The Oan: Burning Martian War was an ancient conflict that began over 20,000 years ago. During that time, the planet Mars was inhabited by a violent, powerful and chaotic race of beings known as the Burning Martians. This frighteningly intelligent race were not only barbaric and ruthless but brilliant as well who constantly warred with one another. The species reproduced asexually with fire being a catalyst in the spawning process with psychic suffering faced by others combined with a roaring inferno being important aspects in their reproductive process. As such, the species was seemingly made to simply cause suffering whereupon they burnt and bred in an endless cycle of destruction. Whilst alone on their world, they did not go unnoticed in the stars as the Guardians of the Universe had long kept an eye on the species. The races naturally chaotic ways went against the ethics of order that the Elders of Oa espoused which meant that conflict between the two was inevitable.
Though confined to their homeworld of Mars, the Burning Martians were highly intelligent and it was believed that it was only a matter of centuries before they achieved the means to depart their planet. This meant that they were considered a threat to the Guardians. Whilst the Oans did not desire to get physically involved in a conflict - they decided on this occasion to intercede in order to prevent the Burning Martians from ever leaving their home planet. The conflict was devastating and erupted over the surface of the planet. The Guardians did not desire to exterminate the species as they did not believe in genocide. Instead, they believed that the Burning Martians despite their violent nature had qualities that might make them potent champions of order. Thus, after defeating the Burning Martians, they conducted a mass genetic manipulation of the species in order to instill a genetic block and fear of fire. This was part of a process to prevent the Burning Martians from ever manifesting in the future again and the Oans departed the panet.
At least one Burning Martian crashed on the neighbouring world of Earth where a single Guardian was killed in the incident. The lone Martian survivor resided near the crashed vessel in Asia that brought it to the planet where it encountered a tribe of Cro-Magnon Humans that numbered four thousand strong and were led by Vandal Savage. When the tribe slept, the Burning Martian killed fifty of their number at night and tripled that number on the second night. Though powerful, the creature was greatly weakened from its earlier struggle and the cold environment it was now located in. For the next two months, Savage's people fought against the Martian who slaughtered every man, woman and child of the tribe. However, it was eventually slain by Vandal Savage but this was because it intended to die for it was tired of being alone. Savage later created a hidden temple to hide the remains of the head of the beheaded Burning Martian as a reminder of his past accomplishment.
In time, the existence of the Burning Martians was forgotten by the universe and the planet Mars became home to two splinter species; the Green Martians and the White Martians. The Guardians in the mean time left their genetic blocks in the Martian race to prevent the Burning Martians from ever being reformed. Eventually, the Oans made peaceful contact with the Green Martians and attempted to initiate them into the Green Lantern Corps following the The Oan - Manhunter War. However, the Green Martians did not see the wisdom in this action and instead declined the offer whilst asking the Oans to leave the Sol System to the jurisdiction of their kind to which the Guardians agreed. Many years later, the last Green Martian known as J'Onn J'Onzz attempted to overcome his weakness to fire with the aid of the former supervillain Scorch. His actions, however, awakened the Burning Martian genetic material within his body and created the villain known as Fernus who sought to respawn his species. This led to Ganthet saving the life of John Stewart and redirecting his teleportation stream to Oa in order to inform him of the Guardians involvement in Mars distant past. The information given proved vital in the defeat of Fernus and preventing the destruction of Earth as well as the re-emergence of the Burning Martians.
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