I hate to gloat...
Okay. Who am I kidding?
I love to gloat.
And so now I shall.
DC has now acknowledged the existence of the Martian Manhunter's contextualizing city, Apex City, in an official publication, celebrating the company's 75 anniversary.
Oh, here... let me make that clearer for you:
I got this news from my good blog-buddy Diamondrock over at Title Undetermined.
I can only hope that this may serve as a step toward one day returning the Martian Manhunter to his Earthian hometown (a.k.a, America's Most Flammable City). I'm tired of poor J'onn being treated like some sadsack, homeless orphan. Reality check, or perhaps more accurately, continuity check: J'onn's been living on Earth longer than anyone else in the Justice League. He should be used to it by now. He deserves to start to treating it like his home.
During his original adventures in Apex City, he had a home, a context. Sure, Apex City was ridiculous, with its weekly meteors, ludicrous villains (like the Human Flame, Mr. Moth, the Human Squirrel, or gangsters who ride around in giant mechanical bears) and its host of strange businesses and buildings that seemed to have escaped from the panels of Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer. But the bizarreness of Apex City is what made it work: J'onn fit in perfectly. A Martian with a Crayola box full of powers like creating ice cream cones with his mind makes a weird kind of sense in Apex City.
That's the whole point of a contextualizing city: to give a hero a place where they fit in, where Hero and City make sense together. Batman in Gotham City makes sense. Batman in Central City would be... very odd. Central City's incomprehensible dimensions make no sense at all... except as a showcase for the Fastest Man Alive. Wonder Woman--who is a conflation of Americanism, psychosocial theories, insincere palaver about equal rights, Greco-Roman mythology, and flights of fancy--makes complete sense in Washington DC (which is a conflation of Americanism, psychosocial theories, insincere palaver about equal rights, Greco-Roman mythology, and flights of fancy).
Heroes without such a place suffer badly. That's why, in the modern era, St. Roch was created for the Hawks, and Opal City for Starman; that's why Green Lantern was given back Coast City and Green Arrow given back to Star City. The absence of a proper contextualizing city -- Apex City -- is one of the reasons that the Martian Manhunter has limped along as the Poor Cousin in the Justice League for decades, one of the things that's blocking him from bringing the same kind of iconic power to the table that his colleagues have had the chance to develop.
DC, now that we all know that Apex City is "real", please put it back on the map of current storylines. Once J'onn is done his duty in Brightest Day, do him, yourselves, and us a favor...
and bring J'onn home to..