Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Undercover Martian Brother

The Onion AV Club has a fun list of their favorite “Underrated” pop culture figures (actor, cartoon, band, etc) and they’ve selected Martian Manhunter as the most underrated super-hero. It’s just a brief little blurb, but it’s an interesting read all the same. It’s hard to debate their selection, as MM really does seem strangely obscure, especially considering the length of his publishing history. There’s no mention of his role in the bwahahaha Justice League, which is where I would argue he gained the bulk of his current fan base. J’onn as exasperated den mother to a gaggle of super-powered buffoons is my favorite interpretation of the character.

Or it would be, if not for his brief turn in House of Mystery as super-mole in the evil spy organization VULTURE. I’d love to see him return to the Marco Xavier identity. A Martian infiltrating a spy group to bring them down from within is a badass idea that I support without reservation.

Although, admittedly, I haven’t read the Ostrander series yet, so I’m not sure if the Xavier period is revisited there. Maybe it is. Anyone know? I keep meaning to try out the solo MM series, but it just looks like pretty dreary stuff. It might just be the muddy looking Mandrake art. I liked his work on Spectre, but I just think the MM series could have been better served by an artist who's work was less EC/Bernie Wrightson inspired.

Regardless, I hope DC throws together a Showcase phonebook that collects a chunk of J’onn’s solo stuff from the 60s. That would be a great use for the format. Um, for me, anyways.

(If this kid comes to my house this Halloween, he will receive double treats. That's a promise.)

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