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Martian Manhunter #1 (Review): A New Side of the Manhunter From Mars

Updated: Jan 24, 2020


Writer: Steve Orlando

Artist: Riley Rossmo

Colorist: Ivan Plascencia

Publisher: DC Comics


This week sees the much anticipated return of Martian Manhunter to a solo book. He has starred in great solo series in the past by outstanding creators such as John Ostrander, Tom Mandrake, Rob Williams and more, and now we can add Steve Orlando and Riley Rossmo to that list.

J'onn J'onzz/Martian Manhunter has been around for years and has not always gotten the recognition he deserves, from this first issue it's clear, that's about to change. Already many people are comparing this to MISTER MIRACLE by Tom King and Mitch Gerads. While I wouldn't say it's similar in tone, it has it's similarities in the sense that it's not your usual "superhero" book and it's starring a character that up until now has been long considered, "B-List". Well Steve and Riley are hear to prove those people wrong and show everyone just how important Martian Manhunter is.

This story is set in the past before J'onn joins the Justice League during the time he spent as a detective in Colorado. While investigating a murder, he gets an intense flashback that triggers a traumatic psychic attack, Fright Foam. It's almost as if it's a form of Martian PTSD. Steve's use of J'onn's telepathic powers to canvass the crime scene was an interesting use of his powers. The way Rossmo conveys that use of power visually was an exciting and new way of seeing those powers in action. Setting this story in J'onns detective days was one of the major draws to this series. It will be interesting to see what other ways we will see him use his powers to solve crimes.

Rossmo's art is out of this world and the scenes taking place on Mars are simply breathtaking. While on Mars we see that J'onn wasn't exactly your upstanding cop, he was a little crooked. It's a new layer to the character that really make him even more intriguing than he was before. His life on Mars has never really been fleshed out, so Steve is really breaking new ground in this area. Setting this story in the past was a perfect choice creatively. The story is able to breathe on it's own with out being encumbered by the rest of the DCU.

This is the Martian Manhnunter book nobody knew they wanted, but definitely the book all DC fans deserve. There isn't enough good things that can be said about this book. With so many great books coming out every month, it can be hard to choose what to buy. Well this book is without a doubt, deserving of everybody's support.

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