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Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Martian Manhunter (vol. 2) #0 (October 1998)
Created by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake
In-story information
Alter ego Ma'alefa'ak J'onnz
Species Green Martian
Place of origin Mars
Notable aliases Malefic

Ma'alefa'ak (sometimes known as Malefic) is a fictional comic book supervillain appearing in books published by the American publisher DC Comics, usually depicted as the archenemy of his twin brother, the superhero Martian Manhunter. Created by writer John Ostrander and artist Tom Mandrake, the character first appeared in Martian Manhunter (vol. 2) #0 (October 1998).

The character appears in the 2012 animated film Justice League: Doom, in which he is voiced by Carl Lumbly.

Publication history[edit]

The character first appears in a flashback sequence in Martian Manhunter (vol. 2) #0 (October 1998) and in a storyline in the same title in issues #3 - 6 (February–May 1999) by writer John Ostrander and artist Tom Mandrake.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Ma'alefa'ak, a native to the planet Mars, is the twin brother and archenemy of J'onn J'onnz, the Martian Manhunter. Led to believe he was the only member of the Martian race born without telepathy and a weakness to fire, Ma'alefa'ak was actually stripped of this ability and his memory erased when he mind-raped J'onn's wife, M'yri'ah. Feeling ostracized because of his perceived genetic differences, Ma'alefa'ak engineered a deadly trap for the remainder of his race called "H’ronmeer’s Curse". When the Martians attempted to use their telepathic abilities to communicate with each other or the Great Mind, they would fall victim to a plague of fire and literally burn to death.[1]

With his race destroyed and the Martian Manhunter teleported to Earth against his will- J'onn having escaped infection by the virus by sealing his mind from the rest of his people- Ma'alefa'ak lived alone on Mars for centuries. Eventually learning that J'onn still lived, Ma'alefa'ak followed him to Earth. Posing as J'onn, Ma'alefa'ak battled several members of the Justice League and tortured Jemm before confronting J'onn directly, seeking to destroy J'onn's reputation before killing him. However, J'onn was able to defeat Ma'alefa'ak by erasing the telepathic block, thereby returning Ma'alefa'ak's telepathic abilities and phobia of fire. Trapped on the vessel in close proximity to the sun, lacking experience of the telepathic barriers that other Martians had been able to develop over the years to protect them in similar cases, a terrified Ma'alefa'ak could only watch as he was consumed by the fiery heat.[2]

In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity. In this new timeline, Ma'alefa'ak was reintroduced in a 2015 storyline in which the Earth-born Martian survivors of the mass death of the Martian race build a weapon to infiltrate and help enslave the Earth.[3]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Ma'alefa'ak possesses abilities similar to Martian Manhunter and all other green Martians. The character has superhuman levels of strength, stamina speed and durability. Other base abilities include "Martian vision" (projecting energy beams from his eyes). Complete control of his molecular structure also allows Ma'alefa'ak to shapeshift, regenerate, and utilize invisibility and intangibility. Ma'alefa'ak also possesses telekinesis, and originally possessed telepathy, although this ability was removed by the Council of Mars.[volume & issue needed]

Although Martians can be weakened by fire, and suffer from pyrophobia ("H’ronmeer’s Curse"), Ma'alefa'ak did not share this weakness due to the removal of his telepathic abilities. When the Martian Manhunter removed the telepathic block instilled by the Council, Ma'alefa'ak regained his telepathic abilities but was also once again susceptible to fire, his vulnerability stronger than the standard Martian due to his lack of experience at resisting the flames.[volume & issue needed]

Other versions[edit]

Ma'alefa'ak appears as a White Martian in Batman: The Brave and the Bold #18 (August 2010).

In other media[edit]

Ma'alefa'ak appears in Justice League: Doom (2010) voiced by Carl Lumbly.[4] Ma'alefa'ak, alongside Bane, Star Sapphire, Metallo, Mirror Master and Cheetah are hired by Vandal Savage for a collective 690 million dollars to kill their respective arch-nemeses on the Justice League. Ma'alefa'ak disguises himself as an attractive human woman and poisons the Martian Manhunter with magnesium carbonate, a poison that the Manhunter sweats out of his body and that Ma'alefa'ak uses to light him on fire. Later on, the Martian joins Vandal's genocidal plans to destroy as much as two thirds of Earth's population in a plot for world domination and christen themselves the Legion of Doom. A fight soon breaks out between the Legion and the League where Ma'alefa'ak and the Martian Manhunter assume the form of various alien animals to fight rather evenly, until the Martian Manhunter ducks out of the fight to leave Ma'alefa'ak to presumably die in the fires of a missile.


  1. ^ Martian Manhunter (vol. 2) #0 (October 1998). DC Comics.
  2. ^ Martian Manhunter (vol. 2) #3 - 6 (February–May 1999). DC Comics.
  3. ^ Williams, Rob (w); Barrows, Eddy (p); Ferreira, Eber (i). "Different Worlds", Martian Manhunter (vol. 4) #3 (August 2015). DC Comics.
  4. ^ James Harvey (2011-09-28). "Warner Home Video Announces Voice Cast For "Justice League: Doom" Animated Film". Retrieved 2011-09-27. 

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