While writing my last post I was thinking about the appearance of the Martian Manhunter. Most of us are accustomed to the way he looks, but most depictions of the character show that this is a modified form he has taken for humans. The true Martian form looks more like this:
I am just wondering why he would bother to change his appearance at all. You might argue that its in the interest of appearing more normal to humans, but then why wouldn’t he just take on a full human appearance? I guess it could then be argued that he wants to be recognized as different without appearing too strange to humans. Still I am not sure. As usual a superhero’s main concern should be with saving lives. If I saw the Martian Manhunter we are used to seeing I might be scared, but if I saw the regular Martian form then I would be terrified. And the ability to terrify people can be seen as a sort of superpower, and if it stopped villains before they could do more damage it would be beneficial. Also I would think as heroes are always promoting equality that he would be more interested in showing humans that its all right to be who you are. Its like Mystique said in the second X-Men movie when asked why she doesn’t just always just choose to look like someone else as opposed to her blue skinned natural version – why should she have to?
Another thing which is weird about his costume (this holds true for all shapeshifters) is that when they change their appearance they don’t put on a fresh set of clothes, which means the clothes in their new selves are actually part of their body. So MM’s long cape is actually attached to him biologically. This is not such a big deal because he is mostly invulnerable, but for shapeshifter like Mystique, she could actually be injured if you cut the clothes she was wearing.