DC Day: In “JLA: Trial By Fire,” The Guardians Of The Universe Feared The Martian Race

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DC DAY

In 'JLA' (2003) #87, 20,000 years ago, the Guardians of the Universe battled the Burning Martians.
In ‘JLA’ (2003) #87, 20,000 years ago, the Guardians of the Universe battled the Burning Martians. AP Photo/DC Comics
Official Name

Trial By Fire.

Universe

New Earth.

Heroes

JLA.

Villains

Fernus, Vandal Savage, White Martians.

Creators

Joe Kelly, Doug Mahnke, Tom Nguyen, David Baron.

EXTINCTION

WITH SCORCH’S HELP, MARTIAN MANHUNTER OVERCOMES HIS FIRE WEAKNESS

In “JLA: Trial By Fire,” Martian Manhunter becomes Fernus The Burning. In ‘JLA’ (2003) #84, J’onn J’onnz meets with Superman over barbeque. Joyfully, he tells Superman he has overcome his fire weakness. With Scorch’s help, it has taken training to the limits of his mind and body. Soon, J’onn invites Superman to stay for dinner. But the Man of Steel has to respond to a JLA signal and flies away. As he departs, J’onn tells him he wants to remain on his vacation. Though, he intends to come back soon.

Later, the Justice League of America convenes on the Watchtower. Recently, at Arkham Asylum, Blackgate Prison and other prisons have reported their prisoners bawling over their crimes and watching Sesame Street on television. Green Lantern (John Stewart) hypothesizes it is a telepath. Soon, the JLA also find out that President Luthor is catatonic. Courageously, Superman enlists Martian Manhunter’s help. Unfortunately, J’onn is unable to repair Luthor’s mind. Moreover, he is caught in an energy feedback. And, the disembodied voice of Fernus speaks about its mysterious “gifts” to the JLA.1

In 'JLA' (2003) #84, J'onn J'onnz reveals to Superman that he has overcome his fire weakness with Scorch's help.
In ‘JLA’ (2003) #84, J’onn J’onnz reveals to Superman that he has overcome his fire weakness with Scorch’s help. AP Photo/DC Comics.

FEAT: GREEN LANTERN GOES TOE-TO-TOE WITH FERNUS FOR 60 SECONDS

In 'JLA' (2003) #87, Green Lantern (John Stewart) performs an energy projection feat. John Stewart teleports from Ganthet and tears apart Fernus with a Green light energy attack.
In ‘JLA’ (2003) #87, Green Lantern (John Stewart) performs an energy projection feat. John Stewart teleports from Ganthet and tears apart Fernus with a Green light energy attack. Photo/DC Comics

VISIT FEAT: GREEN LANTERN (JOHN STEWART), ‘JLA’ #87

THE GUARDIANS OF THE UNIVERSE FEARED THE BURNING MARTIANS

In ‘JLA’ (2003) #87, Green Lantern (John Stewart) tells the origin story of the Martian race. 20,000 years ago, Mars was peopled by the Burning Martians. In a few words, the Burning Martians lived on a planet of Chaos. Certainly, they were a “barbaric, ruthless, brilliant” species.2 Moreover, they constantly battled amongst themselves. Eventually, their wars and tremendous power attracted the Guardians of the Universe’s attention. As the self-appointed Guardians of Order, the Guardians felt it necessary to intervene to stop the spread of Chaos. Indeed, Mars was centuries away from achieving space travel.

Battling the Burning Martians, the Guardians wanted to avoid genocide. Then, they turned to genetic manipulation. Brilliantly, the Guardians repressed the Burning Martians with the psycho-somatic weakness to fire. But, as John notes, they were short-sighted. Truly, they neglected to account for the Martian collective consciousness. So, J’onn J’onnz overcame his weakness. Effectively, he gained access to the Burning Martian genetic block through the Martian collective consciousness. As Fernus, he needs the suffering and the burning of the entire human population in order to reproduce asexually.

In 'JLA' (2003) #87, Green Lantern tells the origin story of the Burning Martians.
In ‘JLA’ (2003) #87, Green Lantern tells the origin story of the Burning Martians. AP Photo/DC Comics.

CHECK OUT THE STORY: It’s Official! In His Thirst For Vengeance Against The Third Horseman, Black Adam Became A Genocidal Maniac By Killing Every Man, Woman And Child In Bialya.

INTERESTED IN THE REST OF THIS STORY? CLICK ON “JLA: Trial by Fire” BELOW TO PURCHASE THE COMIC ON AMAZON.

FERNUS TAKES ON PLASTIC MAN AND THE JLA

In ‘JLA’ (2003) #88, Fernus takes on Plastic Man and the JLA. Previously, Batman recruited Plastic Man (Patrick O’Brian) into active duty. Going toe-to-toe, Plastic Man is able to contain Fernus for some time. Correctly, Batman states Plastic Man’s mind is no longer organic. His shape-shifting which is based on inspiration, can adapt to Martian telepathy. However, Superman fails to destroy the last of the nuclear warheads that Fernus detonated. Unfortunately, the warhead detonates in the city of Chongjin in North Korea.

In ‘JLA’ (2003) #89, Flash runs at light speed to save its 532,000 men, women and children. Suddenly, Scorch turns the tide of the battle. Courageously, the demon absorbs Fernus’ fire allowing Superman and the League to obliterate the Burning. Sadistically, Fernus triggers Scorch’s fire. Jubilantly, Fernus is about to spawn only to find Martian Manhunter ripping through his entrails. The faith of the JLA freed him from the Dreamwalk. Meanwhile, Green Lantern turns off the city-wide flames with a wave of water. Finally, Martian Manhunter obliterates Fernus with his Martian vision.

In ‘JLA’ (2003) #89, Fernus takes on the JLA and Plastic Man. AP Photo/DC Comics.

VISIT THE CYBORG APPRECIATION PAGE.


SOURCES

JLA: Trial by Fire in DC Database.
JLA Vol 1 84 in DC Database.
JLA Vol 1 87 in DC Database.
JLA Vol 1 88 in DC Database.
JLA Vol 1 89 in DC Database.

FOOTNOTES

  1. ‘JLA’ #84.
  2. ‘JLA’ #87.

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