Monday, April 27, 2015

Podcast: Threessentials

Episode #9



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In a second(!) episode for April (clearly failing weekly offerings, that's a step up from monthly!) we catch up with correspondence given short shrift since the last mail heavy episode, #6: Strawmanhunter from Mars. Besides reading all the long form comments since mid-March, Frank elaborates at length. For instance, he reads a letter about applying the "Three Point Model," three short definitive statements about a character, to the Alien Atlas. Discussion includes the less than stellar Martian invasions of Earth, John Jones' sociopolitical leanings, and more randomness that hopefully augments folks' understanding of the character.

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Friday, April 24, 2015

2005 Comic-Con International: San Diego Souvenir Book art by Amanda Yaryan



One of the fun things about this "Fifty Fridays*" project is the archaeological aspect. Ten years ago, mostly amateur artists contributed some Martian Manhunter pieces to a convention book, and then they moved on with their lives. Some are in entertainment industries, others are still promoting projects, a few have portfolios available, and most have escaped my cursory detection efforts. Too many have the same names as politicians, which makes for dull image searches. Two Amanda Yaryans turned up on Google, one a photographer whose flair for dramatic make-up could betray a youthful interest in a shapeshifting alien, but that's mere conjecture. It could just as easily be the mom referencing Bill Engvall on Twitter, or another lady entirely.

*To be clear, there are actually only 20-some-odd Fridays worth of material celebrating the 50th anniversary.

Monday, April 20, 2015

2005 Comic-Con International: San Diego Souvenir Book art by Valter Guevarra

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Another full page con book entry that was probably in color, based on the other paintings I was able to find online. You'll have to search them out for yourself though, because about half of what's out there are explicit female nudes.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Podcast: 60 Years of Martian Manhunter - 1956

Episode #8



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After a hiatus of four episodes and three months, we finally return to our year-by-year overview of the Sleuth from Outer Space's early adventures, 1956 being his first full year of publication with a dozen cases to cover. Co-creator and initial writer Joe Samachson is replaced first by Dick Wood before the arrival of the longest consistent scripter of the strip, Jack Miller. Joe Certa carries on with his own lengthy run on art, here mostly on Detective John Jones as a plainclothes policeman with extraordinary powers who only occasionally runs across challenges of a truly supernormal nature.

1956 Cover Dated Story Synopses


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Friday, April 10, 2015

2005 Comic-Con International: San Diego Souvenir Book art by Dennis Harrell



The disarmed suit-wearing heel lying next to a desk in an otherwise nondescript room fairly screams Middletown crimebusting, so even without an overt nod, this one feels like an anniversary piece. I wish I could have displayed it bigger, but all those tones as printed looked crap when enlarged. Too bad this was only a quarter page in size.

Friday, April 3, 2015

2005 Comic-Con International: San Diego Souvenir Book art by Joan Miles



Yet another "Fiftieth Friday" piece sabotaged by black and white reproduction at a mere quarter page in the SDCC convention book. I'm not offering an enlarged version because I think it would unfairly alter the artist's work. It was sweet of her to acknowledge the creators of the Sleuth from Outer Space, and she was the only one to offer them such a courtesy among the artists featured.

Friday, March 27, 2015

2005 Comic-Con International: San Diego Souvenir Book art by Uriel Reyes Botello

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Despite being a full page entry, this piece is hurt very much by the absence of color. As best as I can tell, John Jones is in the midst of transforming into J'Onn J'Onzz. The dark blob near the logo appears to be a hat flying off, the toupee is Jones' hair fading, and his badge is dangling from the right hand. I hoped to find this online somewhere, but after searching for a while under several name variations, the only Uriel Reyes I could find does semi/nude glamor photography.

Monday, March 23, 2015

2005 Comic-Con International: San Diego Souvenir Book art by Kristopher Lohman

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This is a nice piece with some delicate detailing and a pensive mood that I feel was ill-served by receiving only a quarter page reproduction in the convention book. I was able to blow it up for a better look. I believe this is the same artist as seen on the Ink 361 and the Dangercomics blog.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Podcast: The New 52 Martian Manhunter

Episode #7



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In light of DC Comics' official discontinuation of the "New 52" brand just as they finally announce the now-not-New 52 Martian Manhunter series we've been waiting for since 2011, Frank looks at the history of the Alien Atlas within the context of the current publishing continuity.



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Monday, March 16, 2015

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Podcast: Strawmanhunter from Mars

Episode #6

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This episode, we look at the solicitation copy for the 2015 Martian Manhunter (mini-?) series, as well as a fan rumor about Vile Menagerie favorite appearing on the upcoming CBS Supergirl show (we know better than to even hope without confirmation.) Then we answer your comments from previous shows at length, including which Marvel Comics heroes he most resembles (The Vision isn't even mentioned) and more on J'Onn J'Onzz's solo viability related to that Comics Alliance article discussed last month.

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Monday, March 9, 2015

2005 Comic-Con International: San Diego Souvenir Book art by Emmanuel Armas Esqueda

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Most of the Martian Manhunter 50th anniversary drawings seen in the '05 SDCC convention book expressed their purpose by writing it on the art like a birthday card rather than expressing it through their choice of imagery. Here, Esqueda illustrates the literal first appearance of J'onn J'onzz on Earth into the lab of Professor Mark Erdel, an obvious shock to both parties. Yes, Esqueda then types "50th Anniversary" on top of the art, but hey, he's still got the point across very well without the extra push.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Martian Sightings for April & May, 2015



Martian Manhunter
CONVERGENCE: JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #1
Written by RON MARZ
Art by MIKE MANLEY
Cover by PAUL RENAUD
Variant cover by Marc Campos badly photoshopped by CHIP KIDD
On sale APRIL 15 • 32 pg, FC, 1 of 2, $3.99 US • RATED T
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.

STARRING HEROES FROM ZERO HOUR! Ted Kord, Martian Manhunter, Fire and Ice star as the levity of the JLI team collides with the severity of the world of Kingdom Come!
Marz doesn't do funny, and Manley isn't known for comedy either, so this will presumably be a serious JLI ala "Teasdale Imperative," the Despero arc, and "Breakdowns." I obviously love J'Onn and really like this incarnation of Captain Atom. Going to be difficult to tolerate Red Tornado, though.I wonder if Marz will do the laid back Guy Gardner of his Green Lantern days, or do the brain-addled creep we enjoyed in the good old days?

CONVERGENCE: JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #2
Written by RON MARZ
Art by MIKE MANLEY
Cover by PAUL RENAUD
Variant cover by Marc Campos badly photoshopped by CHIP KIDD
On sale MAY 13 • 40 pg, FC, 2 of 2, $3.99 US • RATED T
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.

STARRING HEROES FROM ZERO HOUR! Is it time to say goodbye to Ted Kord and Martian Manhunter forever? It is if the heroes of the Kingdom Come universe have anything to say about it! This extra-sized issue includes a sneak peek at what’s coming up in the DC Universe!
It occurs to me that circa Zero Hour, J'Onn was running the Task Force, so the smaller team that includes the Satellite Era usurper makes more sense if this is actually that. Kingdom Come though. Ugh. Also, those "Chip Kidd" covers where he takes two near identical panels of Ice by Marc Campos and throws a gradient over half of it. The Worst. Nobody buy those, okay?

CONVERGENCE: JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA #1
Written by FABIAN NICIEZA
Art and cover by CHRISCROSS
Variant cover by Chuck Patton badly photoshopped by CHIP KIDD
On sale APRIL 22 • 32 pg, FC, 1 of 2, $3.99 US • RATED T
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for more information.

STARRING HEROES FROM CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS! With their heavy hitters sidelined, Elongated Man must lead the much-maligned “Detroit Justice League” against the overwhelming power of the heroes from the Tangent Universe!
One of the Convergence titles I'm most looking forward to, and I'm buying about nine of them. Nicieza and Chriscross seem like a swell fit for a multicultural team that has built-in poignance when used in retrospect. Plus I just really dig much of this line-up, and hope to see some of their unrealized interpersonal chemistry played up.

CONVERGENCE: JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA #2
Written by FABIAN NICIEZA
Art and cover by CHRISCROSS
Variant cover by Chuck Patton badly photoshopped by CHIP KIDD
On sale MAY 20 • 40 pg, FC, 2 of 2, $3.99 US • RATED T
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for more information.

STARRING HEROES FROM CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS! Witness the final stand of the Detroit Justice League as they fight to survive against the Tangent Universe! This extra-sized issue includes a sneak peek at what’s coming up in the DC Universe!
I really like the perspective on the cover to #2. Not sure why Ralph is leading instead of Arthur or J'Onn, but I can see a run-in with the Tangent Universe holding my interest.

JLA VOL. 7 TP
Written by JOE KELLY, RICK VEITCH
Art by DOUG MAHNKE, TOM NGUYEN, DARRYL BANKS, DUNCAN ROULEAU, CHRISCROSS and others
Cover by DOUG MAHNKE and TOM NGUYEN
On sale MAY 20 • 416 pg, FC, $24.99 US

The JLA must make a gut-wrenching decision: to maintain neutrality in a galactic conflict with their old foe Kanjar Ro or interfere in foreign politics by conducting a preemptive strike of its own. Plus, a standoff between federal authorities and a metahuman settlement leads to trouble! Collects JLA #77-93.
The nadir of the best Justice League volume ever-- the beginning of the end, basically. The lameness of a Kanjar Ro revamp, three issues of super-White Supremacists that barely troubled a low powered JLTF, a Lex-as-Bush analogue nightmare story, and four issues of guest creator filler previously deemed unworthy of trade paperback collections. The highest point of this low fare was "Trial By Fire," which I hated, but lots of folks were impressed by Fernus and the Plastic Man showpiece.

SMALLVILLE SEASON 11 VOL. 6: ALIEN TP
Written by BRYAN Q. MILLER
Art by EDGAR SALAZAR and BENI LOBEL
Cover by CAT STAGGS
On sale MAY 6 • 176 pg, FC, $16.99 US

A murder in Gotham City sends Martian Manhunter on a quest to confront his past, while Tess Mercer is faced with the ultimate question. Plus, John Constantine gets involved in Zatanna’s business and more. Collects Smallville Season 11 Special #3 and SMALLVILLE SEASON 11: ALIEN #1-4.
I own the special, but haven't read it yet.

Friday, February 27, 2015

2005 Comic-Con International: San Diego Souvenir Book art by Theo Tso

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From the Phoenix Comicon website:
"Born and raised on a tiny thirteen-acre parcel in Nevada, Theo always loved comics and taught himself how to draw studying his favorite artists’ work. His credits include “Masked Men” and Phil Yea’s “Winged Tiger.” Tso has also served his community as a Tribal Council member, while raising his family. His character “Captain Paiute” will soon be a full-length comic series."
Twitter also states he's a "Native American comic book artist, and creator of Captain Paiute and owner of War Paint Studios."

Monday, February 23, 2015

Podcast: Making Sense of the Martian Manhunter

Episode #5

The Idol-Head of Diabolu Podcast - Making Sense of the Martian Manhunter

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This episode, Frank responds to an article on Comics Alliance by Chris Sims where the columnist devotes more time to thinking about the pros and cons of the Manhunter from Mars than most folks would ever spare. Sims felt the Alien Atlas compared unfavorably and unavoidably to Superman and Batman in the Justice League, and that he works best filling their vacuum in instances where the World's Finest duo are unavailable. Frank mostly agrees, but explains that there are a lot more venues available for that service within the DC Universe than might have been previously considered, including adopting orphaned concepts from prior periods of those heroes' library. Remember kids, just because you only know a character from team books doesn't mean that's all there is to know...

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