Warning: Justice League Zack Snyder cut Spoilers ahead!
There were rumors surrounding a possible cameo of new DC characters well before the Justice League Snyder Cut came out. And now that it has seen the light of day, we know that it is Martian Manhunter, revealed for the first time disguised as Calvin Swanwick – military official and senator in the DCEU.
Seeing the seventh Justice League member did give eager fans something to rejoice about, but left those unfamiliar with the character scratching their heads as to why the character was buried in the four-hour-long version in the first place.
— ᗩᖇᗷITEᖇ 𝖂𝖔𝖑𝖋𝖌𝖆𝖓𝖌 of SnyderVerse (@ArbiterWolfgang) March 21, 2021
Well, here is all you need to know about the Justice League member who was left without much to do.
Who is Martian Manhunter in the comics?
Martian Manhunter (real name J’onn J’onzz) is a shapeshifting alien humanoid from Mars who’s ever been an ally to the Justice League in the comics and the animated shows. He was first introduced as a DC character in 1955, accidentally brought to Earth by the scientist Dr. Saul Erdel’s teleportation beam. The shock of encountering an alien species gave the elderly scientist a heart attack, marooning the Martian on earth who later disguises as a detective, waiting for the day when Martian technology would advance enough to rescue him.
Other than changing form at will, the Martian also has superhuman strength, psionic powers, telepathy, heat vision, and flight, among an assortment of other abilities. It is for these powers, and his unnaturally gifted mind, that he often steps in to fill the role of the Ubermensch when he’s not available. Fire is his only real weakness, and it makes sense to have him come out of the shadows now that Darkseid (who is all fire) has found the Anti-life equation on Earth.
The Martian Manhunter in the DCEU
Martian’s screentime in the Snyder cut is no more than a few minutes at best. He is first revealed to be Martha after she has a heartfelt conversation with Lois Lane, encouraging her to overcome her grief and get back out in the world. As he is leaving, he changes back to his original disguise of Swanwick.
The other scene, which also happens to one shot exclusively for the cut, is in the epilogue. At the Wayne Manor he tells Bruce about himself and that he is willing to join the Justice League to defent the world against a future Darkseig threat.
The idea of Calvin Swanwick being the Martian in disguise has been called a fan theory that Zack Snyder liked and decided to run with. But the director has since confirmed that he had intended Swanwick to be the Martian from the beginning.
It’s not a fan theory. Zack Snyder, the director, confirmed earlier today that Swanwick was secretly Martian Manhunter the whole time. pic.twitter.com/vlAsZltr5B
— Walt (@UberKryptonian) October 5, 2019
There are no plans for any further Justice League sequels extending the Snyderverse. But if there were, the martian’s cameo would have meant a ton for DC fans as he is one of the original Justice League members in the comics.
A cameo compromise?
Though the Martian Manhunter was part of Zack Snyder’s orignal storyboard, the latter had actually wanted Green Lantern (John Stewart) to be part of the epilogue, not the martian. But the studio didn’t let him have this one.
— 𝗠𝗘𝗥𝗖Ʊ𝗥𝗬 | #SnyderCut (@theSNYDERVERSE) March 17, 2021
Of course, that was not to be. Plans for Justice League 2 and 3 were scrapped after the theaterical release met with poor reception.
Snyder revealed in an interview that Warner Bros. had plans for John Stewart and wanted to do their own announcement. If Snyder could have his vision restored, introducing Green Lantern would have meant a Justice League truer to the comics. The compromise, however, is not without its own intrigue. We might yet see the Martian Manhunter get some more screentime in a future Snyder movie. But the expectations are measured and modest.