Monday, October 30, 2017

Scary Monsters featuring Chris Claremont (2003)

Episode #31

Look for us on iTunes, ShoutEngine or directly download an art-tagged MP3 from the Internet Archive



This episode, we look at the 2003 six issue mini-series JLA: Scary Monsters by Chris Claremont & Josh Hood, with a brief interview segment with the writer following the story synopsis.

Library Gallery This episode's non-paying advertiser:
We enjoy dialogue on the red planet, so here are our non-telepathic contact options:

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Vile Menagerie: ARGUS WEEDE



Alter Ego: Argus Weede
Occupation: Gang Leader
Marital Status: Unknown
Known Relatives: None
Group Affiliation: The Weede Gang
Base of Operations: Middletown, U.S.A.
First Appearance: Detective Comics #313 (March, 1963)
Eyes: Light
Hair: Black

History:
Argus Weede was an extremely elusive crime lord in Middletown. He successfully kept out of the reach of the law through a complex system involving contacting his men via video conferencing or meeting them in person only through an indirect route to "contact stations." These stations included at least one highly advanced underground lair hidden below an artificial tree trunk elevator. Another base was established in a lushly decorated abandoned railway car.

The asset that most set Weede apart from common criminals was his interest in "black magic" and occult artifacts. These included a magical element Weede acquired which, if combined with the notable but seemingly powerless Wand of Wodessa, would grant spectacular abilities. A small time hood named Roy Roggins who had been refused entry by the Weede Gang heard about the gang leader's interest in the wand. Roggins stole the wand from an elaborate estate known to hold a collection of magical artifacts, but was greeted upon exiting by Weede's men. Also on the scene was police detective John Jones, who chose to address the situation in his secret identity as the Manhunter from Mars. Jones had been staking out the site in hopes of capturing Weeede, and the Manhunter decided to pretend the wand had powers in order to clandestinely follow his gang back to their leader.

Eventually, the hoods reached Argus Weede, who was able to guess at the Manhunter's plan. Weede took the Wand of Wodessa from Roggins, connected the essential magical element to the tip, and temporarily trapped the Martian Marvel. The Weede Gang then launched a crime spree that The Manhunter struggled to contain, thanks to a series of magical constructs. Finally, the Manhunter faked his own seeming demise, invisibly separated Weede from the wand, and delivered the lot of them to jail.

Powers & Weapons:
Argus Weede appeared to be a man of great resources, possessing a wealth of advanced equipment of unknown origin. With the Wand of Wodessa, Weede could animated objects like statues of Civil War mounted soldiers, a humanoid champion made of raw electricity, and a smoke creature to do his bidding. The Wand of Wodessa could also levitated, collapse, explode, and otherwise broadly manipulate objects with enough force as to briefly contain a powerful Martian hero.

Quote: "I've got as many tricks up my sleeve as the Manhunter has!"

Created by Jack Miller & Joe Certa

Monday, September 18, 2017

2016 Porto “The Man of 1,000 Disguises” sketch by Antoine Mayes

After I forgot to collect my copy of Showcase Presents Martian Manhunter volume 1 and a jam piece from Antoine Mayes at one convention, and then he didn't have it with him at a second convention, he flagged me down at a third convention he wasn't even exhibiting at to get the abandoned items back to me. It worked out very much in my favor though, because besides enhancing the jam piece, Mayes had taken advantage of the reprint volume to more fully realize his own version of the Porto jam from scratch. Here he offers a distinctive “The Man of 1,000 Disguises” pondering his next bit of costumed camouflage while flanked by figures from his past misadventures, the Native American and the spaceman. Mayes had some loose ideas for additional touches at the bottom right (I seem to recall something about an orb) but as this was just a fun unsolicited sketch do-over, it was ultimately left as is. I really enjoy Mayes' angle on the character and the cool rendering of the alternate identities, making relative Mort Porto look more like a contender. I swear, Mayes has more imagination and talent with a ballpoint pen than a lot of more seasoned pros have with pricey tools...

Antoine Mayes

Monday, September 4, 2017

2014-2015 Porto Comicpalooza convention sketches by Herbie Rivera and Antoine Mayes



One of the first, and frankly, least successful jams I started in 2014 involved Porto, among the most obscure Silver Age Martian Manhunter foes. I asked Herbie Rivera to draw the character, which he did in his baseline entertainer appearance. Unfortunately, in black and white and sans any of his costumes like “The Human Fly” or “Bird-Man,” all the drawing looks like is a random dude. Further, the jam was a mess of unrelated sketches of varied perspectives, with lots of dead space. I wanted to try to better unify the total image, and I needed to better communicate “The Man of 1,000 Disguises.” I've been very impressed with Antoine Mayes' imagination on a different jam piece that he really set off, and so I handed him a copy of Showcase Presents Martian Manhunter volume 1 and let him go to town. As you can see, he didn't disappoint, supplying five additional figures in wildly varying costumes derived from Porto's sole story. I actually forgot to collect the art and the book from Mayes at the con, and then we had a few missed connections before I finally got to see my goodies again. I'm sorry for the anxiety that gave Mayes, but I do not at all regret the results that protracted time frame yielded.

There was a long delay both between the efforts of Rivera and Mayes and between initiating the commission and receiving it. I chose to make this the first new art posting since September 30, 2016 because it works so well symbolically. While it wasn't my intention, this blog went nearly a year with barely any updates, and in the meantime Photobucket ceased to offer hosting for the thousands of images that I used to illustrate this site across its now ten years in existence. Jeez, if I'd realized we'd hit a decade, I'd have gotten a post up on the first, our actual anniversary. Eh, I'm not much for pomp anyway. Point is, I'm now reclaiming this blog, slowly fixing what's been broken in my absence and returning to weekly posts. The podcast should be back on a seasonal schedule by Halloween with a special guest, and I've begun daily updates on the salvage efforts on Twitter. I appreciate your patience, and hope I can dazzle you the way Mayes dazzled me...

Sunday, July 2, 2017

2017 DC Extended Universe film intro animation Martian Manhunter


I've so far been grateful that J'Onn J'Onzz has been spared involvement in Warner Brothers' lousy shared universe of motion pictures, but the hope is that Wonder Woman will mark a course correction. This is especially true now that the new animated opening from the DC films has been released, and pretty clearly features the Manhunter from Mars in a relatively prominent position.

If you look at the final Cinemascope view of the featured characters, there are roughly five groupings, with the center section dominated by the movie Justice League. Specifically, that's The Flash, Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, and Aquaman, all of whom also got solo animation spotlights earlier in the clip. J'Onn J'Onzz's replacement as a League founder, Cyborg, also got a solo spot, but is inexplicably consigned to the fore of the second grouping at left of the JLA (subtext?) Green Lantern is also way in the background of the core group, flying upward, along with that classic icon... Atrocitus?
Ewww-kay.

In the group at right of center are a bunch of silhouettes that appear to resemble other Lantern Corpsmen, with (I think) Sinestro the most prominent but also (probably) involving Jessica Cruz and Kilowog. Less ambiguous are Nightwing (back to his blue chest symbol,) Harley Quin, and our own Alien Atlas!
...and the Green Lantern central battery. The DCEU is very invested in GLs.

How big of a deal is this? Difficult to say. J'Onn is clearer and more visible than many of the characters here, and the more obvious inclusions all have representation in films, television, and/or animation at present. His appearances on Supergirl (also included) would seem enough to qualify him, given the presences of DC's Legends of Tomorrow's Firestorm, Hawkgirl, and Hawkman (as well as Green Arrow and DC Super Hero Girls' Bumblebee.) Still, confirmed film stars like Mera, Batgirl, Shazam and Black Adam are of similar standing in the intentionally vague group shot (as is TV's Black Lightning, admittedly) so place your bets and we'll see how it pays out...

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Podcast- JLMay 2017: Justice & Liberty

Episode #30

Look for us on iTunes, ShoutEngine or directly download an art-tagged MP3 from the Internet Archive



JLMay 2017-- The Justice maxi-series (2006) Podcast Crossover Event reaches chapter three, as Diabolu Frank offers a dramatic reading, which carries over into coverage of JLA: Secret Origins (2002), JLA: Liberty and Justice (2003), a smidge of Kingdom Come and more!

From here follow JLMay 2017 to these fantastic podcasts! Each will cover a different issue of JUSTICE and each will come out in May! And don’t forget to use the hashtag #JLMay when discussing on social media!
  1. Aquaman and Firestorm: The Fire and Water Podcast ep. 193
  2. Super Mates 70: The Husband & Wife Geekcast!
  3. The Idol Head of Diabolu: A Martian Manhunter Podcast #30
  4. Views from the Longbox Episode 263: A somewhat regular podcast about comic books.
  5. Pulp 2 Pixel Podcast: Secret Sagas of the Multiverse #26
  6. The LanternCast Episode #279: The Foremost Green Lantern Podcast on the Internet!
  7. Shazamcast: Earth's Mightiest Captain Marvel Podcast
  8. Comic Reflections (Weekly Discussion of Gold, Silver, and Bronze age Comics)
  9. Silver and Gold 28: The Booster Gold and Captain Atom Podcast
  10. The Power of Fishnets 22: The Black Canary and Zatanna Podcast
  11. Waiting for Doom (The Doom Patrol Podcast) Episode 95
  12. Justice’s First Dawn: A Classic Justice League of America Podcast
  13. Diana Prince Wonder Woman Podcast #14: Spirit of Truth & Justice (2001-2007)



Alex Ross & The Manhunter from Mars


We enjoy dialogue on the red planet, so here are our non-telepathic contact options:

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Limited Collectors' Edition #C-61 ([March] 1979)



Taken from the book's entry at the Grand Comics Database:

DC, 1972 Series Volume: 7
Price: 2.00 USD
Pages: 84
Indicia frequency: Quarterly
On-sale date: 1978-12-14
Indicia / Colophon Publisher: DC Comics, Inc.
Brand: DC [bullet]
Editing: E. Nelson Bridwell

Color: Color
Dimensions: Tabloid
Paper Stock: Glossy Cover; Newsprint Interior
Binding: Saddle-stitched
Publishing Format: Was Ongoing Series

[no title indexed]

cover / 1 page
Pencils: Michael Nasser
Inks: Terry Austin
Colors: ?
Letters: Michael Nasser
Genre: science fiction; superhero
Characters: Martian Manhunter; Superman; Batman; Hawkman

(Table of Contents)

foreword, introduction, preface, afterword / 1 page
Script: Bob Greenberger
Letters: Typeset
Indexer Notes: On inside front cover. Uses art from cover as background.
Reprints: Super Powers (DC, 1985 series) #1 (September 1985)



...And So My World Ends!

Justice League of America / comic story / 22 pages
Script: Denny O'Neil
Pencils: Dick Dillin
Inks: Sid Greene
Characters: Justice League of America [JLA; Atom [Ray Palmer]; Batman [Bruce Wayne]; Flash [Barry Allen]; Green Arrow [Oliver Queen]; Green Lantern [Hal Jordan]; Hawkman [Katar Hol; Carter Hall]; Martian Manhunter [J'onn J'onzz] (leaves); Superman [Clark Kent; Kal-El]]; Diana Prince [Wonder Woman]; I Ching; Commander Blanx (villain)
Reprints: Justice League of America (DC, 1961 series) #71 (May 1969)
Indexer Notes: Credits for script, pencils and inks confirmed from Julius Schwartz's editorial records, provided by DC Comics (May 2007).

JLA Trivia Quiz

Justice League of America / activity / 0.33 page
Script: E. Nelson Bridwell
Pencils: various
Inks: various
Job Number: N-1121
Genre: superhero
Characters: Metamorpho; Creeper; Batman [Earth-2]; Robin [Earth-2]; Superman [Earth-1]; Black Canary; Aquaman; Wonder Woman [Earth-1]; Elongated Man; Green Arrow [Earth-1]; Green Lantern [Hal Jordan]; Red Tornado; The Flash [Barry Allen]  
Reprints: Justice League of America (DC, 1961 series) #114 (November-December 1974)
Indexer Notes: Art reprinted from various sources. Script credit confirmed from letter column in issue #116.

[Answers]

activity / 0.33 page
Indexer Notes: Answers to the puzzles and quizzes in this issue.

...And So My World Begins!

Superman; Martian Manhunter / comic story / 22 pages
Script: Denny O'Neil
Pencils: Dick Dillin
Inks: Joe Giella
Characters: J'onn J'onzz The Martian Manhunter; Superman; Bel Juz
Reprints: World's Finest Comics (DC, 1941 series) #212 (June 1972)
Indexer Notes: Credits for script, pencils and inks confirmed from Julius Schwartz's editorial records, provided by DC Comics (May 2007).

Mission Catch a Killer

Manhunter from Mars / comic story / 6 pages
Script: Denny O'Neil
Pencils: Michael Netzer [as Mike Nasser]
Inks: Terry Austin
Colors: Carl Gafford
Characters: J'onn J'onzz Manhunter from Mars; R'es Eda; Flash [Barry Allen] (Cameo); Green Lantern [Hal Jordan] (Cameo); N'or Cott; Superman [Clark Kent] (Cameo)
Reprints: Adventure Comics (DC, 1938 series) #449 (January-February 1977)

Return to Destiny

Manhunter from Mars / comic story / 5 pages
Script: Denny O'Neil
Pencils: Michael Netzer [as Mike Nasser]
Inks: Terry Austin
Colors: Michael Netzer [as Mike Nasser]
Characters: J'onn J'onzz, Manhunter from Mars; Supergirl [Linda Dangers; Kara Zor-El]; N'or Cott; R'es Eda (flashback)
Reprints: Adventure Comics (DC, 1938 series) #450 (March-April 1977)
Indexer Notes: Original story page 2 was removed for this edition and text from page 3 edited for omission.

The Suspects

Manhunter from Mars / comic story / 6 pages
Script: Denny O'Neil
Pencils: Michael Netzer [as Mike Nasser]
Inks: Terry Austin
Colors: Liz Berube
Characters: J'onn J'onzz, Manhunter from Mars; N'or Cott; Hawkman [Carter Hall]; Hawkgirl [Shiera Hall]; R'es Eda (flashback); Superman Robot
Reprints: Adventure Comics (DC, 1938 series) #451 (May-June 1977)

Today Mars, Tomorrow... The Universe

Superman; Batman; Martian Manhunter / comic story / 18 pages
Script: Bob Haney
Pencils: Curt Swan
Inks: Murphy Anderson
Colors: Jerry Serpe
Letters: Debra Schulman
Characters: J'onn J'onzz the Martian Manhunter; Hawkman; Superman; Batman; Hawkgirl; N'or Cott; R'es Eda; Supergirl (flashback)
Reprints: World's Finest Comics (DC, 1941 series) #245 (June-July 1977)
Keywords: Baltaz; Crystal Mountain; Mars II
Indexer Notes: Original story pages 5-6 were removed for this edition and text from page 4 edited for omission.

[no title indexed]

Martian Manhunter / illustration / 1 page
Pencils: Michael Netzer [as Mike Nasser]
Inks: Michael Netzer [as Mike Nasser]

[no title indexed]

Martian Manhunter / illustration / 1 page
Pencils: Michael Netzer
Inks: Josef Rubinstein
Indexer Notes: Bronze/copper ink.

Friday, September 30, 2016

2014-2016 JLI, Saturnians, & Other Friends Artist Jam

October of 2014 was my last month of daily posts, ending a run of eighty-six months total (or in normal people terms, seven years & two months.) I tried to do another month last year for the 60th birthday and came up six days short, so I'm pleased to accomplish the full thirty with this attempt, closing out roughly two years of celebrating the diamond anniversary to & from the actual date.

There's no kidding myself anymore, though. With that "61" officially stamped on J'Onn J'Onzz's lifetime card yesterday, I have done all I can do for that milestone. Plus, honestly, as much as I love the Martian Marvel, I'm really looking forward to shifting focus toward Wonder Woman's 75th year in action (which is apparently also a diamond jubilee, because everyone gives up after 60 years and figures diamonds are forever after.) I've done a lousy job on my Amazing Amazon podcasting and blogging, so I'd like to make up for that.

Don't think I'm forgetting the Alien Atlas though. I've completed a few of these jam pieces, and will continue to work on those I haven't in 2017. I have entire jams done that haven't seen the slightest reference here, and new standalone commissions as recent as earlier this month. Heck, I just now remembered that there's a well liked Bronze Age DC artist with my mailing address who should have something Martian flavored in to me in time for the holidays. I'm pretty sure there will be at least weekly posts in October, most likely completing another jam that's been teased here (although there's still a little space left, so maybe I can squeeze one more character in later?) Samhain should inspire some sort of special themed podcast here, and following shows should manifest roughly monthly-to-bimonthly for the following year. I'll only ever dial down the intensity of my efforts related to the character from time to time, but never shut them down entirely. I know my role.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

2016 Who's Who in Martian Manhunter Vol I Downloadable Reference Resource



Download as CBR/ZIP file



Download as PDF



To commemorate the 61st anniversary of J'Onn J'Onzz, The Idol-Head of Diabolu proudly presents Who's Who Martian Manhunter Vol I...
Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe was one of comics' foremost and beloved reference books. Unfortunately, it didn't have much to do with the history of the Manhunter from Mars beyond the hero's own entry. This free fan publication seeks to change that, offering a recreation of listings for previously unrealized character entries in the style of the original 1985-1987 comic book series covering characters and concepts from J'Onn J'Onzz's six decades of publication history.
I recommend the CBR, which may have turned out okay, but I definitely screwed up a bunch of the size ratios and file types on the PDF I had my girlfriend pull together for me, because I'm too cheap to pay Adobe for the priviledge. All of the text was written by me pursuing an accurate reflection of the characters' published appearances in comics.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Martian Manhunter's 60th Anniversary Special Compilation

Martian Manhunter's 60th Anniversary Special
A Celebration of the Alien Atlas


DOWNLOAD HERE



So I wanted to take the four hours, twenty-two minutes of the two Martian Manhunter's 60th Anniversary Special Podcasts, combine them with thirty-three minutes of additional interviews, and somehow cut that nearly five hours worth of material down to one hour for a YouTube video. Well, even excising most everywhere I had spoken, all the ads and audio clips, even elements of the interviews, I only got it down to a little over twice that length. But never mind, because between my antiquated and expired video programs, I couldn't manage to convert that much audio and one static image to a file YouTube would take anyway. Well, screw it, I dumped that audio I labored over the weekend trimming down onto the more popular The Marvel Super Heroes Podcast feed, and I'm walking away before I invest any more time or money into that sinkhole. Enjoy?

A brief overview of the Sleuth from Outer Space's history shapes a variety of interviews with comic creators and show business talents covering six decades of J'Onn J'Onzz, the Manhunter from Mars' career as an alternative to mainstream super-heroes, who nonetheless stands as a founding member of the world's greatest group of champions, the Justice League of America. Abridges three episodes of The Idol-Head of Diabolu Podcast, 15, 20 & 27, focusing on the talents who have loved and supported the Alien Atlas since 1955 as they appeared in exclusive interviews and others culled from across the internet.
Audio Source Credits

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

2015 Miss Martian Amazing Houston Comic Con Jam Sketch by Mark Bagley



There isn't much I can say about Mark Bagley that you haven't heard many times before. He was the winner of The Official Marvel Comics Try-Out Book competition, which was legendary in the 1980s as a one-stop shop to learn every major four color discipline on actual industry standard art boards. He began working regularly at Marvel in the early '90s, making his name on The New Warriors before becoming the defining artist on Spider-Man for millennials beginning with a long run on Amazing and ending just a few years ago on Ultimate. He also had a run at DC, managing to cover most of their icons, including J'Onn J'Onzz. Personally, I've always liked how Bagley draws young people and women with a bright, optimistic quality. That's also a good summation of M'gann M'orzz, who I think may have turned up in Trinity under Bagley's pen, but I wanted one for myself regardless.

Mark Bagley

Monday, September 26, 2016

2015 Jemm, Son of Saturn Space City Comic Con Jam Sketch Detail by Dietrich Smith



Okay, so I was aware of Dietrich Smith's work from the late Chromium Age moving forward, but was most impressed with his more recent color work, which is what made me decide to ask him to draw K'hym J'onzz for the family portrait jam. I really liked that, so then I went back and asked him for Jemm, Son of Saturn on another jam piece. I also dug that, so I tried to go back one more time at the same show for a solo piece, but by then he was all booked up. Another show comes around the following year, and I've got him pegged to draw Carter Burke from the movie Aliens at a point when I thought I was going to do a series of jam pieces, but plans changed so that I only got one done. So maybe, hopefully, I can finally turn Smith completely loose on a piece all his own next year?

I'd gotten Jemm done once before, but I felt he played such a major Alien Atlas-specific role in "Rock of Ages" and in the two most popular story arcs in Martian Manhunter's eponymous 1998 series that he deserved representation in the jam. I'm glad for it too, because this is a very regal prince with his high collar and billowing cape. This was another instance where the jam had a big chunk of space that needed to be filled to feel "done," and Smith absolutely took ownership of that property with a gorgeous spread across that real estate. I never give artists J'Onn reference with the "vampire" collar because I don't feel it suits the Sleuth from Outer Space, but Jemm was created with one, and here he rocks it like a ruby peacock. I love the shading, and looking at it again makes me hanker for that future Smith work!

Dietrich Smith

Sunday, September 25, 2016

2015 Glenn Gammeron Amazing Houston Comic Con Jam Sketch Detail by Adrian Nelson



Adrian Nelson is another local artist that I can reliably call upon for excellent work, which to date has included commissions of Bloodwynd, Ma'alefa'ak, H'ronmeer (and other art finishes on the J'Onzz Family Portrait,) & Private Ricco Frost from the movie Aliens. This time, his subject is Glenn Gammeron, intergalactic bounty hunter with mysterious ties to J'Onn J'Onzz that date back to the plague which claimed most life on Mars. This was my second pass at a piece featuring the sketchy character, who once took on Despero and should absolutely return to that Martian Manhunter fold for further adventures. I love Nelson's take on the character, which vaguely recalls Larry Stroman, and the scans don't do justice to his crosshatched shading.



Adrian Nelson

Saturday, September 24, 2016

2013 Martian Manhunter “The Challenge of the Alien Robots” color art by Enrique “Quique” Alcatena

Click To Enlarge


Cuando el Detective Marciano, acompañado por su amiguito interdimensional Zook, corría sus aventuras en las últimas páginas de Detective Comics primero, y de House of Mystery después. Cuando era el gran Joe Certa el que ilustraba los guiones de Jack Miller...

When the Martian Manhunter, assisted by his interdimensional tiny sidekick Zook, lived his adventures in the back pages of Detective Comics first, and house of Mystery afterwards. When the great Joe Certa illustrated Jack Miller´s scripts...
Enrique “Quique” Alcatena

Friday, September 23, 2016

2015 The Alien Robots Space City Comic Con Jam Sketch Detail by Antoine Mayes



Up until this month's Amazing! Houston Comic Convention, this was the last piece of Antoine Mayes art I had to offer on the blog, and my favorite of his many contributions to the jam. Featured are the villainous automatons of “The Challenge of the Alien Robots” from Detective Comics No. 317, July 1963. I really like the architectural boxiness (with foundational cracks) that gives way to an animation-type anthropomorphization with the slanted, louring "eyebrows." Plus, that one in the foreground is spitting fire. Unlike the loose arrangement of rectangular modules from Joe Certa's original story, Mayes creates a modern day armature of evil that looks physically functional and ready to go Chopping Mall with its long (bladed?) fingers and dynamic pivot points for maximum aggressive response. Mayes chose all of his own subjects from a copy of Showcase Presents and went wild with the scale and chimeric variety of old school rampaging menaces, shaping the totality of the piece and selecting fun creatures I might otherwise have neglected in my fatiguing pursuit of the same handful of Skittle Martians I keep doling out for.