Sunday, June 5, 2011

1998 Martian Manhunter Project by Marz, Hitch & Moeller

As school has squeezed my schedule tighter, I stopped reading Newsarama and Comic Book Resources with any regularity, so I wasn't aware Ron Marz had begun writing a column at the latter. I happened upon it yesterday while checking for news on the relaunch/reboot at DC, because only CBR and Bleeding Cool are attempting any actual reporting on the matter. While taking a gander at Marz's recent offerings, I came across one for stalled pitches that mentioned the following:

"A Martian Manhunter prestige-format one-shot drawn by Bryan Hitch."

This obviously piqued my interest, so I checked the internet to see if I could dig up more, and caught a ping on a 2006 Comic Bloc message boards thread:

"I always like the Martian Manhunter. At one point, Bryan Hitch and I were going to do a two-issue MM story for Legends of the DCU. We even had two painted Chris Moeller covers ready to go with it. But the editor sat on the proposal and it never happened."

That jibes with the email I received from Christopher Moeller in January, when he sent me the cover to the first issue, which I mistook as being intended for the Ostrander/Mandrake ongoing series. Legends of the DC Universe launched with a February 1998 cover date. The first year featured Superman and Green Arrow/Green Lantern three-parters, two-part Wonder Woman and Batgirl tales, plus a Robin/Superman team-up with a Moeller cover. The only issues of the series with significant Martian Manhunter appearances was a Justice League of America two-parter skewered toward the Bronze Age transformation of Green Arrow from #12-13. Each arc had its own editor.

Meanwhile, the Martian Manhunter ongoing series launched with an October cover date under editor Peter Tomasi with four different "event" issues: #0, #1, #1,000,000, and the first annual. There's a good chance that the publisher was afraid of glutting the unproved market for Martian Manhunter product, so the Legends proposal was dead enough early enough that Christopher Moeller's intended cover for the second issue was released as a tie-in poster the very same year. It's also possible that there were similar and/or contradictory elements between the Legends and ongoing projects that somebody wanted quashed. Anyway, Marz and Hitch touched on the Martian Manhunter in Green Lantern 1,000,000, while Hitch provided pencils for some issues of Martian Manhunter, so it wasn't a total loss. I'd love to hear that plot sometime...


mathematicscore said...

Agreed! Marz is by no means a person favorite or anything, but he's always struck me as quality, and Hitch's MM is pretty darn pretty. The fact that this didn't happen proves there is a god and he doesn't like me.

mathematicscore said...


Diabolu Frank said...

Ron Marz doesn't piss me off. He's never been the deciding factor of my buying a comic book. If he writes a character I like, I will be content. If not, I'll probably just be indifferent. In today's market of idiots, hacks, and jerks, I'll take warm, comfortable Ron Marz as my journeyman of acceptability.

LissBirds said...

Maybe the details of the plot will surface someday.

I have no idea who Ron Marz is, though.

Diabolu Frank said...

Ron Marz used to be a big deal at DC, as his co-creation Kyle Rayner made him the dean of all things Green Lantern for about five years. Marz and Chuck Dixon both left high profile DC gigs for CrossGen Comics, which pretty much torpedoed their careers. Dixon hardly works at all now, and Marz was exiled to Top Cow Publishing.