Character Issues: The Martian Manhunter

The Stats

Name: J’onn J’onzzz
Height: 6’7
Weight: 300 lb
Powers: Shape Shifting, Telepathy, Super Strength, Super Speed…..he has just about every superpower.
Type:  Glass Cannon
Excels at:  Looking Awesome on paper
Fails at:  Being as awesome as he looks on paper


Learn about the Martian Manhunter

The Character:

The last survivor of the supremely powerful Martian People.  The status of his “lastness” is never been consistently established.  J’onn has every standard superpower and he has them at a higher level than damn near everybody else.   Need a Shapeshifter? J’onn’s got you.  Telepath? Look no further.  Flying Brick?  J’onn is your guy. Need to be rescued from burning building? You better hope The Flash is in town.


The Issues:

DC Comics has a history of giving many of it’s characters vulnerabilities to to material items.  Historically, these vulnerabilities aren’t just limitations or aversions, these are debilitating, pants soiling, storyline limiting barriers.  JJMM has this kind of vulnerability to fire.  An enterprising villain can defeat stop JJMM dead in his tracks with a book of matches lifted from the Red Roof Inn. It is truly some sorrowful shit.  It has never been consistently depicted.  J’onn either is terrified of fire and has a difficult time using his powers around it, or his is reduced to a spastic pile of goo.

J’onn has been established as a Superman level threat but he is often the first member of the JLA to be beaten into submission whenever a Team Busting villain is looking to get a rep.  Even when J’onn’s gone renegade, the JLA turned to Plastic Man to catch that fade.  PLASTIC MAN.


The Fix:

It’s time to ditch the fire vulnerability.  Make J’onn a pacifist due to his long life of warfare and the subsequent annihilation of the Martian People.  Give him a psychological aversion to violence because he is vulnerable to berserker rages that the JLA can’t even contain.  Have him as the weapon of last resort if the JLA should ever fall. Then work to develop his character so that he can participate in JLA missions.  He would be fully realized as a character when is able to channel his rage and unleash it on Despero or Darkseid.

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