Trial By Fire.
Fernus, Vandal Savage, White Martians.
Joe Kelly, Doug Mahnke, Tom Nguyen, David Baron.
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
FEAT: GREEN LANTERN GOES TOE-TO-TOE WITH FERNUS FOR 60 SECONDS
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.
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.
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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.
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|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.
- ‘JLA’ #84.
- ‘JLA’ #87.