Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Showcase Presents: Martian Manhunter Vol. 3 TP Fan Mock-Up



Idol-Head reader Tom Hartley submitted his above mock-up cover for a highly unlikely third Showcase edition. It's based on Luke McDonnell's cover for Justice League of America #248 (3/1986), and he offers an alternate Chuck Patton cover here from J'Onn's final confrontation with The Marshal! Tom also offered his choice of reprints for the hypothetical volume:

Even though a Vol. 3 probably won't happen, I've been thinking about what the contents would be. Here's what I've come up with:

Justice League of America #71
World's Finest Comics #212
Justice League of America #115
Adventure Comics #449-451
World's Finest Comics #245
Justice League of America #144, 177, 178
DC Comics Presents
#27
Detective Comics #500
Justice League of America #228-230, 248
Action Comics #595
Martian Manhunter #1-4
Secret Origins #35
Martian Manhunter: American Secrets #1-3

That would be 575 pages of material. I know American Secrets deserves to be reprinted in color, and in hardcover, but a black & white reprint would be better than nothing.


I'd throw JLofA #200 into the mix, but take out #248, since the John/Gypsy subplot dragged on for months. In fact, it even merged with a separate Zatanna subplot which preceded and overwhelmed Manhunter's. You'd have to include pages from #249, #255, #256, and #257, but in the end it still wouldn't make much sense. I'd also want to see 1987's Justice League Annual #1 and "The Man I Never Was" from the '89 JLI Annual, as well.

However, this is all pie in the sky business. As explained by Bob Greenberger, "DC pays a royalty based on a percentage of the cover price to writers, pencillers,and inkers to all material published prior to 1976 and after 1997. For the period in between, the vouchers that were in use called for a set reprint fee to be paid. In some cases, the amount of contractually obligated reprint fees makes the budget for a proposed collection unprofitable." Creators have the option of waving the set fee, but just tracking down and negotiating with everyone involved (or their estates) in the issues Tom suggested would be a Herculean effort no one's going to make for the Martian Manhunter.

On the plus side, Volume Two was finally released this month, so you can thrill to every confrontation with the magnificent Professor Arnold Hugo, every emission of the Diabolu Idol-Head, plus the first appearances of Zook, Marco Xavier, Mr.V/Faceless, Vulture and many more!

5 comments:

Tom said...

Your synopses of Justice League Annual #1 and JLI Annual #3 convince me that they also belong in this never-to-be-published volume. You're also right about JLA #248; reprinting it out of context wouldn't work. Not so sure about #200. Do you mean the entire 72-page story, or just the Martian Manhunter vs. Firestorm seqment? I don't think MM had a prominent enough role to merit the entire story's inclusion, but reprinting that one short chapter might work.

Of course, if JLA #248 isn't included, then the cover would have to be different. So here's another mock-up, this time with JLA #230:

http://home.nethere.net/tomhartley/mmshowcase3a.jpg

Frank Lee Delano said...

I don't see any reason why your original cover couldn't be used without reprinting #248. It's a fine piece showcasing John Jones, with no unrepresented story elements. It's not like companies don't lift art out of context for repurposing all the time. However, your new cover would shift way more units, and I added a link to the post text for others to check out.

As for JLofA #200, keep the Broderick and Perez segments, ditch the rest, and it should read fine. The Firestorm battle is a must though, as it sets up Ronnie's distrust during the Mars-Earth War.

Tom said...

I love that Luke McDonnell-Bill Wray cover, but now I'm thinking that JLA #230's cover would be more representative of the book's contents, since most of the stories would include MM's fellow JLA members.

Here's my new list of contents:

Justice League of America #71
World's Finest Comics #212
Justice League of America #115
Adventure Comics #449-451
World's Finest Comics #245
Justice League of America #144, 177, 178
DC Comics Presents #27
Detective Comics #500
Justice League of America #200 (Martian Manhunter vs. Firestorm segment; 6 pgs.)
Justice League of America #228-230
Justice League Annual #1
Action Comics #595
Martian Manhunter #1-4
Secret Origins #35
Justice League International Annual #3 ("The Man I Never Was")
Martian Manhunter: American Secrets #1-3

That's 618 pages of material. Would DC do a Showcase Presents that big? If American Secrets is left out, then it's only 477 pages, which might be too small for a Showcase Presents.

I think I've devoted more than enough thought to a book that will never happen.

Luke said...

You could always make your own version of this with a custom-bound hardcover from the good folks at Library Binding.

The second volume is on my "Must Buy" list of phonebooks, simply from the synopsiseses which Frank concocts for this site.

Frank Lee Delano said...

Woooo, Luke! I love that link! I might have to pay sales tax, but not necessarily shipping. I bought some hardbound Who's Who Updates from an estate sale years ago that I adore, and these look ten times better. WHOA! I could hardbound the looseleafs I've got in binders! Wooo-hooooo!