Supergirl Episode 17 – Manhunter
I only want to write about one topic per episode. So as I watched last night’s episode I thought about writing about the new addition of Jim Harper and CADMUS, or how great the women characters are in this show (that’s a weakness of the Flash), or just in general about how great Melissa Benoist is as Supergirl (She is so great in this role that she holds up the weaker episodes single-handedly), or about how great the sisters are as a core relationship for ths show.
But instead I am going to write about how crazy it is that there is a live action TV show that has J’onn J’onzz has a supporting character.
J’onn J’onzz, also known as The Martian Manhunter or John Jones is a founding member of the Justice League, but I never heard of him as a kid. But that is because he was not on the Superfriends. His power-set is also complicated because he basically has all of them. He can fly, shape change, turn invisible, phase, has heat vision (He often calls it Martian Vision, but it’s the same thing), is very strong, and he’s a telepath. He is Superman Plus. But he doesn’t look human.
There have been very cool things done with the character, but he feels like he started as a real hodge podge of a hero. And no one has heard of him. I didn’t know who he was for a long time. Because he wasn’t on Superfriends.
I “met” him when I started reading Justice League International. That was a Justice League comic that was mostly filled by lower tier heroes. Aquaman was too big a name for this team! And Martian Manhunter was in charge. This comic was great, and it was also funny. It switched between “serious” super-heroics and sit-com like character moments. It was in this series that J’onn got hooked on Oreo’s which he was eating on this week’s Supergirl (Or he was at least eating a name-brand-less version of Oreo’s. Chocos is a terrible name. This would have been a great place for some product placement. Oh well.)
When Martian Manhunter was used in the Cartoon Network Justice League cartoon I was very excited. That’s a character I never imagined would be brought to life. That cartoon proved that any character could be utlized as they brought in dozens and dozens of characters. But J’onn was no guest. He was important. He was a founding member in the cartoon just like in the comics. He was great, and powerful, and treated like he was as cool as Green Lantern or the Flash.
Now you won’t see J’onn in the upcoming Justice League cartoon. He is not even in the Justice League comic anymore. While he’s been used well, he’s not an easy sell so Warner Brothers seems to have put him into the background. And since Warner Brothers Films failed to make a good Green Lantern movie and doesn’t seem to “get” Superman not touching J’onn is probably a smart call.
But DC Comics on TV? They went for it! I cheered aloud in my empty living room when he was revealed on Supergirl. (“Is he Martian Manhunter? He couldn’t be. Could he? I think he is! HE IS! THIS IS AWESOME!”) And as good as Supergirl is, I am stunned everytime I get to see some Martian Manhunter action.
I know lots of people are already sick of super-heroes on TV and in Movies, but for me I can’t seem to get enough. I love that there are enough Super-hero televsion shows that there are some I don’t want because they aren’t good enough. What a luxury!