|Marvin the Martian|
|Universe||Warner Brothers Animated Universe|
Martians have a most peculiar appearance. While they do have a typically humanoid body plan, it is their overall simplicity, rather than complexity, that makes them look so alien. They have completely black skin and four-fingered hands (the number of toes is unknown, due to them wearing shoes). Most notable of all, their heads are smooth and spherical in shape, and featureless except for a pair of large eyes. Height is highly variable among individuals: while some are really short, others reach more respectable stature. Only females of this species have hair.
Martians are a very long lived species. In one cartoon, Marvin mentioned that he has been trying to destroy Earth for more than two millennia. The fact that he is still alive and well in the Duck Dodgers cartoons set in the 24½th Century also supports this claim.
The diet of a Martian is a mystery only made more noticeable by the fact that they have no visible mouth. Yet they do store food and beverages on their ships, and are perfectly able to speak English in order to communicate with Earthlings. However, there have been hints that the Martian native language is, not surprisingly, a lot different from our own. As revealed in the Michigan J. Frog cartoon Another Froggy Evening, the croaking sound of a frog is phonetically similar to the Martian phrase for "Would you like to hear me sing?"
Martians also appear to be able to survive in the space vacuum, although this might mean nothing, as virtually all Looney Tunes characters, alien and earthling alike, seem to have this ability. The planet Mars itself has been portrayed differently among cartoons, but is usually seen as a red desert or wasteland, with an atmosphere breathable for earthling creatures. Some episodes of Duck Dodgers ("K-9 Kaddy" and "K-9 Quarry") reveal that, as of the 24½th Century at least, some areas of Mars are covered by fields and forests, populated by a fauna similar to that of Earth, though possessing such features as four arms or antennae.
Martians have an interesting fashion sense. They attire usually consists of a Roman style helmet and skirt; white gloves; basketball shoes; and sometimes a red shirt and pants. The use of Roman war helmets by Martians is a reference to Mars being the Roman god of war. In Duck Dodgers, however, their fashion sense is a bit different. The females wear clothing reminiscent of the ancient Egyptians.
History and technologyEdit
Not much is known about the Martian history. During the 20th and 21st Centuries, they seem to have had a loose society, always operating individually (sometimes with the company of a Martian Dog). Even at this point, however, their technology was far superior than Earth's, including weapons able to reduce an entire planet to scraps. Their hand weapons include disintegration pistols and other sci-fi classics. Oddly, some of their weapons seem to come from ACME, which is an Earth based corporation. In Looney Tunes Back in Action Marvin the Martian is even acknowledged as an ACME agent, along with such others as Yosemite Sam, Elmer Fudd, the Coyote and the Tasmanian Devil.
In the 24½th Century the Martian Empire has become much more organized and agents would operate with larger ships and armies of robot centurion warriors. It is unclear whether the planet-destroying weapons have been lost or if they simply decided not to use them against Earth, despite the relationship between the two worlds being often edgy.
Relationship with other speciesEdit
Martians Dogs have long been domesticated (or possibly genetically created) by the Martian people, and are used for companion, as well as tasks such as hunting. Unlike Earth dogs, however, Martian Dogs are a sapient (or at least semi-sapient) species, capable of speaking. Note that this trait was more prominent in early cartoons, in which Marvin's pet K-9 was articulated and appeared to be more intelligent than his master. Later cartoons portrayed him as much dumber, to the point that in the Duck Dodgers series he didn't say a word at all.
The relationship between Martians and a green avian race referred to as "Instant Martians" is less clear. Instant Martians usually come dehydrated, but come to life instantly in full size when Marvin adds them water. The most likely explanation is that the Instant Martians were genetically engineered by Martians to be used as soldiers, being loyal to the Martians and conveniently easy to transport. On the other hand, one Porky Pig cartoon has an Instant Martian operating by itself, and hints that the creature is native to Jupiter.
In the 24½th Century, the use of Robot Centurions as warriors seems to have popularized, although Instant Martians are still in use. The robotic Centurions are sapient, sentient and possess free will. Though usually loyal to the Empire, they will sometimes fool Marvin and go on vacations when they think they need some.
As said above, Martians have a troubled relationship with Earthlings. Marvin has tried to destroy Earth on many occasions, declaring that the planet obstructs his view of Venus.
Like earthlings, Martians are also vulnerable to the mind-controlling alien parasite known as the Fudd.
Behind the scenesEdit
Marvin the Martian was created by animation legend Chuck Jones, who explained that he wanted to have a villain that was the exact opposite of Yosemite Sam: one who was quiet and soft-spoken, but legitimaly dangerous.
Ever since his first appearance in the 1948 short cartoon Haredevil Hare, Marvin has developed a large fan base, leading to him joining the main Looney Tunes cast and making guest appearances and cameos on many productions, as well as spawning a respectable amount of merchandise. An interesting trivia is that the character is hardly ever named "Marvin" onscreen. He is most commonly referred to as "Commander X-2".
An image of Marvin the Martian appears in NASA's rover Spirit, which is currently exploring the surface of Mars (another rover, Opportunity, carries the image of Duck Dodger).
- Haredevil Hare (1948)
- The Hasty Hare (1951)
- Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century (1953)
- Hare-Way to the Stars (1958)
- Mad as a Mars Hare (1963)
- Spaced Out Bunny (1980)
- Duck Dodgers Returns to the 24½th Century (1980)
- Taz-Mania episode "The Man from M.A.R.S" (1992)
- Another Froggy Evening (1995)
- Space Jam (1996)
- The Simpsons episode "The Springfield Files" (1997)
- Marvin the Martian in the Third Dimension (1997)
- Pinky and the Brain episode "Star Warners" (2001)
- Looney Tunes Back in Action (2003)
- Most episodes of the TV series Duck Dodgers (2003-2006)
- Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas (2006)
- The Looney Tunes Show (2011)