Martian Manhunter #1
No matter what you know about J’onn J’onnz, you’re not prepared for this! The acclaimed team of writer Steve Orlando and artist Riley Rossmo (BATMAN/ THE SHADOW, BATMAN: NIGHT OF THE MONSTER MEN) reteam for a reinvention of the Manhunter from Mars in this twisted, unexpected series. Back on Mars, J’onn was about as corrupt as a law officer can be, and when a reckoning comes for his entire society, he’ll get a second chance he doesn’t want or deserve! One shocking murder, and an unexpected fragment of the Mars he lost, will change his life—and the course of the Earth—forever!
DC has explained this new Martian Manhunter series as twisted and unexpected, and it certainly lives up to those expectations. Writer Steve Orlando has a unique sense of intensity surrounding the story, but it’s the visuals from Riley Rossmo and Ivan Plascencia that make this an absolute hit!
The first two pages of the issue sets the stage for what seems to be a recurring theme of exploring the duality of J’onnz’s time on both Mars and Earth. We first briefly see a significant moment for the Martian Manhunter on Mars. Then, we jump to Earth where he is a man who is almost ashamed of who he is, claiming that the Martian Manhunter is simply “something to hide”. Using this premise, Orlando sets up a classic investigative story surrounding a brutal attack, but he also quickly relates it back to J’onn’s experiences on Mars. This helps to create an interesting dual narrative moving forward that uses J’onn J’onnz’s past to give insight on current events.
The artistic direction is unlike anything available right now. This could lead to many different opinions, but I feel like it was exactly what the series needed to offer distinction and revitalize the character post-Rebirth. It has a modern approach to both design and layout, but the colors from Ivan Plascencia are what gives the issue life. The sequences on Mars are brilliantly displayed in pinks and purples that blend perfectly into red hues. It’s the type of artwork that begs for your attention and by the end of the issue, I actually wanted the series to focus more on Mars than Earth.
Overall, the issue takes finds its strength in focusing on simply telling a great story and doing it beautifully. Without the weight of intricate historical lore and character cameos surrounding each action, the story is able to navigate more naturally through wild scenarios and delve into new emotional layers of the character.
Martian Manhunter #1 is a true sci-fi story with a lot of wild and unexpected moments. From the violent nature of the crime on Earth to the intense moments on Mars, it’s an issue that can easily capture your attention and hold it until the very end. Although we don’t get much time with the Martian Manhunter on Earth in the first issue of this new series, the creative team still manages to set the bar high.
Martian Manhunter #1 is a vivid sci-fi story that feels like it knows exactly what it hopes to accomplish. As we go back-and-forth between Mars and Earth, we see a character burdened by his past and struggling with any concept of a future. With some of the most unique visuals on shelves today, it’s a strong start to a potentially great series.
Martian Manhunter #1: Trust Me With Your Burden
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 9/109/10
Color - 10/1010/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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