Jemm, Son of Saturn

Created by Gene Colan and Greg Potter

+ History

Life on Saturn was seeded from that on Mars (H'ronmeerca'andra and Ma'aleca'andra, respectively, to its people). These civilizations developed several millennia ahead of the human race on Earth. The Martians wer of two races, one one colored green and one white. As their civilization advanced, Martians began to explore other worlds. Because they were not a populous people, both races began to clone themselves in to create a sufficient workforce. Red-skinned clones were engineered specifically for the Saturnian environment, but treated as equals by their green creators. The white-skinned Saturnians were produced to mimic their pale Martian masters, but treated as slaves.

This very situation created a civil war among the Ma'aleca'andreans. After massive casualties all around, the triumphant green Martians exiled their remaining white brethren into the "Still Zone." (JLA #3) After this, the Saturnians were granted complete freedom, but the two races continued to war against one another for centuries.

Jemm was born in the midst of this race war, and bore "the Mark of Jargon" upon his brow. Jargon the Mighty once brought peace between the races, thanks in part to a powerful organic gem he was born with. Jemm possessed the same, and was hailed as the savior of Saturn... by some.

As son of the King, Lord Jaxx, Jemm led a sheltered existence within the walls of the Garden of Bhok. He wasn't even aware of the conflict until childhood curiosity led him to open one of the Garden's gates, giving entry to the bloodthirsty enemy. His best friend, Syraa, was nearly killed before Jemm's father slew the intruder. It was then that Jemm's teacher, the white Rahani, revealed to Jemm his destiny.

Eventually, the white forces of Synnar broke through the walls of the Garden. Jemm's mother Jarlla spirited him away from the enemy. Taking refuge in a cave, years passed, as Jemm was trained by his teacher in the use of his powers. In his teens, Jemm learned the full extent of his power when he halted the onslaught of a nuclear fireball which otherwise devastated Saturn. When Jemm was finally able to returning home, he learned from Syraa's diary that Synnar had killed Lord Jaxx in battle. Syraa managed to steal a spaceship and escape to Earth.

While Jemm discovered these developments, his teacher and mother were killed by a white robot. With nothing to keep him on Mars, Jemm took a ship to Earth, in search of his lost love. He arrived in the slums of Harlem, New York and was befriended by young orphan Luther Mannkin. Jemm had his first battle with the superhumanly strong Bouncer, who was in the employ of the wealthy political manipulator Claudius Tull. Tull then financed the CIA's pursuit of the Saturnian., led by operative Charles Brigham Dade. (Dade blamed Jemm for the death of his fiancee, who was killed by robots that pursued Jemm to Earth.)

Jemm was found by Kamah, a female white Saturnian, or "Koolar," who was a shape-changer. (Koolars also have the power to enter inanimate objects.) Jemm defeated her using the power of his jewel.

Claudius Tull was next able to enlisted Superman in the search for this "killer" Saturnian. Dade was entrusted by Tull with the experimental "Krypt-Kicker," a rifle capable of subduing metahumans. Jemm engaged the Man of Steel and fell before his might, but Superman refused to allow Jemm's death. Superman ultimately saw through Dade's hatred and found alien kinship with Jemm. Dade unleashed the rifle on Superman and captured Jemm, Bouncer, and Luther.

Jemm freed himself and the others and escaped in a Saturnian scout ship (which he obtained from a rogue white named Synn). Jemm downed several other attacking Saturnian ships and was allied by his cousin, Jogarr, who had searched for Jemm at Superman's urging.

Jemm did eventually find his love, Syrra, who was a captive of Claudius Tull. Jogarr then took Jemm and Luther to New Bhok, a red colony in space. Jemm's return ignited a religious fervor just as Commander Synn's white forces assaulted New Bhok. In this war, Jemm refused to take sides; he was destined to be the protector of all Saturnian people. This was unpopular with both sides, and Jemm was forced return to Earth with Luther.

There Jemm learned that Tull had planned all along to use Saturnians as living energy sources. To this end, he had struck up a relationship with Synn. When Tull's treachery was exposed, Synn ordered her white forces to surrender to the reds.

Jemm was left feeling unwanted by all his people, and set out again in search of his beloved Syrra, who had disappeared again.(Jemm #1-12)

Jemm resurfaced many years later as a member of Lex Luthor's Injustice Gang. Luthor brainwashed the prince with the Philoshopher's Stone and used him to create psychic interference among the Justice League. After taking out Superman and the Martian Manhunter, Jemm impersonated J'onn in a telepathic conversation with the Flash. From him, Luthor learned the JLA's plans.

The Gang was infiltrated by Plastic Man, and J'onn was able to sense an alien mind at work. He reached out to Jemm's mind and freed him, but left him comatose. Before it was all over, Jemm was assaulted by the Joker and saved by Aztek and J'onzz. (JLA #12-15)

J'onn claimed responsibility for Jemm, and took him to his Antarctic home, Z'onn Z'orr, to heal his mind and body. He remained for several months, but instead of healing fully, Jemm fell prey to the evil Malefic, J'onn's brother. Malefic led the JLA to believe that J'onn was torturing the Saturnian. The JLA took Jemm into protective custody and were manipulated into a conflict with the Manhunter, resulting in Malefic's apparant death. (Martian Manhunter #4)

While recovering at the JLA Watchtower, Jemm's mental emanations drew his Saturnian brethren, who arrived to claim the prince. J'onn was called in and learned that Jemm was to become a part of a political marriage to unite reds and whites. On their return to H'ronmeerca'andra, Jemm absolved J'onn of responsibility for recent events.

Along the way, Jemm's soon-to-be bride Princess Cha'rissa became enamoured with the J'onzz and they became romantically linked. J'onn impersonated Jemm to rout an assassination attempt. They eventually learned that Jemm's cousin Jogarr had helped in this conspiracy against him. Cha'rissa eschewed her feelings for J'onn and vowed to be true to Jemm. The couple was last seen on the day before their wedding, as J'onn departed for Earth. (Martian Manhunter #13-16)

The fate of Jemm's first love, Syrra, remains unknown.

Special thanks to Tom Tomorrow

NOTE: Much of this text was taken from a now-gone Martian Manhuinter web site. If you are the author of this material, please contact me.

+ Powers

Jemm is superhumanly strong and can fly. He possesses a starship for intergalactic travel. The birthstone on Jemm’s head allows him to probe the emotions of others as well as project his own emotions upon them. Jemm can fire force beams from this birthstone, but overuse of this power can make him ill.

Like their Martian forefathers, Jemm was very vulnerable to fire-based attacks. Prolonged exposure can kill him.

Appearances + References

» FEATURED APPEARANCES:  

 JLA #
 Martian Manhunter v.3 #

» SERIES:

 Jemm, Son of Saturn, 12-issue limited series, (1984)

» SEE ALSO:

 Hyperclan