|First appearance||Jemm, Son of Saturn #1, (September 1984)|
|Created by||Greg Potter (writer)
Gene Colan (artist)
|Place of origin||Saturn|
|Team affiliations||Injustice Gang|
|Notable aliases||Son of Saturn|
Jemm is a fictional alien that has appeared in various comic book series published by DC Comics. The character exists in DC's main shared universe, known as the DC Universe. Created by Greg Potter and Gene Colan, he first appeared in Jemm, Son of Saturn #1 (September 1984). He is an analogue of DC's superhero and recurrent Justice League member the Martian Manhunter, of whom he is an occasional ally.
According to Greg Potter, co-creator of Jemm, the character was originally conceived as the cousin of the Martian Manhunter. (Jogarr, Jemm's cousin in the series, was originally the Manhunter.) This was at a time when the Manhunter had disappeared from the pages of DC Comics for a time. However, part-way through developing the series, Potter was told by editor Janice Race that she had learned Manhunter would reappear in the Justice League of America. To avoid any continuity problems, Potter rewrote the series as Jemm, Son of Saturn, a character with no connection to the Martian Manhunter.
Jemm was reintroduced to the DC Universe by Grant Morrison in JLA #12, which emphasized his similarity to J'onzz. During his run on Martian Manhunter, John Ostrander used these similarities to explain that the Saturnians were a race created by and modelled on the Martians.
Fictional character biography
The three races of Ma'aleca'andra (the Martian name for the planet Mars in the DCU) are directly responsible for the H'ronmeerca's (Saturnians). The Saturnians are the genetically modified descendants from the underclass Martian worker clones created by their ancient Martian explorers as they ran Martian colonies on the moons of Saturn. The Martians cloned the original Saturnians from themselves; the Red Saturnians were created by the Green Martians while the White Saturnians were created by the White Martians. Both races of clones were created and bred to survive and live on the planet Saturn. The Green Martians treated their clones as equals while the White Martians treated their clones as slaves. The fate of the Yellow Martians is unknown during this time period.
The continued enslavement of the White Saturnians started a civil war between the two Martian races. At the war's conclusion the White Martians were exiled to the "Still Zone", only to escape years later and reappear disguised as the Hyperclan. After the civil war all Saturnians were granted their freedom, but continued to war amongst themselves for millennia.
Jemm, son of King Jaxx was forced to flee the palace after a White Martian coup. His mother Jarlla was able to hide him in a cave, where Jemm was trained by his White Saturnian teacher Rahani in the use of his powers.
After both his mother and teacher were killed by the White Martians, Jemm stole a ship and escaped to Earth, in search of his lover Syraa who had fled there earlier. He arrives in Harlem, New York and is befriended by an African-American orphan named Luther Mannkin. After a series of adventures with and without Luther, Jemm eventually found Syrra. They all then travelled to New Bhok, a Red Saturnian colony. Because he refused to take sides in a civil war on New Bhok Jemm was disavowed and cast out by both factions. Dispirited Jemm and Luther returned to Earth.
There Jemm learned that a criminal named Claudius Tull planned to use Saturnians as living energy sources. He had allied himself with a female White Saturnian named Synn. When Tull's true goal was exposed, Synn surrendered her forces to the Red Saturnian military. When last seen, Jemm had set out in search of Syrra, who had mysteriously disappeared yet again.
Jemm resurfaced years later as a member of the Injustice Gang. He had apparently been brainwashed by Lex Luthor through the use of a Philosopher's Stone and used as a psychic weapon against the Justice League. He was able to impersonate J'onn J'onnz (Martian Manhunter) telepathically. Plastic Man, disguised as the Joker, played several pranks designed to awaken him, but failed. J'onnz was able to sense and connect with Jemm's mind. J'onn powers freed Jemm, but left him comatose.
J'onn took Jemm to Z'onn Z'orr, his hidden Antarctic retreat in order to heal his mind. Jemm spent the next several months recovering his mental and physical health. He was later discovered, detained and abused by J'onn's evil brother Malefic, who convinced the JLA that J'onn had gone insane and was torturing Jemm.
While Jemm recovered at the JLA Watchtower, a delegation of Saturnians arrived to reclaim the prince. J'onn discovered that Jemm was to take part in a brokered political wedding designed to unite warring factions of Red and White Saturnians.
Rings of Saturn
During the trip to H'ronmeerca'andra, J'onn learned more about Jemm's future bride, a White Saturnian named Princess Cha'rissa. Cha'rissa became romantically attracted to J'onn, and he admitted his own attraction to her. The trio uncovered a plot by Jemm's White Saturnian cousin Jogarr to assassinate him, and Cha'rissa vowed to put aside her feelings for J'onn and be true to her intended, Prince Jemm. J'onn left for Earth just before the wedding ceremony.
Jemm appears in Superman: World of New Krypton #9 (November 2009), and now appears to command all three known Saturnian races including the albino "Koolars", and the yellow skinned "Faceless Hunters".
When Mon-El brings the bottled city of the Lanothians to Titan, Jemm does not agree to allow the race of stronger telepaths live near his people. He later changes his mind when the Lanothians agree to live under his rule and rename themselves the Titanians.
Powers and abilities
- Jemm is superstrong, and has the power of flight. He is also a telepath, and possesses the ability to fire psychokinetic energy discharges from the organic gemstone in his forehead. The gemstone is known as the Mark of Jargon. Jargon the Mighty is alleged to have brokered peace between the red and white races.
- Unlike Green Martians, Red Saturnians like Jemm cannot shapeshift, but they are capable of rapid cellular regeneration. Koolars, a subset of the White Saturnians, are indeed capable of shapeshifting like Martians. Koolars have also demonstrated the power to meld with inanimate matter.
- Like Martians, all Saturnians are psychologically vulnerable to fire.
- In DC's new Multiverse, on Earth-48, J'emm exists as a political leader from Saturn. In this alternate history, the 9 planets of the Solar System settle all armed disputes on Earth (renamed War World). When the Forerunners revolted, the Martian and Saturnian armies were slaughtered. J'emm was the only survivor of this conflict.
- Fura, a Saturnian warlord from 3000 A.D., appeared in Batman #26, an enemy of the Batman of 3000 AD.
In other media
Jemm was released as an action figure in wave 15 of Mattel's "DC Universe Classics" line in 2010.
- Nossiter, Alf (July 1, 1984), The Harlem Globetrotter, Amazing Heroes (Fantagraphics Books) (50): 36, "I originally wrote the first six issues on the basis that he was from Mars, and that he was going to be a cousin of J'Onn J'Onzz. Then Janice calls me one day and says he can't be from Mars any more because [J'Onn J'Onzz is] coming back in the Justice League."
- See Cosmic Teams Obscure Characters: Jemm
- Martian Manhunter Vol. 2 #13
- Martian Manhunter Vol. 2 #16
- Infinite Crisis Special: Rann-Thanagar War (April 2006)
- Batman (vol. 1) #26 (December 1944)
- Wigler, Josh "Mattel Announces DC Universe Classics Wave 15 and New JLU Action Figures" ComicsAlliance May 19, 2010 Retrieved November 16, 2011
- Cosmic Teams: Jemm, Son of Saturn
- DCU Guide: Martian Manhunter Vol. 2 #13
- DCU Guide: Martian Manhunter Vol. 2 #14
- DCU Guide: Martian Manhunter Vol. 2 #15
- DCU Guide: Martian Manhunter Vol. 2 #16
- DCU Guide: Jemm chronology
- DC Universe Who's Who: Jemm
- Heroesanddragons.com: Grant Morrison Writes ... (Part 2) Jemm