Review: Martian Manhunter #1
DC has never really seem to know what to do with the Martian Manhunter. He has always been the Justice League’s seventh member, so much so that he was effectively written out as a Justice League member in the new 52. The origins of this decision almost make sense, as DC put together the first silver age superhero team, they chose the most popular characters of the time, and while the Martian Manhunter wasn’t especially popular, he was starring in his own backups, provided another heavy for the powerful team, and fit the sci-fi approach that was more common in the silver age as opposed to the occult based golden age. Subsequently the character became tied primarily to the Justice League, having served for a long time as the chairman, and his fortunes were based there, as the lone previous attempt to feature him in his own series ended after a decent run of 36 issues. Without the Justice League in the New 52, the character is somewhat adrift, and this new series gives him the first chance to shine since Stormwatch was canceled.
The series certainly doesn’t waste time getting into full force as a big event. As opposed to other series which start slowly by introducing the characters and their supporting cast, this series jumps almost immediately into calamity. J’onn has to stop a plane from crashing, but it is almost immediately evident that it is part of a bigger plot to undo the fabric of the planet Earth with a sequence of terrorist attacks. There are more incidents, some big and some small, as new characters are introduced who will presumably come to play a larger role in the hero’s story.
Although the previous attempts to find a place for this character have generally ended poorly, it would seem that DC is throwing just about as much as it can at this character in order to make this work. This is epic style story telling while also leaving enough room for some interesting character development for the Manhunter that we haven’t really seen much of before. It is probably still too early to see if the hero can finally capture the interest of the common comic book reader, but at least this looks like it is going to be a fun ride while they try to finally break the character through the B list.
Story: Rob Williams Art: Eddy Barrows
Story: 8.8 Art: 8.8 Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy