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Written By: Rob Williams Art By: Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Gabe Eltaeb, Tom Napolitano Cover Price: $2.99 Release Date: September 16, 2015
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
Oh baby, it's time to get back to the series that came out of nowhere and surprised the shit out of me in how good it is. I think I may have started every Martian Manhunter review so far this way or a similar way........ but Martian Manhunter? Who knew? Rob Williams has been knocking this series out of the park so far with his interpretation of our favorite Martian....... who happens to be a weapon of the White Martians for their plan to resurrect Mars by destroying Earth...... Yeah, it isn't very clear what the endgame is yet, but when you see your title character kill himself in the second issue, you know that shit has gotten real. Anyway, let's jump into this issue and see if J'onn Dumpty can put himself back together again since apparently he scattered his consciousness all over the world to pull a Flash Gordon and save everyone of us. Let's check it out.
Our story begins with a flashback, where we see that Agent Wessel has always felt like an outsider, who liked to take time out of his day so that he could simply sit down outside and watch people........ Yeah, it's kind of a creepy thing, but he plays it off as being something you do when you're in law enforcement, but I like to think that he's the Peeping Tom part of Martian Manhunter's subconscious. Yeah, the flashback doesn't do much for the story, but it helps catch people up a bit who might not have checked out the previous issue, where we saw that he's a part of J'onn. Talking about people who are really J'onn, we head over to the Indian Ocean to see what Pearl is up to........... What you don't remember Pearl? She's that thief from Dubai who happened to catch the attention of the White Martians after she witnessed the Martian assassination of a Shiek. Anyway, last time we saw her, she was evading a bunch of White Martians pursuing her by listening to a mysterious voice in head that pretty much told her to super jump to a cargo ship hundreds of yards away........ and you know what? It worked. Yeah, it was pretty obvious at that point that Pearl was hiding something and as we see in this issue, she too is a part of Martian Manhunter, who like Agent Wessel, comes to Pearl and tells her she has powers and that she must escape the White Martians who are back on her tail.......which ultimately came about when she phased through the ship she was on's wall and then sinking into the ocean. Luckily........ actually, very luckily, Aquaman was there to save her. I'm going to go with telepathy calling him to the scene because if he just happened to be chilling with a whale in the Indian Ocean..... well, I'm calling bullshit.
Let's head back to the States where Agent Wessel and Mr. Biscuits are trying to evade the Martian Man-Eater. As we saw previously, the duo and...... and the kids that they both abducted are in a ambulance and in my mind playing at full blast Sammy Hagar's "I Can't Drive 55" as they speed away from their terrifying pursuer. This part is a bit weird because while I love Mr. Biscuits and his crazy antics, we see him on the top of the ambulance trying to fight off the Martian Man-Eater while Agent Wessel drives........... and then Biscuit's arm falls off during a karate move. Yeah, it's funny, but why is Mr. Biscuits falling apart? After he's disarmed, a psychic attack is thrown at him and during the confusion, Martian Man-Eater straight up cuts Biscuits in half and now it's up to Agent Wessel to take control of his fear and his newly discovered Martian-ness. Like Biscuit's arm falling off, this bit is weird as well because while we initially see the ambulance collide with a truck causing the vehicle to explode, it's all in Wessel's mind and I actually had to go back and re-read this part to make sure I was understanding because what really happened is that Wessel floated the ambulance and prevented the crash before phasing through an attack by his enemy and then using his powers to tear the Man-Eater apart.
In the end, we head over to a couple of stargazers who are shooting the shit and watching Mars with their telescope, when the Martian Moon Phobos, who we've seen throughout this issue as being a strange ass looking moon with a hole in it...........this may or may not be accurate...... I could look it up, but I'll trust Rob Williams not to lie to me about such things........ well, the damn moon apparently grows teeth around the hole and then begins charging Earth....... Yeah, that's some shit.
That's it for this issue of Martian Manhunter and I love this series...... as you could probably tell from the opener, but while each issue kept getting better and better, it was bound to eventually slow down and sadly this is that issue. Don't get me wrong, we've got a shit ton of action from Biscuits and Wessel taking out the Martian Man-Eater and Pearl escaping her White Martian would-be kidnappers, but the pacing of the action is severely slowed down by clunky caption boxes explaining every little thing that goes down and by the end of the issue I was just sick of them and felt that they weren't needed....... or at least in the excess that they were used. It's funny because I say that I don't need everything explained to me, but I would have liked to know why Mr. Biscuits arm fell off out of nowhere. This is still a good issue, it's just not as good as it's been, but I am interested in seeing how our many parts of Martian Manhunter are going to take out a hungry hungry Phobos heading for Earth. The art continues to be great in this book and like most things in life, if I don't have something negative to say, I usually don't have anything to say at all. It's just top notch art all the way through.
Bits and Pieces:
This series continues to be a great read, but some problems with clunky narration slowing the pace of the book down hurt this issue compared to the previous ones. The art continues to kick ass and take names in this issue, where we see all the parts to our favorite Martian realize who they are and what they can do against the White Martian invasion....... It's just hard to put this issue next to the gold that we've already gotten and not see some imperfections.