Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: Riley Rossmo
Colors: Ivan Plascencia
Letters: Andworld Design
Let me start by saying there’s one big issue I have with this book… It’s limited to 12 issues. I’m extremely happy to see one of DC’s most underrated, overpowered characters getting his own solo series after being sidelined for far too long. The brilliant writing of Steve Orlando paired with the gorgeous artwork of Riley Rossmo makes for a creative team well worthy of their own ongoing series. The genius color work of Ivan Plascencia added to the fold makes for one of the most strangely beautiful interpretations of Mars ever. Ever wondered what two completely malleable, alien-beings, with no constant physical form looked like, erm…. Making love? Or what about what life looks like though the eyes of a pet iguana? Probably not, but it does give Rossmo a chance to show off his unique, one of a kind art style that I have become a huge fan of. The way Andworld uses distorted speech bubbles to differentiate between Martian and human speech was honestly one of the first times I’ve been really taken notice of the letter work. Not to take away from all of the hardworking letterers in the industry, but Andworld does it in a way its hard not to take notice of their amazing effort.
Steve Orlando weaves a beautiful story each issue, panning back and forth from Mars pre-H’ronmeer’s Curse, and Earth, where J’onn J’onzz has now settled in as Detective John Jones. One of the more interesting aspects of this book is we get to see J’onzz’s life back on Mars. Most avid comic readers know Martian Manhunter as being the last of his people, who had been wiped out by the previously mentioned H’ronmeer’s curse and carrying a tremendous amount of grief for it. In previous issues its been shown J’onn is not the most honorable Manhunter back on Mars, but now we get to see just how far he will go to protect his family with the impending doom of the curse just around the corner.
One of the biggest revelations of this chapter comes towards the end, we learn the villain of the story is a mysterious Martian named Charnn. After being frozen in one shape by the manhunters back on Mars, Charnn is back, and he’s looking to exact revenge. Luckily for him, he’s found the sole survivor of Mars, who just so happens to have been a chief Manhunter. What his exact plan is exactly is still unknown, but he appears to mean serious business. We do know he’s the one behind the Addams family case, and he’s been running tests on young Ashley Addams.
Even though were able to place some pieces together, this story is still full of mystery. Charnn’s motives are still unknown. What kind of criminal was he back on Mars for the Manhunters to resort to such a punishment? Just being a third of the way through the 12-issue run there’s sure to be a number of unexpected twists and turns, along with what’s sure to be beautiful action sequences. I’ll be looking forward to what continues to be a truly out of this world story.