Rooted in horror, Martian Manhunter #7 reveals a larger plan from a familiar face.
If you’re not reading this book at this point, you obviously have a hatred for good horror. Like Immortal Hulk, Martian Manhunter, from Steve Orlando and Riley Rossmo, uses body morphing and transformations that would make John Carpenter jealous. Rossmo’s art is one of a kind and perfect for this book. Ivan Plascencia’s color work is always amazing, but I feel it is phenomenal when combined with Rossmo’s pencils and inks. Deron Bennett is providing the lettering. Everything mixes so well in this book like they were all meant to work together.
MARTIAN MANHUNTER #7 Spoilers Below
At the top of this story, we are told this is taking place in Colorado a few years ago. Police are gathering outside a barn ready to bust in and free some prisoners. The barn is undercover as a pig farm, but the cops are there for human trafficking. The Vulture Cartel are the people running the operation, a fitting name for such folks. They can’t help but reveal information during the ensuing shootout, so we discover that this operation is merely a way station for the rest of their operation, and disabling this location will do nothing.
Rossmo captures the anxiety and hopelessness of these dire situations. Creating very detailed environments that give you a feeling of claustrophobia, like our heroes are trapped and there is no escape, adding a feeling of dread over the entire issue. Pigs pens clutter the area, the actual pigs are scattering and tripping up people all over the place, bullets are flying, whizzing past the detectives at extremely close range, narrowly missing time and time again. It’s definitely not a situation I would storm into.
As Midleton PD gets the first-floor situation under control, one last Vulture escapes into an elevator. Our main characters, Meade and Jones board the elevator and proceed to go down. In the elevator, Meade tells Jones if you have any other special abilities that this would be the time to put them to use. Jones pleads with her that he can’t be that person anymore. Inferring that perhaps J’onn doesn’t have a grasp on his powers anymore. Meade doesn’t buy it if he can mind wipe why doesn’t he use that to mind read? Jones can feel enough to know that the thought-stream is messy, and there are professionals waiting for them.
As the elevator opens, all hell breaks loose. These men are armored up, equipped with Martian tech, and ready for destruction. As Meade and her partner are pinned down, backup is not coming; the situation looks dire, Jones goes invisible and begins his assault on the Vulture Cartel. Disabling their guns with his laser eyes and throwing a few unseen punches, the Vultures go down quickly. Tabling a discussion for later, they bust through the door these professionals were protecting, what they find is absolute horror and not at all what they were hoping for. If you want to know what happens next, you’ll have to read the book.
Rossmo’s art carries this title, of course the writing gives him the story to draw, but his art is original and perfect for this genre. If realism is what you’re searching for, this book is not it, and that is exactly why I love it. The quick pace of this issue builds palpable anxiety, with environments that feel isolated and claustrophobic. Our lead detectives appear in constant danger the entire issue, even later on when they are discussing the day’s events. Usually with pacing like this in an issue you could finish it in 10 minutes, yet Rossmo’s art keeps you admiring the pages with a unique style that brings such a breath of fresh air to the medium.
What did you think of this issue? Let us know in the comments below.