Personally, I believe the Martian Manhunter aka John Jones is the greatest superhero of all time. He's got all the powers of Superman and more, he’s morally good yet has no empathy for the human race, and he's super intelligent that can also turn into a goddamn monster! Most will just attribute him to just being a B-list character but this “B-list” character is an original member of the Justice League. And not just in the animated series but also in the original comics! Yet Zack Snyder, Geoff Johns and co. have not brought this character to the big screen yet and instead replacing him with the more diverse and modern-set Cyborg – which actually makes sense and I'm quite excited what's in store for Ray Fisher but now I'm getting off topic – for the introduction of the Justice League next year. So here's why and how the Martian Manhunter should be added to the DCEU.
His Standalone Film Would Be A Better Version Of Man Of Steel
I personally loved Man of Steel. I loved it's cinematography, it's story, it's high-octane action and most importantly : it's philosophical questions and symbology. What Zack Snyder made – I felt like– was a action- adventure drama with gorgeous design and cinematography with deep questions about super humans on earth that Marvel NEVER asks – but it wasn't a Superman movie. And that right there is the major reason it was so divisive among fans: it didn't have the right main hero. Instead of having Superman, a film like Man of Steel should have had Martian Manhunter at the helm. Man of Steel asked all the right questions about aliens on earth but used the wrong alien as Superman is just Clark Kent; a friendly American from Kansas. What they needed was John Jones; a fully grown Martian from a destroyed planet he watched fall apart first hand. Warner Bros. and Snyder tried to make an immigrant film, which is fine, except for that Superman – dare I say it– isn't really an immigrant. He is, but he doesn't feel that way; to him he feels like an American from Kansas. But Martian Manhunter IS an immigrant and one that immigrants can relate to as he moves from home to a land he's never experienced before. If Man of Steel was a Martian Manhunter film, it would probably be sitting at a 89% or higher on Rotten Tomatoes.
It Adds A Weirdness Factor
The DCEU is going after what they claim is a more grittier and realistic cinematic universe compared to Marvels. This is perfectly fine and, I think, quite awesome in fact. But let's face it – Comics are weird. And you can't have a successful movie universe without adding in a little of the bizarro world in there. Marvel has shown this as Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man were both unexpected surprises and the upcoming Doctor Strange looks to do the same as well. Even 20th Century Fox took a gamble with the not-for-kids Deadpool. So what's stopping DC? You can still have the gritty mixed with weird and that's exactly what we'll see in Suicide Squad in a week and even possibly Green Lantern Corps and the Flash. Martian Manhunter would just add on to that. And who wouldn't want to see a giant mech team up with a cute, little bear ?
So now we get to the part I enjoy the most: coming up with a way to get him in. Now that the DCEU is pretty much established, I have a few ideas of how to get J’onn J’onzz his own movie. The first one is a pretty good one - I think- but it would take some time. At the end of Justice League(2017), the team has just defeated Steppenwolf and are getting comfortable working together, but then a man with a green ring comes from the stars calling himself Jon Stewart, Green Lantern and that him and the corps will help them defeat Darkseid who is traveling quickly to earth to finish what Steppenwolf started. This leads to Justice League 2 (2019) in which the League travels to Oa with Stewart and meet Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner there. But in one scene while taking a trip through the Sciencells–the Oa prison for all the worst criminals in the universe– Wonder Woman (the most humane of the group) makes eye contact with an injured Martian who stares back at her. After Green Lantern Corps (2020) in which the Blackest Night occurs, the criminals riot their way out of the Sciencells led by a mysterious Martian who claims he's not a criminal. The Martian makes his way to earth where he hides until Starro attacks earth in Justice League 3 (some time in Phase 2). The worst idea I had was to just have him cameo in a couple of movies but never go anywhere while my third idea is the best one. Batman arrives at a scene on Christmas Eve. A family’s been murdered but the boys gone missing. Batman tracks him down to an old, abandoned church where a violent cult is trying to sacrifice the boy. The Dark Knight intervenes but not before the cult leader takes the boy and runs. Batman tracks him down –while using his scare tactics – but when he finds him, all he discovers is the cult leader frightened to death and the boy hugging a strange young man. “Leave it to the officers next time,” says the man. “Who are you?” snarls the Dark Knight. “The man Gordon originally but on the case” replies the deceive as walks away with the child. Days later the detective walks into his apartment when he hears the window curtains rustle. “I know your secret”. “And I know yours”. “Stay out of my way”. “Or I'll destroy you”. “Welcome to the city”. “Thanks”. But the man in the shadows is gone. Detective Jon Jones appears in several other films working with Detective Bullock and Commissioner Gordon where he see his powers on hand more and more- increasing overtime- until he gets a standalone film. We see flashbacks to his origin and coming to earth before eventually having to become the hero he always was when his step brother –Ma’alefa’ka J’onzz– and his army of white Martians invade earth looking for J’onzz a la Zod in Man of Steel.
What do you think? Should the Manhunter be brought into the DCEU? If so, how? Let me know in the comments below!