Marvin the Martian, nemesis by turns to Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, and Daffy Duck, remains one of the most well-remembered Looney Tunes villains, especially considering his under-exposure.
Marvin the Martian was first exposed to the public on July 24, 1948 in the cartoon Haredevil Hare, starring he and Bugs Bunny. It also featured his dog, K-9.
Best distinguished by his brush-topped hat, kilt, and lack of mouth, Marvin the Martian's outfit is supposed to be patterned after that of the Roman god of war, Mars. Ha ha ha... Mars... Martian... you get it. Marvin the Martian also stands out from other Looney Tunes villains in that, while he is obviously quite dangerous, he is smaller than other villains. He is also quiet, and he never loses control. Perhaps this makes him the scariest Looney Tunes villian.
The character of Marvin the Martian was originated by Mike Maltese, while the design concept came from Chuck Jones. Marvin was originally supposed to be a one-shot character; in fact, he was only referred to as 'Commander X-2' in his first cartoon, and was never given his name until decades later. However, whenever the need arose for an alien, Marvin the Martian was used from then on.
As with many other Looney Tunes characters, the voice of Marvin the Martian was played by Mel Blanc. Since Mel Blanc's death in 1988, Marvin's voice has been performed by Bob Bergen.
Many of the best-remembered ploys in any Marvin the Martian cartoon are his futuristic gadgets. These include his ACME disintegrator, the Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator, and--who could forget--the Instant Martians (just add water). He was also reknowned for wanting to blow up Earth because it blocked his view of Venus.
Since his Looney Tunes days, Marvin has appeared in a few different shows. He made a guest appearance in Tiny Toon Adventures as Marcia the Martian's uncle in the episode Duck Dodgers, Jr., and he also made an appearance in 1996's Space Jam as the referee.
Interesting note: Marvin the Martian is set to make a comeback of sorts, reprising his role from Duck Dodgers in the 24½ Century and Duck Dodgers in the Return of the 24½ Century. The new cartoon series will be called Duck Dodgers and is set to premiere on Cartoon Network in 2004.
"Space Jam" 1996
Looney Tunes Episodes
"Bugs Bunny's Lunar Tunes" 1991
"Spaced-Out Bunny" 1980
"Duck Dodgers and the Return of the 24½ Century" 1980
"Mad as a Mars Hare" 1963
"Hare-Way to the Stars" 1958
"Duck Dodgers in the 24 1/2 Century" 1953
"The Hasty Hare" 1952