Featured Screen Shot
In order to keep things straight this synopsis refers to the Martian girl called M’gann/Megan throughout as Miss Martian. Any reference to Megan is a reference to the character from the sit-com.
Nov 22nd – Batman, Martian Manhunter, and Red Tornado have called Oliver Queen (alias Green Arrow) and Dinah Lance (alias Black Canary) to Mount Justice to discuss an issue relating to the Team. Batman plays them a video of what appears to be Superboy sparring with Black Canary, just one of their usual training sessions. However, the match ends with Canary rewarding Superboy with a romantic embrace. Dinah is horrified and protests that it never happened, but Batman tells her to continue watching. The Canary in the video morphs into Superboy’s girlfriend, Miss Martian. Oliver laughs, but Dinah is indignant. The Manhunter tries to assure Dinah, but she angrily counters that “We’re not on Mars, J’onn” and says she will make the girl understand that things are different on Earth.
Miss Martian is in her room watching a recording of an old TV sitcom. The lead character in the show is called Megan, uses Miss Martian’s “Hello Megan” catchphrase, and is identical to Miss Martian’s Caucasian alter-ego Megan — she is even wearing her human form to watch the show. Dinah call causes Miss Martian to hurriedly closes the video and resume her normal green-skinned appearance (a change which only affects her skin colour). Dinah has just about calmed down and warns her that what she did was unintentionally hurtful. The Martian girl responses defensively when Dinah says that she should “just be yourself.” However, a mission alert from Batman prevents Dinah from pushing the issue further.
Rumaan Harjavti, the democratically elected leader of Qurac, has been praised as a fair and wise leader. However, 5-days ago Harjavti allied himself with his dictatorial neighbour, the Queen Bee of Bialya, and announced that in two-days their two countries would be “unifying” under the rule of the Queen Bee. There have been protests, but Qurac is now under martial law. The Queen has some mind control ability, but nothing of this range and she is allegedly still in Bialya. Batman tells them to find out what is going on. Robin will be the team leader for this mission as Aqualad is busy helping Aquaman.
The bioship reaches the Bialya/Qurac border, but Bialyian military forces are already crossing over and spooking the local wildlife. They are passing over the “Logan Animal Sanctuary” when they spot wildebeest stampeding towards a woman and a boy. Robin worries about compromising the mission, but lets the Team rout the soldiers and save the civilians. The little boy is excited to be saved by Robin and Kid Flash, but his mother is worried that there will be retribution. Miss Martian stays invisible until prompted to become visible by Kid Flash. Garfield Logan, the boy, appears to recognise Megan. The woman is his mother Marie Logan.
Miss Martian blurts that out Marie’s name before she finishes introducing herself and tells Marie that she a fan. She then gets embarrassed when Superboy questions her behaviour telepathically and hurriedly volunteers to help Marie mend her fences while Garfield and the others take the wounded animals to the Logan’s compound. They make it to the Logan homestead at day breaks. Garfield points out that it’s pretty weird about Miss Martian and his mother. He points out that she looks exactly like his mum, “just greener”, from back when Marie was a TV star in a sitcom called “Hello, Megan!”. Miss Martian helps Marie mend the fence with her telekinesis while bombarding Marie with questions about the show. Marie cuts her off by saying that it was just an old job that she she isn’t really Megan.
Superboy hears unmanned drones approaching the house. Robin tells Garfield to stay put while they investigate, but he doesn’t listen and goes to the barn to release the animals that they had rescued earlier. One of the drones strafes the oil tanks next to the barn creating an explosion that throws Garfield into the air. Miss Martian catches him, but he’s been injured. His upset mother tells Robin that she warned them there would be consequences for their intervention. The drones come around for another pass, but their are rapidly destroyed by an angry Miss Martian and Superboy. Marie has some medical training and makes Garfield comfortable, however, he needs an emergency blood transfusion. Miss Martian volunteers to morph her own blood at the cellular level into the right type and the desperate Marie accepts her assistance.
The transfusion is done behind closed doors while Robin worries about their rapidly dwindling chance to stop the Queen Bee. Kid Flash is searching for a news channel on the TV when he accidentally starts the “Hello, Megan!” VHS tape that Garfield had lined up. Superboy, Kid Flash, and Robin watch transfixed as the video shows them a sitcom featuring a girl that is to all intents and purposes the Megan they know as Miss Martian. The TV Megan’s boyfriend is even called Conner, the name Miss Martian suggested for Superboy. They hurriedly change over to the news when Miss Martian reappears. Harjavti is giving a press conference and stood behind him is Psimon, the telepath who Miss Martian and Superboy fought the last time they were in Bialya.
The teen heroes waste no time in breaking into the Presidential palace. They find Harjavti, but are suddenly surrounded by soldiers carrying Apokolitian weaponry. Miss Martian is still invisible and breaks off when she senses Psimon’s presence. He is prepared for her and floors her with a telepathic assault. Psimon pushes her trying to peel back her greatest fear, the knowledge of who she really is, he continues telepathically pushing and forces Miss Martian back into her native Martian form — an alien, almost monster like shape of a White Martian. Robin, Superboy, and Kid Flash rush to aid Miss Martian, but she knocks then unconscious with a telepathic blast.
Psimon congratulates Miss Martian on her desperate attempt to protect her secret — that she has been so terrified of how people would react to true form that she’s buried that part of herself inside a shape and a persona copied from her favourite Earth TV show. Psimon gloats that she needn’t have bothered as their confrontation is being recorded. He forces Miss Martian into a telepathic confrontation inside her own mind. Psimon taunts her with images of the Team, the Justice League, and most hurtfully Superboy rejecting her because of her frightening appearance. However, Psimon pushes her too far and she retaliates with a powerful telepathic blast that leaves him catatonic. By the time the rest of the team come around, Miss Martian has resumed her “normal” form.
The Queen Bee arrives to find that the Quraci guards are not as friendly as they had been under Psimon’s control. Harjavit tells her that the Quraci people will never suffer her tyrannical rule. However, this is another ruse. This Queen is actually Miss Martian in disguise, Robin’s plan to pin the blame squarely on the Queen’s shoulders. Shortly afterwards Bruce Wayne arrives to promise Harjavti help in rebuilding his country. There meeting is watched from the Logan Animal Sanctuary where Garfield is alive and well, albeit now with green eyes.
Kid Flash confronts Miss Martian about her resemblance to Marie’s younger-self in the sitcom. She admits that growing up on Mars was difficult, but she found joy in the cultural broadcasts that her uncle sent from Earth. These included “Hello, Megan!”. Her memories of the show were so happy that she used Marie’s image as the basis for her human form when she first came to Earth. However, Miss Martian cannot yet bring herself to shown them her true White Martian form and creates another version more like her uncle J’onn’s public face to plicate them with. Superboy tells her that she does have to wear a mask with him. She says that she does it for herself as it is who she feels she is inside. Marie then tells Miss Martian that she is honoured and thanks her for saving Garfield, Marie even calls her family.
Miss Martian goes to check on Garfield. He’s asleep, but the real Queen Bee is waiting in his bedroom for her. The Queen warns Miss Martian not to try anything otherwise her hypnotic command will cause Garfield to harm himself. She also says she knows about Miss Martian’s true form and that she’ll reveal the secret unless Miss Martian cooperates.
- Rumaan Harjavti “allied” himself with the Queen Bee on Nov 17th (“5-days ago”). The episode starts on Nov 22nd with the team reaching the Quarc/Bailya border at midnight local time. They reach Dhabar, the capital of Qurac on the evening of the 23rd.
- The snow has completely cleared away from Mount Justice following the events of “Coldhearted”.
- Neither Zatanna, Aqualad nor Artemis appear in this episode.
- Qurac is a democracy led by President Rumaan Harjavti. He is a “fair and wise leader” and a humanitarian who has been fated by Bruce Wayne’s Foundation. Bialya is an absolute monarchy led by the Queen Bee. At one point Harjavti says “Queen Bee [pause] Beru”, with the possibility that Beru is her surname. There are spurious claims from ancient history for the two countries were once a single entity. The capital of Qurac is Dhabar (possibly the Hebrew word for “to speak”, in particular divine words). The capital of Bialya is Al-Qawiyah (possibly something meaning female strength in Arabic).
- Martian shapeshifting takes place at the cellular level. M’gann has a poster of the Martian Manhunter in her room. Martians play a game where they take another person’s appearance.
- “Hello Megan!” is a sitcom that ran for one season back before the teens were born, it isn’t available on DVD or online. The title character of Megan Wheeler was played by an actress called Marie Logan. She later became a conservationist and the owner of the Logan Animal Sanctuary in Qurac. Her son is called Garfield Logan. He is eight-years-old, has o-negative blood type, and has an poster of Aqualad on his wall. The blood transfusion from M’gann turned his eyes green, he calls himself her “blood-brother”.
- Kid Flash knowingly mentions Bruce Wayne to Robin implying that he knows or has worked out that Batman is Bruce Wayne. Kid Flash quips to Robin about saving an entire country mirroring a similar quip that Robin had made to him the previous episode (“Coldhearted”).
- Superboy mentions that he’s not a fan of the Queen Bee. Her forces tortured him in “Bereft”. He again mentions that he doesn’t like monkeys.
- Queen Bee has the power to enthral “most men” and “some women” which suggests that her power is based on sexual preference.
- The titles for “Hello, Megan!”
- Just where is Qurac? It has South African flora and fauna, but Arab North African politics.
“Image” is an exploration of Miss Martian’s identity — who she claims to be and who is actually is. From the very start she’d has this too-good-to-be-true personality and a catchphrase that has bordered on the annoying. It’s revealed here that her entire cosmetic identity is based on the Martian-ification of a fictional sitcom character, she is essentially cosplaying her way through life. What I’m curious about is whether her moral sense is also a homage to “Hello Megan” or whether she is genuinely that sweet/shy girl. Her actions towards the end of this episode, where she brain blasts her friends and savages Psimon would appear to suggest otherwise. It’ll be interesting to see how much of his harder, colder Megan appears in the coming episodes.
The appearance of Rumaan Harjavti and the Queen Bee sets up a plot line that borrows from the original comic-book series of Justice League International. It’s quite surprising then when the plot takes a sudden right turn and we find ourselves being introduced to Garfield Logan of all people — and not even a green one (yet). By now we know that he appears in the second season as Beast Boy so his appearance here was a nice foreshadowing of that. His appearance is significant as he is played as a fairly normal 8-year old — he gets over excited at seeing his heroes and doesn’t obey orders in the way even a teenager would.