J'onn J'onzz, a.k.a the Martian Manhunter and his partner, Detective Diane Meade, are steadily closing in on the monstrous Charnn... starting with one of his recent victims!
J'onn commits to perform what he calls a thoughtopsy - a tour through the decayed memories of the victim, in order to find out what was done to her!
What he finds is engrossing, disturbing, beautiful... and points to the secret reasons behind Charnn's mission...
But J'onn needs to know more, and hasn't been operating at full psychic capacity since arriving on Earth. To do so, he'll have to dive deep into his own psyche to confront his own sins... laying his past bare for Diane to see!
Another visual feast is gifted to readers in Martian Manhunter #9. Writer Steve Orlando provides Riley Rossmo and Ivan Plascencia with ample opportunity to unload their imaginations and let them run wild – something of a hallmark for this series, but has been a little neglected the past two issues due to narrative circumstances. But make no mistake: Orlando might be the beating heart of this story, but Rossmo/Plascencia’s visual fireworks are what make it leap off the shelves with stunning uniqueness.
And what uniqueness it is! The thoughtopsy sequence is one of the most visually arresting, unambiguously imaginative scenes ever seen in modern comics. It cannot be overstated how beautifully bizarre Rossmo’s work is, but with Ivan Plascencia’s psychedelic color palette in tow, it’s Eisner-worthy. Period.
As for the story, it’s perhaps not the meatiest of meals, but moves the overarching narrative along nicely. Martian Manhunter thus far has been about J’onn trying to reconcile his guilt over his past with his current clandestine life posing as a dead Earthman. At last, those two parallel subplots are destined to clash for a final moral reckoning next issue! Will Diane Meade be as willing to forgive once she experiences first-hand the horror of Mars’ demise? Will J’onn continue to be alone, or will forgiveness prevail? And will Charnn at last unlock his own ability to shapeshift once more? Anything can happen and Orlando has made certain that no predictions are set in stone. It’s beautiful, brilliant work throughout!
Martian Manhunter #9 continues this title's win streak, visually arresting and narratively gripping. You won't find another comic like it anywhere.
Martian Manhunter #9 (of 12): Alien Thoughtopsy
Writing - 8/108/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 10/1010/10
Color - 10/1010/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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