Thursday, 2 April 2015
In a British black and white reprint annual in the 1960's, I saw him exercise the power to extinguish a fire inside a building by liquefying the skylight above the fire with beams from his eyes. In those days, he remained invisible and operated in secret.
Next, I saw him visible, tangible and green in the Justice League of America and in a Detective Comics back up feature. Later, he rejoined his fellow Martians in their extrasolar colony on New Mars, a clear recognition that Mars is in fact not inhabited. Later still, we learned that:
his original Martian form was not as we see him;
he had not only teleported but also time traveled from an inhabited Mars in the distant past, just as Michael Moorcock's Michael Kane had had to time travel pastward to reach an inhabited Mars.
When J'onzz got his own series, his metamorphic power was developed fully for the first time, giving him multiple identities on Earth. In a black identity, he worked on the Kent farm to keep an eye on Kal-El, as he does in Smallville. In The Sandman, he sees Morpheus as a Martian deity.
Apparently it will emerge that he had been an inter-galactic manhunter working with Jor-El. Smallville: Labyrinth alludes to his Martian vulnerability to fire.