Take a look back at the high adventures of Marijuanaman, the alien superhero from the mind of Ziggy Marley that transforms with the puff of a joint.
If anyone were to introduce to the world a cannabis-based superhero, it’d make sense that it would be the progeny of legendary reggae singer Bob Marley and that’s exactly what Ziggy Marley did with 2011’s Marijuanaman one-shot from Image Comics.
Conceived by Marley – who is a wildly successful musician and activist in his own right – and written by Joe Casey with art from Jim Mahfood, Marijuanaman released April 20, 2011, because of course it came out on 4/20. The book was billed as a “joint” production from the minds of Marley, Casey, and Mahdoof. The titular hero is an alien named Sedona from the planet Yelram, located 420 light-years from Earth. Yelram was home to a peaceful race, one that operated under the code of, “one love, one heart, one people” and had THC instead of DNA. However, when the civilization begins to crumble due to its Manna depleting, Sedona is sent on a scouting mission to Earth to save his people.
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He immediately forms a bond with the plant life on Earth, finding a home in an Eden-like sanctuary called Exodus, the base of the Midnight Ravers, a militant group aimed at taking down Pharma-Con, an evil organization looking to flood the world with an unnatural “synthetic pleasure chemical” called Ganjarex. When a Raver raid goes wrong, it’s up to Sedona to save the day. After hitting a joint, the alien is instantly transformed into Marijuanaman, granting him super strength, resilience, and the ability to fly. After a fierce battle with Pharma-Con’s steroid-fueled android enforcer Cash Money, Marijuanaman is on death’s door and only revived by the healing properties of weed.
While this story was obviously written with tongue firmly planted in cheek (Marijuanaman has allies by the names of MJ and Smokestack), the book is also clearly trying to get across a message about the beneficial uses of natural versus synthesized drugs. As Marijuanaman says himself, “the cures your planet provides naturally are not taken advantage of.” The story even ends with a list of fun facts about the benefits of hemp in real-world applications.
Despite the fact that Marijuanaman was a fun, wacky experience for readers, it contained a deeper message, one that resonates as much today as it did a decade ago. While the world of Sedona, Exodus, and Yelram was never revisited, fans will always have Marijuanaman as a bud they can roll with.
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