Friday, September 21, 2018

Throwback Thursday: Martian Manhunter #1 Review (2015)

A Weapon, Conspiracy Theories and Biscuits

Written By: Rob Williams
Art By: Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Gabe Eltaeb
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: June 17, 2015
Review by: Eric Shea

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

With all the titles that we've craved to see since the beginning of the New 52, I never thought that Martian Manhunter would be stepping out on his own before Booster Gold or Shazam, but you know what?  I'm usually wrong so none of this should really come as a shock to me.  Anyway, I've never been one to think that Martian Manhunter was interesting enough to hold his own title and even after getting berated by a buddy of mine who's a huge Manhunter fan, I still stuck to my guns and dismissed the idea........... Yeah, this is a really negative opener, but bear with me.  After reading the sneak peek for this issue, I was really shocked at how much I enjoyed the hell out of it and hopefully, I'll have to eat my words and this Martian Manhunter title will rock our socks off and be a long-standing title.  Only time will tell so let's quit dilly-dallying and check out some Martian Manhunter!

Explain It!:

This story picks up right after the sneak peek, where J'onn discovered that a lunar lander crew was killed by a White Martian, that then proceeded to make it's way to Earth........ but instead of talking about that, let's talk about what's living in the bad part of town.  Our story begins with an alien with a white mask over its face and dressed to me like Jiminy Cricket, with a sign hung around his neck reading, "Mister Biscuits!  Only Wake In Case of Emergency!!!"  Apparently Emergency also means when a bunch of neighborhood kids fetch a bag of biscuits for him too and damn are these some brave kids.  An eight foot tall, cricket looking mother fucker, sitting in an abandoned building........ There's no way, I'd even go down that street.  But a young girl decides to give the biscuits to......Mr. Biscuits and she asks him if he's good and he replies that he doesn't know.  Which is some ominous shit right there, but we don't have time for that because after getting back from his jaunt to the moon, Martian Manhunter finds a plane in distress and while trying to save it, sends out a psychic broadcast about terrorist attacks, The Epiphany and that he's the last of his kind.  This is funny to me because yeah, some bad shit is going down and other heroes should know about it, but why does he always have to tell everyone that he's the last of his kind?  Yeah, yeah, we get it Manhunter.  Find something else to talk about already.

While saving the plane, J'onn enters the cabin and puts everyone to sleep........except for one person who's eyes begin glowing red and telling J'onn that he was created to be a weapon.  Not wanting to hear it, Manhunter transforms into a dragon and carries the plane to safety........ Then we jump to the Justice League Watchtower, where Cyborg, Flash, and Superman are just standing around talking about Manhunter's telepathic broadcast........ you know, instead of actually helping him.  Dick move guys, dick move.  Well, they better mobilize soon because terrorist attacks are beginning to happen all over the world, which leads us to an Agent Wessel of the FBI, who are investigating a murder case while doing his best Fox Mulder impersonation....... No, seriously, he's actually talking about conspiracy theory stuff while walking up to the crime scene and I guess he gets what he deserves because he comes across the murder suspect, who's a handicapped boy that supposedly murdered his mother, but this boy knows the Agent's first name and predicts an explosion that happens down the street.  That's what you get Agent Wessel for wanting to believe!  Yeah, I'm making fun of him a bit here, but I think he could be a cool character down the line, he just doesn't need to come on so strong like he's Giorgio Tsoukalos from Ancient Aliens.

So yeah, with these terrorist attacks, which don't seem to be from any known terrorist group, we go around and see that possibly a bunch of White Martians have invaded Earth and also........ might take responsibility for every bad thing that happens in the world....... So yeah, it's not our fault when we do bad shit guys........... aliens!

In the end, J'onn goes to Helen Demoff of NASA and asks her to do him a solid and kill him.  Yeah, as far as favors go it's worse than giving someone a ride somewhere but better than helping someone move, so she might go for it, but that's not all.  As our issue closes we go back to Mr. Biscuits, who performs a magic trick for the girl who brought him his treats and then we see him devour the bag of biscuits with his mouth tentacle thing........... Yeah, so not much going on with Mr. Biscuits, but this has certainly made me curious about him.

That's it for this first issue of Martian Manhunter and while it comes off a bit Manhunter light, it's a very intriguing start to this series.  Rob Williams has certainly got my attention and by the end of this; I really want to know more about all the characters he introduced here........ He got me to care about a Martian Manhunter comic is what I'm saying and I never thought that would happen.  It's a fun sci-fi mystery and when we start off a series with the title character wanting to die.......well, it gets you interested.  I loved Eddy Barrows art on this book and the colors were great.  I'm looking forward to where this series is headed and with a promise of Martian Manhunter Vs. Superman next issue, it's bound to get a lot of people on the Martian Manhunter trolley.

Bits and Pieces:

While it wasn't what I expected going in, Rob Williams is certainly building up an interesting story featuring our favorite Martian.  It's an odd, funny, mystery, filled with strange characters and I can't wait to see where we go from here.  Yeah, this might be accused of being a bit Manhunter light, but getting the supporting cast situated is just as important to me.  So go check out this strange Martian story for its oddness and for the great art by Eddy Barrows.


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