Among the changes wreaked on the DC Universe by Barry Allen’s selfish decision to futz with the timestream was the formation of a Justice League without J’onn Jonzz, The Martian Manhunter.  In his stead is Victor Stone, the former Teen Titan known as Cyborg.  On the one hand, Vic is absolutely a big league player, especially given his characterization compared to the thumbnail sketches that pass for Green Lantern and Flash’s personality in the team book.  Though the New 52 League has been through some changes since 2011, for some reason, my inner fan-child still has a bit of cognitive dissonance over the changes to the back story and history, especially since it seems to be based on the fact that J’onn was never in the Super-Friends, which leads us to today’s interchangeable query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) is really torn on this one, as an aficionado of both characters since at least the 1984, asking: Do you prefer the continuity with Martian Manhunter as founding Justice Leaguer, or the one with Cyborg?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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16 Comments

  1. September 8, 2014 at 11:32 am — Reply

    I don’t really care either way. I was born in 1979, which means by the time I started really reading comics, the Crisis on Infinite Earths was still a new-ish thing. Comic history retcons are just so much a part of my comic history that as long as a good story is being told, I don’t care if they alter a few details here and there.

    However, I don’t consider this a minor detail, just to be clear. I just don’t have a preference one way or the other.

  2. Redneck Taz
    September 8, 2014 at 11:37 am — Reply

    The reboot of the JLA with Cyborg in the place of Jonn Jonzz basically slapped the years of characterization and development of the character of Cyborg from his origins in the Perez Titans and the direction that DC was taking before “52”…that being that the next generation of capes would be moving into the JLA (Greyson/Batman, Red Arrow, Jade, Supergirl, Cyborg, etc.). While I have no problem with his abilities upgraded to being the result of alien nanotech and his being “linked” to the cyberworld having him as the first resident “kid” in the JLA (followed by a even more juvenile Shazam) just didn’t set well with me. Add all the mysterious background of Jonn being in the JLA briefly and all the Stormwatch mess and it was basically blah blah fishcakes. Too many connections of former Titans (Greyson, Red Arrow/Arsenal, Cyborg, Starfire, etc.) were given up just for the sake of “diversity”. Then, even more, when the 52 JLA gets animated they replace Aquaman with Shazam…. Just because. Up until the Earth 1/Earth 2 war I was at least satisfied with the current DCU, moreso than the quagmire of “Orignal Sin” in Marvel which has been simply horrible. The “Future’s End” stuff has been very hard to follow and simply seem to be “filler”.

    • TheWolverine
      September 8, 2014 at 8:58 pm — Reply

      Not to be nitpicky. Shazam is not the characters name, no matter what DC or other publishers might say. Shazam is the name of the wizard that Billy Batson calls to become Captain Marvel. Thanks for indulging my nerdity. Carry on.

  3. September 8, 2014 at 12:12 pm — Reply

    I really dont have preference either way. Retcons happen all the time in comics, I appreciate stories as they are, regardless of era they were done. I think it might also have something to do with the fact that I dont live in U.S. Thats why continuity never mattered to me, because back in the day, we often got our stories how local publishers pleased and not necessarily everything in chronological order, if at all.

  4. RAM_evilspaceknight
    September 8, 2014 at 12:34 pm — Reply

    The Manhunter for me was the heart and soul of the JLA. It was his new family that gave him a reason to go on. He is *my* ‘Doctor’ but others are equally as valid.

  5. WP
    September 8, 2014 at 12:41 pm — Reply

    The one that isn’t the New52.

  6. Kirby
    September 8, 2014 at 7:52 pm — Reply

    I prefer Manhunter because he was in the Brave and the Bold issue oh so many years ago. By a similar contingent, Captain America isn’t a founding Avenger, no matter what anyone says.

  7. TheWolverine
    September 8, 2014 at 9:06 pm — Reply

    For me I prefer the Martian Manhunter. He seemed to be like the outsider, a character who I could see the comic world he was living in through. Plus he had some of the most interesting powers to me, that is before I really got intrigued with the idea of Green Lantern’s power ring.

  8. Ian
    September 8, 2014 at 9:07 pm — Reply

    I prefer MM as a starting member and Cyborg as a “promoted” member as part of his development

    • Kirby
      September 9, 2014 at 5:28 am — Reply

      Cyborg transitioning from Titan to Justice Leaguer is one that makes the most sense, barring the original Fab Five.

  9. Luis Dantas
    September 8, 2014 at 10:55 pm — Reply

    I’m really not sure what the rationale was for the change… promotion of toys with replaceable or expandable parts, I assume? Cyborg _is_ far more of a natural for that than good old John.

    From a comics perspective it was a loss. It made the chronology of the Titans that much more confused in the New 52, apparently compromising the very core of Victor’s character concept. Cyborg is a character that worked because he was adjusting to his new life alongside the Titans. Making a founding JLA member out of him is just confusing for no good reason beyond product placement.

  10. September 9, 2014 at 5:05 am — Reply

    Martian Manhunter will always be a founder for me. But then again, because of when I started reading comics (the late 90s), Black Canary is founder instead of Wonder Woman. Every jumps on with different continuities. I’m sure there are some who consider Hawkgirl a founder too

  11. Shush
    September 9, 2014 at 6:54 am — Reply

    It’s the Martian Manhunter continuity for me.

    But, honestly, given the picture, I thought you were going to ask who has the most the most Male-Stripperiffic costume. (In which case, also Martian Manhunter.)

    • September 9, 2014 at 10:13 am — Reply

      Cyborg’s doesn’t show that much skin, does it?

  12. JoeM
    September 9, 2014 at 10:35 am — Reply

    Reading through the responses and thinking a little about it, it kind of hit me what I think of the New 52 Justice League (and New 52 in general). Cyborg is part of it.
    Cyborg being in the Justice League feels a lot like the Super Powers show I watched in the 80s. Not just that Cyborg is there, but also a sort of disconnected feeling. Ok, so Cyborg is part of the team. But I don’t really have a feel for why. It’s just that he’s part of the team this season. Will he be next season? Who knows?
    The whole New 52 feels a lot like that to me. Things come and go, events happen, but it’s all sort of disconnected. Between titles, even between issues in a title.
    So I guess what it comes down to is: I think Cyborg being part of the Justice League is fine, but it feels like a Saturday Morning “Super Powers” version of the Justice League. Not really attached to the “real” Justice League.

    Oh, and as for Shazam/Captain Marvel. I now seem to have settled on describing him as “Shazam, which is what they call the New 52 version of Captain Marvel.”

  13. Law
    September 24, 2014 at 1:26 pm — Reply

    I prefer Vic as Titan and was really not happy about the change. I think they should have looked for another minority to fit into the JLA. Why not Black Lightning or even Batwing?
    I have a lot of problems with the New 52 but chief among them is that they introduced over fifty years of characters at the same time instead of gradually. That’s why all i read from DC is Swamp Thing, which may change soon since I read that crappy Swamp Thing Future’s End book. Sheesh!!
    Law

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