Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Martian Manhunter explained: the hero hiding in plain sight in the Justice League Snyder Cut

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Do you remember General Calvin Swanwick from Man of Steel and Batman v Superman? Maybe not – but you won’t forget it afterwards Justice League by Zack Snyder. It turns out that Swanwick, played by Harry Lennix, has always been the Martian manhunter in disguise. The actor behind the no-frills officer said not only is his character the esteemed (and shapeshifter) member of the Justice League, but also filmed new scenes for the Snyder cut.“Swanwick and the Martian Manhunter is like his alter ego,” Zack Snyder told IGN at Fan Fest 2021. “They have the same voice.”

And of course we see in the Snyder Cut that Swanwick is the Martian Manhunter. So let’s see who exactly the green-skinned space sleuth is. We will discuss:

  • Who is Martian Manhunter?
  • Origin of the Martian man hunter
  • Powers and abilities of J’onn J’onzz
  • Martian Manhunter and the Justice League
  • Martian Manhunter in the Snyder Cup
  • Martian Manhunter in television and games

Martian Manhunter explained: the hero hiding in plain sight in the Justice League Snyder Cut

He joined the League because of what it stands for, he once told Superman. “Protect the weak, correct what is wrong, seek justice for all, help humanity understand and realize its potential,” he said. “I am the League and the League is me.”

The Martian Manhunter has been a mainstay of the Justice League since its inception.

He joined the League because of what it stands for. “I am the League and the League is me.”

Origin of the Martian man hunter

J’onn J’onzz was inadvertently brought to Earth by the capricious experience of a well-meaning scientist. Unable to return to his people on Mars, J’onn assumed the appearance of a human. Under the name John Jones, he set out to live among humans as a private investigator, hoping for the day when his fellow Martians would reach Earth and bring him home.

This is what the Martian Manhunter believed. Over time, it was revealed that Mars had been wiped out long before J’onn arrived on Earth. His people were wiped out by a telepathic plague, including his wife M’yri’ah and daughter K’hym. But J’onn wasn’t the only survivor of Mars, he finally learned. Ma’alefa’ak, another surviving Martian, was his archnemesis – and his brother.

The ever-evolving DC multiverse has rewritten its origin over the years. In his 2015 solo series after Flashpoint, J’onn was a writer and poet who was transformed by blood magic into a living weapon from Mars. Following DC Comics’ Rebirth, a 2018 solo series established J’onn J’onzz as the Twisted Hunter of Mars boss. A scientist’s portal ripped him from his dying planet, across time and space, to Earth. There he witnessed the murder of heroic police detective John Jones and took his identity as a tribute. He revealed his true form to his partner and the world after ending the terror inflicted by a Martian criminal.

Regardless of the start of his story, J’onn is an awesome hero from Mars who will do whatever it takes to protect his new home on Earth.

Powers and abilities of J’onn J’onzz

The powers of the Martian Manhunter are astounding. His strength, stamina and superhuman reflexes are just the beginning. J’onn is one of the most powerful telepaths on the planet. (He often speaks to the entire Justice League at once through a mind bond.) He can fly, become invisible or intangible, emit flaming energy from his eyes, and shape shift both in size and mass. .

J’onzz’s weakness is fire, and he is often unable to control his fear. He also can’t resist Choco cookies, the version of Oreos from the DC Universe.

Martian Manhunter and the Justice League

Although J’onn was a founding member of the Justice League, he took a break for a while and left Earth. When he returned to the pages of Justice League # 228, he was here to stay – until the events of Flashpoint changed everything in the DC Universe.

In New 52, ​​the Martian Manhunter was a member of Stormwatch before being recruited by Amanda Waller to join the new government-run Justice League of America. He also formed a spin-off group with his close friend Stargirl called the Canada-based Justice League United.

After Rebirth, J’onn is once again a member of the Justice League, fighting alongside them against global threats like the Batman Who Laughs.

Martian Manhunter in the Snyder Cup

General Calvin Swanwick made his Man of Steel debut when Zod’s ship was spotted settling into a lunar orbit. “I’m only speculating,” he said, “but I think whoever’s at the helm of this ship is looking to make a spectacular entrance.”

Stoic and seemingly unfazed, Swanwick didn’t even smile when Superman descended from the sky to surrender. There’s a reason the General was unfazed: He was the Martian Manhunter in disguise, an alien himself on Earth, Snyder revealed years after the film’s release. (Swanwick, however, looked upset when Superman destroyed his drone.)

At the time of the events of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Swanwick was promoted to Secretary of Defense. He helped Lois Lane down, manipulating and ultimately helping Clark and Lois do their best, as Snyder explained at Fan Fest 2021. We also spoke to Snyder about J’onn while he was promoting his Justice League cup.

“I think he’s been on Earth … we’ve talked about it a lot [and] it’s been there for quite a while, “said the director.” For a long time, more than generationally. We believe it has taken different forms throughout history. He’s been there, knocking a bit, but always in the shadows, because the Martian timeline is tricky at best. Our feeling is, and there is certainly more deepening to be deepened, but his rise in government is due to the fact that he is smart. He can read minds. It wouldn’t be that difficult, I think, with that skill set. He could become president, I think, if he wanted to. “

Although Swanwick did not appear in the first cut of the Justice League movie, Lennix said he filmed new scenes for the four-hour epic Snyder Cut – as Martian Manhunter. And indeed, we see in the finished film that the Manhunter shows up twice. First, he visits Lois Lane disguised as Martha Kent. After the visit, when he walks into the hallway outside Lois’ apartment, we see that Martha was actually J’onn, working again to give Lois some advice. And then at the end of the movie, after Bruce Wayne has had another “Knightmare” on a future dark world, Martian Manhunter visits the Caped Crusader. “There is a war ahead,” he said, referring to Darkseid’s search for the Anti-life equation. “And I’m here to help you.”

No version of the League would be complete without him.Bruce Wayne meets the Martian Manhunter in Zack Snyder's Justice League.

Bruce Wayne meets the Martian Manhunter in Zack Snyder’s Justice League.

Martian Manhunter in television and games

  • TV: Martian Manhunter was a major character in the animated series Justice League and Justice League Unlimited; he has also appeared in The Batman, Batman: Brave and Bold, Young Justice, and Justice League Action. In live action, J’onn J’onzz was a great ally and friend in both Smallville and Supergirl.
  • Video games: The Martian Manhunter has been equally popular in video games. Play as J’onn in DC Universe Online, Injustice: Gods Among Us, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, Infinite Crisis, and LEGO Batman 2 and 3.

It remains to be seen if the Snyder Cut version of the Martian Manhunter will reappear in the DCEU. Who knows? Maybe this take on the Justice League will have a sequel at some point, and the seven will finally be able to fully unite.
Kelly Knox is a freelance entertainment writer who also contributes to,, Nerdist, and more. Follow her on Twitter at @kelly_knox to talk about Star Wars, Dungeons & Dragons and comics.


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