Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Everything gets stranger. Much stranger.
You think that's not possible?
How is it possible? In Volume 1, J'onn J'onnz had cars driving across his giant butt, used Martian finger snapping to cure cancer and square the circle, fought the Human Squirrel, and created ice cream cones out of thin air with his mind. Really, where can you go from there?
Well. I guess we'll see. One thing, I'll say; you do NOT go to "Middleton".
I reject the false doctrine of the Middletonites, and I hew to the Apex Creed:
I believe in one city, Apex City, home of the Martian Manhunter, and at all times, whether he's visible or invisible.
I've read both Volumes of Martian Manhunter Showcases, and there is only ONE mentioned of the putative "Middleton" as the home of the Martian Manhunter. And here it is:
And in one J'onn J'onnz, the only-remaining son Mars, created in the Silver Age before all heroes; J'onn of J'onnz, lighted by firelight, very Silver of the Silver Age; written, not edited, being of one substance with the Schwartz, by whom all comics were made.
Okay, in case you don't recognize my megalocranial friend there, that's Prof. Arnold Hugo, a one-off Batman foe (Detective Comics #306, August 1962, "The Wizard of a Thousand Menaces!"), whose biggest accomplishment was failing to create an artificial moon. Hugo's debut against Batman was in the same issue of Tec where Detective John Jones died (more on that later!). Arnold Hugo became the Martian Manhunter *snicker* arch-enemy. Sigh. I guess it was a step up from the Human Squirrel and the Human Flame.
Anyway, it's Arnold Hugo who identifies MM's town as "Middleton", and it's never mentioned again. A hapax legomenon uttered by a notorious lunatic, liar, and loser is nothing to base continuity on! I think Arnold's just raving. Or perhaps Middleton is a suburb or or neighborhood within Apex City.
Regardless... it's still clear we're in Apex City:
And should you really malign the Human Flame? He did take out the Martian Manhunter and even got his own limited series outta the deal.
In the second panel of page 3, the caption reads, "That same day, a copter hovers high above Middletown Bank, then..."
In the panel you yourself posted, the esteemed Professor Arnold Hugo, most assuredly a step up from one-off foe the Human Flame, and being of sound mind (as certified by his repeated prison sentences,) made clear that Middletown was the city J'onn J'onzz had "vowed to protect."
Finally, in the fourth panel on page 10, a caption reads "In Middletown, soon after, panic strikes suddenly, as..."
For further evidence, see my detailed synopsis of Detective Comics #322 (12/1963) and Justice League of America #144 (7/1977.) In the case of the latter, the story not only takes place in 1959 Middletown, but also retroactively ties Detective Comics #264 (2/1959) to Middletown. I also elaborate further on this matter in the article Do You Know The Way To Middletown? which features star testimony from Silver Age fan columnist Commander Benson.
I say, Middletown is not Apex City! You can't go back to Apex City! Why did Apex City get the works? That's nobody's business but Jack Schiff's!
God, I love New England.
Now...what was the question again?
Bah. The poser probably bought them from Dr. Darrk at his yard sale. (Hourman foe, Adventure Comics #65, 1941)
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