How Martian Manhunter Came Back from the Dead


Throughout his career with the Justice League, the Martian Manhunter has valiantly died in a few major stories before making dramatic returns.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Justice League: Last Ride #6, available now from DC.

Although he died before the story’s events, Martian Manhunter triumphantly returns in the final pages of the newest issue of Justice League: Last Ride by Chip Zdarsky, Miguel Mendonca, Enrica Eren Angiolini, and Andworld Design. His seeming death in a previous issue was one of several that the hero has had over the years, with DC killing off the heart and soul of the Justice League in times of literal crisis.

The other times where Martian Manhunter has died have seen him return in glorious, heroic ways, and Justice League: Last Ride is no exception. To celebrate this grand revival, here’s a look at all of the other times that DC has killed and resurrected the green martian.

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Martian Manhunter in Final Crisis and Blackest Night

At the beginning of Grant Morrison and J.G. Jones’ Final Crisis, Martian Manhunter was killed off for the first time. This happened when the longtime Justice League hero was captured by the villainous Libra, who brought the injured martian as a gift to the Human Flame, a member of J’onn J’onnz’ rogues gallery. Stabbing him with his fiery spear tip, Libra finished the job after the Manhunter sent out psychic broadcasts to other members of the Justice League.

Afterward, Martian Manhunter was brought back as a Black Lantern zombie in Blackest Night by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis, though this form lacked his spirit. Facing the truly resurrected Hal Jordan and Barry Allen, Martian Manhunter was finally restored to the realm of the living by “the Entity,” which resurrected him and several other deceased heroes. This was his state for the remainder of the pre-Flashpoint continuity.

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Martian Manhunter vs. Lex Luthor

The next death of Martian Manhunter occurred in the DC Rebirth era. This continuity introduced a new backstory where he was once summoned to Earth by Lionel Luthor and befriended by a young Lex Luthor. Lionel’s aims were to recreate a powerful primordial human-martian hybrid. He tried to reach out to Lex Luthor and talk about their past, but Lex’s only response was to finish what his father had started. Obtaining genetic material from J’onn, he later merged with him into an Apex Predator “Apex Lex” in 2019’s Justice League #28, by James Tynion IV, Javi Fernandez and Daniel Sampere.

Martian Manhunter remained trapped within Lex Luthor’s mind and body until the intervention of Shayne J’onzz, the alternate dimension son of Martian Manhunter and Hawkgirl. Shayne sacrificed himself by taking J’onn’s place in the prison inside of Lex, allowing the Martian Manhunter to be free once again and fight alongside the Justice League.

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Martian Manhunter’s Last Ride

Justice League: Last Ride #4 showed the final fate of another world’s Martian Manhunter. On a mission on Apokolips, the Justice League discovered Boom-Nukes meant to be weaponized by Darkseid. Threatening to destroy all life on Earth, the weapons could be deactivated if the energy from the core of Apokolips was drained. With other heroes such as Superman busy at the time and the clock ticking, Martian Manhunter volunteered to do so, even though the fiery core would surely kill him. In his final moments, he thanked the Justice League for fighting alongside him, calling them all his friends.

In the newest issue’s final pages, he returned in a cloud of Green Lantern energy used by Darkseid, reuniting with his old allies to put a stop to the mad tyrant of Apokolips once and for all. It’s unknown if this is really him or merely a manifestation of willpower energy, but it would seem that of of the most powerful members of the Justice League is back once again.

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