Prepared for the complaints from the world’s biggest Martian Manhunter fan.

§ April 6th, 2020 § Filed under question time § 8 Comments

So when we last met, I was discussing what new, 21st century character had the best chance of standing the test of time, of still being an active presence in certain publishers’ outputs in the near and/or far future (assuing comic publishers still exist, of course). My idea was that Miles Morales would be the one, with Ms. Marvel (the stretchy one) a close second.

But some of you folks had your own suggestions, and I thought I’d look at a couple of them:

Tim says Marvel’s Runaways, debuting in 2003, is — are? — a contender, and I think that’s fair. Teen heroes who discover their parents are supervillains is a pretty good hook, and likely will appeal to young readers for a long time. Plus, they got a TV show which can only help but increase awareness of the property, though I know literally nothing about the show and how closely it may or may not hew to the source material. Like, is the dinosaur in the show? I have no idea.

Randal says Marvel’s Jessica Jones, and I actually like that idea a lot. First appeared in 2001 in a decidedly adults-only comic book series (Alias, no relation to the TV show of the same name), she was a private eye in the super-heroic Marvel universe, and she herself was apparently a former superhero. She sort of represents the one of the most effective “mature” takes on the Marvel Universe, and as a representative of that particular angle on the publisher, she’ll probably stick around.

Paul suggests thse two: Miss Martian and Skaar. I mean, it’s possible, but I don’t see them being major characters…which is fine, there are plenty of long-lived characters who aren’t headliners. Miss Martian is from the Teen Titans, so she’ll likely always be part of their history, and she has close ties to the Martian Manhunter, one of DC’s most enduring second-stringers. And she’s in the Young Justice cartoon, so she’s made the jump to media adaptions, which never hurts.

Skaar, on the other hand…he’s tied to the “Planet Hulk” storyline, which is a popular one, but as we get farther and farther away from that story, Skaar (the son of the Hulk and some alien, I fergit) seems less relevant and more complicated to explain. Again, probably never really a headlining character, but given Marvel’s propensity to keep everything that happens in continuity, Skaar will likely still pop up now and again at points in the future.

MikeyWayne brings up Damian Wayne, the son of Batman and the current Robin. I actually thought about this, but..well, here’s the thing. Batman having a biological son, and Superman having a biological son, in current DC continuity, does not seem like something that’s gonna last. Now my personal wish is that DC doesn’t reboot their continuity yet again but we all know it’s coming sooner or later, and all it takes is a new editorial voice in charge saying “I don’t want our characters to have kids” to do away with them. That said, I think the idea of Damian Wayne is a good one, and the way he was introduced, and the way the character’s been handled and how he fits into Batman’s world, gives him at least a fighting chance to survive whatever reboot is coming. There’s no guarantee, though, and I feel like “son of Batman,” and definitely “son of Superman,” are concepts that will be the first to go when DC rolls back the odometer on their fictional world.

Jason mentions Robbie Reyes, the current Ghost Rider, and…okay, I don’t really know much about Robbie Reyes, aside from that he was the version of Ghost Rider that appeared on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.). I am…not familiar with this iteration, but it seems like the franchise always returns to Johnny Blaze, the original (demonically-possessed, motorcyle-riding) Ghosr Rider. Maybe he’ll be around as one of the many hosts of Ghost Rider, such as how Danny Ketch is used now. So Reyes will be around, sure, but as a footnote is Ghost Rider’s ongoing history more than a draw on his own.

Okay, hang on, only a couple more: Thom H. sez, he sez “Young Avengers,” given their possibility of making it into the movies. That’d do it, I think. Plus, they have “Avengers” in the name, and people seem to like that. I mean, in the real world, not in the comics. And Isaac M. brings up “Amadeus Cho,” boy genius in the Marvel Universe who was also briefly the Hulk…probably another supporting character who’ll always be dragged out whenever they need someone to fill that said “boy genius” role in the story, or whenever they put all the smart people in one room, as they sometimes do.

But as Steven R. says, once they make it into toy form, that’s a good indicator that they’ve got legs. Not that Toy Biz’s figure for Albert really helped him along much, but the point is taken.

Well, okay, “staying power” can mean a lot of things, I guess. I was thinking “prominently in the public eye” when I settled on Miles, but “occasionally popping up in the comics” is also not being dropped into the dustbin of history. Even if Damian Wayne and Jon Kent get retconned out of existence, there’s always gonna be somebody trying to bring them back in some form or another. Once created, they’re hard to uncreate, especially if the characters are part of Big Two superhero universes where no obscure character stone is left unturned for long.

8 Responses to “Prepared for the complaints from the world’s biggest Martian Manhunter fan.”

  • BRR says:

    I’ll blissfully ignore the possibility the question is rhetorical. The dinosaur is in the show!

  • Chris G says:

    The funny thing about Jon Kent is that it wasn’t all that long ago that Lois & Clark had essentially adopted another super-powered Kryptonian teen. But nobody ever mentions Chris Kent these days!

  • Matthew says:

    Some potential characters that have “staying power”

    X-23: Created for the cartoon originally, but seems to be around for the long term in comics.

    Quentin Quire maybe? There are a number X-Men characters who I don’t think will ever be “big names” but will benefit from there always being multiple team-based X-books and will stick around/keep coming back.

    Would the current version of Groot count?

    The characters people have mentioned tend to be superheroes, are there any supervillains people think will stand the test of time.

    And yes, I have seen Simon Baz recently. He was in the Lego DC Super Heroes blind bag minifigure series released in January. Why him? I have no idea.

  • Yes! says:

    DC sort of hit a wall in New 52, having to spend the a lot of stories attempting to reintroduce everyone. There’s been a lot of fun new ones like Bunker and Super-Man. But karma insists that for every Gotham Academy there’s must be a Green Team.

    I bet soon Pandora will end up like Harbinger, a forgotten footnote to confuse future TPB readers.

    (Chris Kent seems in retrospect to have been a dry run of sorts. He didn’t get a ton of negative response if I remember correctly. I wonder if that gave DC the confidence to try a more permanent introduction)

  • salamurai says:

    “Damian Wayne, the son of Batman and the current Robin”
    I didn’t know Batman and Robin were quite *that* close.

  • Snark Shark says:

    “assuming comic publishers still exist, of course”

    “In the year 2525, if man is still alive!” Uh, that’s actually pretty close, as years go.

    “Would the current version of Groot count?”

    Well, HE IS GROOT! So, yes!

  • Snark Shark says:

    Damian Wayne, the son of Batman and the current Robin”


  • BK Munn says:

    The only reason I know Skaar is the Hulk and the Agents of SMASH cartoon show, which is still on one of the kids channels here.