Martian Manhunter #1 – DC Comics

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With a world full of relaunches, one-shots, and new series, we look at Martian Manhunter #1 and determine if it’s worthy for the pull-list. SPOILERS AHEAD!

Moons of Mars! – J’onn J’onzz

Cover of Martian Manhunter #1 from DC Comics

In case you’re wondering, 12 issues is a maxi-series and anything below that is a mini-series. Get it? Regardless here is our review of Martian Manhunter #1 from DC Comics.

When I first heard Steve Orlando was writing this maxi-series, it just made sense to me. Orlando can do science fiction, and he is the king of weird science fiction. And I mean that in a good way. Sometimes his stuff is way out there and it takes a couple of reads to get it. But once you do you’ll find it’s brilliant. (And he just doesn’t do sci-fi, check out the amazing Crude from Image)

And who better to join in this weirdness than Riley Rossmo. You might remember him from the excellent Batman / Shadow among other things. He has an incredibly, unique style to his art and just like he did with Batman / Shadow where he moved between the real and the supernatural, he does the same between ‘Earth’ and ‘Martian’ world effortlessly.

And boy do they complement each other well. The sheer violence depicted in that detailed splash crime scene (obvious the killer is a White Martian right?) is stunning. The shifting of tone to the Martian world and Ivan Plascencia’s use of bright and pastel colors just shows you the breadth of talent that these creators have. But the Orlando question is…

So does this thing get nuts?

Oh yeah, it does. How nuts? A one page portrayal of Martian sex nuts.

But the weirdness makes sense. Orlando does a great job showing and Rossmo depicting what Martian telepathic intimacy looks like. The ability for J’onn to create a nice private space in the back of his mind to hide his corrupt cop ways from his Martian wife is a very nice touch and I like how this backstory doesn’t make him the perfect hero. There’s conflict, there’s a lot of grey, and I’m really digging the direction that DC’s taking these characters. Martian Manhunter’s approach reminds me a bit of the Mister Miracle run as it’s more adult, characters are more grounded, and they’re placed in the backdrop of these crazy, sci-fi, abstract scenarios.  

You might ask yourself if Martian Manhunter #1 is worth picking up? If you’re a fan of sci-fi, mystery and enjoy being weirded out, then definitely. And if you’re not familiar with the character, it’s still an interesting enough start, especially through its creative style to keep you invested.

I’m definitely looking forward to the remaining 11 issues.

4/5 – Great start to a sci-fi, weird, mysterious story that is bringing something new to Martian Manhunter.

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