Saturday, April 04, 2015

The Martian Manhunter Museum, Part I

The Martian Manhunter is, as discussed, envious. Green with envy; he has to be able to do anything anyone else can do. 

"If I can't fly NO ONE GETS TO FLY!!!!"

But J'onn's not vain.  Superman is vain.


In fact, considering that J'onn can do, well, anything, he's fairly modest. So we can only assume that he was just being polite in not stopping some MM fanboy from making a museum full of damning evidence on how to defeat him.

What kind of person does such a thing?

Jonn's at the opening day of the museum in his honor, hoping to pick up some sweet Martian Manhunter action figures.

Of course J'onn's there.  What else has he got to do?

Nice swag, Mr B! Thanks! I don't know why Dennis disses you.

"Here our model J'onn shows off the latest in Martian-wear; pirate boots are in on the canals, girls!"

Hm. A 'plastic dummy', rather than, say, a statue?  Odd. Mr. Bean may be loaded, but cheap.  Regardless, he's extremely (a) lucky and (b) focused, because apparently he spends all his time running around Apex with his camera, hoping to catch MM in action...and succeeding.

Remember, everything in Apex has a LOCATION.

Naturally, the Martian Manhunter shows up because, like Mr. Bean, he has nothing else to do.

Because one iron pipe through the engine simply wouldn't do.

"How do you think he'll capture those crooks, folks?"  Duh.  The same way the Martian Manhunter does everything: in the least direct way possible, of course.  As you surely realize, JJ was trying to avoid the flaming garbage can nearby. In his museum, Bean has unwittingly accumulated lots of evidence of the Manhunter's vulnerability to fire.

Why leap, J'onn? Ah, right; you can't fly. Pity.

Ah, Martian breath...

 "Why did the Martian Manhunter use such a complicated stunt, Mr. Bean?"

Naturally, some smart crook deduces from all this evidence that the Martian Manhunter is vulnerable to fire and plans accordingly.

Gulp, indeed.

What do "flame-throwing helmets' look like?  Find out tomorrow.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Trickster's Warehouse

The Trickster's Prop Warehouse from the 1990 series ("Revenge of the Trickster"):

The Trickster's Prop Warehouse from the 2015 series ("Tricksters"):


They didn't have to do that.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Committee Work!

When last we left

J'onn had grounded the Apex City Chamber of Commerce Vigilante Committee's Heli-grappler (an impossibly modified Sikorsky H-34), but the APCoCVC's Chairman, the prosperously portly Mr. Weems, remained undaunted. 

You know why he doesn't arrest them?
Just how many tickets to the Policeman's Ball do you think the Chamber of Commerce buys, huh?

Mr Weems has more than one means of unusual crime-fighting instrumentality as his disposal, thanks to his R&D director, Mr Lee, and he intends to use them.

And his next target; the insidious BIFF HIGGINS!

You know, I could spend a long time trying to come up with a less sinister or threatening name than "Biff Higgins" and still fail.  Who's his moll? Muffy Peterson?  

Biff Higgins doesn't sound like a shadowy criminal lieutenant.  He sounds like some sort of chino-draped J.Crew model who spends all his time hanging out on his personal yacht.

Wow, that's just how I pictured Biff!
Muffy's looking a little rough, though.

What a shock. Biff Higgins, hanging out on his personal yacht.  Who will net this (allegedly) criminal fish? Why, the crew of the S.S. Apex City Chamber of Commerce Vigilante Committee, under the command of Captain Chairman Weems!

Wow, snagged, Biff's really flying through the air!  Uh-oh.  That's not good. That's an unauthorized incursion in the restricted air space of Apex City, which is the sole domain of... the Martian Manhunter.

"Well, I COULD have stowed away invisibly on either boat.  Or disguised myself as a crew member.  Or have grown to gigantic size like I did that time a car had to drive over my butt on the bridge, and just PICKED up one or both of the boats.'s a nice day for a swim. And I have nothing better to do."

I like to imagine J'onn just swimming around off the coast for 24 hours waiting for some vigilante-based action.  Anyway, instead of interfering directly using one of his powers, JJ does one of his 'domino routines'...

That's a water barrier, J'onn; even when Mera makes those they only last one turn.
All that free time and you STILL can't learn how Heroclix works?!

J'onn just loves making giant waves to solve his problems.  Must have grown up near the canals.

Apparently water is strong enough to snap steel cable.

"Fortunately, there's no way a man suddenly forcibly tightly bound in a steel net hurtling through the air away from his boat could possible drown quickly at sea right after a giant wave!  Let's get you business gentry back to safety; wouldn't want you to miss the Policeman's Ball, which is next month, by the way."

Weems and his Vigilante Committee lost Higgins, but there are lots of good fish in the sea.  One jangle later, they get a great tip as to where they can find the big crime boss himself!

"Thanks for that anonymous tip, person I don't know but am fully confident is sincere and not misleading or trying to trap me!

Several things here to note.  First,  "Fangs" Frazer is not currently indicted or warranted. He doesn't need a 'hideout'; he's a free man, just like Yacht Guy and Yellow Convertible Guy.  That's precisely what makes the vigilantes...vigilantes. Second, is it intentional comic book irony that the hoodlums all look like respectable citizens and the vigilante businessmen all look like hoodlums? Third, everywhere in Apex has a specific location.  If you read Batman, Superman, etc., stories of this period, you seldom read any addresses. Hero-man just says "I've located their hideout" or "I know where they'll strike next; at the Diamond Exchange".  In Apex City, everything gets named and google-mapped.

So, armed with this unquestionably reliably information from an anonymous informant, the Vigilante Committee enacts its plan to get the Martian Manhunter, an alien detective with 13 senses, off their back by having Weems' chauffeur drive a limo filled with dummies of them elsewhere for him to follow.  What could possibly go wrong?

For some reason, Mr. Lee kept insisting that they call the dummies "Life Model Decoys".

"Fangs" Frazer,  however, is no stranger to comic book irony. He, of course, is the one he gave them the anonymous tip so as to lure them into a trap!

For first degree pestering, the penalty is death.
Apex is a zero-tolerance town.

And with J'onn miles away following a car full of dummies! 

OR IS HE...?!

"Moving" mind you; not "flying".  Although how one moves in a suspended circle without flying is,like most MM powers, an incomprehensible mystery.
Note also that J'onn isn't BLOCKING the bullets. Because he's not bulletproof.
We think. It's hard to tell. It may be that being bulletproof has just never occurred to him.

Fortunately for the Vigilante Committee, J'onn evaded their ruse by using the one power no one would expect him to use:


"Ha, ha! Take your filthy human paw off me, you overfed jackass,
before I destroy you with some previously unmentioned power!"

Sadly, it turns out to be just another power that J'onn uses only once, forgets about and then never uses again!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Down with vigilantes! Up with hoodlums!

Gather around, kids, because J'onn J'onnz has an important lesson to teach you:

Aren't they a DCU country/western band?

vigilantes are BAD.

Vigilantes, you see, are unauthorized people who take the law into their own hands. People without any of the regular training and boundaries, like graveside oaths, capes, or the ability to extract gold from seawater with their minds.

"Well, of course, we need a COMMITTEE.  We're businessmen-vigilantes, not SAVAGES."

Naturally, "John Jones" (who, remember, kids, is a duly authorized officer of the law under this fictitious identity and false background he created to disguise the fact that he's an extraterrestrial) is assigned to keep tabs on the Apex Chamber of Commerce's Committee for Vigilanteism, because, when you have 59 different superpowers for fighting crime, you tend to have a clear desk.

He'll need it, because this isn't your average Chamber of Commerce Vigilante Committee. 

"How you do get your weapons so unusual, Mr. Lee?""Ancient Chinese secret!"

That is a Vigilante COMMITTEE, kids.  Lavish homes.  Business suits all around.  Books organized by color.  Weapons made on spec.  This is the APEX CITY Chamber of Commerce Vigilante Committee and they are using their substantial wealth to get specially made 'unusual weapons'.  This is in a town where crooks ride around robbing banks in giant mechanical bears.  The mind boggles as to what an Apex Citizen considers an 'unusual weapon'.

And I'll say this for the Committee; they're proactive.

It is fair to say that I know a LOT more helicopter pilots than most people do.  Nevertheless, I am hard pressed to say how "a copter would seem to be challenging a CAR to race".
Helicopters aren't really about 'racing'.

Myeah, sorry, Jeff; you ain't showing 'em nutthin'.  That's no ordinary helicopter being piloted by some teenaged drag-racers. That's the Apex City Chamber of Commerce Vigilante's Committees' CLAWCOPTER!

"OOOOOoooooo! The CLAW....!"
Gotta hand it to the Apex City Chamber of Commerce Vigilante Committee;
they are already doing better than Hal Jordan could.

Convertibles. Giant Pennies.  There is nothing a comic book helo can't pick it.  Note, by the way, that our well-heloed businessmen/vigilantes have a highly illegal private jail.  There must be an abandoned particle accelerator in Apex City somewhere.

Naturally, JJ is driving by at that moment. Because what else has he got to do?

"Upholding the law!? Dude, we're upholding a CONVERTIBLE!"

Ooo, those nasty vigilantes are breaking the law and breaking it hard, hard as any hoodlum. That's... kind of hot.  And J'onn will have none of THAT, thank you. Apex City is his town, by H'ronmeer, and  nobody gets to pull ridiculous helicopter-style crap but him. So J'onn puts a stop to it by, well, pulling some ridiculous helicopter-style crap of his own.

That's... not quite how helos work, J'onn.
Or running. Or gravity. Or...oh, never mind.

These men just grabbed a moving car off a road with a helicopter, J'onn (and painted it RED, without even ASKING).  Unless they're filming Fast and Furious XXXII: Death from Above, they ARE breaking the law.  To say nothing of an astonishingly long list of FAA regulations.  Just change back into Detective John Jones and arrest them before ICAO hears about this.  You're not Superman and they aren't Lois and Jimmy and you don't have to "teach them a lesson".

Well, perhaps there's hope. Maybe this failure will make them listen to reason so the Martian Manhunter doesn't have to keep following them all the time.

Or perhaps not.

Silly Apex City Chamber of Commerce Vigilante Committee Chairman Weems!  

  1. He's 'the Manhunter'; following people around all the time is what he DOES.
  2. He's also Detective John Jones, which means he has nothing else to do, because he works in Apex, whose most notorious criminal is the Human Squirrel (and he's retired). 

Besides, there is ONE thing and one thing only that ALWAYS catapults the Martian Manhunter into action: CRAP HAPPENING IN THE AIR.  

Meteors. Falling safes.  Spaceships.  Giant waves. Toy planes. Flying rings. Floating objects.  Crazy bullets. Falling buildings.  The Martian Manhunter is the Gravity Police, buddy. And why? Because this early Martian Manhunter has every conceivable power except one: HE CAN'T FLY. 

And NOBODY gets to do something the Martian Manhunter can't do. Nobody.  Not in HIS city.

Next up: Biff Higgins! Eastview Drive!  Vigilanteism with puppets! So stay tuned.