Martian Manhunter #8
At last, the tragic backstory of Detective Diane Meade is revealed! In an age before it was socially acceptable for same-sex couples to be out, she had fallen in love with the local morgue attendant.
But things weren't all domestic bliss...
And, eventually, the couple's personal life bled into a workplace not ready to accept them for who they were, with disastrous results.
Devastated, she left, taking what job she could in small-town Colorado, where she met and partnered with Detective John Jones.
Jones shared is life with Meade, and eventually, the truth came out as to how they REALLY came to be partners.
That supreme trust could never be repaid... even after J'onn J'onzz of Mars secretly replaced her partner, Meade feels a debt of loyalty to her partner...
Their bond stronger than ever, J'onn and Meade set out to put an end to the ghastly Charnn's killing spree, and return Ashley Addams to freedom! Little do they know she isn't the same as she once was...
Martian Manhunter #8 is an aching, devastatingly beautiful testament to friendship and loyalty. Readers have seen glimpses of Diane Meade’s past, but it hasn’t been spelled out in such fraught and difficult and emotionally naked terms thus far. It involves LGBTQ politics, but also a level of social isolation and workplace discrimination that, although society has largely evolved, are unfortunately still woven into many people’s conservative and stunted mindsets. Being an out gay man himself, I have to wonder how much of his own experience writer Steve Orlando has put into Meade’s story. I strongly suspect Orlando is writing from from the heart on this one.
Real-world implications aside, the revelation paints a picture as to why Meade was so quick to accept J’onn after she discovered his secret. It felt a little forced at the time, but makes sense now. She’s a fully-realized three-dimensional character now, and an outstanding complement to J’onn. I’d never thought of the Martian Manhunter in terms of a metaphor for a closeted member of the LGBTQ community, but it works. J’onn and Meade are mirror reflections of one another. My estimation of Steve Orlando as a writer has grown immeasurably since this miniseries began, but his willingness to put so much of himself out there for the world to see is beyond commendable. It’s an act of naked vulnerability that few other artists or writers can muster. My hat is off to him. Coupled with the otherworldly, incomparable art of Riley Rossmo and Ivan Plascencia, there’s nothing else like this book on the shelves. If you aren’t reading Martian Manhunter yet, you’re missing out on a truly visionary artistic revelation.
Personal and devastating in all the right ways, Martian Manhunter #8 manages to match issue six's previous high point. With the stage set for the final act, all the players are in place for one heck of an epic finale.
Martian Manhunter #8 (of 12): Free to Be Me and You
Writing - 10/1010/10
Storyline - 10/1010/10
Art - 9.5/109.5/10
Color - 9.5/109.5/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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