John Jones

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J'onn J'onzz is one of the last surviving natives of the planet Mars, and of the Green Martian species. As one of the Manhunters of Mars he visited Earth a number of times over the course of his several centuries of life: usually without detection, until his capture at Roswell, New Mexico by the United States Army in 1947. First a prisoner of, and then operative of the United States government, he now serves as an agent with A.R.G.U.S., overseeing the agency's sophisticated surveillance network, Project Watchtower, under the codename Overwatch.


Among Green Martians, age is defined in cycles. Each cycle lasts sixty Martian years, or around 113 Earth years. The first cycle - or 0th Cycle, as Martian counting begins at zero - is reserved for growth, both physically and as a person. It is not the same as youth in a human sense: it is closer to maturity, in that when a Martian reaches the end of their 0th cycle, they are considered to have developed fully into themselves, physically, emotionally, professionally, and spiritually. It is then that the 1st Cycle begins, as a fully realised Martian, applying their developed selves to whatever they choose. Due to their regenerative abilities, a Martian could potentially live for millennia: but as a concession to population control, guided by the Green Martians' religious desire to live in harmony with their homeworld, Martians who live long enough to complete their 12th Cycle - or sooner, if they wish - choose to end their lives on their own ritualistic terms, telepathically passing their memories, experiences, and wisdom to younger generations. This is seen as cause for celebration, with a sense of accomplishment and completion: anyone who has lived for 780 Martian years - almost 1500 Earth years - has lived long enough to watch countless generations rise and fall, to witness the birth and death of civilizations among younger races, to perceive the growth of forests and the slow progress of geological change; by all accounts, a long and full life. No Martian would even contemplate living beyond their 12th Cycle.

J'onn J'onzz reached the end of his 12th Cycle in 1907.

Life on Mars

In his youth, J'onn was a child of two cultures. His father, father's father, and backwards through the generations were proud followers of the Green Martian spiritual traditions, embracing the teachings of Concordia and a lifestyle of balance and harmony. His mother, however, came from a more progressive bloodline, Green Martians who sought to achieve that balance and harmony not between Martians and the wilderness, but between Martians and each other - specifically, between Green Martians and their Red Martian cousins. Rather than the migratory life of the Greens, Sha'sheen grew up among the Red city-states, her family among those serving as a bridge between the two disparate races. Like her father before her, she served with the Martian Manhunters, embracing the Adrestian code of law and justice, but also embraced the Concordian view of life as well. Her relationship with J'onn's father M'yrnn grew out of philosophical debate and discussion, and J'onn's early life was spent trying to reconcile and balance those two competing viewpoints and influences.

During his 0th Cycle, J'onn chose to enlist in the Martian Manhunters, and with them he found a sense of duty and purpose, one that crystalised into meaning the first time that J'onn's duties brought him to the neighbouring planet of Earth. J'onn was born in the 4th Century, but certain memories inherited from his ancestor J'ahrl stretched back as far as Ancient Egypt and beyond. When J'onn first visited Earth it was during the era of Camelot, and J'onn delighted at how much humanity had evolved and changed in the space of only a few Martian lifetimes. Over the years and cycles that followed, J'onn found many opportunities to visit Earth, both professionally and recreationally. He fought alongside King Arthur as the Green Knight, beside Robin of Locksley as John Little, forged friendships with heroes and luminaries across the centuries, and was regarded by his fellow Manhunters as being perhaps a little too fond of humanity, with his peers often joking that if they didn't find J'onn a wholesome Martian woman to settle down with and start a family, they might lose him to the humans altogether.

Starting a family was exactly what J'onn did. After meeting M'yri'ah, the daughter of the politician D'all, J'onn found himself with an entirely new focus for his fascination and affection, and when M'yri'ah became pregnant with their first child, J'onn set aside his Manhunter responsibilities to fully dedicate himself to being a father.

Tragically, the White Martian holocaust began only a few short years later, and despite J'onn's best efforts, he was unable to save his family from death in the camps.

18th Century

J'onn escaped to Earth via Zeta Beam technology, stranded with no resources with which to avenge his family or species. Forced to hide to avoid drawing White Martian attention to Earth, J'onn went to ground in the New World, blending into the human populace. Quickly, J'onn was confronted with the darker side of human nature, witnessing the slavery, genocide, and cruelty inflicted in the name of white supremacy over those of other colours. Unable to stomach the idea of being complicit by proxy with the atrocities of the White Martians, J'onn settled into the life of an African American. J'onn lived many lives under many names, and through subtle acts of rebellion and discrete applications of his Martian abilities, may have inspired a number of folk legends over the decades and centuries that followed.

19th Century

Little is known about J'onn's life during the 19th Century, and J'onn is not known for his openness on the subject. There is some speculation that he may have been the John Henry of folklore, J'onn's Martian physiology making his incredible feats of strength and endurance possible. It is also believed that J'onn may have inspired the writings of Edgar Rice Burroughs: specifically those about a man from Mars named John, who found himself on the losing side of a Civil War, and lived a life caught between civilised Red Martians and tribal Green Martians. J'onn has neither confirmed nor denied either speculation.

20th Century

Though J'onn fought during the Second World War, he refused to choose a side during the First, seeing both sides as equally to blame for the conflict. World War II, however, served as a - much belated - proxy for retaliation against the White Martians. Under the guise of Jackie Johnson, J'onn enlisted in the United States Army, serving with Easy Company for much of the conflict.

In 1947, J'onn became aware of a potential asteroid impactor on a collision course with Earth. Using a Martian Bio-Ship that he had managed to acquire and repair over the preceding centuries, J'onn successfully deflected the asteroid, but his ship was damaged in the process. Unable to properly mask itself during reentry, J'onn was spotted and shot down by fighters from the USAAF, crashing near Roswell, New Mexico. Too injured to escape or shapeshift, J'onn was captured as an alien, spending the next several decades in the custody of the US military and government. His ship meanwhile was taken for study, becoming - alongside J'onn's own physiology and DNA - a major component of the covert research and development programs at what became Area 51.

As the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union grew more intense, the US government began to regard their Martian captive as a potential asset. J'onn began to consult with projects at Area 51, such as Project Manhunter, which sought to adapt the Martian process of telepathic memory transfer as a tool for training and educating operatives for the CIA. It soon became evident however that J'onn's own training - and abilities - could be of greater use in the field. Though J'onn never worked directly with the Justice Society of America - at the time, America was not ready to publically acknowledge the existence of aliens - he worked with several of the era's costumed heroes, including Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and The Flash.

21st Century

By the 21st Century, J'onn had become a trusted facet of the United States intelligence community. Under the guise of John Jones - an anglicised version of his Martian name - he was granted American citizenship, and was appointed to A.R.G.U.S. as an agent. Following the events of 9/11, he became the lead agent for Project Watchtower, the creation of an advanced surveillance network of satellites and data monitoring - built in part on Martian technology - to serve as a defensive early warning system against potential threats to national security of a military, terrorist, or extraterrestrial nature. The project proved to be a resounding success, and J'onn was installed as the agent-in-charge on an ongoing basis, with the codename Overwatch.

J'onn is acutely aware of the fact that by Martian tradition, his life should have ended - on his own terms - in 1907. As the Last Son of Mars, he struggles greatly to reconcile the prospect of honouring Martian traditions, and preserving them: as it stands, there are no other Martians to whom J'onn could pass on the memories and experiences of his bloodline. J'onn has entertained possibilities, including Saturnians, cloning, and his adopted White Martian "niece", but has yet to find anyone he feels comfortable entrusting with that legacy. Thus far, the events of the 21st Century have served as a distraction for J'onn from this obligation, but the pressure to resolve it is increasing: J'onn's taboo 13th Cycle is due to end in approximately 2020.


In the events of Timeline A - as recounted by Impulse - J'onn survives past 2040, and into the post-apocalyptic events of Warworld. As one of Earth's premiere heroes, however, he is targeted by the League of Assassins as part of a plan to break the human resistance and thus starve the Lords of Chaos of the power provided to them by the ever-perpetuating cycle of war. J'onn was not killed, but rather was exiled to the long-dead surface of Mars, with no means or hope of rescue.

In Timeline B, J'onn is one of the heroes with whom Booster Gold is well acquainted. According to Booster, J'onn does die before the end of his 13th Cycle, but is resurrected, first as a member of the Black Lantern Corps, and then by The Entity to function as an Elemental of Earth, as part of the events of Blackest Night and Brightest Day.


J'onn sees himself as a perpetual outsider, living in a self-imposed exile of introversion and professional distance. He is haunted by the loss of his family - and his species - and feels a sense of guilt and reluctance at the prospect of them being "replaced" should J'onn allow himself to feel a sense of belonging anywhere else; and haunted by the distrust and mistreatment he has experienced at the hands of humanity, both due to his Martian nature, and his adopted African American nature. While J'onn does not allow himself to feel as if he belongs, however, he does allow himself to feel a sense of contentment and purpose derived from his responsibilities with A.R.G.U.S., and uses his position within the organisation as a protective barrier to avoid anyone from coming too close. Despite this, J'onn does form bonds of trust, friendship, and camaraderie, even if he does not fully allow himself to admit that is what they are: in his mind he frames such relationships as transactional, something the individual has "earned" and thus he is obligated to give, rather than something he offers freely.

Special Abilities

See also: Martian Physiology

J'onn possesses the same abilities as all Green Martians. Through shape- and density shifting he is able to adapt his form, phase through objects, and render himself invisible or bulletproof - though only while concentrating. He is telepathic and telekinetic, able to read and influence the minds of others, coalesce directed beams of psionic energy, and move physical objects psychically, including himself in the form of levitation and flight. He possesses a high rate of cellular regeneration, allowing him to heal rapidly and granting him a natural lifespan of several centuries. He possesses super strength and super speed, and senses that can perceive far more than a human. He is also able to adapt his physiology through shapeshifting to enhance those senses even further.


J'onn is descended from a prestigious bloodline of Green Martians, stretching back thousands of years. One of his ancestors is J'ahrl J'onzz, an "Earthologist", whose memories and experiences of ancient Earth have been passed down telepathically through the generations. The J'onzz lineage were often scholars and spiritualists, devout in their adherence to the traditional Green Martian way of life, but J'onn's mother and grandfather served with the Martian Manhunters the law enforcers and militia of the Red Martian cities, in whose footsteps J'onn followed - much to his father's disappointment.

Though not related to J'onn in any meaningful way, the subjects of Project Everyman possess fragments of J'onn's DNA, and bear his anglicised surname - Jones - as a reference to this connection.

  • M'yrnn J'onzz - Father. A politician, scholar, and philosopher. Captured and killed during an attack on Mars by forces from Apokolips.
  • Sha'sheen J'onzz - Mother. A mystic who possessed rare precognitive abilities. She worked with the Martian Manhunters, preceding her son J'onn. She was later killed by her other son, Ma'alefa'ak.
  • Ma'alefa'ak - Brother. A Martian bioengineer, suspected of being complicit in the genocide of the Green Martians.
  • M'yri'ah J'onzz - Wife. Killed during the White Martian holocaust.
  • K'hym - Daughter. Killed during the White Martian holocaust.
  • T'ania - Daughter. Killed during the White Martian holocaust.

Other Relationships

Between the loss of his family, and the vast disparity between his lifespan and that of the humans he now lives amongst, J'onn has had considerable difficulty in forming any lasting and meaningful bonds of friendship. Perhaps the closest to true friends he has are individuals like Aquaman, Hawkman, and Hawkgirl, who through natural longevity or mystical reincarnation have survived to know J'onn for longer than the fleeting lifespans of most humans. J'onn has an unusual relationship with Booster Gold, a man from an alternate timeline who has openly shared memories of his friendship with that reality's incarnation of J'onn J'onzz. While J'onn has no reason to suspect Booster Gold of deceit, he also struggles to comprehend the differences between himself and his alternate, and to understand how that other version of himself can form friendships so readily.

Most unique among J'onn's relationships is that to M'gann M'orzz, a White Martian whom J'onn has adopted as his niece. Descended from a group of White Martians that left Mars alongside the Yellow Martians, by the time of M'gann's birth the White Martians had become little more than oppressed slaves to the Dominators. M'gann arrived on Earth amid a ship of White Martian refugees, but J'onn made a bad call, mistaking the White Martians for an invasion force purely on the basis of their species. M'gann, an infant at the time, survived when J'onn rescinded the tactical strike he had ordered, but he was not swift enough to prevent the deaths of many White Martians. The government deemed J'onn's actions "acceptable" - by all accounts, there was no reason to presume that the White Martians were anything but hostile illegal immigrants - but J'onn has not been quite so forgiving of his own actions. Out of guilt, he arranged to be appointed M'gann's legal guardian, treating her as his "niece" both as J'onn J'onzz and John Jones.


Year One:
  • The Day the Circus Came to Town - J'onn questions Impulse, an alleged temporal refugee from a potential future.
  • Appendices

    Other Identities

    • Bercilak - the Green Knight, an ally of Sir Gawain and Camelot. (5th/6th Century)

    Out of Character

    Jace has been around on the site since January 2007. He knows all the things, including board lore, random trivia, and really really terrible jokes and puns.

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