Monday, July 11, 2005
The Name's Xavier. Marco Xavier
I want Marco Xavier to come back.
Back in the 1960s when guys like Hawkman and Aquaman were cashing in on the secret agent craze, Martian Manhunter got in the act, too (as I was reminded by a faithful Absorbascommenter!).
Believe it or not, from July 1966 to April 1968 (House of Mystery 160 -173), the Martian Manhunter abandoned his "John Jones" identity and adopted the identity of deceased European playboy Marco Xavier. MM himself accidently caused Xavier's death, but that was okay since Xavier was a bad guy anyway (that sort of thing used to happen a lot in the Silver Age, and heroes never lost any sleep about it; when did heroes become so namby-pamby that they'd get their panties in a bundle about a little magical lobotomy, for pity's sake?!).
How bad was Xavier? Why, he was an agent of the evil superspy organization Vulture (eek!), headed by the horrible "Faceless." So, J'onn operated as a counterspy, infilitrating Vulture in order to destroy it. In a twist, Faux Marco was assigned by the organization to be their point man in fighting ... see whether you can guess it ... the Martian Manhunter.
OH, the comic book irony! Comic books love irony; the serial nature of the medium effectively precludes real tragedy or comedy, so the comic books are layered with nearly 70 years of irony instead. This wasn't the first or last time we've seen the "my good guy and bad guy secret IDs are in conflict" routine. Early Plastic Man was at odds with his other identity, Public Enemy Eel O'Brien. A memorable storyline in the Batman Adventures pitted Batman against Matches Malone. I'm sure the Absorbascommenters will chime in with more!
Anyway, the Faux Marco finally apprehended Faceless who turned out to be ... see whether you can guess it ... the Real Marco Xavier (who was not so dead after all)!
OH, the comic book irony!
What a great schtick for J'onn! C'mon, DC! He could be a black native of Federal City, secretly a white evil spy (maybe for Checkmate, whose name is about as silly as "Vulture"), supersecretly a green superhero! Where DOES he find the time?