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Five Goofiest Moments in the First Five Martian Manhunter Comics

by  in Comic News Comment

Yes, you lucky devils you, a MONTH of this stuff! All throughout May, each day will have the five goofiest moment from a five-issue stretch of a particular comic book run. Once a week it will be the ten goofiest moments of a ten-issue stretch. Here is a list of the moments featured so far.

Today we’re looking at the first five Martian Manhunter comics, from Detective Comics #225 through #229, by writers Joe Samachson (for the first three stories) and Dave Wood (fro the last two) and penciler/inker Joe Certa.

Before we begin, let me refresh the ground rules. These stories were written to be read by children and then discarded. The writers of these comics had no idea that someone would be dissecting them over 50 years later, picking out the “goofy” stuff. These comics are well done comics. This is all in good fun.

The initial Manhunter from Mars (as he was called then) stories were much different from the Martian Manhunter stories you see today. These early stories were less superhero comics and more a mixture of science fiction and crime. J’onn J’onnz is pulled to Earth by the machine of a professor who promptly died of a heart attack, stranding J’onnz on Earth. Figuring he might as well make the best of it, J’onnz takes on the human identity of John Jones and decides to fight crime (which had long been eradicated on Mars. He would use his Martian powers to assist himself on cases (like the ability to turn invisible, or to fly, etc.). He would add a new power seemingly every week. His only weakness was fire. Okay, enough set-up, on with the list!

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Wait, if you eradicated crime…

In Detective Comics #228, J’onn makes the following statement…


Which is sort of weird since he is always going on about how crime was eradicated on Mars. So what are law officials still doing getting confessions? I suppose he could mean that’s what they USED to do, before crime was eradicated, but it sure doesn’t read that way, does it?

5. That sure would make a lot of these cases easier…

As I noted, they tended to give J’onn a new power every issue. While all of them were certainly extra-ordinary, this one from Detective Comics #226 I think it is fair to call goofy, as suddenly J’onn reveals he can see into the future.


This is never mentioned before then and not mentioned in the other three stories that follow, so it really juts out as being out of place.

4. Your tax dollars at work…

In that same issue, Detective #226, the police seem to have an awful lot of free time on their hands if they think that the following is a good enough lead to assign a detective to follow up on it…



3. I’m just inventing fake powers at this point…

Later in that same issue, we see J’onn help out the reformed crook (just in case he thinks of throwing the game).


I have no idea what “molecular hypnosis” is supposed to be. Later in the issue, he uses “mind-over-matter” t0 telekinetically control the baseball (including taking a pop up and turning it into a game-winning home run), so it can’t be telekinesis. It might be just straight out hypnosis, but then the molecular part doesn’t have any use. Either way, it is a goofy power!

2. A point so nice, he said it twice.

From Detective Comics #228, this is just a straightforward goof…


1. Aliens taking our jobs!

Here is how J’onn got his job in his first appearance in Detective Comics #225…


It is like the Seinfeld episode “The Yada Yada,” they just yada yada’ed the entire explanation for how Jones would be hired as a detective right off of the street with no credentials!