Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and fifty-sixth week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.
The Jemm, Son of Saturn series was originally going to be a Martian Manhunter series.
Reader Frank K. wrote in a couple of years back to ask:
Back in the mid-80’s Greg Potter and Gene Colan, through DC, came out with a book called “Jemm, Son of Saturn”. Initially, when the book came out this character was its own character – albeit very similar to J’onn J’onzz The Martian Manhunter. Year later I think Grant Morrison (in the pages of JLA??) retconned Jemm to be a cousin/relative of The Martian Manhunter. That is my cloudy recollection. But here is the question: I heard that Potter/Colan originally were on task to do a new and improved Martian Manhunter series/maxi-series but they were forced to either stop or alter their plans due to DC wanting Martian Manhunter to reappear in JLA after years being absent from the comics. Any truth to this?
Simply put, nope.
Jemm was always intended to be his own, original character. However, as I did detail in an old Comic Book Legends Revealed from five years ago (it is kind of weird when the 364th installment of a column came out over five years ago. I am so old), Jemm WAS originally going to be from Mars. Greg Potter intended for him to be a cousin of J’onn J’onnz. Potter noted back in the day, “I originally wrote the first six issues on the basis that he was from Mars, and that he was going to be a cousin of J’Onn J’Onzz. Then Janice calls me one day and says he can’t be from Mars any more because [J’Onn J’Onzz is] coming back in the Justice League.”
It’s anyone’s guess why J’onn returning to the League meant that Jemm couldn’t be J’onn’s cousin, but hey, ours isn’t to reason why, ours is just to do comic book legends about the weird decisions thirty years later.
Years later, John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake re-established the whole “Martians and the Saturn people WERE cousins” deal…
Thanks for the suggestion, Frank! I love that I can say to myself, “Do I have any old legend requests involving the Martian Manhunter?” and find one pretty quickly. 🙂
OK, that’s it for this week!
Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is email@example.com. And my Twitter feed is http://twitter.com/brian_cronin, so you can ask me legends there, as well!
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See you all next week!