Click To Enlarge
I must confess my disappointment in "December of Despero." After years of too little attention being paid to one of the few truly great and broadly recognized Martian Manhunter villains, the plan was to have his every appearance through 1990 written up for this blog. He was going to finally get his Vile Menagerie listing, an index of his own, and more. Instead, the holiday crunch, side projects, and my own inertia led to a spate of pin-ups, custom toys, and outright filler. As I've said before, this is hardly the last December Despero will claim as his own, and he'll be making waves well before then. Still, I wanted his first to be something special.
Thankfully, this final week has given the month some validation. Although I never get much in the way of comments for them, I'm happy to have gotten around to more fake Manhunter from Mars comic synopses, all offering stories from a parallel universe pitting our hero against the three-eyed despot. I've never featured so many in such a short span, as Manhunter from Mars Annual #2 will close out our week. It was planned for tonight, but a last minute submission I feel really puts the first "December of Despero" over the wall of winners had to take precedence.
Mike Nasser is probably the second most important artist to draw J'onn J'onzz after his co-creator, Joe Certa. It was Nasser who restored the beetle-brow from the character's earliest appearances, revived his belt symbol, designed his 1970s logo and offered a dynamic new art style that exposed the character's potential for greatness to then-modern readers. Sadly, Nasser's run was much too brief, and saw him illustrate only a couple of new villains, N'or Cott and R’es Eda. In recent years though Nasser, now known as Michael Netzer, has done real solid by Martian Manhunter fandom. He drew the beloved Idol-Head of Diabolu banner in 2007, then followed that up with a campaign to save Martian Manhunter from Final Crisis with his Take Me... but don't kill J'Onn campaign in 2008. This was supported by pin-ups pairing Manhunter with the Atom (Ryan Choi), Aquaman and the Atom (Ray Palmer).
Netzer's kept a lower profile in 2009, presumably to afford him the opportunity to work on his upcoming 150 page original graphic novel, Wave. Still, he found time to contribute the above pin-up of Despero, which I hope you enjoy as much as I do. A Happy New Year's Eve to all you Idol-Heads out there, and especially to Mr. Netzer, whose New Online Portal demands your attention.