[PW] Martian Manhunter

d-lien University of Minnesota d-lien at umn.edu
Wed Jun 17 14:52:51 PDT 2015


Well, as regards a Martian detective on earth, the only pulp example I
can think of is "Oscar, Detective of Mars" which ran to about five
stories in FANTASTIC ADVENTURES in the early 1940s. I've never read
them.

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?2005

 Somebody has put out a collection of them recently, and if the
picture of Oscar on the cover reflects how he was illustrated in
FANTASTIC ADVENTURES (it does ring a bell, but my copies of FA are
buried deeply enough that I'm not rushing to drag them out), Oscar did
not look at all like J'onn:

http://www.lulu.com/us/en/shop/james-norman/oscar-detective-of-mars/paperback/product-1840070.html

As far as Famous Green Martians in pre-1950s written sf goes, Tars
Tarkas and the rest of the crowd on Barsoom are probably the most
famous, but they don't look much like J'onn either (too many arms for
one thing).  And there's the famous Kelly Freas ASTOUNDING cover of
the first appearance of (a shorter version) of Fredric Brown's
"Martians Go Home" which has been reprinted many times, but looks even
less like J'onn, even aside from being greatly shorter.  And neither
they nor the Barsoomians were detectives.

https://www.blackgate.com/2014/07/11/vintage-treasures-martians-go-home-by-fredric-brown/

Maybe J'onn looks a little like the Gillman in CREATURE FROM THE BLACK
LAGOON?  Nah.

And I can't think of any sf series characters (Martian or otherwise)
who went by the name John Jones (or near approximations thereof).   So
I guess I'm stumped.

Dennis Lien / d-lien at umn.edu


On Wed, Jun 17, 2015 at 3:11 PM, Ivan Van Laningham <ivanlan9 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi All, Dennis--
> No, sorry, still no visual bells.  But one thing I neglected to mention was
> that when mom threw away my comics, I was forbidden to buy any more.  So I
> was left with only memories, and I didn't get back into comics until within
> the last ten years--largely through my involvement with manga, anime, Buffy
> and Angel etc, and of course the ongoing publication of the Complete Carl
> Barks.  That means that I would have seen nothing from 1956 onward.
>
> My wife had an experience similar to yours.  When she was a teenager, she
> collected postcards, ornate ones from before the Golden age of PC
> publishing.  When she decided she didn't want to collect them anymore, she
> took the whole batch--several hundred--to an antique dealer, who said, "How
> much do you want?"  Audrey, having been given most of them, had no idea
> that they were worth several hundred dollars, said, "Um, $10?"  His eyes
> lit up and he handed her a $10 bill fast enough that she realized she'd
> been taken.
>
> We didn't buy our house until 1993.  I've always had the sneaking suspicion
> that the issues mom threw out would have made a significant dent in the
> purchase price.  Your house experience convinces me that I was right.
>
> Sounds like there are no SF antecedants for JJ the Martian Manhunter.  I
> must have liked the 55-56 appearances so much I retconned them into SF's
> Golden Age. ;-)
>
> Metta,
> Ivan
>
> On Wed, Jun 17, 2015 at 1:25 PM, d-lien University of Minnesota <
> d-lien at umn.edu> wrote:
>
>> The picture of J'onn on that Wikipedia page is a more "modern"
>> rendition, and as you say doesn't look much like the J'onn of 1955 and
>> of the 1960s (iin his own strip or in JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA), when
>> he was a much greener green and generally blockier (for lack of a
>> better word).
>>
>> I don't recall if he ever got a DETECTIVE STORIES cover, but he
>> appears in his original style on JLA covers such as
>>
>> http://www.comics.org/issue/15487/cover/4/
>>
>> http://www.comics.org/issue/15861/#126404
>>
>> http://www.comics.org/issue/15992/#127108
>>
>> perhaps his most famous single story:
>>
>>
>> http://www.comicvine.com/justice-league-of-america-71-and-so-my-world-ends/4000-10184/
>>
>> Does he ring any more of a bell there?
>>
>> **********
>> On the "mother throwing out comics" trope, at least you have some one
>> to blame.  My folks never threw away my comics (though they may have
>> been tempted), but around 1960 or 1961 a fast-talking guy convinced
>> fifteen-year-old me to sell him almost all of
>> virtually-complete-Silver Age  DC comics collection for a tiny
>> fraction of what, even then, it was worth.  (I had decided I had moved
>> beyond comics yadda yadda yadda).  And then in early 1962 I randomly
>> discovered Marvel Comics, and was hooked all over again.  I bought
>> almost all of them (and occasional duplicates for investment purposes)
>> up until the early 1980s, along with a few DC titles, and in 1988 sold
>> them for the financing to buy our house (and a year or two later the
>> bottom largely dropped out of the market, I believe).  So, no parent
>> throwing away comics, but me selling them myself -- no one else to
>> blame.  (The first time foolishly to my later regret; the second time
>> wisely -- in retrospect -- to only occasional twinges of regret.)
>>
>> Dennis Lien / d-lien at umn.edu
>>
>> On Wed, Jun 17, 2015 at 1:28 PM, Ivan Van Laningham <ivanlan9 at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>> > Hi All--
>> > I'm old enough not to be embarassed about this request. ;-)  I buy a few
>> > comics from Comixology; naturally they send me ads.  Today, I got one for
>> > the newest incarnation of Martian Manhunter.
>> >
>> > I hadn't seen any ads for it before.  I saw the title and thought, "That
>> > seems familiar."  I read the summary, saw that his name is "J'onn
>> J'onzz,"
>> > and thought, "That seems REALLY familiar."
>> >
>> > I checked the Wiki entry,
>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martian_Manhunter,
>> > and learned that the first incarnation of the comics debuted in 1955, at
>> > which time I would have been 8.  And buying comic books heavily.  (When
>> > regular comics were a dime, and extra giant ones 25 cents.)  When I was
>> > nine, my mother decided they were corrupting my young brain and threw
>> them
>> > all away.  Hundreds of them.  No, I'm not bitter--but I digress.
>> >
>> > The trouble is that none of the pictures from the Silver Age comics I
>> have
>> > seen look the slightest bit familiar.  But I am 100% certain that I
>> > encountered both names, Martian Manhunter and J'onn J'onzz, in my
>> childhood.
>> >
>> > My question is this:  did these comics have some root in early Science
>> > Fiction?  By age 8, I was already a voracious reader of the stuff (and
>> > remained so for the next quarter-century).  The whole Martian Manhunter
>> > shtick strikes me as straight out of 20s and 30s SF.  But of course,
>> memory
>> > is notoriously unreliable. ...
>> >
>> > Dennis?  Anyone?  Can you shed some light?
>> >
>> > Metta,
>> > Ivan
>> > --
>> > Ivan Van Laningham
>> > God N Locomotive Works
>> > http://www.pauahtun.org/
>> >
>> http://www.python.org/workshops/1998-11/proceedings/papers/laningham/laningham.html
>> > Army Signal Corps:  Cu Chi, Class of '70
>> > Author:  Teach Yourself Python in 24 Hours
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > Project Wombat - Project-Wombat
>> > list at project-wombat.org
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>> _______________________________________________
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>
>
>
> --
> Ivan Van Laningham
> God N Locomotive Works
> http://www.pauahtun.org/
> http://www.python.org/workshops/1998-11/proceedings/papers/laningham/laningham.html
> Army Signal Corps:  Cu Chi, Class of '70
> Author:  Teach Yourself Python in 24 Hours
> _______________________________________________
> Project Wombat - Project-Wombat
> list at project-wombat.org
> http://www.project-wombat.org/


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