Monday, June 6, 2016
The origins of the #Martian...amalgam of Ant-Man and Martian Manhunter
Hank Pym was a scientist working with a newly discovered energy source, he named the Pym particle. The strange element was found by the Mars rover and Pym believed it was an echo of an ancient Martian civilization. After a top secret mission to the red planet funded and accomplished by the #AgentsofJustice, several crystals were recovered, imbued with this powerful and mysterious subatomic element. Pym was put in charge of all research and development, as many of his covert associates believed this discovery could result in a new global energy resource.
At the same time, his colleague Howard "Hal" Jordan was seeking to weaponize the particle, without Pym's knowledge. Jordan designed a suit capable of converting the energy source to power its components and armaments. When Pym discovered his long time friend's betrayal, he stole the technology, whisking it away to his secret lab, located beneath his prestigious mansion. It was there the suit was developed well beyond even Jordan's wildest expectations.
During his obsessively committed analyzation of the element, he unlocked its potential to allow size and shape shifting. Anyone who wore the suit would be able to alter his or her mass and density, as well as, temporarily modify their appearance through telepathic manipulation. Even beyond that, prolonged exposure to the source, amplified intelligence and psychic abilities while enhancing physical strength, speed, and allowing the possibility for flight.
Pym tested the suit several times and, as his research continued, mastered all of its potential and capabilities. What he didn't realize was, that with each use, the armor's power source was altering his DNA; mutating it more and more to resemble the physiology of its Martian ancestry. Meanwhile, Jordan's attempt at evolving his technology failed miserably, and he later abandoned the project, remaining ignorant to his associate's accomplishments. However, the leader of the #Agentsof Justice, #MarthaCarter, was a bit more cunning, unearthing Pym's covert operations, and pursued him to become part of their fight against the greatest global threats of the time.
Pym's assistant and lover, Sheira Van Dyne, also joined Carter's team, with a suit custom designed for her. Pym became the #Martian, a persona defined by the suit's deliberately alien appearance and the particles' origination, while Dyne took on the mantle of the winged hero known as the #Raptor. For decades, the duo was indispensable to the #AgentsofJustice and, not long after, Pym and Jordan mended their fences, despite Howard's remaining, deep-seated jealousy of Hank's successes. Years later, Jordan obtained Pym's original designs which inspired the mechanics that would lead to the #IronLantern armor.
The one unresolved riddle for Pym was an inexplicable side effect that Hank dismissed as an anomaly of his increased mental abilities. He regularly experienced vague, disjointed visions, resembling chaotic memories of an ancient alien legacy. Pym believed this may have been a psychic residue remaining from the Martians who came in contact with the crystals containing the energy source. As time marched on, those images became stronger and more coherent, conflicting with his own identity. Soon, he could not decipher his memories and instincts from those invading every facet of his mind. Shiera also suffered from the similar experiences, but hers were far more complex, involving a third set of recollections belonging to a very human woman, existing in multiple time periods.
The increasingly tormenting effects resulted in Pym forsaking his heroic persona and "moth balling" the technology to prevent it from ever falling into the wrong hands. Shiera, continued, still struggling to reconcile her competing identities. In time, she also realized another inexplicable outcome; her aging drastically slowed. Even into her fifties, her physiology remains perpetually suspended in her late twenties. She would eventually join the #LeagueofAvengers to assist #NickGordon in his efforts against the #Legionof Hydra.
Pym became a recluse, until an old prodigy of his, Darren Cross, with the help of Jordan, discovered his original research and began his own experimentation with the particle. Cross was not only able to perfectly replicate Pym's work but developed his own remarkable suit based on its principles and powers.
However, Cross used a raw version of the source, extrapolated directly from the Martian crystals, so the anomaly that influenced Pym had a far more extreme impact on his villainous former apprentice. It was an organic presence that incredibly existed within the energy source, possessing Cross and his technology and permanently transforming him into the monstrous #Invader. The alien entity which once belonged to a warring race called the White Martians who had oppressed, tortured, burned, and committed utter genocide on their homeworld kin, the Green Martians. The #Invader was a conflicted mix of brutal strength and tactics with sophisticated sentience. The #Invader quickly began to reak havoc on Earth and was swiftly recruited by the newly organized #Legionof Hydra as a devastating weapon against the #LeagueofAvengers.
Pym realized the only countermeasure against such savagery and superior intellect was his #Martian but the toll it took on his mind was too severe. Unable to reconcile the armor's potency and its source's own latent identity, he was forced to find a suitable wearer who could accomplish the task at hand.
Enter Saul Lang, a thief who attempted to break into Pym's palatial estate. Despite being a criminal, Lang was an engineering genius, compelled into a life of ill repute thanks to a nonviolent Robin Hood style attack on an abusive corporation. He was convicted of burglary and hacking, among a plethora of other felonies, after infiltrating their systems and redistributing their wealth to the families, they took advantage of. After serving his term, released early on good behavior, he inadvertently became a cat burglar in an attempt to raise the funds needed to fight for the custody of his only daughter. During his break in, Pym confronted Lang, and, in the end, offered him a chance at redemption in becoming the #Martian.
Lang's background in engineering helped him adapt the suit to his own physiology. However, unlike Pym, Lang made a solid connection with the organic life force that existed within the particle Pym had designed. It was a brilliant Martian scientist turned soldier, named J'onn J'onzz who was killed by the White Martian who possessed Cross. J'onzz's family was also murdered by the evil Ma'alefa'ak, his own brother, who created a devastating virus that wiped out the entire Green Martian race by taping into their psychic abilities, burning both mind and body. J'onzz, because of his incredible psychic essence, was able to reach beyond death and time and connect with Lang. His inability to do so with Pym was never resolved.
Lang and J'onzz unified in mind, and together became the #Martian, able to use the suit in ways Pym could have never realized. In addition to the abilities already established, Lang now had access to the absolute truths of the universe, could teleport, become invisible, demonstarted advanced senses, could travel in space, and exhibited near invulnerability to everything but fire. Lang must wear the armor to conjoin with J'onzz's essence, likewise, J'onzz cannot utilize the technology without bonding with Lang's physiology present. Together, they are a formidable foe against the most heinously powerful forces in the cosmos.
Lang joined the #LeagueofAvengers and has been their only offense against the #Invader and his diabolical schemes. The remainder of the #LegionofHydra fears him because of his myriad of powers and seek to capture their source in an attempt to resurrect and then control the White Martian army. With the assistance of the #DarkTitan, they may actually have a chance to realize that horrific cause.