Yesterday we took a look at some of the many looks J'onn J'onnz has sported over the years, which, due to his ability to change his shape, tended to be a lot more dramatic than the changes that, say, Batman and Wonder Woman have made to their looks over the years.
But I saved what I regard as J'onn's very best look until today. Here's a hint, its one of those in Mister Bones' monitors on the cover of this comic:
That's the cover of 2000's Martian Manhunter #17, from the ultimate Martian Manhunter team of John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake. This was a single-issue story, one that sort of crossed over with Chase, as it prominently featured the star of that series, plus Bones and the D.E.O. It also explored J'onn's then recent habit of assuming mutliple identities both to better fight crime and to better understand the human race that his destiny was now inextricably linked to.
The plot revolved around Bones trying to strongarm J'onn into working for the D.E.O., where the Manhunter's mental abilities and stealth capabilities would make him the ultimate spy. When J'onn refuses to narc on his fellow heroes, Bones plays hardball. In effect, roll over, or we'll out you in all your various identites.
The book opens with J'onn in perhaps his most unusual identity:
Yes, in addition to being a Denver-based private eye, a Brazilian street urchin and a Japanese businessman, J'onn is also a cat. I love this particular scene, not only because of what's in it explicitly, but because of the events that it references. Apparently Americans were asking around about that particular cat. I love the image of two Men In Black-types approaching old Italian ladies and saying "Excuse me ma'am, but have you seen a small black and white cat with green eyes? Answers to the name Tomasso?"
Bones assigns the task of outing J'onnz to Chase, and she complies, but she leaves a few of J'onn's identities uncompromised, since she doesn't completely agree with Bones (and because of J'onn's friendship with her father). The issue ends with J'onn touching base with his elderly friend Carmela, and here again a neat scene is implied, in which someone tries to convince her that the stray cat she feeds is actually a Martian superhero. That's gotta sound weird, even in the DCU: