Comic Legends: Did a Fan Come Up with Martian Manhunter's 80s Origin?

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.

Click here for Part 1 of this week's legends.


A fan came up with the idea for the revised origin for Martian Manhunter that debuted in his 1980s miniseries.


I'm Going With False

A month or so ago, I wrote an article about how the Martian Manhunter's origin got the whole "everything you thought you knew was a lie" treatment in his 1988 miniseries by J.M. DeMatteis and Mark Badger.

He debuted his true form...

And we learned the truth of his origin...


So, following that article, a reader wrote in to tell me that he had contacted Justice League editor Andy Helfer and had pitched both the reveal that Martian Manhunter's true form was different from his traditional look and that his fear of fire was psychological. He was curious, then, if it was just a coincidence that J.M. DeMatteis came up with the same things for his Martian Manhunter miniseries (do note that the reader was very open to the idea that it WAS a coincidence. He was just curious).

So I asked J.M. DeMatteis and he told me:

The MM mini-series was a natural outgrowth of the work we were doing with J'onn in JLI. J'onn's fire sensitivity being psychological and the revelation of his true Martian form were my original ideas. (As you know, the psychology of these characters fascinates me and digging around in their heads is what I enjoy most.) If Helfer had that conversation with a fan, I never heard about it. So...totally coincidental.


J.M. has always played it straight with me over the years, so I'm willing to go with what he says here.

Thanks to J.M. DeMatteis for the answer!

Check out my latest TV Legends Revealed - Did the Martian Manhunter debut on Supergirl due to a joke?

Part 3 will be up in a little bit. Since I had to delay Part 2 to pair the Martian Manhunter legends, I obviously had to delay Part 3, as well. Maybe I'll have it be a Martian Manhunter legend, as well! Feel free to write in with suggestions for future legends to either cronb01@aol.com or brianc@cbr.com!

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