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  1. #1
    Ultimate Member Lee Stone's Avatar
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    Default What if DC made Martian Manhunter a villain?

    How would you react if DC made J'onn J'onzz a villain?

    Pause.
    Now continue...

    Imagine the following:

    DC proposes the idea that Mars is not dead, and that all the inhabitants have either turned invisible or have shape-shifted into rocks or space-debris.
    A writer gets the idea 'what superhero would call themselves a 'manhunter'?'
    The Martian Manhunter that rejoins the League shortly before the Detroit era wasn't J'onn, but rather an imposter who, acting as a soldier for Mars, is sent to gather data on the superhero community.

    The Detroit era becomes the perfect opportunity to infiltrate the League because no one on the team really knew J'onn.
    By the time the Big 7 are reunited in Morrison's JLA, the imposter had been J'onn so long that everyone believes him to be legit.
    Meanwhile, the imposter J'onn got to experience the Detroit era, the JLI era and the JLA era.

    While on his mission, he implants an alien artifact into Gypsy at the end of the Detroit era and then 'controls' Despero to hunt her down three years later and lead her to him so he can retrieve the device. The device gives J'onn the information he needs for the Martians to replicate more powers. Yes, this makes J'onn responsible for the deaths of Gypsy's parents. He also 'controlled' Professor Ivo and made him kill Vibe and Steel.
    He chose not to have Vixen killed because he had feelings for her.

    Unknown to the Leaguers, J'onn had also been recording their thoughts and transmitting them to Mars every day since his return before Detroit.
    All their secrets are known by the Martians.

    A major event kicks off when J'onn finally reveals himself as he kills Nightwing (the writer is pandering to Didio for a bigger chance to get green-lit).
    During the event, the true J'onn returns and much of the remaining JLI and New Teen Titans characters are killed off.

    If this sounds horrible, keep in mind that it's also very plausible.
    This could happen at any time due to the current think tank at DC.

    Think of this post as an exorcism.

    DC trembles at the thought of readers knowing how something ends or the secrets of a story.
    So much that they will force a writer to re-write an ending, even changing the villain's identity at the last moment.
    I'm hoping that by posting this, I've helped nudge the negative energies at DC away from the idea of using J'onn as a master villain and ruining the heart of the JLI and Detroit eras.

    Note: this post was also inspired by a dream I had last night.
    Last edited by Lee Stone; 09-21-2019 at 10:40 AM.
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  2. #2
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    I can't see this being taken well at all. It didn't go over well when DC tried this with Max Lord and the backlash to a more popular character like J'onn would be even worse.
    Last edited by Agent Z; 09-21-2019 at 11:22 AM.

  3. #3
    Fantastic Member qwertyuiop1998's Avatar
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    If DC made MMH a permanent villain, Then I will hold up not my third finger,thumb,little finger or forefinger to DC
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  4. #4
    Astonishing Member j9ac9k's Avatar
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    Maybe not the story you're proposing, since there's a lot of retcons and a lot of death involved. And J'onn is a character where we've been in his head a lot and been privy to his thoughts - especially in his own series.

    That said, I can imagine J'onn becoming something of a villain being a good thing - he'd finally be able to let loose and show how powerful he really is without overshadowing any Leaguers and he'd be the kind of villain where you would need a whole team to take him down. It would have to be something moving forward rather than a retcon. Perhaps Lex pushes him into it or something, but I'd still want him to be that "not totally evil" type of villain that DC needs.(as opposed to someone like Harley who seems to swing back and forth and is more chaotic an amoral rather than having a morality that goes against the heroes' ideas) When written well, someone like Parallax occupied a nice grey area where he challenged the heroes' notion of right and wrong. J'onn could be that - especially when you can write him as having a Martian sense of morality (whatever that might be) rather than a human one. I could see that being interesting.

    And this would give Miss Martian a big boost in prominence.
    Last edited by j9ac9k; 09-21-2019 at 11:15 AM.

  5. #5
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    They kind of dipped into that pond earlier with the burning fernus storyline.

  6. #6
    Spectacular Member Dark-Jacket's Avatar
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    He is too broken of a character to make him a villain.
    The man could make 90% of the super heroes punch themselves in the head if he wanted. He is incredibly smart and was a detective for a long time. It is accepted if he wanted he could kill the trinity effortlessly.
    And it'd bring nothing to turn him dark, J'onn is at his best when he is a become of light hope and love.

  7. #7
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    Given the nature of Martians, it would be amusing to discover retroactively that the 'invasion' from Mars happened decades ago, without anyone noticing. People were quietly replaced by telepathic shapeshifters. Their bodies were never found, because, like J'ohn, they'd infiltrated law-enforcement so thoroughly that even when the remains of someone they'd replaced turned up, the evidence led in a carefully planted false direction.

    Thousands of them live in any major metropolitan area, as humans and human families, keeping to Martian customs only in private, and having a rich telepathic shared landscape and culture that the mundane world cannot even perceive, because it's all in their heads.

    J'ohn's betrayal is that he knows of them, and was indeed seeded into law enforcement the same way, only revealing himself as part of a long-term plan to 'break it softly' and massage public opinion that there are shapeshifting telepathic martian aliens out there *and not to fear them* in case they were ever revealed en masse. He's had to mess with the minds of League members and allies who have tipped to this great secret (mainly Batman, who has an irritating habit of re-discovering it...) several times (and finds the irony of Zatanna getting flak for doing the same basic thing, darkly humorous).

    The other big secret is that his level of power is tied to his psychic connection to his race. He isn't able to telepathically overwhelm the mind of anyone on earth, or scan the thoughts of entire buildings worth of people because he's the galaxy's greatest telepath, he's able to do these things because he can serve as the tip of the spear, bringing the combined psychic might of tens of thousands of Martians hidden all over Earth to bear on his current situation. (Similarly, they might reinforce his strength, psychically. Without thousands of minds worth of power to tap, under this tweak, he'd still be superhuman in all sorts of ways, but not nearly to Superman's scale.)

    If nothing else, it could make for an interesting Elseworld. He wouldn't be a villain, necessarily, since the Martians would be quietly assuming human lives and not herding the humans up into camps, but he'd primarily be the 'hero' of an invading species...

  8. #8
    Fantastic Member Riv86672's Avatar
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    If nothing else, it could make for an interesting Elseworld. He wouldn't be a villain, necessarily, since the Martians would be quietly assuming human lives and not herding the humans up into camps, but he'd primarily be the 'hero' of an invading species...
    Agreed, that would be a fun read if handled right.

    As to the OP question, it depends, would he be given more respect than he’s been given as a hero?
    By that I mean, he’s the least valued JLAer, a joke and jobber to many readers...he was even replaced by Cyborg in the New 52 and missed his chance to be on the big screen in the JUSTICE LEAGUE movie because of it (of course that can be seen as a blessing in disguise depending on how you looked at that movie...). If DC were actually going to make him a real threat, that enacts actual victories that change the status quo, then yes, I say go for it.
    A redemption story down the road is never off the table.
    Look at Hal Jordan; his time as a villain was definitely impactful across all of DC, and his return to form has seen him achieve his greatest popularity.
    On the other hand if he’s just gonna get his ass kicked and be humiliated then disappear, or worse yet, keep appearing, but as a huge loser like what happened w. Prometheus, then no.

  9. #9
    Ultimate Member Lee Stone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riv86672 View Post
    Agreed, that would be a fun read if handled right.

    As to the OP question, it depends, would he be given more respect than he’s been given as a hero?
    By that I mean, he’s the least valued JLAer, a joke and jobber to many readers...he was even replaced by Cyborg in the New 52 and missed his chance to be on the big screen in the JUSTICE LEAGUE movie because of it (of course that can be seen as a blessing in disguise depending on how you looked at that movie...). If DC were actually going to make him a real threat, that enacts actual victories that change the status quo, then yes, I say go for it.
    A redemption story down the road is never off the table.
    Look at Hal Jordan; his time as a villain was definitely impactful across all of DC, and his return to form has seen him achieve his greatest popularity.
    On the other hand if he’s just gonna get his ass kicked and be humiliated then disappear, or worse yet, keep appearing, but as a huge loser like what happened w. Prometheus, then no.
    The Powers that Be would have no interest in him after he served his purpose of shocking the readers and killing off characters no longer wanted.
    So he would either be killed off, most likely by either Superman or Wonder Woman, or disappear back into limbo. Or the 'real' J'onn (who could have been imprisoned during his original break from the League) returns.

    The details of the story would be forgotten in four to six months with the next event and all that would remain would be the deaths and the change to J'onn.
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  10. #10
    Fantastic Member Riv86672's Avatar
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    ^^^So that would be a ‘no’ from me, then.

  11. #11
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    I wouldn't rule such a thing out. DC has done worse, honestly.

    But I have no interest in seeing it. Perhaps there's some narrow avenue where they could actually get me on board with the idea but.....it'd take a miracle to pull off in any manner I might consider acceptable.

    Though now you mention it, I'm surprised we've never had a "invasion of the body snatchers" with the martians. They could replace a lot of people without anyone noticing.....DC's own Secret Invasion if you will. But hopefully done much better (and probably wouldn't be).
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  12. #12
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    Not exactly a story about replacing the heroes but the infected storyline in Superman and Batman comes close to it.

  13. #13
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    I recall J'Onn J'Onzz being made the villain several times in his original incarnation, pre-Crisis. And I think it's been done a few times since he was rebooted after Crisis. There's a disconnect between the old continuity and the later continuity, because originally Martian Manhunter left the JLA for a very long time to go look for his people and then stay with them on New Mars, before finally returning to Earth where he was again on the wrong side, before he took over the Detroit League. In post-Crisis continuity that didn't happen and the history of Mars was changed. And now I don't know what the current take on J'Onn is--was he a founder of the JLA or not? Anyway, making him a villain would seem like going back to the same well. But that's what DC does, so I wouldn't be surprised by it.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    I wouldn't rule such a thing out. DC has done worse, honestly.

    But I have no interest in seeing it. Perhaps there's some narrow avenue where they could actually get me on board with the idea but.....it'd take a miracle to pull off in any manner I might consider acceptable.

    Though now you mention it, I'm surprised we've never had a "invasion of the body snatchers" with the martians. They could replace a lot of people without anyone noticing.....DC's own Secret Invasion if you will. But hopefully done much better (and probably wouldn't be).
    DC had a secret invasion story of their own in the Millenium crossover in the 80s but it was with the Manhunter androids not the white martians. One of them was even able to pose as the god Pan.

  15. #15
    Fantastic Member Riv86672's Avatar
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    ^^^Good catch.

    I pointed that out a few times on other sites when Secret Invasion first happened. No one seemed to have heard of MILLENNIUM...

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