Miss Martian and I were hurtling toward a collision. She was the perky, popular cheerleader all freckled and dimpled and trying so hard to be adorable. And if she bonked herself on the head, with her little”Hello, Megan!” one more time, I was ready to bonk her in the head myself.
Miss Martian AKA Megan Morse (real name M’gann M’orzz) was my least favorite character in the superhero cartoon Young Justice (2010-2013). The show is a more serious and complicated cartoon drama about the teenage heroes commonly associated with their Justice League counterparts. The initial team includes: Robin (Dick Grayson), Kid Flash (Wally West), Miss Martian, Aqualad, Artemis, and Superboy.
Miss Martian is Martian Manhunter’s niece. She is a martian. Her powers are pretty incredible and almost limitless: flight, shape shifting, telepathy, telekinesis, camouflage (basically invisibility), and density shifting (intangibility-she can pass through objects/objects can pass through her). And she was my least favorite character.
While she wasn’t the only woman on the team (Artemis being the second), she was treated as the woman on the team. She was the girly one in skirts and dresses, the more feminine one with her soft spoken voice. She was the one Wally would incessantly flirt with (though he winds up with Artemis later in the series). Miss Martian was every other girl hero I had suffered through watching before. I didn’t want another girl hero I wanted a hero who happened to be a girl. It was as if the creators wanted Miss Martian to be a walking stereotype.
It turns out, they did.
Everything I couldn’t tolerate about Miss Martian was a deliberate choice by her character. Growing up on Mars, Miss Martian was discriminated against as a White Martian among Green Martians. She fell in love with an Earth TV show Hello, Megan, and its main character Megan Wheeler. Miss Martian adopted her looks and her mannerisms (especially her “Hello, Megan!” catchphrase) from a fictional character! Miss Martian was a fan girl seeking her identity through fiction.
This was now a character I could relate to. A young girl who created herself out of fictional characters she wished to emulate. She was a superhero and she still needed validation and acceptance. Over the course of one episode, she became my favorite character in Young Justice.
And that was just her character development in Season 1.
Season 2 jumps ahead 5 years and Miss Martian is the most morally grey character of the team (which has expanded significantly). She has no qualms about using her psychic powers to interrogate the bad guys, even if it means leaving them with permanent mental damage. So long as it helps the team and wins the day, she will do what it takes.
Whether or not you agree with her actions. This is a female character with character development. She makes mistakes and then has to live with them. This is a female character I believe in because she is just as (if not more) complex than her male counterparts.