Wednesday, June 5, 2013
The Secret Society of Martian Manhunter Underwriters
Okay, here's the deal, in case you don't keep up with comic book news. For the second anniversary of DC Comics' New 52 relaunch, all of the titles in that category of the line will halt whole numbering for the month of September. Some titles will skip publishing that month entirely, and the rest will put out comics with decimal points added to the previous numbering as “Villain’s Month” sees those books hijacked by bad guys. For instance, most of the Batman titles will be getting several decimal point issues, like Detective Comics publishing four weekly books numbered 23.1-23.4, each with a different spotlight villain. DC axed a bunch of books in August, but if you read remaining low selling books like Katana, don't expect them to get a .1 issue. Instead, popular guys like Aquaman (I seriously just typed that?) will get two, and really popular guys like Batman will get 16+ (seriously.) Also, all the books will jump to $3.99 because they'll each have a 3D lenticular motion cover.
What does all this mean for the Sleuth from Outer Space? For starters, the theme month will spin out of the "Trinity War" event, which appears to significantly involve the Secret Society of Super-Villains that has been built up in Justice League of America. The primary creative team for that book, Geoff Johns and David Finch, will move over to a new SSoSV related mini-series, Forever Evil. Meanwhile, Matt Kindt and Doug Mahnke will take over JLofA for a five issue stint. Kindt has been writing the Martian Manhunter back-up stories in the book, while Doug Mahnke has long been associated with J'Onn J'Onzz, dating back to a fan favorite issue of the solo series. Hopefully Christian Alamy, who inked Mahnke on the Final Crisis: Requiem Martian Manhunter funeral special, will be joining them. Finch's Alien Atlas was alright with some queer, grating flourishes. Mahnke has always drawn J'Onn like a boss, and he's even better with Alamy, so that would totally be trading up.
USA Today reports "Kindt will also take over Justice League of America for five issues emphasizing Martian Manhunter, the subject of the writer's recent JLA backups who will be picking up what's left of the Justice League." He'll also write a Forever Evil: A.R.G.U.S. mini-series that spotlights Steve Trevor and their mutual organization. Having caught up on those back-ups and recent Justice League guest appearances, I have to wonder if we're looking at a backdoor pilot for that Alien Atlas ongoing series we've been waiting a couple of years for. Despero and Martian Manhunters as partners in the extraterrestrial investigation business? The introduction of the New 52 Commander Blanx and/or Ma'alefa'ak? Any of those guys could still get Villain's Month comics, as only Deadshot has a Justice League of America decimal issue, and that's more a stand-in for Suicide Squad. Exploring any of them sets up a need for continuation.
Stormwatch mentioned that there's (an)other surviving Martian(s,) and there are some possible references in the most recent back-up that indicate Kindt and/or Johns may have gone to the trouble of actually researching key Martian Manhunter stories. Who's ever done that in the entire history of the character? Even if the events of "Trinity War" are related to the big bad whatever J'Onn's been worrying about since Justice League #7, he's still getting five issues of focus to deal with the repercussions of the event. Hell, the Martian Marvel may be the only good guy left standing to deal with the Secret Society. Are we excited yet? I'll admit, despite ample previous history to suggest that this will only end up as ashes in my mouth, I kinda am. Well, there is a glass half empty side, but let's save that for another, less optimistic day...