Monday, October 26, 2020

JLA Martian Manhunter head sketch by Neal Adams

So my thing is that I hate stock head shots. I rarely commission head shots anymore because I always want for a fuller image, and even when I do, it's a custom of an obscure character so that it feels like it's "mine" in some respect. I once knew a fellow who got a head sketch of Jesse Custer from Steve Dillon that said "Cheers," only to learn soon after that it was entirely his default piece, with probably hundreds or even thousands of that same "cheers" drawing out there in the world. Why would I pay for an original photocopy, y'know?

That said, Neal Adams is one of the greatest artists in comic book history, and his style informed Michael Nasser's on the '70s solo serial. I didn't get to see Adams on J'onn J'onzz very many times, and while Adams does a little bit of sketching at shows, time and expense are admittedly both major factors in getting one of those. If I was going to own an Adams original, especially one involving the Manhunter from Mars, my best opportunity was going to be one of his many pre-worked sketches available for sale at his sprawling con set-up.

This particular piece isn't dated, but it was on yellowed paper with the Morrison-era "JLA" logo that may very well have dated back to that brand's heyday in the late 1990s. Frankly, that was a motivating factor in my finally picking up one of the pieces, since I'm very nostalgic for the Magnificent Seven period that represents "my" Justice League. At the time, I think it was the only J'onn J'onzz in his book, but I've found others when I've visited his table since. I did make a point of comparing them, and while similarly positioned, they vary enough in size and style that you're still getting something of a one-of-a-kind, plus I like mine best.

I'll also confess, I was hoping that buying a piece would butter Adams up for a very brief interview for a specific project that I had in mind, and somewhat to my surprise, he actually agreed. That was a funny experience, but perhaps one for another time...

Monday, October 19, 2020

2014 Justice League of America commission by Rodney Buchemi

Very rough day at work and a heavily distracted weekend bode ill for my podcasting ambitions, and means we'll at least start the week with a mere image post. I like this piece, but for some reason the artist doesn't seem to want to let go of a scan with any serious resolution. I'd normally link out for an enlargement, but why bother for 720px? Anyway, the timing of the piece (at least with regards to Martian Manhunter) is clearly Brightest Day despite being produced a few years into the New 52.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Atari Force #15 (March, 1985)

You may recall that J'onn J'onzz only returned to mainstream comics in 1984, so it's curious that less than a year later, he was offered a cameo in a licensed comic copyrighted by the gaming company Atari. It was a DC license, at least, in the brief time period that Warner Communications also owned Atari.

Atari Force started as a series of relatively self-contained episodes in the adventures of near-future space explorers featured in "mini" comics packaged with certain Atari game cartridges. The comics were closer to digests than what we generally consider mini-comics today, running 48 pages on high quality paper with dimensions similar to a thin TV Guide. The ongoing Atari Force standard edition comic book series launched a couple of years later, set a couple decades later. It featured a ragtag second generation team drawn together by circumstance and the original team leader's obsession with the mini-comics' main villain, the Dark Destroyer. It was a fun book by talented creators who bailed after about a year and whose overarching story was carried meekly across the finish line by lesser hands. The book limped along less than a year before getting the ax, and most of that second year was handicapped by truncated lead stories and filler back-ups of varying degrees of amusement value.

For instance, a three-parter was dedicated to a prequel story for Pakrat, a reluctant Atari Force member that was a cross between Rocket Raccoon and... actually, pretty much just a toned down and cowardly Rocket, as depicted by Marvel Studios. Pakrat is arguably cuter, with more mouse and monkey-like features (he's an alien, not Splinter.) Pakrat's whole species likes to steal, which is how he ends up pulling a high stakes burglary of one world's crown jewels with the rodent equivalent of Paris Hilton. This occurs at a sort of royal ball, and Martian Manhunter can be seen in one panel, hobnobbing at the party.

"To Catch a Pakrat" was by Andrew Helfer, Mike Chen, & Joe DelBeato. I'm not familiar with the art team, but I was amazed by their similarity to early Longshot period Arthur Adams as inked by Whilce Portacio. Most of the inker's other credits was over Herb Trimpe on G.I. Joe Order of Battle, which was... nah. So I assume the spark came from Chen, but he didn't have much of a career beyond some Robotech and Elementals material. A shame, based on the effort put into this three-parter.

Monday, October 5, 2020

2020 Martian Manhunter Movie Fan Casting: William Jackson Harper as Commander Blanx

So here's the deal-- Jason Isaacs is still my guy. Like Avery Brooks, his is the voice that I hear when I read Commander Blanx's dialogue. Despite being 57, he's still in pretty good shape, as evidenced by his turn on Star Trek: Discovery a few seasons ago. That said, it's been just under seven years since that initial casting post, and if I want to hold out again until 2030, I should probably recast with an eye toward longevity.

The best thing for me to do, if I'm not going with a literal representation of the comic book imagery for the villain, is to think outside that box. Cast backwards both from the actors that I've already selected and by finding a character for performers I'd like to see in any production of this sort. For instance, I enjoyed watching the full series of The Good Place over the last year or so. Chidi Anagonye was my favorite character on a show that plays heavily with themes of philosophy and existentialism. Chidi is the moral center of the show, thoughtful and concerned to the point of near total inaction. William Jackson Harper was excellent in that role, but he was also a rare point of interest in the mostly interminable Midsommar, playing a duplicitous toxic academic douchebro. It wasn't a complete departure from Chidi, as both characters are academics focused on observation, but it did demonstrate range and Harper's ability to make me turn on him while playing an unsympathetic character.

Parker also has elven, slight otherworldly features, including a severely arched brow-line and intensely puckish smile. In a better world, he could have been a perfect Captain Marvel/Shazam with those Howard Porter eyebrows of his. When he smiles, he radiates joy, goodness and warmth. Unfortunately, we're on Earth-Zachary Levi, one of the really crappy Earths, and so I'm instead casting for subversion. What if you took the expectations that come from this guy's presence and prior roles, and employ those qualities for the charismatic demagogue Commander Blanx? Though both men are in great shape, Jonathan Majors has nearly half a foot on Harper, but Blanx was never played as a major physical threat. His whole thing was that he was a charming fascist who bullies and connives his way into a position to commit global genocide for his sole personal gain. I think Harper could act the hell out of that, and I'd love to see his malevolent glee played against J'Onn's quiet virtue.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

2020 Justice League International COVID-19 PSA by Kevin Maguire

Click To Enlarge

Super-heroes wear masks. But I wouldn't be me if I didn't point out that this is a coronavirus safety message that explicitly notes the year is 2020 despite the JLI being on-model for 1987. I do like that all of the masks are branded, especally Bat-Mask 'natch, but it's a bummer than Martian Manhunter's is the most "there." I guess it's a view of Mars from space, and it's better than that man-symbol they floated in the Morrison JLA, but it's easily the worst of the lot (and Max Lord just has a green mask with a dollar sign.) I wish my mask had an atom symbol on it, though I'll admit the best one is Blue Beetle's.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

2020 Martian Manhunter Movie Fan Casting-- Patrick Fischler as Professor Arnold Hugo

I can tell you the exact moment that I lost the thread on the 1968 movie casting. It was the abortive spotlight entry for Anthony Perkins as Prof. Hugo. At some point, Hugo was going to or already had kidnapped Diane Meade. I had recently read Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five for the first time, and was tring to come up with some way to paraphrase the passage "She was a dull person, but a sensational invitation to make babies. Men looked at her and wanted to fill her up with babies right away." Beyond wanting a tall, lanky performer and not having the strongest command of obscure 1960s character actors, I thought casting a bisexual performer would help to take a bit of the edge off a line intended to show the attitudes Meade faced as a period policewoman (and the menace Hugo represented.) That said, neither the actor or the character of Hugo really suggested that was an appropriate interpretation, and I felt skeevy about it without ever quite being able to let the impulse go. I also couldn't connect the dots between where I was and where I wanted the story to end up. Point being, I like Perkins and didn't want to besmirch his memory with ill-considered shenanigans. I also appreciate Hugo too much to hand him a mentality better suited to Dr. Psycho.

And this is a bone of contention with me, because the proportions of Hugo were a bit wonky in his debut Batman story. This led J. Bone to render Hugo a midget in his first comic book story in over forty years. So there's a Dr. Psycho comparison. And of course he's a super-scientist with a violent aggression directed at an extraordinarily powerful alien super-hero, a hydrocephalic Lex Luthor to go with Superman Green. It's easy to dismiss Hugo as a derivative goof.

The Joe Certa drawn Hugo appearances in the Manhunter from Mars strip, easily the largest body of work representing the character, demonstrates that "The Wizard of 1000 Menaces" is built more like Jack Pumpkinhead. His first campaign of terror on Gotham City was his most audacious, and he got beat by two non-powered vigilantes, one of whom couldn't legally drive yet. Given that his origin was so tied up in Gotham itself, it's weird that he never had another story set there. Also, he traded Batman & Robin for the Martian Manhunter, and I imagine whether you see that as punching up or down from the Dynamic Duo will shape your view of Hugo. My take is that Lex Luthor is a mad science would-be Caesar-- a De Niro or a Pacino or a Brando-- perhaps a Hackman would be most apropos? Hugo's a Joe Pesci. He's never going to be a Don, but he's a viscous bastard who demands a measure of respect or he will put some kind of hurt on you. When I was going to do the fake Smallville spin-off "Middletown," I really wanted Joe Pantoliano for the part, and he's still sort of my ideal in the way Avery Brooks is for J'Onn.

For a while there, I had Sam Rockwell in mind, but he's too darned endearing and really just plain too famous at this point. His comic book character is Justin Hammer forever, anyway. Then I saw Jimmy Barrett on Mad Men, and was reminded of Hugo. Barrett was a Rickles-style insult comic who was an even bigger jerk off-stage. Barrett had the swagger (and powerful connections) of a Rat Packer, but y'know, more Joey Bishop than Frank Sinatra. The actor Patrick Fischler even looked a lot like the Certa Hugo with those big blocky eyebrows of his. When he turned up years later as a very different character on Twin Peaks: The Return, I still recognized him as my Arnold Hugo guy. He's got the right look, accent, build, and makes me think of Hugo whenever I see him.

Monday, September 28, 2020

2020 Martian Manhunter Movie Fan Casting-- Michael Rispoli as Captain Harding

If I'm trying to focus on the Detective Comics run of John Jones in this casting, Captain Harding is a pretty immediate concern. I hopscotched to Diane Meade on the basis of a thin thread of gender balance, but he's an inevitablity. In all honesty, I thought this might be my first pass, and was prepared to just nod at Ryan Daly's Michael O'Neill selection. It turned out that I actually had cast Harding for my fake 1968 motion picture with Simon Oakland, and it was a pretty darned good take if I do say so myself, but I got blocked and abandoned that project without ever giving him a spotlight post.

The truth is, I don't have strong feelings about Captain Harding, who never got a first name despite appearing in about 75 comics. That says a lot right there, as does his absence from Who's Who or any other common fan reference books. Harding wasn't in the origin story, and he spent a decade being the exposition guy in an unheralded back-up strip. I could have done a race-swap, but I felt like it would be a disservice; another instance of low stakes lip service to diversity. Ultimately, I just Googled for a guy with the right look and a resume that suggests a notable actor willing to take a fairly thankless role. Michael Rispoli is best known for almost playing Tony Soprano, but he's a solid character actor from some well loved productions who could bring the right presence to probably being the story set-up guy here, too.

Friday, September 25, 2020

2020 Martian Manhunter Movie Fan Casting: Amber Stevens West as Detective Diane Meade

The first time I tried to cast a Manhunter from Mars movie in the '90s, I was too ignorant of his history to bother with Diane Meade, going with the more tertiary Cameron Chase to be played by Jennifer Jason Leigh (but I nailed it, right?) I also skipped her in the 2011 draft, though that was less a slight of the character and more about my fixation on sticking almost exclusively with other Martians (Bel Juz, B'rett, Ma'alefa'ak, Commander Blanx, ad nauseam.) Most of those picks hold up, although admittedly the actors themselves were often on the older side of viability even then.

This time, I'm trying for a grounded and youthful approach geared more toward the detective than the alien, so naturally J'Onn's longest serving partner on the police force comes to mind. Ryan Daly offered Katee Sackhoff in his fan casting. For my fake Smallville spin-off "Middletown" I went with Victoria Pratt. I was supposed to cover the entire first season, but never followed through, and really wanted to recast with Courtney Thorne-Smith if the pilot had gone to series. Finally, for a batch of faux 1967 movie posts that I also never wrapped up, I selected Jill Ireland. Jeez, I'm the Rob Liefeld of fancast blogging.

In 2020, I'm more conscious of "why should this exist" rather than "Joe Certa drew Diane to look like Kim Novak. How can I translate that to today?" It's really tough to insert diversity into a universe as lily white as DC's has been historically, which explains why there's been pushback to attempts like The Flash's that have left us with two distinct Wally Wests (which for my money is already two too many.) On the one hand, you've got sixty-some-odd years and hundreds of comics featuring white lady Iris West. On the other hand, how many super-heroes with lady reporter loves can you differentiate by hair color alone?

As with the collective acceptance of a race-swapped John Jones without dudes in khakis getting up in Tiki torches, when a comic creation has made maybe 55 appearances in about as many years as a peripheral character to a super-hero with a modest cultural presence, Hollywood has a wide latitude in their interpretation. Aside from being a moderately recognizable brand that can be adapted for a budget-conscious production foregoing a Snyderverse scale with a greater allowance for authorial vision, the best reason to even do a Martian Manhunter movie is because you can be as race liberated as you want to be. I've liked Amber Stevens West in everything I've seen her in, she comes off as sharp enough to play a detective, but she also has a warmth that can off-set modern writers' annoying tendency to treat Meade as "Lois Lane on menses without Midol." I really hated the televangelist hair Riley Rossmo gave her in the recent maxi-series, and while the romantic interest angle isn't required, I do think that the tendency to treat black super-heroes as sexless in these adaptations is increasingly problematic. Since you can go colorblind with the Sleuth from Outer Space, I figure you should to serve an audience hungry for representation in this genre, and hopefully I can now stop being so Caucasian in bringing that up in each of these postings.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

2020 Martian Manhunter Movie Fan Casting: Mandy Patinkin as Professor Mark Erdel

The Manhunter from Mars has one of the simplest origins in comics. Scientist accidentally teleports Martian to Earth, dies from the shock, and strands the alien. What takes up the entire first act of most pictures is less than five minutes here, especially if you just do it in narration or a flashback. My first impulse was to do a cute, cheap stunt casting. Bill Mumy an O.G. Silver Age comic book nerd who was a close friend and co-writer with the late Miguel Ferrer, one of my favorite character actors who voiced J'Onn J'Onzz in Justice League: The New Frontier. Done, right?

You know who else's origin could have been told in under ten minutes? Captain America. Scrawny draft wash-out volunteers for experiment that transforms him into a super-soldier. The scientist who made it possible is killed by a Nazi, leaving the weight of the entire program's success on one patriotic man. Two sentences, so twice as long as J'Onn's. But see, how much lesser of a movie would The First Avenger be without the greatest hype man in all of comic adaptations, Stanley Tucci as Doctor Abraham Erskine? Tucci is one of America's most beloved character actors playing a character with deep convictions and a true hope for humanity. Tucci makes you love Erskine before he bites the bullet, and his admiration and confidence in Steve Rogers makes the audience feel the same towards him.

Realistically, the safest route to introducing J'Onn J'Onzz as a solo feature is to use The New Frontier as a guide. You don't have to open with J'Onn in Erdel's home laboritory, but at some point you'll want to orient the audience to his situation. In the old comics, J'Onzz wandered around in an unprecedented human identity for a few hours before deciding "I'll just be a cop, because." Even if the origin is a low priority, the audience is going to expect more than that. The most accepted explanation came from Mark Verheiden with elaboration by Darwyn Cooke. J'Onn continues to live in Erdel's house for a time, assuming Erdel's form as needed, and otherwise learns about Earth culture from watching too much television. Detective John Jones comes into being because Martians are susceptible to copaganda.

While communicating this evolution to the audience, we'll need a performer who can play both Erdel and J'Onn pretending to be Erdel. He's got to explain to the audience the set-up, endear himself so that his death has emotional resonance, and then help put-over a likely silent Martian impersonator as a lovable protagonist. Mandy Patinkin's one of my favorite actors, nominated for seven Emmys with one win, plus a Tony besides. You wouldn't likely be able to get him for a comic book movie, and he's not going to sign any nine-picture deals. He's one of the warmest and most human actors on the planet, and while I'd avoid using the Post-Crisis "Saul" given Patinkin's eight years playing a character by that name, I'd like Erdel's (probable) Jewish heritage to be acknowledged through the casting. Yeah, Patinkin could out-Tucci the Tucc if given half a chance.

Monday, September 21, 2020

2020 Martian Manhunter Movie Fan Casting: Jonathan Majors as J'Onn J'Onzz

About every decade, I try to do a contemporary casting for the super-hero that I've devoted more of my life and resources to than any other. At the end of the 20th Century, my selection to play the Manhunter from Mars was Avery Brooks, whose last film role was in 2001 and who on my meeting him was clearly... eccentric. Still, various re-castings aside, he's always been the voice in my head when I try to "hear" John Jones.

There have been other attempts made by fans online in the years since, with my personal favorite being Jon Hamm, given that he already played a variation on a period American Secrets-flavored take over eight years as Don Draper on Mad Men. That said, I don't see that there's any point in casting a tall brunette WASP for an adaptation from of a comic book universe that already has Superman. What are you going to do, play him as an exceptionally stupid and immature 14 year old in an adult body with implied superiority over a collection of final act POC supporting players who are granted only a single portion of his many powers?*

In 2011, I settled on Lance Reddick based on the one season of The Wire I caught coupled with his being an internet casting favorite who openly expressed interest in the role. That said, I wasn't entirely sold on my own choice, and felt like my friend Ryan Daly did me one better by offering Giancarlo Esposito. Still, both of these guys were long in the tooth back then, and are now nearing federal retirement age. Notably, Hollywood seems to agree with our logic to seek out African descent actors, because in the years since these attempts David Harewood and Harry Lennix have joined Phil Morris in portraying the character in live action on television.**

The whole reason for this post, besides being about time, is the first instance since Avery Brooks to call out to me for this role. I loved the early episodes of HBO's Lovecraft Country, and immediately noticed lead character Atticus Freeman's exceptional build. In my earliest days of getting to know the history of the Alien Atlas, Adam Benson had told me his fan-casting of the 1960s version that he grew up on was the 6′ 4″ decathlete Woody Strode. The visual similarity of their lean muscle may have initiated the association, but Majors' pensive portrayal sealed the deal. It's tough to act "thoughtful," and he nails it, but he's already offered so much more than that. We've seen "Tic's" righteous simmering rage, his uncertainty, and most his emotional agony at the loss of a loved one. I very nearly cried myself over that last one, and its the sort of reaction I'd want an actor to inspire when depicting the enormous tragedies of the Martian people. Also, he's only 31, so he'd be an excellent long term investment for the cinematic debut of the Sleuth from Outer Space in a slew of shared universe films. Sure, he's already been cast as Kang in the worst Marvel Studios franchise, but if a retired Batman can fight Spider-Man or Thor, the same tide can sweep back in the opposite direction. Besides, it's a Marvel villain. Who's even going to remember in five years?

* Why yes, I did hate Shazam! very much.

** I know that stings, Snyder-stans, but it's no less true.

*** It's so sad that I have to copy and paste my posts into a WordPress comment now that Blogger doesn't offer spellcheck, but you get what you don't pay for, I suppose.

Monday, September 14, 2020

2015 “MIB vs...” intercompany commission by MC Wyman

I had another one of those "manically active without actually working on projects that are coming due" weekends, and instead of having multiple posts in the can, I'm typing this single one up at 2:23 a.m. on Monday morning. I never made anybody any promises, since I'd undoubtedly break them, and I have no aspirations of maintaining a daily schedule. We'll see how Tuesday goes. 

While searching for reference, I stumbled upon this fun piece featuring the original Malibu comic book Men in Black looking on at an aerial battle between Lobo & Rocket Raccoon, Superman & Gladiator, Hawkman & Thor, and Martian Manhunter & Silver Surfer by former Thor artist M.C. Wyman. Since the default image size for this blog is 400px and I'm now using Google as my exclusive image host, I just took the relevant snippet of the piece to save on bandwidth. There's a link to the whole shebang at Comic art Fans if you click on the pic.

Friday, September 11, 2020

"Recent" Comment Round-Up

I was away from posting anything but podcasts for so long that I wasn't aware that I had a years long queue of unmoderated comments. Out of the 30-something I reviewed after it occurred to me to keep any kind of track, a good quarter or so weren't trying to sell me imitation Viagra in Sanskrit. By the way, when did Google decide to take away spell check? My receiving eleven years of free web-hosting still entitles me to all the frills, right? Oh wait, it's in compose view. I guess that makes sense.

Where was I? Oh yeah, it also occurred to me that I could milk a free post out of answering a few of those comments from people that probably will never read them or visit this blog again. For posterity.

So one guy wanted to let me know that Mongul is a weak villain. That was before I was saving the names or posts. He made sure to tell me exactly that in two comments. Counterpoint: I like Mongul. I think he's cool. He's in competition with Lord High Papal for my favorite knock-off of Thanos, and I'm counting all the Thanos rip-offs, not just Starlin's home-brewed ones (side-eyes Synnar the Demiurge.) He's also the villain in one of the best ever Superman stories which hinges on his villainy, so that's not weak. I feel like I should end with some sort of white dad rap, but that would take effort and rhyming, so I'll just end this statement with "Word."

 On the post Martian Manhunter in the 1980, Anonymous said, "Hi. I think you missed JLA 228-230." Well Ann (may I call you Ann?) the truth is that I started my coverage of the Detroit era with Justice League of America Annual #2, and planned to work up to the "War of the Worlds: 1984" arc as the conclusion of my Silver-To-Bronze Age coverage. Then I never finished, in large part because I got podcasting. But as a consolation, my very first ever podcast appearance was to cover those issues with Rob & Shag on The Fire and Water Podcast.

 Amusingly, Doppelgänger asked of my Comrades of Mars bios in 2018, "Where are the obvious ones like Zook and Diane Meade and Miss Martian?" It was a literal copy & paste of the same request made by MartianManhunterIsBetterThanCyborg in 2013. The seventh anniversary of that request is in three months, so I guess that's a goal to work towards? My answer remains, "I haven't written their profile entries yet." I'll add that I would need to reread a bunch of comics, and I already got a bunch of other comics in line way ahead of them. G'way kid, ja bodderin' me.

On a more constructive note, The Time Trust offered in early 2019 that "I think it's worth noting that Patrolman Slade may have made a rare second appearance, as John Jones is partnered with a policeman named Slade in Detective Comics #268, just 8 issues after Patrolman Slade's initial appearance. This second Slade looks identical to the first." I can probably read a single eight page story to follow-up on that. Thank you, T.T.T.

Ahead of the most recent Martian Manhunter maxi-series, I groused on Martian Manhunter Returns In New Series Canceled With Twelfth Issue To Soften The Inevitable Blow! about how I didn't really like anything done with the character as a soloist for the previous dozen years and was tired of supporting all those misfires financially. Full disclosure, I only bought several different versions of the first issue or so, didn't appreciate that take, and abandoned it to trade-waiting.

Dr. Anj & Martin Gray both commented at the time, but I had nothing to add to the dialogue. Four months later, Slimmy did, saying, "First time I read your post I thought you were unfair to Williams and Barrows'run, called "Epiphany" and "Red Rising". I thought I kinda enjoyed it.

But then I realized that I actually disliked what it was : There was no Martian Manhunter in it for quite a while. I only enjoyed it because it was an inconsequential bad story that gave the character a new origin that I kinda enjoyed. I foolishly thought that this new origin would allow the character to get a fresh start, and was different from Ostrander's stupidity. (Yes I preferred when the epidemic was just a disease going around, like Dematteis implied, rather than a biological weapon and Malefic is a ridiculous concept and who the [expletive deleted] writes evil twin brothers unironically ?). I enjoyed this origin story, I really did. I thought it had greater tragedy than ever before while still building up the world and culture. Nonetheless, we share a common hatred of this new book. I grew up with Carl Lumbly as the Martian Manhunter, and picturing him as black was the norm for me. But a freaking corrupt cop ? The origin story retconned AGAIN ? The atrocious art style ? Just cease and desist."

 I did buy the trade, as I did with the Williams/Barrows series, after supporting that entire run in floppies. I've finished reading neither. I love Barrows' art, full stop, and Riley Rossmo was very not that. However, I actually enjoyed his quirky visuals and they suited the story Orlando was telling. It's just that the story wasn't intended for me any more than the Williams one was, but in different ways. They both let their freak flags fly, which I encourage on a Martian Manhunter book, but those stories didn't involve a version of J'Onn J'Onzz that I recognized or cared to associate with. Issue for issue, I preferred what Orlando did, if only by virtue of a guy named J'Onn in a familiar setting being present. I wasn't feeling it, and I was tired of throwing out good money after bad, plus I simply lost interest in reading after issue #3 or 4. I couldn't even muster a hate-read. Just decompressed meh.

Finally, kevin from new orleans has let a series of supportive comments on the recent posts that I appreciate. I really do need to at least watch the Carl Lumbly scenes from Supergirl. I was not aware that Ma'alefa'ak was on the show until recently, and was didn't know at all about the additional stunt casting. That could be really fun. I have the Blu-Rays through season 3, so I should get on that already...

Thursday, September 10, 2020

2018 Zook sketch by Stephen R. Bissette

My buddy Derek WC of Fanholes Podcast alerted me that noted Swamp Thing alum Steve Bissette had of his own volition contributed the rare Zook rendering to the world of fine art. You can see a larger version on his Facebook post, as well as some new additions to the piece.
Bat-Mite! Zook! Mister Mxyzptlk! 
When J'onn J'onzz (the Martian Manhunter) is away, Zook finds a place to chill, right alongside a couple other Silver Age reprobates... I added 'em to the original sketch... And this makes me giggle. 
Brush, pen, archival ink, whiteout pen, Meanstreak on 8 1/2" x 11" light board; $175 for this is pretty esoteric Silver Age DC memory lane monkey-business—or Best Offer—(plus shipping) to first to PM me here or email 
Still fundraising for dental surgery (October), fall/winter work on TYRANT® and other projects. I'll be offering more traditional-for-Bissette fare later in the week/weekend, but had some odd "just for fun" pieces I wanted to offer to mix it up a bit. Many thanks!

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

2016 Martian Manhunter Trailer - DC Remixed by Barnes Bros. TV

Like so many other online outlets, we seem to have pivoted to video. Just kidding. I'm totally going to drop the ball on this blog revival entirely any minute now. Best hope is that I get some weekly art posts lined up before I lose interest again. Anyway, as I was going through the relatively short list of Martian Manhunter trailer fan edits, I tumbled onto this video and thought "Mortal Engines, huh?" The anticipating of 2020 facewear aside, this is actually an (almost) entirely newly produced fan-acted short feature (I think they borrow some audio from Supergirl?) Cool use of limited means to show off J'Onn's telepathy, plus we get an in-continuity co-star instead of secondhand Jeff Goldblum. I'm more enthused about this take on Martian Manhunter than the rest of the Snyder Murderverse influenced stuff this week. They also did one for Detroit Justice League teammate Vixen...

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

2016 The Martian ManHunter-Fanmade Trailer by Mandy G

This one owes an enormous debt to the 2010 “Martian Manhunter - Theatrical Trailer” by SouperboyX, but (mostly-- whoops!) switches out Phil Morris for David Harewood. J'Onn's big reveal on the first season of Supergirl really lit a fire under people four years ago. I wonder why nobody has gone back to this well in the years since? I didn't quite finish Supergirl season 2, but I know there's been a lot more Alien Atlas lore mined since then that could serve as extensive trailer fodder. Is everyone just holding their breath for Harry Lennix in 2021? Funny, you could describe the entire Snyder Cut saga as "General Swanwick."