Review: MARTIAN MANHUNTER #1 Shows us a New Side to J’onn J’onzz

FIRST IMPRESSION

The opening to this noir tale for the Martian Manhunter will get its hooks in you before the issue is done.
WRITING/STORY
PENCILS/INKS
COLORS
LETTERING
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A new, dark side of Martian Manhunter begins to be seen!

The Martian Manhunter is always that one hero who sits on the outside of the A-Listers. What I mean by that is he’s an interesting character, but because he doesn’t have Super or Bat in his name, he will stay in the back. It’s a shame because I still vividly remember the first time I found the character in the old Justice League cartoon. When I looked more into J’onn J’onzz, I realized how amazing he actually is. We now have a maxi-series for him in the New Justice era of DC. Will this series show the world the Martian Manhunter should be in the spotlight?

Martian Manhunter 1 cover

**Some Spoilers Below**

Story:

Taking place years ago, we follow Martian Manhunter as he investigates a murder in Colorado.

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Along with his partner Diane, J’onn finds a family with holes blown in their chests. He learns that one of the members has possibly survived and goes to her room to find clues. The only clue he is able to find, however, is a substance called Fear Foam. This Foam is the equivalent of drugs on Mars, which leads us to a flashback to the planet. We learn that J’onn is less of the hero we have known him to be and more of a rough around the edges crooked cop.

martian manhunter 1 p 1

While I am not always a fan of a story with a slow build-up, but this issue is actually quite interesting. It’s clear this is going to be an origin story for Martian Manhunter and will start changing a few facets. While light on the action, this comic focuses on getting to know our favorite green man. I enjoy seeing J’onn being a character that has flaws that make him more human. By the end of the issue, I want to learn more about J’onn’s life on Mars and how it’s tied to the mystery.

Art:

Riley Rossmo’s style of illustration is going to split people down the middle. On the one hand, it fits the bizarre world that Martian Manhunter originated from. With unique designs and otherworldly settings, the flashback sequences will hook readers. On the other hand, it doesn’t quite fit the Earth sections. It’s hard to take J’onn’s human partner seriously when she has such a bizarre design. To this reader, however, there is plenty of good from the style to overlook the strange. Rossmo’s art captures the bizarre nature of the Martian Manhunter and I can’t wait to see more.

Martian Manhunter 1 p2

Conclusion:

The opening issue to the Martian Manhunter’s new series is an intriguing one. While it might not have action, it does give insight into the character that could bring in new fans. The art style captures the strange life of our favorite Martian, though it hinders the moments on Earth. Overall, I enjoyed this book and recommend it for fans and newcomers alike.

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Jose "Jody" Cardona
A New Jersey-born geek with a vast knowledge of DC Comics. He's a lover of movies, comics, stories, and hopes that one day he'll become a Jedi.