Robots In Disguise
Art By: Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Gabe Eltaeb, Tom Napolitano,
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: January 20, 2016
Our issue begins with trying to explain to us what's been going down with Mars being resurrected from the past and it being on a collision course with Earth, since they both share the same time/space or some such nonsense, but all you need to know is that it all boils down to magic. That's right, anything that comes off confusing or something that just doesn't seem to mesh right, you can chalk that up to a Martian Wizard. At least that's what I'm going to do because after we get Alicia telling a locked up Agent Wessel her backstory in how she ended up a hardened bad ass on Mars, we find out that she's lived on Mars for the past twenty years and that she was transported there after all the pieces of Martian Manhunter jumped into that Phobos blood magic beam, along with all the people who were aboard the plane that Agent Wessel and Mr. Biscuits were on. Yeah, Alicia wasn't on board that plane, but she was consumed by the Martian Man-Eater in the airport where those two left her and I guess when that Martian menace was transported, the contents of his stomach came along for the ride............... Jesus, is anyone following what the hell I'm saying because I'm starting to confuse myself. Anyway, my whole point in talking about this is that Alicia has grown up on Mars fighting the genocidal Ma'alefa'ak, while Earth has been right next door and I'm not sure if we're supposed to believe that Earth and Mars have been chilling next to one another for twenty years and now are on a collision course or if that's something that's happened over time........... So yeah, that's why I'm going with a wizard did it. Fucking magic. That's one of the things I'm not sure about and another is why did it take Martian Manhunter and his other selves twenty years to show up and why is Martian Manhunter put back together again, while his different personalities are still out and about? For this one I guess we can say magic or magic that wasn't performed correctly, but these are some of the looming questions I had while reading this issue that I hope are explained in future installments or at least if Rob Williams simply says "That's right, Magic!" I'll go with it. I just need that nudge.
We also discover in this issue that J'onn J'onzz was created by the Martian Elders to be that weapon we keep hearing about in this series and that makes sense since J'onn isn't exactly like the rest of the Martian populace.......... you know, with all the superpowers and what not, but what I don't fully understand is Ma'alefa'ak's connection to the Elders. I mean, if he was one I can go with it, but I'm not sure. Anyway, on top of J'onn being created to be a great Martian weapon, apparently he was also shoved full of Martian magic by Ma'alefa'ak to also be the conduit to Mars of old, but as we saw, that incantation didn't really go as planned......... since apparently Mars is still sick and dying.......... even though it's apparently been hanging on for twenty plus years in this strange timeline........... Man, I don't know anymore. I love this Martian Manhunter series, but I found myself feeling like a giant dummy after reading this issue because things seem to be thrown at us out of nowhere.......... Hell, on top of all of the shit we already covered, we find out that there's a barrier around Mars keeping it's people on the planet and somehow this leads to Martian Manhunter knowing that there was a Mars child that he saw and that he's not crazy after all........... what kind of line of thought is that? I think you might be crazy J'onn because I have no idea what the hell you're talking about.
In the end, Ma'alefa'ak comes around for another attack in his subterranean war city that's a goddamn transformer and on top of Martian Manhunter taking on this threat we also have Alicia and her forces entering the battle with their own transformer. It looks like next issue we'll get a straight up robot battle, Gundum style.
That's it for this issue of Martian Manhunter and I have no idea what's really going on anymore. I loved this story, but now it seems that development after development is being added to this series without any answers to things we've been dealing with for awhile now......... Hell, I can't say that I know anything for certain at this point and everything I think I might know could just be me jumping to conclusions to simply keep myself happy and feeling like I'm still in the know. Now that seems like a big old load of negative right there, but I will admit that these developments stacked on top of one another at least keeps me interested because at this point I need to know everything that's going down in this book. Also, I did really enjoy the backstory about Alicia growing up on Mars in this issue and how she was turned from a sweet little girl into a war hardened bad ass, but it seems that no one can have a shining moment in this book with Mr. Biscuits hanging around because like every other time he shows up, the big stick insect stole the show and I couldn't help but laugh out loud like the kids do when he realized that Earth needs to survive more than Mars because Earth has biscuit stores. Just a great piece of comedy and even though I'm confused as hell, the book looked great in all aspects of art........ so at least I know that.
Bits and Pieces:
While I've been loving the Martian Manhunter series in general, I do have to say that this issue might have been the straw that broke the camels back in terms of stacking story after story into this arc without having any payoff yet because I found myself being confused as hell at all the developments and pleading with the book to explain itself even just a little bit. There is some good stuff here though and as always the art is fantastic.......... I just better start getting some answers to what's going on soon because goddamn am I lost at times.