When last we left them, Detective John "Martian Manhunter" Jones and his tagalong, Willy, were following the crooks who'd just robbed the Wonderland box office into the TUNNEL OF THRILLS. Let's see what THRILLS the tunnel has in store!
First up: GIANT ELMER FUDD!
|That is substantially less thrilling than a giant robot bear. Why not just take a walk downtown?|
|J'onn has superspeed, you see, but he doesn't have super-reaction time or superfast-perception; that's why all his applications of it |
are static ones like spinning, otherwise he'd kill himself (or others) almost immediately. Seriously.
|"Something like that."|
J'onn has always had a dry sense of humor.
Willy has now been primed to ignore whatever shenani-martia-gans John gets up henceforth to defeat and capture the crooks.
Next up: THE HALL OF MASKS!
Nothing says "quality foe able to take on a godlike being like the Martian Manhunter" than "scared in the Tunnel of Thrills".
|At least they saved these props to use later when J'onn started to combat the Idol-Head of Diabolu.|
Okay, there is a secret exit in the tunnel, so the crooks plan to use it for their escape makes sense. Unlike what actually happens.
|This is clearly a special effect and not an actual threat.|
I hate when J'onn does this.
|Clearly, just more of the SAME special effect. In an amusement park ride designed to be full of them. What is wrong with these people? They live in a town with giant robot bears and moth-copters, why are they so easily frightened?|
That is, when J'onn goes to great lengths for most of a story to stay hidden and then decides at the end of the story that the solution to his problem is... to stop hiding.
|Now would be a great time to jump out of the boat and head for that secret exit, boys.|
Turns out that's all J'onn had to do; put on a one-man strobe light show (like the disco queen that he is) to completely FREAK OUT these hardened criminals, who instead of following their escape plan, run out of the tunnel.
|Right into the arms of burly Officer Mike Hanson. Not that I blame them.|
Why didn't they assume the images of J'onn were part of the tunnel's thrills? I dunno. Why didn't they use their secret exit? I dunno. What did J'onn really accomplish with his spook show? I dunno.
It's a Martian Manhunter story. In a Martian Manhunter story, everything happens for the same reason; to create an opportunity to force J'onn to use his vague set of abilities in some new and unusual way in a different setting. That, at heart, is why the Martian Manhunter never became very popular. The "Martian Manhunter" seemed more like party game that writers were playing rather than a set of ongoing challenging adventures of a consistent character in a broadening and increasingly detailed world.