Martian Civil War
When they were children, Malefic and his older brother J'onn played together with some other kids, but Mal was unable to connect to the Martian hive-mind. After an outburst, their father M'yrnn decided he was a danger and locked him away. He grew older and resentful and eventually sided with the White Martians. M'yrnn was devastated and J'onn erased Malefic from both of their memories.
During the Martian Civil War, Malefic betrayed the Green Martians by inflicting H'ronmeer's curse, Fa'ra'too'rik, upon them, which caused severe pain to any brothers who fought each other. Due to his traitorous actions, Malefic was placed in the Phantom Zone. Either during the Martian Civil War or inside the Phantom Zone, he met Midnight.
Arrival on Earth
Sometime after Supergirl's war against Lex Luthor concluded, the extra-dimensional being Mar Novu, for an unknown reason, brought Malefic to Earth. He then vowed to get revenge on his brother, J'onn J'onzz.
At some point after his arrival on earth, he disguised himself as a little girl and during this time, he created a phantom zone projector to release Midnight. After Midnight's defeat at the hands of Supergirl and J'onn, Malefic confronted him in his office and then he told him that they were brothers, but J'onn didn't believe him, suggesting that his memories of Malefic were erased from his mind.
Powers and abilities
- Green Martian physiology: Like all Green Martians, Malefic possesses several incredible powers. Uniquely to a Green Martian, his eye colors are red, but they glow green instead of red.
- Shapeshifting: Malefic is able to change his form at will, even on a cellular level, completely altering his physical appearance, allowing him to transform or mimic other people or animals and other creatures, regardless of the size or mass difference relative to Malefic's true form. He was able to transform into something as small as a little girl or buzzing fly as well as something as massive as a dinosaur.
- Superhuman strength: Malefic easily surpassed Supergirl with his own super strength in T-Rex's disguise tossing around Kara and perforating her cape with extreme ease.
- Superhuman durability: Malefic easily endured Supergirl's punches (but likely was holding back because she thought it is a normal dinosaur) and freeze breath.
- Density-shifting/Intangibility: As a Green Martian, Malefic is able to move through solid objects (such as walls and doors).
- Inception: Malefic has the ability to mind control individuals to do things they wouldn't normally do. This ability was taken from him in the Phantom Zone, but he later tricked Kelly Olsen into using Q-waves on him, which reset his brain and restored this power.
- Bilingual: As a native Martian, Malefic speaks his mother tongue fluently in addition to English.
- Fire: Like all Martians, if Malefic is exposed to fire (or even Kryptonian heat vision) while transformed, it will cause him to partially revert to his true appearance, which may be used as a means to reveal him as an impostor.
- Limited replication: Malefic lost most of his telepathic capabilities when he was in the Phantom Zone; thus his ability to learn about people he impersonates has been extremely diminished, severely limiting the effectiveness of his shape-shifting abilities, allowing someone who knows that person well enough to tell that he's a fraud.
- Fa'ra'too'rik: As explained by J'onn, long ago on Mars, two brothers, Phobos and Deimos, had a hatred for one another that was the reason for the Green and White Martians' split. To keep this from ever happening again, a curse was placed upon the Green Martians, known among them as Fa'ra'too'rik. It's the punishment for brother attacking brother, and causes great pain to both parties involved, as seen when J'onn and Malefic fought each other.
- Lack of hive mind: Malefic lacks the natural Martian ability to connect to the Martian collective; instead, he's able to affect it and hurt those around him.
Behind the scenes
- In the comics, Ma'alefa'ak J'onzz a.k.a. Malefic is the twin brother and arch-nemesis of the Martian Manhunter.