Review: Martian Manhunter #1

No matter what you know about J’onn J’onnz, you’re not prepared for this! Martian Manhunter #1 is 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!

J’onn J’onnz has been a character that has had so many takes and versions, it’s hard to keep track. The basics are often there but tweaks in his history or his role are often made and have made things… confusing at times.

Writer Steve Orlando and artist Riley Rossmo team up for this new maxi-series that explores J’onnz and after one issue, looks like it’ll rewrite the character for the better in many ways.

The focus here is his past as a crooked cop on Mars and his, what feels like, attempt to repent in some sort of way as a “good” cop on Earth after the reckoning of his people. We get to explore his life a bit on Mars, his family and the society there. It’s an interesting twist to his story delivering what feels like a depth and clear vision as what this character should be.

Orlando and Rossmo deliver a sadness about him that oozes from the page. This is a being who feels guilty of his actions of the past and is attempting to find redemption, it seems. And with it, we get a nice Law & Order type procedural at the same time.

Rossmo’s art is fantastic and he’s joined by Ivan Plascencia on color and lettering by Deron Bennett. The art is classic Rossmo with his exaggerated style that’s one of the most unique out there. With a color palette that’s defined, this is a comic that just doesn’t look like anything else on the shelves this week making it stand out even more so.

This is a fascinating first issue and delivers a story that has me caring for a character I’ve never particularly liked. It has a clear vision for a character who, like his shapeshifting, has been all over as far as history and background. The team here is delivering something that feels special and like it’ll be the next maxi-series “must read.”

Story: Steve Orlando Art: Riley Rossmo
Color: Ivan Plascencia Letters: Deron Bennett
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review