Title: Martian Manhunter (2018-) #1
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: Riley Rossmo
Colors: Ivan Plascencia
Cover: Riley Rossmo
Publication Date: December 5, 2018
Publisher’s Summary: No matter what you know about J’onn J’onnz, you’re not prepared for this! The acclaimed team of writer Steve Orlando and artist Riley Rossmo (BATMAN/ THE SHADOW, BATMAN: NIGHT OF THE MONSTER MEN) reteam for a reinvention of the Manhunter from Mars in this twisted, unexpected series. Back on Mars, J’onn was about as corrupt as a law officer can be, and when a reckoning comes for his entire society, he’ll get a second chance he doesn’t want or deserve! One shocking murder, and an unexpected fragment of the Mars he lost, will change his life—and the course of the Earth—forever!
The Batman/The Shadow team has re-united to craft a hard science fiction origin tale that promises the change the way that fans view one of the Justice League’s most powerful members: Martian Manhunter.
While there certainly are great Martian Manhunter stories lurking in the DC archive, for me, none immediately come to mind save for JLA: Trial by Fire arc and Final Crisis: Requiem. Brightens Day should mentioned as well, but I like for reasons unrelated to Martian Manhunter. Thus, I didn’t enter this reading with terribly high expectations.
Steve Orlando gets this series off the ground and moving at an impressive pace, promising that this run will be exceptional. The Mars that Orlando builds–and will continue to build throughout the series–is impressive, packed tight with detail and nuance, and offers an immersive reading experience that will especially appeal to hard science fiction fans. Martian Manhunter (2018-) #1 is unique, standing out from the rest of the DC books that are currently being published so much that it felt as though it was from a different imprint while I was reading it.
Riley Rossmo’s gorgeous sci-fi illustrations ooze from the page into the laps of readers, covering them in gooey-martian-goodness. I know that that line feels like an overstatement, but it isn’t; sure, martian goo doesn’t really ooze from this book’s pages, but Rossmo does immerse readers in a visually exciting landscape with an onslaught of gorgeous illustrations.
The Bottom Line:
Martian Manhunter (2018-) #1 is an exciting debut that, surely, marks a new age for one of the Justice League’s most powerful, and often underrated, members. Structurally sound world-building, authentic dialogue, and gorgeous artwork make Martian Manhunter (2018-) #1 a must-read for science fiction fans.