Kind (of) Like J’onn

In a recent interview, Supergirl’s executive producer called J’onn J’onzz “the warmest soul in the DC universe,” and heavens above if that isn’t the perfect description of the Manhunter from Mars. Ever since I truly took the plunge into the DC universe, J’onn was the character I latched onto the most.

My first introduction to Martian Manhunter was in middle school, I believe. I picked up a Justice League graphic novel on a whim and thought: a “manhunter” is a good guy?  That sounded like a villainous title to me. I never made it past the first few pages of the novel, and would have to wait almost a decade before I learned exactly who this fellow was, and I wish I had known him sooner.

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“These are your first steps.”: Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth in The Force Awakens

Dear stranger to whom I gave a ride home from The Force Awakens, I was delighted that you invoked the Hero’s Journey when sharing your thoughts on the new Star Wars. Part of me wishes that the space between the theater and your house was longer so that we could get farther than simply establishing that we both knew the monomyth. However, one thing that you said stuck with me: that you wished there was more of the Hero’s Journey present in Rey’s story in The Force Awakens, like there was in The Empire Strikes Back for Luke. Yet, no matter how good The Empire Strikes Back is, it only contains a portion of the monomyth which started in A New Hope. Similarly, The Force Awakens gives us the beginning of Rey’s Journey, and in fact, doubles-up on certain steps in the Departure stage of the Classical Monomyth.

[Spoilers under the cut]

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