Friday, November 6, 2009

Martian Sightings for January, 2010

When I started Martian Sightings early in the life of this blog, the plan was to read the entire Previews catalog and report on all Martian Manhunter-related items each month. That notion was never quite realized, as J'Onn J'Onzz lacks enough commercial heft to rate explicit mentions in a given solicitation. I often missed appearances, or assumed his presence where he was absent. On items like DVDs, Previews is often soliciting stuff available in stores before you could even turn an order in to them. Finally, I began taking until very near the deadline to finish reading the book, and especially on light months, I sometimes wouldn't post at all.

This is to say that you're reading the last Martian Sighting as originally conceived.
Once again, there were no Martian Manhunter items outside the DC Comics solicitations, which have been viewable to the public for three weeks. In fact,the previous Sighting was posted right around the same time, and folks were more interested in commenting on the brand new items than the dated stuff I was covering... the "new" stuff featured here was what we discussed nearly a month ago. There will be another Sighting in a couple weeks, focused solely on the freshest advance solicitations on the 'net. If additional items turn up in the actual Previews, I'll just tack it onto the Sighting after that, and so on.

Out with 2009 and these final perfunctory solicits-- In with 2010 and a forum to talk about the now merchandise...


DC Direct presents the fourth series of HISTORY OF THE DC UNIVERSE action figures, featuring four more fan-favorite characters!

All based on art from George Pérez’s seminal HISTORY OF THE DC UNIVERSE comic book, the figures included here are Silver Age Martian Manhunter; Captain Atom in his original blue and red costume; Kobra in his original costume; and Superman as Nightwing, from Superman’s time in the Bottle City of Kandor, when he took on the alias of Nightwing.

Captain Atom • 6.75” h
Superman as Nightwing • 6.75” h
Martian Manhunter • 6.75” h
Kobra • 6.75” h
4-color blister card packaging.
Advance-solicited; on sale June 16, 2010 * Action Figures * PI ($14-20)

A Martian Manhunter action figure based on the History art of Pérez would be fantastic! It's one of my favorite interpretations of the character! This figure looks nothing like Pérez ever did ever! This looks like Tim Bruckner taking a stab at Joe Certa's Silver Age Manhunter from Mars, right down to the simple collarless cape. On the other hand, that teensy-weensy bikini he's wearing was more typical of the '90s, and J'Onn was never drawn that muscular before the late '80s. It's actually less faithful to Pérez than the Kevin Maguire JLI figure (which looks better in your hands than online, as I recently learned.)

Written by Mark Waid, Scott Beatty and Len Wein
Art by various
Cover by Alex Ross
Collecting the origins of over fifty characters from Animal Man to Zatanna, including Batman, Wonder Woman, The Joker and many more, from DC’s hit weekly series 52 and COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS as well as several first seen online, featuring the work of some of comics’ top talents!
Advance-solicited; on sale February 17 • 144 pg, FC, $14.99 US

This one should have Martian Manhunter's two page spotlight with art by Tom Mandrake (on the conehead, to boot!) Also, lots of cameo appearances in other character's origins (like Brian Bolland's Zatanna!)

Written by Brad Meltzer, Mark Waid and Brian Azzarello
Art by Ed Benes, Ivan Reis, Andy Kubert, Adam Hughes, Jim Lee and others
Cover by Ed Benes
Previously offered as part of DC Direct’s JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA ACTION FIGURE BOX SET, this special collects JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #1 and origin stories from 52 #12, 22, 46 and 51 and ABSOLUTE SUPERMAN: FOR TOMORROW.
On sale January 20 • 48 pg, FC, $4.99 US

Reprints of cameos-- not especially well written ones. Nice art, though... at times.

Written by Geoff Johns
Art and cover by Doug Mahnke & Christian Alamy
Variant cover by Jim Lee
Sketch Variant cover by Doug Mahnke
BLACKEST NIGHT spreads with an oversized anniversary issue! Surrounded by friends and enemies, Hal Jordan goes into battle with a being he will never defeat – the Black Lantern Spectre! Can Saint Walker, Sinestro and the others put a stop to this bizarre Spectre rebirth?
Plus, Atrocitus reveals a tie to a power that may make him the most unbeatable of all the Lanterns!
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with three covers. For every 25 copies of the Standard Edition (with a cover by Doug Mahnke & Christian Alamy), retailers may order one copy of the Variant Edition (with a cover by Jim Lee). For every 100 copies of the Standard Edition, retailers may order one copy of the Sketch Variant Edition (with a cover by Doug Mahnke). Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale January 27 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US

Will Black Lantern J'Onn J'Onzz appear here? Probably not, but I'll give his corps a nod to be safe.

Written by Geoff Johns
Art and cover by Ryan Sook
The Atom has been in the center of the BLACKEST NIGHT storm since day one. But now that storm becomes more personal than he could ever have imagined when he is hunted by not only the Black Lanterns Hawkman and Hawkgirl, but Black Lanterns Khufu and Chay-Ara! Don’t miss the meltdown in another of this month’s one-issue revivals of classic DC Universe titles!
ONE SHOT • on sale January 27 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Another "don't count on it" Black Lantern J'Onn J'Onzz appearance, but this also smells like an essential mini-series tie-in you might otherwise miss. Besides, it's the real Atom in a solo story by Johns and Sook! If only the Tiny Titan blog were around to see this...

R.E.B.E.L.S. #12
Written by Tony Bedard
Art by Claude St. Aubin & Scott Hanna
Cover by Kalman Andrasofszky
In the aftermath of their BLACKEST NIGHT encounter, Vril Dox and his team realize they must kill Starro the Conqueror. It's a job that requires three dangerous missions led by Dox, Captain Comet and Adam Strange, who will face loss, treachery and the overwhelming might of Starro's conquering horde.
On sale January 13 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

I haven't read the annual yet, but it looks like they threw Despero under the bus to build up Starro/Star Conqueror. Eh, Despero's survived infantilism, disembodiment, pychic displacement, discorporation and Trinity, so what's decapitation really?

The Human Flame
Written by Matthew Sturges
Art by Freddie E. Williams II
Cover by KAKO
The Human Flame is a dead man. The heroes of the DC Universe have targeted him as the lowlife who caught the murder of the Martian Manhunter on his cell phone. On top of that, the villains want to kill him for selling them out to Libra. His only chance is to run! Collecting the 6-issue miniseries.
Advance-solicited; on sale February 24 • 144 pg, FC, $17.99 US

I asked a few months ago if anyone was willing to recommend this trade paperback collection to me, and got a positive response. As I recall, it jerks a bunch of forgettable d-listers around pretty hard, so if you can roll with that, it might be worth trying.

Miss Martian
Written by Felicia D. Henderson; co-feature written by Sean McKeever
Art by Joe Bennett & Jack Jadson; co-feature art by Yildiray Cinar & Júlio Ferreira
Cover by Joe Bennett and Jack Jadson
Now that he’s had time to acclimate to normal life since the TERROR TITANS miniseries, Static makes the choice to go home and tell his family that he’s alive. And he’s bringing his Teen Titans teammates with him. Let’s hope they can survive the rough streets of Dakota!
Plus: Ravager…slave girl!
On sale January 27 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US

Okay, I tossed through #75, and she was still on the team. I don't think the creative team is entirely intact though, so nobody knows nothin' til it streets.


LissBirds said...

Did you get a chance to pick up a copy of the DCU Halloween special? Miss Martian was in it.

mathematicscore said...

That was my exact reaction to Despero. One of the few recent deaths in comics that I haven't cared about (in a good way).

The Human Flame series may not be for everyone, but I liked the art and there were some nice John Stewart Green Lantern moments (He and Firestorm are the main protagonists.) Also, it is is more honest fallout to J'onn's death than Cry for Justice could ever hope to be. Characters are actually concerned with catching the man responsible for his murder. Like, this is actually acknowledged. It's crazy!

Diabolu Frank said...

Liss, I only ever used to buy DC holiday specials out of a misplaced sense of obligation I no longer feel, and the one review I read of this one was entirely negative. I do need to give Miss Martian some love here though, so I appreciate the "heads up."

m.s., I'm still debating on the trade, but hearing about John Stewart's role intrigues me. His strange, brief relationship with Martian Manhunter was never explored, and then he goes and catches the instigator of his killing? Hmmm...

Tom said...

I'd buy the Run tpb if it had the Human Squirrel instead of the Human Flame.

mathematicscore said...

I actually see them as being friends, if only as members of the also ran superhero club. Plus they both seem to attract more Philosophical takes. I think MM American Secrets and GL Mosaic, while on the surface somewhat dissimilar, share a more introspective tone that you don't often find in the average Bat or Super tale. So does the first MM mini by Dematteis for that matter. Hard Traveling heroes can suck it.

I think they would bond over John's mistake in Cosmic Odyssey, J'onn's empathy would overshadow the I told you so. Plus Hal has gotten too busy torturing people and being badass to actually care about respecting J'onn's memory, where as Stewart is more thoughtful. Plus, in the animated universe they are "the Johns." Which could be taken a number of ways....

Diabolu Frank said...

I think John Stewart still has too much ego and negative association to want to actually be friends with J'Onn, plus there's the Martian prejudice against Green Lanterns and inadvertent genocide to consider. For me, this is one of those situations where two people you're fond of have tension/lack of chemistry when thrown together. I'd be fine with that, except no writers ever bother to address their history, so even that assumption on my part is speculative. It's frustrating!

Oh, and Hard Traveling Heroes can indeed suck it. Great art, laughable stories, and obnoxious characters. Give me a jazzy J'Ohns team-up by Gerard Jones any day...

Tom said...

It's a shame that none of the writers Neal Adams has worked with have been as talented as him.

LissBirds said...

I don't know....I think Kyle would take the prize when it comes to Lantern Closest to J'onn. There was even that cryptic conversation between the two of them in one of the 1,000,000 series...something about Kyle "being there" for J'onn when things were at their worst, or something like that.

Eh...I don't know, ms. J'onn was pretty mad after the Xanshi incident in Cosmic Odyssey. He even swore.

Hard Traveling Heroes...feel silly for asking, but what's that?

Frank, the DCU Halloween Special wasn't all that great. I was just psyched to see a Miss Martian appearance. There was one real cute story in there involving "Flash" and "Superman" that made my day.

Diabolu Frank said...

"Hard-Traveling Heroes" is a term applied to Hal Jordan, Ollie Queen, and to a lesser extent Dinah Lance. It relates specifically to the '70s socially relevant comics by Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams, in which those characters hit the road together on an Easy Rider riff with a rogue Guardian of the Universe. It's still used sometimes regarding GL/GA team-ups, even during the brief pairing of Kyle Rayner and Connor Hawke.

For myself, between the heavy-handed awfulness of the old O'Neil scripts and GL/GA having sold out their principles in the '80s and '90s, I dislike the pair. Hal's a right-wing jerk today, and Ollie's a ridiculous joke who ruined one of the longest running mainstream heroine comics to drag Black Canary back to supporting status. They're Deadhead stickers on Cadillacs.

Anyway, J'Onn is very respectful of Alan Scott, and was a mentor to Kyle Rayner, but I wouldn't call those friendships, either. Maybe the issue is with the Corps?

LissBirds said...

Thanks for clearing that up so succinctly. I'm going to have to read more about the Bronze and Iron ages to get a better handle on all that.

And now I can't get the mental image out of my head of little blue Guardan standing up on the seat of a Harley Davidson...