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Everything You Thought You Knew About the Martian Manhunter Was a Lie

by  in CBR Exclusives, Comics, Comic News Comment
Everything You Thought You Knew About the Martian Manhunter Was a Lie

In Abandoned an’ Forsaked, we examine comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent).

Reader Edward H. wanted to know when we first saw J’onn J’onnz’s “true” form, and as it just so happens, the answer to that is tied up in an interesting retcon.

Okay, so J’onn J’onnz, the Manhunter from Mars, debuted in 1955’s Detective Comics #225 by Joes Samachson and Certa…

That origin stood intact for over THIRTY years. That is until J’onn, hot off of his starring role in DC’s popular Justice League series by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis, got a miniseries by DeMatteis and artist Mark Badger. J’onn is haunted by visions of his past that he can’t understand.

Eventually, he returns to his TRUE form in the third issue of the series…

He meets a very much ALIVE Doctor Erdel, who explains what happened in a rather sizable retcon that is one of the more aggressive cases of “everything you knew is a lie” that you’ll see….

Clever stuff, but wow, that definitely changed J’onn’s whole deal, didn’t it?

Of course, future writers would come in to have their say, as well! I’ll feature some of these retcons, as well, including a retcon handled in this series, as well (the whole “So, is he vulnerable to fire or what?” situation).

Thanks to Edward for the suggestion! If anyone else has a suggestion for a notable comic book retcon that they’d like to see featured, drop me a line at!

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