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Martian Manhunter's past has long played a pivotal role in the events of Supergirl. The character has become a surrogate father for Kara Danvers, and his experience has been invaluable to them on their missions. However, now it looks like the show will soon honor the real-life history of the telepathic green loner, as Supergirl has reportedly tapped Justice League voice actor Carl Lumbly to portray the father of J'onn J'onzz. And his arrival will make the Manhunter rethink his outsider status on Earth. Supergirl executive producer Andrew Kreisberg explained:
Carl Lumbly will be joining as J'onn's father. First of all, he's so amazing. J'onn has always felt like an alien. He spent 300 years on Earth and he's always felt different, and other, and felt people were afraid of him, and has always had to hide who he really was. The irony is he becomes reconnected with his father and his father thinks, 'Oh my God, you've gone so Earth-man.' So for J'onn, it's this realization that he's not quite the alien that he thought he was, and what that means to him, and if we're reconnecting with his Martian heritage, how important is that to him?
Per Andrew Kreisberg's comments to EW about Carl Lumbly's involvement on Supergirl, the use of an actor inextricably linked to the character's heritage will help J'onn examine his heritage. Once believing himself to be a complete outsider on Earth, this encounter with his father (named M'yrnn J'onzz) will profoundly affect the green hero and make him reevaluate everything that he thinks he knows about himself. That said, what that specifically means for the direction of the season remains to be seen.
As far as DC superhero iconography goes, Carl Lumbly arguably deserves to stand alongside the likes of Kevin Conroy's Batman. He has consistently voiced the character ever since the classic Justice League cartoon, reprising the role several times in Justice League Unlimited, Justice League: Doom, and even the Injustice: Gods Among Us video game.
Take a look at a clip from the iconic Justice League cartoon below to check out some of Carl Lumbly's best work as Martian Manhunter for yourself.
This is far from the first time that a series in The Arrow-verse has enlisted a DC veteran for the role of a supporting character. The Flash hired former Barry Allen John Wesley Shipp to portray Henry Allen and Jay Garrick, and Supergirl has consistently utilized icons from the Superman corner of the DCU, such as Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher. Although Martian Manhunter often doesn't get to take center stage quite as much as other members of the Justice League, including Carl Lumbly on Kara Zor-El's upcoming run of episodes is a great way to honor the legacy of the character.
Supergirl will kick off next week's Arrow-verse premieres when Season 3 debuts on Monday, October 9 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. If you're currently on the lookout for more information related to the rest of the shows set to debut this fall, take a look at our fall TV premiere guide and fill out your television-watching calendars accordingly!