Martian Manhunter No. 3 review: “My Advent On Earth”


The Martian Manhunter, perennial fan favorite.

One of the most underrated and underappreciated characters in the DC universe has to be the Martian Manhunter, J’onn J’onzz. Utilizing a power-set comparable to both Batman and Superman, the hero from the planet Mars has been fighting crime and injustice since 1955, possessing the strongest telepathy in the DC universe and having been retconned more than once. Being an amalgamation of Batman and Superman makes him almost ridiculously overpowered, and he was used sparingly in the first decades of his existence. He recently returned from Thanagar in DC Metal No. 5, and now features in his own comic once again, written by Steve Orlando, drawn by the amazing Riley Rossmo, colored by Ivan Plascencia, and lettered by the fantastic Deron Bennett, with a cover by Rossmo and a variant cover by Josh Middleton.

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Let’s take another look at the Martian Manhunter’s origin story again

Last issue, J’onn J’onzz, in disguise as John Jones, was shot by his detective partner Diane, after crashing their car while overcome by psychic disturbances from a missing persons case they were investigating. This issue starts out with the missing girl, Amber, chained up in a weird laboratory, with a funky helmet attached to her head. This probably won’t end well for her. The issue quickly moves on to Jones explaining to Diane that, yes, he’s an alien, and if she’ll get him snacks to repair his body with, he’ll tell her what happened to the real John Jones. We’re treated to a flashback of the arrival of the Martian Manhunter on Earth, courtesy of Dr. Erdel and his “4-D matter transmitter,” the heart attack of Dr. Erdel, and J’onzz’s invisible floating around Earth, studying the people and feeling familiar emotions.

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One day he invisibly floated into a house where the Good Huntsman, a crazy guy wearing dead pigeons, was holding some people hostage and had just shot the real John Jones. The Martian Manhunter did some shape-shifting, incapacitated the Huntsman, and floated away with Jones’ body, before Diane and the police showed up. Deciding to honor the detective, J’onzz took his shape, and after a while, decided he couldn’t give up the impersonation, continuing to be John Jones until right now. Classic “honor the fallen hero” shtick. Jones and Diane close a case involving a gas station, and it’s at that gas station that the injured Jones reveals all this, while eating sandwiches and eggs for regenerative sustenance.

Uncomfortable alliances, and red Martians?

Diane wants nothing to do with Jones, but he explains that nobody would believe her if she told people that he was an alien. And she grudgingly agrees to continue searching for the missing girl, Ashley Addams, although she wants to do it separately, and she doesn’t want him to appear as John Jones anymore. The issue ends with Ashley being gassed with something that makes her think her skin is moving, and her captor is revealed to be what appears to be a red Martian, who claims to have been performing similar experiments for centuries.

Next. In Man-Eaters No. 6, the girls get militant!. dark

The art is stellar, and the story is playing out just fine. The Martian Manhunter has long been a personal favorite of this author, so seeing him in his own maxi-series after a long break is a real treat. The xenophobia he is put through is perhaps some pertinent social commentary, and the looks at his Martian life were unexpected and insightful, adding depth to a character who deserves to get fleshed out a little more. 8/10, decently recommended. Let us know what you thought in the comments section below.