Hand Me The Martian Shark Repellent!

DETECTIVE COMICS #229: The Phantom Bodyguard

Thankfully we seem to have broken the habit of recapping the entire premise of the comic in the first 4 frames of each issue, but don’t worry, the newer, fancier “single frame recap” is coming up, and soon!

First though, millionaire Drexel Mansfield (I am totally gonna try to encourage people to name their babies “Drexel”) is standing outside near a cliff. Suddenly a strange figure that we don’t see pushes him off, but thankfully he falls into a net that was, I guess there for some reason. I don’t really get ocean stuff; it’s a mystery to me. At any rate the guy trying to kill him sure sucks at it. You push him off a cliff into the ONE NET that is there, jeesh.

Mansfield goes to the police to tell him that he thinks his business partner is trying to kill him to take full control. The captain assigns John Jones to be Drexel’s bodyguard until this is all taken care of. Meaning until John figures it out. No one else is going to bother trying to figure it out.


And hey, we’re back to the J’onzz spelling again. Will it last? Only time can tell!

For some reason, Mansfield decides that the most awesomest thing to do in this situation is to go on a deep-sea fishing trip. What the hell. J’onn makes a mental note that Mansfield is really smelly, like whoa you knew we were gonna be hanging out today, couldn’t you at least take a shower?

As they fish, Mansfield heads to the back of the boat while J’onn at the front notices another boat coming at them at full speed. They crash and both Mansfield and J’onn are thrown overboard. The waters are…just goddamn FULL of sharks. No wonder they weren’t catching any FISH. It’s just fucking sharks.

Thankfully they don’t seem to be bothering Mansfield, and J’onn just turns into his Martian form to scare them off, which works for some reason.

It’s not like sharks are really scared of things. As J’onn changes back and swims to the surface he hears Mansfield yelling for help because he can’t swim. For fuck’s sake, I have to do everything, J’onn thinks to himself.

They go back to Mans’s mansion, where god-willing, some more weird shit will happen. The phone rings and Mans goes to answer it. As he does, the chandelier fucking comes loose and starts to plummet towards him. J’onn uses his Martian lung power to instead, lower it slowly to the ground. And when Mansfield asks him HOW he did that? He tells him that there were still a few wires holding it and lowering it down. Completely believable!

J’onn finally believes that someone is indeed out to kill Mansfield. He tells him to wait at his house while he goes to talk to his business partner Cowan. Using his powers, he walks through the wall into Cowan’s office. Startled, Cowan asked where he came from and J’onn just says that he’s been waiting here. What? Are you fucking serious? You’ve been WAITING there?

For some inexplicable reason Cowan just goes with this, and answers J’onn’s questions, particularly about the picture of him and Mansfield together on the swim team. Curious eh?

J’onn leaves the office with some sort of master plan for Mansfield’s party tonight. At the party, Mans tells him that he bought a gun, and he’s gonna use it if he’s gotta. J’onn, I guess, checks his permit and says it’s cool.


At the party, Cowan jumps out at Mansfield. Mansfield, ready with his gun, explains how he’s been faking the murder attempts so that when he shoots Cowan now it’ll seem perfectly reasonable. J’onn then jumps out from some bushes and tells Mansfield that he’s totally BUSTED. He knows Mansfield can swim, and that he was smelly because of all the shark repellent he was wearing. And you are going to jail! BAM!

Also your butler, because he helped you, but we’re not really gonna go over that very much we’re just mentioning him quick in case people try to poke holes in this!

It was the butler!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Like What Robot Zombies Eat

DETECTIVE COMICS #228: Escape to the Stars

Ok guys, look. When I said to start calling him “J’on” to save money on the letters, I was joking. But there you are, in the very first panel of this issue, calling him J’on J’onz. Goddammit.

At least you fix it later.

The issue starts with someone robbing the Benton Optical Company. They’ve flooded the building with tear gas. Captain Harding (What? Where did he come from? Where did Lt. Saunders go? Why does this guy look so much like Saunders? What’s going on?) tells our hero John Jones to put on a gas mask and get in there and look for survivors. Uhhh, that…isn’t that more like something a SWAT team or something would do? Not really something a detective does. At least not in any of the episodes of CSI I’ve watched. (This isn’t many episodes.)

Afterwards, the owner of the company, Mr. Benton says that…their most valuable lenses have been stolen. The ones they were making for the army. What the fuck kind of optical company…I thought we were talking about like…glasses. You’re making shit for the army? Jesus christ.

And while this issue didn’t start with a huge recap of how J’onn became a detective, every other frame does try its damnedest to remind us that he is from MARS. And he CANNOT return. And he’s a DETECTIVE now. Deal with it.

The captain calls for everyone to drop their current cases and focus on catching the mastermind thief, Alex Dunster! J’onn (spelled correctly now, or…close enough) drives around town checking all the chemical plants until his Martian hearing picks up some clues. Inside a building he sees Dunster breaking into something.

“This time my ability to see through solids is paying off!”

This time? So, not like the other day when you accidentally used it see through the Captain’s shorts when he couldn’t find his keys? Or when you were on security detail at the airport, checking for drug mules? No sir, this time it is totally worth it.

J’onn darts inside to try to stop him, but Dunster is wearing some sort of goofy ass necklace that is acting as a giant hearing aid, so he hears J’onn coming and makes with the escape after shooting J’onn with some crazy laser thingy. It went “KAZOOOM”; who knows what it is.

When J’onn comes to, Dunster is long gone, but J’onn manages to pick up a tire trail left from his car and follows it to Dunster’s hideout. There, he finds Dunster focused on…OH MY GOD COULD IT BE!


Created by Dr. Erdel, who is now known as Professor Urdle. Guys, it was like four issues ago, how hard would it be to go back and fucking spellcheck the dude’s goddamn name. He gets referenced like all the time.

J’onn pauses for a moment. Does Dunster have the machine working again? Could it send him home? Apparently he does! And he’s going to use it to…build a hideout in space? And then after crimes he can escape to his goddamn space hideout. That is some crazy shit. Nothing said about this robot brain ever makes any sense.

J’onn knows that if he used the brain to send himself back, Dunster would go free and would most definitely crime it up all over the place. That’s just wrong, so he leaps out from his hiding spot to attack him. Dunster jumps up and THROWS THE MACHINE TO THE GROUND, SMASHING IT!

Why did he smash it? I have no idea! He just spent months getting it fixed and working for his space headquarters and at the first sign of trouble, he flings it to the ground, shattering it.

J’onn manages to be slightly less dumbfounded than I am by this action, and apprehends Dunster. Captain Harding congratulates him, and asks if J’onn knows what the machine is for. As usual, our hero plays dumb.

Hey at least you’re getting credit for this arrest!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

You Ain’t Got No Alibi, You GUILTY!

DETECTIVE COMICS #227: The Man with 20 Lives

Remarkably, we managed to make it through all of the last issue with nary a spark to throw our hero off guard. Rest assured, Detective Jones won’t always get off that easy.

This issue starts the same as every single issue does here for a while, with a good 4-6 panels wasted explaining that this dude is a Martian, and he can’t go home, at least not right now, but maybe someday, but until then he’s living on Earth and he’s being a detective and he’s got crazy powers. Okay? We all on board with this? All right, let’s get going.

Lt. Saunders is, as usual, perplexed with a case he’s working on. Monte Fisk is suspected of murder, but no one can crack his alibi!

What’s his amazing, uncrackable alibi for what he was doing on June the 4th at noon you wonder?

Well, he was sleeping, of course.


J’onn uses his crazy Martian telepathy to read Fisk’s mind and figure out what he was really up to on June 4th at noon. Using telepathy in these earlier issues is always far more complicated than one would ever really expect it to be. They can’t just say, oh he read his mind. Oh no. There’s way more to it than it. He uses “deep penetrating concentration” to draw on Fisk’s memories until one is “stolen” from his mind. Also he says he’s going to do it because these “earthman haven’t figured it out yet.” Like we’re going to? I guess I’m excited for that? Or not. No, probably not.

J’onn sees that Fisk committed the murder at noon, by firing the gun along with the chimes of what is apparently the loudest clock ever so that no one would hear them. However, he can’t submit this evidence to Saunders without trying to explain how he got, so he decides to do the classic Martian trick of “freak the dude out until he confesses.”

He drops a hint at Fisk that he knows how he committed the murder, and Fisk immediately sends thugs after J’onn to murder him. They try to run him over with a car, but he turns intangible before they can. They try to throw him off a bridge, but he flies away out of sight before he hits the water. Then Fisk tries to drop a safe on him, only to find that there is no one under the safe.

Fisk is right freaked the fuck out, so he decides to leave immediately. J’onn’s gotta get that confession now, so he walks into Fisk’s room and then a second later throws himself on the hood of Fisk’s car where he screams at him. Suddenly the car rounds a corner where, completely inexplicably, someone has lit a large fire. What the fuck.

The fire saps J’onn’s strength and he falls off the car, sure he’s failed at his task. He later walks to the station, only to find Fisk there, confessing! It worked! Saunders tells him that Fisk was sure a ghost detective was haunting him, hahaha. Isn’t that crazy?

Another case solved that no one will get credit for, least of all YOU, John Jones, now get back out on your beat, goddammit before I fire you.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cases Loaded.

DETECTIVE COMICS #226: The Case of the Magic Baseball

We left our hero having just been made a detective and being told that the Lieutenant has just the case for him! We won’t find out what the case is, because this issue starts with talking about J’onn’s powers and telling us how he’s already used to them defeat crooks in a few cases. Cases that really didn’t seem that interesting. Whatever that first case was shall remain a mystery. Maybe someday, I’ll write it! THE MISSING CASE OF JOHN JONES! There will be fire and meteorites and mobsters and everything that makes a Martian Manhunter case great. 

Thankfully as J’onn reports to the precinct this fine morning, there’s another case waiting for him. It doesn’t seem all that interesting, but A MARTIAN is on the case, so you can bet it will at least be weird at some point. 

Also for no apparent reason, we are suddenly spelling his last name with only one “z” now. Hoo boy. Guys, let’s not start retconning the main character’s name already, we’re only 2 stories in. Maybe someone at DC told them the letterers get paid by the letter and you guys are way over budget. You might want to consider changing it to J’on too. We’re all tightening our belts around here, all right.

The lieutenant (does he have name? I can’t remember) tells J’onn that a big time baseball player named…*sigh* BIG BOB MICHAELS is possibly being blackmailed by the mafia because he used to be in prison. J’onn checks out Michaels’ apartment and sure enough, the mob has called him and are telling him that he better lose the upcoming game or they’ll tell everyone that he was in jail?

A sports star that was in jail? GASP. 

Michaels’ is freaking out over what to do. He doesn’t want his new career to be ruined, but he doesn’t want to fix the game either. J’onn’s not sure what he intends to do and needs to figure it out so he knows how to help, so it’s time to use a power that we will likely never see again, and have never seen or heard of before…

His ability to peer into the future.

He sees that the Michaels’ team, the uh…oh god, the FLAMINGOS would defeat the, oh lord for real? They would defeat the WONDERS 1-0 if it weren’t for these blasted crooks. So, I guess he can see into a hypothetical future. Maybe he could also look into a world with less pathetic team names while he’s at it? 

At the game the next day, J’onn finds a comfy seat with a good view of home plate near the mobsters trying to hose our ex-con baseballer. J’onn uses his telekineses to make sure that every player strikes out.

The mobsters are going freakin’ bonkers at this and are ready to get their blackmail on, but still hoping that maaaaaybe the Flamingos will lose if the game goes to extra innings. It’s still tied 0-0 after all. 

Then Micheals’ gets up to bat. He hits a line drive towards the third baseman. Should be an easy catch, but oh what’s this! J’onn uses his dang telekineses again, and sends the ball not just past the third baseman, BUT INTO THE STANDS. A HOME RUN!

WHAT A WIND TODAY, declares the baseman.

The Flamingos win the goddamn game, and incredibly upset mobsters make their way to do their thing. J’onn turns invisible and trips them all down the stairs, in a most hilarious crime-busting maneuver.

Stadium security sees them all in the ball park with guns and immediately rush over to arrest them, but our wonderful Detective Jones introduces himself and says he’ll be taking over. The three men are charged with blackmail, and the Lieutenant wants to know how J’onn did it!

Just lucky! Ha ha ha ha!

No seriously though, Detective, there’s like paperwork and stuff.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This Space Reserved For Puns About Fire

DETECTIVE COMICS #225: The Strange Experiment of Dr. Erdel

The very first Martian Manhunter story isn’t very oh, how should I say…plot-heavy. It’s a LOT of exposition. It’s like 8 pages of “hurry this shit up, he’s gotta be a detective so he can solve a crime in the next story.”

“But Mr. Editor, it takes a long time to become a detective.”

“No. No it doesn’t.”

The story starts with Dr. Erdel building something he calls a “robot brain.” And now that it’s done, he’s gonna push the button to turn on and see what it does. I don’t…I don’t really GET how you build something where you won’t know what it does, but what do I know, I just write blogs.

He pushes the button (OH GOD THE EXCITEMENT) and ponders if the machine will reach into the TIME or perhaps the FOURTH DIMENSION!


No no, instead it will reach to Mars (wait, maybe he thinks Mars is the fourth dimension? Maybe they meant fourth planet? These questions! ARG!). And from Mars it will pluck a Martian, the incredible J’onn J’onzz.

J’onn is a pretty understanding Martian though. “Whoa, what’s up, where am I?” The good doctor explains then J’onn asks that he please send him back to Mars because he was kiiiiind of in the middle of some important stuff.

Dr. Erdel instead tells that he’ll need to uh…reverse the thinking plot of the robot brain to send him back, which could take WHO KNOWS how long. So just to clarify… you built a robot brain but apparently didn’t know what it would do, but now know that it’ll take months or YEARS to reverse what it did? Wha di….who..uhh whu…nevermind.

Anyways, J’onn is still remarkably understanding and just says, that he’ll shapeshift into a human for however long that whole reversing the whatever thing will take. He transforms in front of the doctor, who is SHOCKED at this, and then has a freakin’ heart attack! And then dies! Goddammit! Now who’s gonna fix this thing?

J’onn thinks that Mars is working on coming to Earth and that might happen sometime, so he’ll just hang out til then…though they’ll probably just assume he’s dead. And he’ll probably end up on Mars Unsolved Mysteries. Siiiigh.

J’onn has already shapeshifted himself a suit and tie but goes ahead and grabs himself an overcoat and hat too from the doctor’s closet. Then he goes to, I don’t know, the ocean? And extracts gold from it? I guess so he can buy things, but I’ve never bought anything with just a big old pile of gold.

He wanders around earth for a while, thinking to himself how much less evolved it is than Mars. Cars? Pfff, we are soooo over cars. Wars? Been there, done that. Tall buildings? Sick. of. them.

And this thing, this…this crime. Mars used to have crime too but…good lord, that was YEARS ago!

J’onn decides the best thing to do on earth since he’s stuck here, is to fight crime! He heads down to the police station, and tells them he would like to be a detective. The officer up front seems skeptical for about half a second, and then sends J’onn up to see Lt. Saunders. The officer also lights a cigarette, and J’onn takes a moment to freak out at it.

Lt. Saunders tells J’onn that he passed the detective test and he starts tomorrow! And oh ho ho, he’s got…JUST THE CASE FOR HIM.


(Also the lieutenant lit a cigarette too. There’s a lot of smoking in this comic!)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Internet Can Hold So Many Words

I love Martian Manhunter and I am gonna express that love all over this page.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment