Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Martian Manhunter / Marvin the Martian Special #1 Review

Get Your Ass to Mars

Written by: Steve Orlando and Frank Barbiere
Art by: Aaron Lopresti, Jerome Moore, Hi-Fi and Carlos M. Mangual
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: June 14, 2017

In one of the first of the DC/Looney Tune crossovers we get Martian Manhunter and Marvin The Martian. With being a long time fandom of the Looney Tunes that eventually lapsed I was all for jumping in on the nostalgia to see just what DC could give me in an interesting special. Then I saw the creative team and trepidation set in. So will the story exceed expectations or will my fears be met? Find out after the jump if this Martian meeting is worth its muster!

I have a pretty mixed history with Steve Orlando that has been trending down as of late. I was a big fan of both Midnighter runs, but just about anything else I’ve read had been mixed with pseudo and forced dialogue and inconsistent storytelling. I had hoped this would be more on the Midnighter side and less on the Supergirl or JLA side.

We start off with J’onn having an inner monologue about cycles and the pattern or order to things as he puts together a teleportation device that once saved him from his home world. He’s received a message in his own language and believes there is a martian out there to be saved. When it turns out to be Marvin the Martian everything instantly goes screwy. The message was not a beacon of distress as J’onn had taken it, but a beacon for those who need help to destroy their earth.

This issue does a lot at the start that is really good. I like the setup of the issue and how they go about bringing the two together and I completely buy the conflict that arises. Marvin lands on an earth that he thinks another Martian needs help destroying and he gets down to work. There is very little about Marvin that comes off as the character I remember, but it isn’t long before some bits shine through.

After the first little bit of the issue the comic really wastes no time going down hill. There is inconstancies within meer panels of each other and things in it that are unnecessary to even be present, but because they’re added lead to more inconsistencies. Marvin uses a devices that he says will destroy the planet but when it is thrown it somehow barely damages a plane. The plane that does get damaged somehow recognizes that the two martians are at fault even though they’re shown to be very far away, then they’re shown to actually recognize J’onn by his hero name which makes it hilarious later on when a military base full of military personnel seem to not recognize J’onn at all.

As I mentioned the disagreement between the two eventually leads to a military base where things begin to get a little more serious. Marvin seems to be in search of bigger badder machinery and we will later be told by J’onn that it was Marvin’s sensors that brought him here in the first place. It ends up all concluding with a power that seemingly makes sense on the surface but is later described as a power that has a limited use similar to new 52 Superman’s Solar Flare. I don’t have the biggest history with Martian Manhunter but it comes off a little too convenient especially when delivered with the message of the issue, which apart from the contents itself was a nice message within the book.

By the end of it I liked the premise at the outset, and thought the characters voices were handled well enough, but once I read the back-up I could no longer even give it credit for the voice of Marvin as the back-up gets it so much better in a shorter dose. This issue was basically a smart and touching message that spawned from an interesting premise that was brought to form with just too much nonsense to really enjoy as a whole. I’d recommend this issue more for the backup, when ends up making the issue worse by pointing out what it did wrong, but better for including it.

Bits and Pieces:

Between the inconsistencies in the writing, the failed capturing of Marvin’s character and the minor use of Martian Manhunter it was hard to enjoy what is a smart and thoughtful message sparked by an interesting premise that falls flat. If I’d recommend this book for anything, it’d be the backup.


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