Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and thirtieth week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.
Mark Millar intentionally named Martian Manhunter’s Japanese secret identity after Sailor Mars.
I don’t know whose idea it was initially, but whoever’s idea it was, Mark Millar was the one who first dealt with the idea introduced in JLA: Secret Files #1 that J’onn J’onnz used his shape-shifting abilities to set up multiple secret identities around the world, and that J’onn also made it a point to be the “local” superhero in many different parts of the world not normally supported by superheroes. This excellent five page “Day in the Life” story by Millar and Don Hillsman seemed, at the time, to be screaming to be translated into an ongoing series, but for whatever reason, that didn’t happen (when Martian Manhunter finally DID get an ongoing series, Millar had already moved on to other stuff, but at least John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake did a fine job with the Martian Manhunter series anyways)…
So anyhow, Millar was also still working as an occasional JLA guest-writer when he wrote JLA #27, a fun little story (with art by Mark Pajarillo and Walden Wong) where the League keeps fighting against Amazo and bringing in more and more reserve members, but each reserve member just makes Amazo stronger, since he has all the powers of the Justice League (therefore, they beat him in the end by disbanding the League, thus depowering him – clever stuff).
Anyhow, Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent and Japanese financial reporter Hino Rei meet for lunch, but obviously it is so Batman, Superman and Martian Manhunter can discuss Justice League business in private…
Batman notes that the name “Hino Rei” is a giveaway. This has hilariously led people to the belief that Batman must be familiar with the Sailor Moon series. Sailor Moon (the original manga was created by Naoko Takeuchi) is about a group of schoolchildren who access special powers and become the Sailor Soldiers (or Sailor Guardians, whatever you’d prefer). The lead character is obviously Sailor Moon, but one of the other characters is named Sailor Mars…
Sailor Mars’ real name? Rei Hino.
So clever name by Millar?
Yes, but not in the way that you would think. Mark Millar later recalled, “I was told it translated loosely as POET OF MARS, which is what J’onn’s occupation was back on his homeworld. It had zero to do with Sailor Moon.”
So when Batman said that it was a giveaway, it was just because Millar thought that it translated into “Poet of Mars,” and thus Batman would think that THAT was a giveaway, not that it was named after a Sailor Moon character. Pretty funny.
Thanks to Mark Millar for the information!
Check out my latest Movie Legends Revealed at CBR: Was there almost a Die Hard/Beverly Hills Cop crossover movie?
OK, that’s it for this week!
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See you all next week!