Martian Manhunter, aka J’onn J’onzz, is among the most powerful characters in DC comics and one of the seven original members of the Justice League. He has a lengthy list of abilities that include strength, speed, endurance, shapeshifting, telepathy, telekinesis, flight, heat and other types of special vision, and genius-level intelligence to name a few. Since writer Joseph Samachson and artist Joe Certa introduced him 65 years ago this month in Detective Comics #225 (November 1955), he has been a pivotal figure in countless conflicts.
Martian Manhunter debuted during the Silver Age of comics in the backup story “The Strange Experiment of Dr. Erdel.” The green-skinned humanoid extraterrestrial is pulled to Earth by Dr. Saul Erdel’s experimental teleportation beam. When they meet Erdel tries to explain that the computer will need to be restructured to send J’onn back. Unfortunately, Erdel dies from the shock of what his beam accomplished and J’onn is left stranded on Earth. While he waits and hopes to be rescued by fellow Martians, J’onn decides to fight crime on Earth. It is then that he takes the identity of detective John Jones.
During the Silver Age, J’onn revealed his true nature to the world and became a founding member of the Justice League. In those early JLA stories he would star in issues that didn’t feature Superman, given their similar abilities. He would often team-up with Green Arrow in these stories, which led to the pair appearing in The Brave and the Bold.
Martin Manhunter sets aside his John Jones identity to put his full attention on the Idol Head of Diabolu. He moved into the House of Mystery comics where he spent years fighting the Idol Head. After ending that conflict, J’onn disguises himself as Marco Xavier to sneak into Vulture, a crime cartel, which serves as the ending to his original series.
Once DC made Superman a completely active member of the Justice League, Martin Manhunter appeared less and less. He finished his original arc with the Justice League and ended his solo series in 1968. Shortly thereafter, Martian Manhunter closed his Silver Age chapter when his people came to Earth and rescued J’onn, taking him to New Mars where he’d be a leader.