H'ronmeer's Curse is the name commonly attributed to an extinction-level event, which nearly wiped out the entire Green Martian race.
Centuries ago, the mutant Green Martian Ma'alefa'ak sought to destroy the entire Martian race. Born without the ability to communicate telepathically (an innate ability common to all Green Martians), he devised a means to attack his fellow Martians through their psionic gifts. He devised a telepathic plague, named after H'ronmeer, God of Death and Darkness. Whenever a Martian attempted to use his or her telepathic gifts, they would contract the virus and set loose a mental fire within their own minds. The virus was contagious via telepathy. This psychological combustion is what prompted a Martian's innate fear of fire. Victims found themselves cursed with the mark of H'ronmeer, a symbol representing the Death God burned upon their brow. During the final days of the Curse, Ma'alefa'ak's brother, J'onn J'onzz was responsible for burning the bodies of the plague victims, and scoured the plains of Mars seeking out those who bore the mark of H'ronmeer. He painfully witnessed his wife, M'yri'ah, and his daughter, K'hym, succumb to the plague and die in his arms.
Before the plague could infect J'onn as well, a transmitter beam from Earth struck the Martian, transporting him across space and time to the small American town of Middleton, Colorado. Ma'alefa'ak mistakenly believed that his brother had died on Mars with the rest of his family. J'onn's disorientation and anguish created a psychic tether between himself and the spirits of his dead people. Years passed, until finally H'ronmeer himself beckoned J'onn back to Mars in an effort to release the souls of the dead Martians, so that they could find peace at last.
J'onn was not the only Green Martian to survive H'ronmeer's Plague. A group of ten Martians embarked upon an exploratory expedition in space shortly before the onset of the Curse. They eventually crash-landed on Earth, and reunited with J'onn. One of their number, Roh'kar was killed by a government agent, and four others disappeared entirely. J'onn took the remaining five under his care.
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