O Say Can You See: The Greatest Patriotic Super Heroes of All-Time
Every day in November we will reveal the greatest stories ever told starring a particular character or written/drawn by a particular creator (and throughout the month, you’ll get daily chances to vote for NEXT week’s lists). These lists are voted on by YOU, the reader!
Here is the list of characters/creators featured so far (along with the rules on how to vote).
Today’s list is the Greatest Martian Manhunter Stories Ever Told!
10. JLA Secret Files and Origins #1 “A Day in the Life”
In this short story written by Mark Millar, we learn that the Martian Manhunter has taken it upon himself to cover the parts of the world that the other superheroes cannot adequately service due to their connections to the United States (jobs, secret identities, etc.). We also meet a number of J’onn’s secret identities. Millar later re-visited one of these identities in a great fill-in issue of JLA. This really read like a pilot for a possible Martian Manhunter ongoing series.
9. JLA #84-89 “Trial by Fire”
J’onn J’onnz finally cures his fear of fire, but in doing so, he unlocks a genetic mystery that leads to him becoming one of the worst and most powerful villains on Earth in this Joe Kelly-penned tale!
8. Final Crisis: Requiem
Peter Tomasi wrote this beautiful tribute to J’onn J’onnz after his death in Final Crisis. Luckily, he was revived during the Blackest Night crossover. A must-read for longtime J’onn fans, as it touches upon the way that he was, in many ways, the heart of the Justice League.
7. Martian Manhunter #17 “Hidden Faces”
In this stirring issue by the regular Martian Manhunter team of John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake, the Department of Extranormal Operations discover a list of his various secret identities around the world that J’onn had compiled as a sign of good faith to his former detective partner before she was murdered. The DEO attempts to blackmail J’onn – either he work for them or they will release his identities to the world. He refuses and thus has to suffer the “loss” of each life.
6. Martian Manhunter #1,000,000 “The Abyss of Time”
In this issue, part of the DC One Million crossover, Kyle Rayner is in the far off future when he encounters his teammate, J’onn J’onnz – still alive thousands of years from now! J’onn regales Kyle (and us) of what he has been doing all these years in this fascinating story by Ostrander and Mandrake. A number of readers included the sequel story in Martian Manhunter #11 with their vote for this issue. The majority of voters did not.
5. DC: The New Frontier #1-6
Darwyn Cooke did a marvelous job working in the history of J’onn J’onnz in Cooke’s re-envisioning of how the DC Silver Age got started. There’s a particularly famous scene where J’onn changes appearance based on what he sees on the television.
4. Martian Manhunter: American Secrets #1-3
Gerard Jones and Eduardo Barreto teamed up for this three book prestige format series about J’onn’s time on Earth in the late 1950s, with Jones exploring the various bits of the dark underbelly of the American Dream of the 1950s.
3. Martian Manhunter #33-36 “In My Life”
In the final storyline in his ongoing series, John Ostrander and a few different artists tell the story of J’onn’s life, culminating with a face-off against a major villain from the pages of Chase (as Cameron Chase had become a recurring character in Martian Manhunter, as Ostrander also revealed that one of J’onn’s earlier identities was a teammate of Chase’s father’s superhero team, the Justice Experience).
2. Martian Manhunter #20-24 “Revelations”
This one was tricky. In Revelations, Ostrander plays up how J’onn has been around so long that he was here for the start of all the major DC heroes. He knows young Clark Kent, he knew Abin Sur, etc. It is a nice look at the history of the DC Universe and a further exploration about how J’onn has a good case to be the heart of the DCU. However, the tricky thing is that the last part of Revelations is a seemingly disparate issue set during J’onn’s time in the Justice League International. It is drawn by a different artist (#20-23 are by Mandrake, #24 is by Doug Mahnke) and has a humorous tone that really does not connect to the other four parts. However, the majority of voters voted for this story with that issue included and it DOES say “Revelations” right on the cover, so I don’t feel right separating it.
1. Justice League America #38-40 “Justice League versus Despero
Despero returns to gain revenge on the Justice League – only the Justice League that he last faced is pretty much gone, with J’onn being the only member still a part of the League. Therfore, J’onn gets the brunt of Despero’s rage – a rage so powerful that J’onn must make a tragic sacrifice to protect his teammates (and the people of New York City) from the powerful villain. Giffen and DeMatteis wrote it and Adam Hughes and Joe Rubinstein drew it.
Okay, that’s the list! Agree? Disagree? Let me know!
Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.