it right that Joe Certa would have some representation on this list (and the other covers all featured J’onn’s idiotic – and certainly NOT iconic as no one has really thinks of him as a major part of J’onn’s history – alien pal, Zook)

3.

Artist: Tom Mandrake

J’onn’s first ongoing series where he was the only feature of the book (and got the book named after him, too).

2.

Artist: George Roussos

The very first “two or three ‘random’ superheroes team-up” issue of The Brave and the Bold, and J’onn was one of the heroes featured!

1.

Artist: Jim Starlin

Starlin almost got two covers on this list, as J’onn was featured on the DC Comics Presents cover that introduced Mongul, but really, it wasn’t a particularly good cover for J’onn and nor was it a particularly historic event (no offense, Mongul).

Still, this was the first JLA cover that gave J’onn the spotlight, and it’s a pretty cool spotlight at that (Starlin is riffing on the cover of Justice League of America #1, but I don’t think it’s an outright homage).

LAST COVERS CUT: J’onn’s return to the JLA preceding JLDetroit had two sort of notable covers, the aforementioned one JLI cover that spotlighted J’onn (the one where he’s looking out at Happy Harbor) and a cool looking cover from late in JLDetroit’s run with J’onn on fire.

75 Comments

I’m personally a big fan of Justice League Europe #28, but that’s probably a bias due to it being the first book I bought with him on the cover.

It is funny that in my mind Martian Manhunter is so much more interesting as a character than Hercules, but evidently MM is seriously lacking in iconic covers. These are relatively lackluster compared to the Hercules ones from a few days ago.

It really is odd, isn’t it?

Even during the JLI times, when he was one of the main characters of DC’s top title he wasn’t getting cover features!

“Hey, look. It’s my head.”

can see why it was so hard to pick the list for martian manhunter is not well known like the trinity or flash or green latern so finding five to make the list must have been hard

Da Fug? Why isn’t the one with J’onn sitting on a mountain of Oreos here? That’s the only one I can think of when I think of his covers.

That’s not Mongul. That’s Despero.

Talk about damning with faint praise.

Starlin has two covers, Bobitis – one with Mongul (it’s not on the list) and one with Despero (it’s on the list).

The JLA big head cover makes sense, as does the cover to his zero issue, but I think there were three better choices to include besides the rest. As someone else mentioned, there is MARTIAN MANHUNTER no. 24, which features J’Onn and the piles of Oreos. There is JUSTICE LEAGUE TASK FORCE no. 1, which may not have been the most memorable comic book series of all-time, but J’Onn is very bold and prominent on the cover. He was also a central figure of the series, too. And there there’s THE NEW FRONTIER no. 4, another series J’Onn was a big part of, which features a very unique representation of J’Onn/John Jones.

Nothing from the J M Dematteis/Mark Farmer mini?

New Frontier #4 is a good choice, Jawa. Definitely worth an honorable mention!

Nothing from the J M Dematteis/Mark Farmer mini?

Mark Badger, no?

And no.

If you’re going to pick an issue of the Martian Manhunter series, pick the one with all the cookies.

What is remarkable is that the covers barely convey a sense of how J’onn works. There is not hint of the shape-shifting, or telepathy, that are really his defining powers. There is no hint of his emotional stability, or his wry sense of humor. Not a single Oreo is anywhere to be found. Really no attempt at all to promote the character of whom I am fond.

I second the suggestion for the Darwyn Cooke/NEW FRONTIER cover.

The most-recent failed MM solo series had some great covers, too, most of them featuring “what he REALLY looks like” as the continuing motif.

The Martian Manhunter fails as a character because he has too many unrelated powers: super-strength, invulnerability, flying, telepathy, shape-shifting, invisibility, and more. He’s like a combination of the Super-Skrull and Professor X, which should make him the most powerful person on the planet. Yet he’s portrayed as a second-stringer compared to Superman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman.

I concur that the Martian Manhunter #24 should be on the list. It’s not only defines J’onn’s role in JLI, but Ostrander’s explanation for the Oreo thing is awesome.

http://comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=64002&zoom=4

Brian, the first sentence of this entry reads like this:

“Here are the top five most iconic covers featuring Hawkeye (with iconic being determined mostly subjectively by what covers are called to mind when one thinks of Hawkeye, but first being determined with a prominent objective standard of whether a cover is homaged a lot or featured a lot in histories of the character).”

I guess you forgot to change the name?

I second (third?) the MM#24 cover. That’s the image I always have of J’onn. Great cover by Tom Mandrake.

I guess you forgot to change the name?

No, that was totally intentional.

Now i’m curious, what´s the explanation for the Oreo thing?

I’m torn on the Oreo thing. On the one hand, I’ll confess that I, too, thought of that cover, and was surprised that it didn’t make the list. On the other–J’onn can be a very deep, sympathetic, and impresive character who’s a spine to the Justice League and the DCU at large. Sometimes, I think that the cookie addiction is a gag from the JLI days that I honestly think has gone on far too long. I felt like Ostrander handled it appropriately in his series–a one-issue gag to salute that period of J’onn’s life.

So help me out here–J’onn is an essential DC character who mixes some of the best elements of Superman and Batman (tragic past; powerhouse; detective). There’s no way in hell we’d associate a cookie with Superman or Batman. Is it an essential part of J’onn, or a gag that’s gone too long?

Is it an essential part of J’onn, or a gag that’s gone too long?

I choose a mixture of the two.

I don’t think it’s necessarily a gag that has gone on too long, but rather just a little cute quirk J’onn has, but nor do I feel it is a particularly essential part of J’onn. And especially not so essential that a cover referring to it over ten years after the Oreo gag was introduced would be essential enough to be in the Top Five Most Iconic Martian Manhunter covers.

Glad to see one of Tom Mandrake’s covers made it onto your list. He did some amazing work on that all too short lived series.

By the way, you didn’t show us the first cover appearance of J’onn.

The reason the Oreo thing works (or doesn’t work, depending on your point of view) is because J’onn is something of a cipher. He’s never been portrayed with much of a personality or sense of humor. I don’t know about his earlier appearances, but everything I’ve read of him since JLDetroit, he’s been the rock-solid foundation of the League. The Oreo addiction was a hook into a character that nobody can really relate to.

J’onn did get two notable covers in JLI, only it was when the title was just known as “Justice League”. One had Captain marvel ready to drop a rock on him, and the other was form the Annual where he takes on the rest of the League:

JL Annual #1: http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=42247&zoom=4

My three favourites we’re on the list:

JLA 230 http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=39064&zoom=4
JLA 248 http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=41175&zoom=4
JLA 256 http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=42015&zoom=4

I’m only showing the first cover appearance if it coincides with the character’s first appearance period, Ben.

I don’t believe J’onn showed up on a cover until the Justice League debuted.

J’onn did get two notable covers in JLI, only it was when the title was just known as “Justice League”

So then it wasn’t JLI. ;)

But seriously, yeah, I considered his early Justice League covers, but just as the Breakdowns cover with J’onn was too late for it to really feel like an iconic “J’onn in the JLI” cover, so too did the Justice League covers seem too EARLY to feel like an iconic “J’onn in the JLI” cover.

Not sure if it’s iconic, but the first cover I thought of when I saw it was a top 5 for Martian Manhunter was Justice League #56 – http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/7046/4500434363456.gif

It’s almost a predecessor to the All Star Superman #1 cover (not that I think Quitely ‘swiped’ it, or anything silly like that, but they both have a similar mood of reflection to them).

Rob Schmidt linked to the two I would say are most iconic…Justice League of America #228 and #230.

Yeah, that was the cover I mentioned before I began the top five, Tom.

It’s a great cover,

Ah, apologies Brian – didn’t see it linked to in the comments before I posted, so wasn’t quite sure if that was the one you meant.

Nah, it’s cool, Tom, you’re the first one to actually link to it!

I tend to look at these as “First Cover I Think Of” which usually isn’t Most Iconic but is generally good enough to get the #5 slot. (With Hawkeye it was the one where he was shooting Ant Man on an arrow).

The lack of really memorable covers make me want to go with either the oreo one or the DC One Million issue. http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/marvel_dc/images/thumb/a/a4/Martian_Manhunter_Vol_2_1000000.jpg/300px-Martian_Manhunter_Vol_2_1000000.jpg

Which are the two I think of first, even if I suppose they’re not the most iconic.

No covers that show J’Onn in his “John Jones” identity? I know at least one issue of his solo series riffed on that idea.

I don’t something has to be the first appearance of a character trait (the Oreos) or a time period (J’onn in the JLI) to be iconic. The Oreo cover came long after JLI, but it also an iconic representation of that character trait. A lot of the time, you post the first cover of a series because it is the first, but I don’t think that has anything to do with its iconic status. I understand where you’re coming from, but I think an image can be iconic without being the first representation (after all, you’re excluding the first appearances).

It’s not even that J’onn liking Oreos is not at all iconic, it’s just not more iconic than other stuff.

To wit, when it comes to determining what is more important vis a vis J’onn’s status as an icon, Joe Certa is a heck of a lot more important than J’onn liking Oreos (Certa is more important to J’onn than Kurt Schaffenberger was to Lois Lane, and Schaffenberger will forever be connected with Lois Lane).

The thing that makes that #5 cover even worse(besides the fact that they did it because he’s the only one without a solo book), HE’S NOT EVEN IN THE DAMN ISSUE!

What no honorable mention of the Justice League Task Force (I think it was issue 8, but I’ll look it up when I get home) featuring J’oan J’onzz?

Interesting how in his earlier appearances, he looked a normal, bald human who was green. I wonder when the shape of his head began to change, and which artist changed it.

Interesting how in his earlier appearances, he looked a normal, bald human who was green. I wonder when the shape of his head began to change, and which artist changed it.

It might very well have been that Jim Starlin issue, which would lend even more credence to its #1 ranking.

@ Brian Cronin:

This is the first case in which the kibitzers have turned up covers that seem more iconic than a couple of your selections. I think that both JLofA #248 and the Breakdowns cover are pretty darn iconic. #248 really does show a key element of J’onn, which is the alien disguised as a detective angle. The Breakdowns cover shows another key piece, which is J’onn as the connection back to the prelapsarian version of the JLA.

In contrast, images #3 and #5 do not really say anything essential about the character to me. Howard Porter drew a great image in #5, but you have pretty clearly stated that the quality of the image is not the key factor here. While #3 may have a historic significance, it is almost painfully generic.

I’d like to vote that the Joe Certa “House of Mystery” gets bumped to #3 and the other two JLA images get listed at #4 and #5. Anyone else?

No Justice League America #56? Weird.

Granted, though J’onn has been around for the last half-century, there appears to be a noticeable dearth of “iconic” cover appearances featuring the character.

Some of my other picks are Bryan Hitch’s beautiful cover to JLA #56, Mark Badger’s surreal rendition of J’onn on the cover of the first issue of the first Martian Manhunter mini-series, Brian Bolland’s stoic rendition of J’onn on the cover of Animal Man #9 and Eduardo Barreto’s (?) sparse, pop-art inspired version of the character that graced the covers of all three issues in the criminally underrated Martian Manhunter: American Secrets mini series.

I also have a real fondness for the cover of Justice League Unlimited #24, although it tells a story of a version of the character that doesn’t reside in the DCU “proper”.

So help me out here–J’onn is an essential DC character who mixes some of the best elements of Superman and Batman (tragic past; powerhouse; detective). There’s no way in hell we’d associate a cookie with Superman or Batman. Is it an essential part of J’onn, or a gag that’s gone too long?

I think that the Oreos are an essential part of the character.

The problem with J’onn always was his grab-bag nature. He has a weird, random assortment of powers. The fire thing is supposed to off-set that, but it makes him both too strong and too weak. He had very few traditional antagonists of his own. His origin is sort of cool, but it got dated once the Mars landers started sending back images.

In other words, there was no hook. When I was a kid, J’onn was just the strange looking guy that showed up in JLA from time to time.

Well, the JLI managed to fix that and the Oreos were the start. It was just so … odd. Clark Kent likes Apple Pie. Bruce Wayne like chateaubriand. However, J’onn likes Oreos. It is a little detail that suggests an actual personality. Giffen and DeMatties built on it. They gave J’onn a wry sense of humor and a melancholy. Morrison derived a lot of his take on the character from that. However, none of it probably shows up without the Oreos.

I think J’onn’s passion for Oreos is like Clark & Lois’ Beef Bourguignon, or Captain America liking country music… an attempt to flesh out these characters a little more by giving them personal preferences, and hopefully make them richer/more relatable in the process. So many superheroes are generic and indistinguishable from each other in terms of personality, that I think any attempt to add humanizing details to all the colored spandex is a good thing.

The Oreos are essential to J’Onn. It’s funny how some people complain that J’Onn is a weak character, yet they’ll knock even the smallest yet most humanizing qualities he posesses.

Justice League #56 is a cool cover. Enlightening, too–I had no idea the World Trade Center was in Happy Harbor!

Brian writes re: cookies: but nor do I feel it is a particularly essential part of J’onn.

That is interesting, because if you asked comics fans to name three things about Jonn, like the answers would be Martian, afraid of fire, loves cookies.

It seems clear by the way the cookie omission is coming up in the comments this is a bigger part of him than you thought..

The thing with ICONIC is that is it supposed to either A) show some defining trait of the character or B) be an image of the character that gets used and reused as short hand, i.e “prominent objective standard of whether a cover is homaged a lot or featured a lot in histories of the character”.

In this case, only cover number 5 seems to even approach iconic, and that is only because it is a portrait. How man times has being caught in a whirlwind (4) been aped? Or how does it define the character? The pose off w/the JLA (3) similarly is generic and you could swap in Captain Marvel for JJ and the cover would be no different. I don’t remember GA mistakenly firing at JJ (2) to either be an ongoing gag (cf GA and Hawkman butting heads) or something that is later repeated by other cover artists. Only the Despero cover (1) seems iconic as later in the Giffen/DeMatteis run, JJ and Despero share a cover, as posted by another commenter.

Agreed on #1. The Despero cover blows all the others out of the water.

I can think of a couple more that help define J’onn coolness and iconic status:

JLA #248 is a nice example of the John Jones persona that J’onn adopted for so long.

Justice League Europe #28 features J’onn making one last stand against hordes of Starros.

Martian Manhunter # 24 sums up J’onn’s Oreo/Choco obsession pretty well. And yes, it is iconic.

I always think of Animal Man 9 when it comes to J’onn.

http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=45942&zoom=4

I think that the Oreo cover from Martian Manhunter 24 and the cover from New Frontier 2 should be on here. I’d never even seen the choices for 2 and 4 before reading this, and they don’t say much of anything about the character at all.

Hmm, personally the only one of these I find memorable as a cover is the Starlin one, JLA #178.

I’m really surprised JLA #256 isn’t on here:
http://www.coverbrowser.com/image/justice-league-of-america/256-1.jpg

If I were to pick MY top five most iconic J’onn covers I’d choose those two and
JLA #230: http://www.coverbrowser.com/image/justice-league-of-america/230-1.jpg
JLA #248: http://www.coverbrowser.com/image/justice-league-of-america/248-1.jpg
& JLA #56: http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/7046/4500434363456.gif

But you know, it takes all kinds.

My problem with that Oreo cover is that it came out at a time when the Oreo addiction had been all but adandoned as one of J’onn’s character traits. If there had been a JLI Oreo cover, I think it might warrant more serious consideration, but this story and its cover were just a sort of wink and a nod to the older stories.

(Plus it retconned them to “Chocos” and came up with an unnecessary explanation for J’onn’s love of the cookies. Grrr.)

Well-liked and well-remembered as the Giffen-era JL(I) is, it made such a point of writing serious characters as borderline clowns, often quite at odds with every other appearances of same, that it was a relief to see it end. The worst victim was probably Booster Gold, whose characterization was retconned straight into the Qwardverse version of same.

J’onn did not really fare that much better; he was a very straightforward character for all of his career, and a cornerstone of the Detroit JLA, yet Giffen and company retconned him into a caricature of himself that is best remembered for his addiction to Oreos.

A shame, really, for the Martian Manhunter is in fact a great character with perhaps more potential than Superman himself; he is the true alien and impartial observer that Superman failed to be ever since the 1980s Byrne retcon, for instance.

Eric F.-

Good call on the Animal Man cover. Any character looks more iconic when Brian Bolland is the artist. I would say that’s one of the coolest representations I’ve ever seen of J’onn.

A shame, really, for the Martian Manhunter is in fact a great character with perhaps more potential than Superman himself; he is the true alien and impartial observer that Superman failed to be ever since the 1980s Byrne retcon, for instance.

Since when was Superman a “true alien and impartial observer”? From the very beginning Superman was Clark Kent, as human and as partial as anyone. And let’s be realistic here, fans only latch onto the oreos thing for the complete lack of anything else interesting about the character. “Very straightforward character”, yeah and a very boring character as well.

My most memorable Martian Manhunter cover has always been World’s Finest #212. But maybe someone’s mentioned it already an I missed it.

http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=25180&zoom=4

Hey Brian, I’d have to agree with what seems to be a preponderance of the comments: This list leaves out some seriously kick-ass, iconic covers. Your #5 and #1 choices are great, but #4 should be Cooke’s New Frontier cover, which nicely encapsulates his dual nature and his two home planets:

http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=209302&zoom=4
(Also, he’s the only character to have his face featured on a Frontier cover. The others were all merely suggestive or actually abstract; the closest “starring” role on any other would be the cover focusing on Green Lantern’s hand and ring.)

#3 should be the Twin Towers/Happy Harbor image:

http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=50325&zoom=4

And #2 should easily be Justice League of America #248, which showcases his shapeshifting power and his detective alter ego:

http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=41175&zoom=4
(This is the first one I thought of (and the Porter was the second) … although I’m happy to bow to the other JLA cover for #1, since it’s a great cover and includes Despero and a nod to Mars, both key elements of J’onn’s history.)

I don’t have a problem leaving out a Joe Certa cover; you yourself pointed out that it’s tough to call any of his MM art iconic. I suppose the one issue with my ranking is, it ignores J’onn’s solo series and the worthy Tom Mandrake. In which case, I’d skip the zero issue (it’s a bit embarrassing that DC felt that had to play up other members of the JLA on the debut ish of his solo series) and, yes, I’d go with the Oreos/chocos cover. It’s well done, to be sure, and everyone seems to know it. You could swap that in for the Cooke cover, which I think is genius but it is awfully recent.

I love that Justice League of America 230 cover so much. I think I read that issue a hundred times when I was a kid.

Since the Justice League started when J’Onn was still a backup feature in Detective, then The Brave & The Bold #28 would have been his first cover appearance.

As for when they started going back to his heavy-browed original appearance, I think the first issue was Justice League Of America #144 (we didn’t see J’Onn on the cover though), so I guess Dick Dillin gets the blame… er, credit for that, although writer Steve Englehart might have suggested the Manhunter be drawn that way.

Brian – great feature in general (I enjoy all kinds of cover galleries). If a genie gave me 3 comic book wishes, Moore would still be writing Swamp Thing, Power Girl would be traded to Marvel for Kitty Pryde & Jubilee, and the great team of Ostrander & Mandrake would be putting out alternating bimonthlies: Spectre and Martian Manhunter. Man, their MM was a wonderful take on a neglected character. So thanks for showing them some love. (Now my quibble: I think that series had some stronger covers than #0.) Peace.

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Quite rarely, unfortunately. But for a while in the late 1970s and early 1980s that was how he was depicted in some of his finest stories ever. Superman is at his absolute best as a character when he is a pure alien, a herald of the Kryptonian utopia.

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Early Superman is not very typical of Superman as a whole, much less the best representation of same.

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I will readily grant that many people think so. Not much unlike a popular opinion of Cyclops.

Let them read their Wolverine, I say. Me, I want my heroes straight-laced to the core. :)

Early Superman is not very typical of Superman as a whole, much less the best representation of same.

I’m sorry, but that is absurd.

Batman was a dying character in the early-70s. The brief spike provided by the campy TV series had ripped the dark core of the character out. They were looking at canceling it, until O’Neil and Adams started the process of taking him back to his Golden Age roots. Frank Miller finished that process by the mid-80s and Batman has been wildly popular ever since.

Superman was hemorrhaging readers during the early-80s. The sardonic, alienated Superman was a disaster. The core attribute of Superman is his heart. Take that away and it is like having Batman dance the Batusi. It might be interesting once, but it is not a recipe for on-going success.

If you want to read about an alien observer in the DCU, the J’onn J’onzz is your man.

It may not be iconic, but it’s the first image I think of when I think of Martian Manhunter.

http://www.milehighcomics.com/cgi-bin/backissue.cgi?action=fullsize&issue=51327858550%2024

Ostrander’s Martian Manhunter series was terrific!!!

It really was, Cisco Kid!

Three series in a row, Ostrander and Mandrake were awesome (and that’s not even counting their mini-series together!)!

Can be another one to say that J’Onn J’Onnz is a horibly underused charecter? i wish that Grant Morrison would write this comic with Doug Mahnke [sp?] doing the art. Or perhaps Joe Kelly as i loved what he did with the charecter in the last JLA.
DFTBA.

(How does one make quotations here?)

[[[[Early Superman is not very typical of Superman as a whole, much less the best representation of same.]]

I’m sorry, but that is absurd.]]

I don’t see how. Nor do I see how that relates to the point you make below, really. But let’s see it as well.

[[Batman was a dying character in the early-70s. The brief spike provided by the campy TV series had ripped the dark core of the character out. They were looking at canceling it, until O’Neil and Adams started the process of taking him back to his Golden Age roots. Frank Miller finished that process by the mid-80s and Batman has been wildly popular ever since.]]

That is not all that cut-and-dried. I will grant the point about what a mixed blessing the TV series was (and btw, a very similar argument may be made about the Giffen-era JLI), but every time I read one of the Golden Age Batman stories I marvel at how different they were from anything that came out later. Neither the O’Neil nor the Miller takes on the character much resemble early stories, except that Miller’s is “dark” and, with some good will, GA Batman may also be considered “dark”, albeit in a very different, somewhat naive way.

[[Superman was hemorrhaging readers during the early-80s. The sardonic, alienated Superman was a disaster.]]

That does not necessarily mean that emphasizing the Alien side of Supes _caused_ the problem, however. In the end of the day, the quality of the stories ought to play _some_ role in the popularity of the character, after all. Same for the zeistgeist of readers, and even the economy.

[[ The core attribute of Superman is his heart.]]

True enough, but that in no way implies that he ought _not_ to be a true alien…

[[Take that away and it is like having Batman dance the Batusi. It might be interesting once, but it is not a recipe for on-going success.]]

For that matter, nor is being a good character.

[[If you want to read about an alien observer in the DCU, the J’onn J’onzz is your man.]]

But Supes might easily fill the same role, although he rarely does.

(How does one make quotations here?)

Put the word blockquote between to open a quotation. Paste your text. Then close with almost exactly the same thing, except it should open </ instead of the first <. Is that clear enough?

But Supes might easily fill the same role, although he rarely does.

Sure he could, but I really don’t think that he should.

You acknowledge that it is a rare done. It is also vastly different than the approach that Siegel and Shuster used. Finally, when it was attempted it was not exactly wildly popular. So, it is a peculiar, unfaithful and unpopular interpretation of Superman.

Moreover, as you also acknowledge, DC already has a character in J’onn J’onzz that fills that role. That adds unoriginal to the list. So, why?

Thanks for the tech help!

Sure he could, but I really don’t think that he should.

You acknowledge that it is a rare done. It is also vastly different than the approach that Siegel and Shuster used.

Even Siegel and Shuster themselves changed approaches so much before even getting Superman published that I don´t see why that would matter. There is no sacred duty to maintain the original concept of any character, anyway.

Come to think of it, it is a bit ironic to claim that original concepts should be followed when we are discussing Martian Manhunter. NOW this is a character who is not faithful to its own original approach!

Finally, when it was attempted it was not exactly wildly popular. So, it is a peculiar, unfaithful and unpopular interpretation of Superman.

I respectfully disagree on all qualifiers. Superman is in fact ideally suited for such use, for he is completely non-human yet perfectly human-looking. As already noted, it is hardly more unfaithful than any other approach ever used. As for impopular, that are far too many variables involved besides the approach itself – and besides, some wildly impopular characters and takes are nonetheless excellent by their own merits.

Moreover, as you also acknowledge, DC already has a character in J’onn J’onzz that fills that role. That adds unoriginal to the list. So, why?

Not really. Superman is far more of an original concept, even in that specific role and when compared directly to J´onn, than, say, most Bat-family characters are. Besides, the role is interesting enough to easily allow for more than one claimer.

First one that popped into my head was “Burn, Martian, Burn!” from the Detroit era…

Can’t remember any from the Ostrander/Mandrake run, even though I own the lot…

:-(

I know I’m a little late, but J’onn is one of my all-time favorites right next to Superman and Batman, and I think he’s the most underrated character in comics ever. And I mean the real J’onn, the sole survivor of a high civilization, silent, brooding, spooky, philosophical, not that angry-warrior “I stole my new costume from my evil self from the Justice Lords” revamp.

As it hasn’t been suggested, yet, and I obviously like it (even using it as my avatar), I put JLA #104 on the table:
http://img143.imageshack.us/img143/9373/1041q.jpg

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