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Steve Orlando Talks About His Take On Martian Manhunter

Updated: Jan 24, 2020

Steve Orlando has thrilled us with comics such as MIDNIGHTER, SUPERGIRL, and JUSICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA. Well today sees the release of MARTIAN MANHUNTER. This is a day for Martian Manhunter fans to rejoice. Steve has often spoke of his love for the character and it shows every time he talks about this new book.

This story is shaping up to be on of the definitive takes on the character. Steve's awesome ideas paired with the unbelievable art of Riley Rossimo, make this a must read book. Steve was kind enough to talk about the book along with his the new project ELECTRIC WARRIORS. Both projects are absolutely amazing. Go out and pick them up, you won't be disappointed.

COMIC LOUNGE: You have two upcoming projects coming up at DC, one of them being ELECTRIC WARRIORS. What was it like creating a world set an the alternate future of the DCU?

STEVE ORLANDO: It was an amazing opportunity! With ELECTRIC WARRIORS, the gloves of continuity were off, since we are set in a possible DCU future where anything could've happened between the modern DCU and our book, thousands of years in the future. ELECTRIC WARRIORS lets us use not just Kirby's Great Disaster, but the entire tapestry of the DC Universe, a quilt eighty years long, to extrapolate into the future. What has survived? What hasn't? What's changed? Those are the most exciting questions to answer.

COMIC LOUNGE: What has been some of your inspiration when coming up with this new world?

ORLANDO: The monoliths of DC Comics creative, I think, always have to be the inspiration for something like ELECTRIC WARRIORS, something with the aim of refreshing so much worldbuilding for a new setting and generation. And that means Jack Kirby, and that means Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino. The hope is to take the attitude of the Silver Age, of reinventing iconography from decades before and offering it up for a new generation, and doing that with eight decades in an effort to create the most Modern of Ages, a Hypermodern Age – the comics of thousands of years from now.

COMIC LOUNGE: Will you be planting Easter eggs for longtime DC fans?

ORLANDO: Absolutely! You saw many in ELECTRIC WARRIORS #1 and there'll be more to come! But key to me is that we present them in a way that's enriching for longtime fans while still be inviting to new readers.

COMIC LOUNGE: You are also working on one of my favorite characters, Martian Manhunter. As a longtime fan of the character, what was your initial reaction when they gave you the go ahead to write the book?

ORLANDO: It was completely unreal! J'onn J'onzz is someone I'd been trying to find a way to work with since joining DC in 2014. So to finally have that road lead to the promised land, especially after teasing myself creatively with MARVIN THE MARTIAN/MARTIAN MANHUNTER, was really incredible. A career goal attained, in many ways, a goal I'd been working toward for almost two decades!

COMIC LOUNGE: Will you be dealing with his origin in the book?

ORLANDO: MARTIAN MANHUNTER is dealing with J'onn's tragedy on Mars and his triumphant debut as the Martian Manhunter on Earth, so in many ways, we'll be dealing with his origin. But we'll also be spending more time than usual on J'onn's world on either side of what folks often consider an origin story. This isn't just about J'onn coming to Earth from Mars. It's about who he was on Mars before he left, and the hero he'll become on Earth now that he's here.

COMIC LOUNGE: What fascinates you the most about Martian Manhunter?

ORLANDO: J'onn's compassion is incredible. As is the fact that despite his shapeshifting, he comes to Earth as someone that can look like anyone, but chooses to live and present himself as he does as a hero. This is a message. This is his statement of “I am not like you. But I am with you. I am not from here. But I care for you.” And I think that's a powerful, and beautiful, message to send.

COMIC LOUNGE: If the series does well, are the plans to continue it past the initial 12 issues?

ORLANDO: MARTIAN MANHUNTER is definitely a 12 Issue maxi-series with a beginning, middle and end. We want to tell a complete epic story, hopefully one of the iconic stories to hold the title Martian Manhunter! After that, the question for me and Riley will be...what's next?

COMIC LOUNGE: Are there any other characters you would like to work on in the future?

ORLANDO: There are so many! I don't believe in bad characters, everyone has a story and potential, so it's really just a question of who fits for the moment and who offers something fresh and challenging to say. I LOVE the Creeper, Hawk and Dove, and all of Ditko's DC creations, it would be awesome to investigate them more and see how they can fit into the modern DCU.

COMIC LOUNGE: Lastly, can you tease or hint any other books you might be working on?

ORLANDO: I WILL say I've in the past two weeks written two solo DC Icons that I've never written for where you'll see them, stay tuned!

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