Monday, February 28, 2011

2011 Martian Manhunter watercolor by Kyle Starks

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I’m totally doing these stupid watercolor draw-draws now. I’m teaching myself and whatnot. So, there’s that.

New stuff.

This is a watercolor painting of Batman. It’s, clearly, the worst painting of BATMAN ever.

Kyle Starks has a webcomic series called Ricky Thunder about a pro wrestler. He also has a blog called Guinea Pig Theatre that used to recast movie scenes with rodents, but now focuses more on 4 Panel Comix mocking name brand super-heroes, his ABCs of Mediocre Marvel Villainy, and other such shenanigans. I'd like to single out 10 Former Avengers You Do Not Want On Your Avengers Team, which says what we're all thinking, but with better material. I only started reading his work yesterday, but so far it's been pretty darned funny and worth your while.

Starks is also a big Martian Manhunter fan, as evidenced by his recoloring and ridiculing Martian Manhuner panels from Detective Comics 304. You could probably run a blog off random panels from Silver Age J'onn J'onzz stories as springboards for jokes, but hardly anyone bothers, so it's a treat when someone steps up to the plate. Kenny is the kind of fan who will randomly decide to draw a picture of Batman The Green Hornet slightly larger than a quarter and then paint it. Respect, dude.

P.S. Any Captain Marvel fans interested in a synopsis of his first appearance?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

"1967 Manhunter from Mars Movie Monty Moran Promotional Still"

The scene began with an interior shot of a bank. From outside, a horn blared, and bank patrons began to scatter. An armored vehicle smashed through the exterior windows into furnishings within, tearing through counters like cheap plywood. The vehicle came to a stop directly in front of the vault. The cow puncher at the front of the broad contraption split in half, revealing a large drill within its hollow. Sparks flew and smoke obscured the view, until the vantage point switched to the inside of the penetrated vault. Thugs wielding tommy guns exited from both sides of the vehicle to control the crowd, while a well dressed mastermind stepped out to survey the scene. The Getaway King was pleased with the crackerjack precision on display, as he directed some of his men to begin loading moneybags into the armored vehicle. In no time, the dirty deed was done, and everyone filed back into the vehicle, which pulled out the way it had came.

Police cars immediately gave chase, when the vehicle suddenly split into three heavily shielded three-wheelers veering in different directions. The police cars in pursuit also divided up, but the two side getaway cars proved to have too much horsepower for officers to keep up. The central portion was heavier and slower, until the drill at its front tilted upward and launched into the air. The drill landed in front of a police car, too near to dodge, and acted as a ramp that sent the pursuing vehicle off to one side before landing upside down in the street. The discharged drill and downed police car served as an effective barricade.

Lieutenant Saunders arrived at the scene of the crime, and spotted a uniformed female officer. "Pretty policewoman Diane Meade... what are you doing here?" Meade had been sent to interview witnesses and try to work up a sketch of the criminal mastermind. Saunders dismissed the latter concern, assuring Meade that this was clearly the work of Monty Moran (Jeff Corey.) Both officers were surprised when tall dark Detective John Jones also showed up. "Aren't you supposed to be on your own side of town, Jones?" The Detective had been asked to take on the case by Captain Harding, who recognized that the usual procedure wasn't going to be enough to capture the Getaway King. Saunders scoffed at the premise that Jones brought anything more to the table than his own people, but graciously allowed Jones to proceed with his investigation.

Detective Jones took a long hard look at the floor of the bank, then began to wander off into the street. Lt. Saunders wondered aloud mockingly if Jones was part Cherokee, but Meade followed the detective to ask what he was up to. Jones explained that the armored vehicle had distinct tire treads, and even after the contraption split, each section was still heavy enough and moved fast enough to leave unique skid marks along their route. Policewoman Meade thought that a vehicle that bizarre would need specialized parts to be manufactured, and Jones encouraged her to follow up on that hunch while he continued to trace the skids on foot with his heightened Martian Vision.

Monty Moran joined his men at their safehouse, congratulating them on a job well done. The goons began to unload the portion of the haul from Moran's vehicle, but a pair picked up their machine guns and pointed them at the boss. When Moran demanded to know what they were thinking with this betrayal, he was reminded that he had been warned not to pull any heists without the approval of Vulture. A deep, chastising voice boomed behind Moran, who turned to find a large man with no discernible face. Moran begged the forgiveness of Mr. V, who expressed his disappointment at seeing such mastermind material go to waste. However, there was no mercy in Mr. V's heart, and no escape for the Getaway King, who cursed "Faceless."

John Jones had made excellent time in reaching the remote hideout just before dark, but he was still too late to save Monty Moran. The marvelous vehicle and the loot were long gone, with only the body of the genius left behind. Before he passed, Moran wrote the letter "V" in his own blood...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

2008 "Superhero Rock Band" by Kristin Palach

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: ) xmas/channukuh present for my friend, it's his four fav superheroes as a rock band. That's Booster Gold on vocals, Aquaman on guitar, Martian Manhunter on bass, and blue beetle on drums. The guitars are based off of Fender guitars, and the drums are basically ludwig drums. Drawing instruments is really hard!!

Kristin Palach posted this to her swell personal art blog in early 2009. There are a lot of tasteful nudes there though, so you may just one to stick with the super-hero stuff, like Comics Alliance did in a spotlight gallery. J'Onn J'Onzz is so a bass player, and I dig that his guitar partner is Aquaman. While Booster is banging groupies, Jaime is signing autographs for every attending fan, Arthur's on the phone with his wife about the kid, and J'Onn is in a hotel room talking to a Spin reporter about radio waves from Mars and the secret history of the Earth.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Polls: Martian Madness Qualifying Rounds

Before the nerds took over, comic books were as American as a Jewish run, union busting apple pie manufacturing corporation. This might explain why all the classic heroes from the World's Finest to the X-Men were all about baseball. J'Onn J'Onzz got into "America's Favorite Pastime" a time or two way back in his day, but not often or in a long time, because he's a big green geek. I have no use for sports myself, so I like it just fine that way. However, I received a comment earlier this month from a poster who shall remain anonymous (because they posted anonymously):
I have an idea for the blog. Its fine if you don’t use it, it was just an idea. Since it is the start of February it means that March Madness is right around the corner. What if you do a bracket of MM villains and have them battle and give like a one sentence on the reason they won? I just think it would be a fun and creative idea even though it may sound lame.
I didn't think it sounded lame, but it did sound like work, so poo on that. Yet, the notion had too much merit to let me go, though, so here's the scene:

As I understand it, March Madness entails college basketball teams being pitted against one another to score a touchdown against the goal keeper until one of the teams punches a knockout and progresses to America's Next Top Model. There are no Mulligans, so you either take the bronze or are disqualified from the Triple Lindy. Everybody kung-fu fights in a specific ballroom dancing order until it comes down to two teams at the Grand Prix. Is that about right?

I have the same list of eighty or so villains from last year's Vile Menagerie fixation, which is at least forty too many for my tastes. Therefore, I'll post about ten qualifying matches a day for the next several days of 3-4 day voting duration. Using whatever criteria you personally deem appropriate, pick one of the contestants. Winners will gain entry into the first round of this month long game. In matches where no votes are cast, both characters will be disqualified. In the event of a tie, I dunno. We'll see what we see. I've tried not to "assassinate" anyone with an overwhelming mismatch like Despero vs. Mr. Moth, both in terms of power and popularity. Most likely, major contestants in the "big ticket" matches will gain immediate entry into the first round, rather than facing the indignity of not making it into the game just because they were paired against another big name. I'm not going to have Wiley Dalbert outlast Mongul, at least until the second round. From there it's up to you guys.

Sound like fun? I hope so. Maybe I'll even fill in one of the bracket thingees further down the line. Ballots are to your right. Vote early and vote often!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

2009 Ravager and Miss Martian "Prelude To The Pie Incident" by Bill Walko

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M'gann M'orzz is the angel on my shoulder. She asks me why I don't post the latest chapter of the "1967 Manhunter from Mars movie" serial I finished yesterday. Rose Wilson is the devil on my shoulder. She reminds me that I spent three hours last week just trying to pin down my choice of Keenan Wynn as Professor Mark Erdel, then another couple or three hours writing the longest installment to date. M'gann says I'm already done with the shorter, tighter, more action packed follow-up. Rose says after all that work last week, I only got one comment, and that I should have stuck with my original plan to punish this act of disloyalty amongst the insurgent rabble by simply breaking the first post into three bite-sized edits over the course of this week. M'gann points out that would have been rude, childish, and would create animosity amongst the blog's readership. Rose points out that if I had followed through with my vindictive act, I would have had more time to study for the ball-busting Pharmacology test I squeeked by on through the grace of God, deductive reasoning, and plain stupid ass luck. M'gann M'orzz misses her Monday. Rose Wilson figures that would be a good day to cross over with another couple of blogs for a rare excursion into the Golden Age.

Then Rose spiked the ball by reminding me I have four tests next week, including one with a required 90% for all students to continue in the program.

The artist's deviantART gallery is worth checking out, with Comics Alliance and Every Day Is Like Wednesday singing his praises at length. Alternately, there's that "1967 Manhunter from Mars Movie: Flashback Sequence" I was whining about...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Alter-Ego #1 (March, 1961)

The Silver Age Comics blog offered a post last week about the origins of Alter Ego. Jerry Bails' and Roy Thomas' fanzine, aided and endorsed by Julie Schwartz, was pretty much the birthplace of the comic book enthusiast community. Conventions, the direct market... hell, blogs like this all came from Alter Ego. Both Bails and Thomas were collectors of '40s & '50s comics in general, with a special fixation on the long underwear crowd, so they were eager to support "The Second Heroic Age of Comics" that Schwartz was ushering in. This may account for how heavily the fanzine skewed DC, with articles on the Spectre, Wonder Woman and the Wizard, as well as advertising bullets for upcoming National product. The cover feature was Roy Thomas' "Bestest League of America," a parody feature of the Justice League of America. Among the heroes was S'amm S'mith, the Martian Manhandler, "whose super-powers enable him to do anything but grow hair!"

Alter Ego eked out ten issues through 1969 (a dividing year between the Silver and Bronze Ages, when the real Martian Manhunter fell into limbo.) In the meantime, Roy Thomas became a writer/editor at Marvel Comics, while Jerry Bails began Who's Who of American Comic Books. In 1978, an eleventh issue saw print, and a few years later, Roy Thomas moved to DC. Thomas wrote Martian Manhunter into a script or two before returning to Marvel in the late '80s. Thomas revived Alter Ego at Twomorrows Publishing in 1997, and the now professional magazine is still being produced.

Again, for more, check out the Silver Age Comics blog!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

2008 "Para Fran" Head Sketch by Al Barrionuevo

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"For Fran" in Spanish. It's a shame Al Barrionuevo hooked up with A.J. Lieberman, a mediocre writer whose poor fortunes seemed to transmit to his frequent (nigh exclusive) artistic partner. Barrionuevo had an appealingly human take on the classic Martian Manhunter, so of course he will always be associated with the more alien One Year Later conehead design that was not of his own making. Maybe he'll be redeemed someday through a more retro take, because Barrionuevo seems ideally suited for a noir take on John Jones. He seems like a real fedora and trench coat kind of cat, and I'd totally draft him for The Question if given the chance.

Monday, February 21, 2011

2010 DC Comics Originals Little Mates Martian Manhunter

According to Experience the Wonder's write-up of the line, the DC Comics Little Mates were produced by the Spanish company Silverline that offered them as a local newspaper premium.

Released on October 16, 2010, they're adorable if inarticulate at two inches. There's a used one going on eBay for five bucks that I swiped these pictures from. The rest of the founding Justice League is also represented, as well as Catwoman, Harley Quinn, the Joker and Hawkgirl.

If you visit the official Little Mates Martian Manhunter page, you can see a CGI turnaround of the design, and download a couple of pages of art (solo J'Onn and a group shot) aching to be printed out and crayon colored. UK sites are reporting that they'll land on their side of the pond in April.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

2009 Black Lantern Maxwell Lord design by Joe Prado

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I've sincerely forgotten, so could someone please remind me of the rationale for putting a noose around the neck of a guy who was killed by having his head twisted 180° by an Amazon? Further, could someone explain how I'm supposed to take Max Lord seriously as a Wonder Woman adversary when she killed him in their first confrontation? No, see, Max was one of J'Onn J'Onzz's closest friends and confidants for years. Max's life and especially his sway with the Justice League unraveled when J'Onn was taken out of the equation. According to current revisionist continuity, Lord was evil the entire time, marking his treachery as one of the greatest J'Onzz has ever experienced in his traumatic life. Max Lord wields telepathy like a truncheon, a huge no-no for the Manhunter from Mars (exempting John Ostrander scripts.) Plus, Lord has been privy to so many of the Martian Manhunter's vulnerabilities, including the easily exploitable weakness against fire, that Lord could easily be the new Mr. V.

But Lord is busy trying to kill Wonder Woman back and give Booster Gold a hard month.


Friday, February 18, 2011

2009 JLA Commission by Tan Eng Huat

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Tan Eng Huat had some heat on him about a decade back, when DC signed him to an exclusive contract out of the gate, ahead of his coming out stateside with a brand new take on the Doom Patrol. There's been two more Doom Patrol relaunches since then, and I haven't heard much from the artist in years, but it's still worth perusing his small deviantART gallery You might also like to check out the 2009 Wonder Woman Gift Art by Tan Eng Huat

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Son of Superman (1999)

In anticipation of an inexpensive reprint edition coming soon, I thought I would dig out the write-up I did for the hardcover edition of the Elseworld Son of Superman in 1999 (available in softcover a year later.) This was originally on my old site, Martian Manhunter: The Rock of the JLA. I've edited it somewhat, but this is basically my impression of the book at that time.

This Howard Chaykin story revolves around the emergence of teenager Jon Kent as a metahuman, years after the disappearance of his famous father. The Justice League is still around, dressed in matching black uniforms and lead by the Martian Manhunter. Also around are The Supermen, a terrorist group lead by Pete Ross and Lana Lang, who kidnap Jon. Together, they break Superman out of a government facility run by a grizzled cowboy named Macavoy. What they don't know, even though it's highly predictable, is that Lex Luthor was controlling the project from behind the scenes. What you really don't see coming is the revelation that Macavoy is the Manhunter in disguise, pulling the strings for Lex in the JLA. After some investigating, Batman learns Wonder Woman has been helping to bankroll the Supermen, then refuses to take part in a manhunt when Supes is framed.

Supes, his son, Bats, and WW respond to J'Onn's charges with their belief in a conspiracy masterminded by Luthor. The Manhunter believes that's for a court to decide. WW throws the first punch of many, leading to a dialogue between Supes and J'Onn.
"You and I are merely visitors on this planet."
"That's where you're wrong. J'Onn. You're a visitor--I'm an adopted son."

MM is stunned by one of Supes' blows, which knocks him into an electric sign, which causes him to shapeshift into Macavoy. He then claims he betrayed Superman to keep him from being assassinated. It also allowed him to keep order, with his federally funded JLA. Thanks to Superman, the League ends up disbanded. Wonder Woman has diplomatic immunity, but J'Onn J'Onzz is deported bck to Mars for his part in the scandal.

As with "Justice Riders", the best part of this Elseworlds is J.H.Williams III's artwork. He's becoming quite the unsung hero of that line.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"1967 Manhunter from Mars Movie: Flashback Sequence"

Keenan Wynn as Professor Mark Erdel

"Mars?" replied Diane Meade. "You must be out of your mind."
"Out of this world, more like. Look, I realize that this is difficult for your mind to accept. Your first instinct is to call me in as a mental case to Captain Harding, but your deductive reasoning is still working through the things you know that you've seen. You had a perfect view of those men killing my informant. My suit is clearly riddled with bullet holes, but I'm not wounded. You saw my true colors in that fire. You've been trained to be observant and collect all the facts in front of your eyes. Am I some kind of a magician, or an extraordinarily elaborate con artist? Are you going mad? Or is it more likely, in this age where Earthmen are orbiting the planet and preparing to reach for the moon, that one of your distant neighbors got here first?"

Meade tried to find a simpler, less fantastic explanation for the scenario that had played out before her. Jones was right, though. Nothing in modern science could dispel the bizarre circumstances she had found herself in. "Alright. Fine then. Tell me all about it." Meade's relatively swift acceptance took John Jones somewhat aback, and gave him pause, but he decided to see his revelation through to the end.

"Mars, as your people call my world, once gave birth to an advanced civilization that eclipsed your own. We were free from want, petty crime and superstition, but my people were divided by extreme ideology. The trouble with scientific advancement is the ease with which it can destroy an entire world. Thousands of years ago, my people were blasted back to the stone age by a fire that burned for centuries. Without resources, tools or technology, my people began to evolve to adapt to the extreme adversity we faced. We became much stronger, and more durable, although flames could still incinerate us. To fend off natural predators, we developed the ability to alter our skin color to camouflage our movements. With such a sparse population spread out over an entire world, our need for connection enabled us to communicate psychically with our minds. Over time, despite all that we had lost, my people managed to survive and live as one in peace."

"I was happy in my life, but one day, it came to an end. One minute I was foraging for food on the Martian tundra, and the next I was standing in a private laboratory on the outskirts of town..."

Lawrence "Larry" Dobkin as Lieutenant Saunders

From there, the movie faded into a flashback, as J'onn J'onzz in a modified version of his comic book costume stood before Professor Mark Erdel (Keenan Wynn). The scientist was shocked at first, but when he realized the green-skinned alien before him was as startled and confused as he, Erdel warmly greeted the visitor. Erdel explained that he was fascinated by the race toward the prospect of space travel two of Earth's countries were in competition to realize. Erdel felt that the method of sending clunky metal rockets into space was too dangerous and disadvantageous, and began exploring alternatives. Erdel looked at his fellow scientist Albert Einstein's theory of relativity, and realized the fastest, safest means of space travel was through converting objects to light and projecting them in a beam toward their far distant destination. Erdel had experimented with sending objects to the moon for astronauts to find within the next few years, but the professor needed to take something from another world to prove his invention worked today. Erdel had chosen to pilfer some alien minerals or perhaps vegetation from Mars, and ended up with more than he had bargained for.

J'onn J'onzz found all this interesting, but wanted to know when the professor could reverse the process and send him back home. Erdel explained that because Earth and Mars were both rotating at different rates, it would take a short while to calculate how and when to return the Martian to his approximate point of departure. Not wanting to end up in the middle of a barren desert, J'onzz agreed to enjoy a short vacation on Earth.

For the next several weeks, J'onzz and Erdel discussed their individual lives and cultures, and grew to become friends. The Martian feared that nuclear winter would leave Earth in the same state as his home world, while Erdel was heartened that his relativity ray could offer new hope to both species. Prof. Erdel couldn't bear to keep J'onn J'onzz all to himself, so he invited one of his scientific peers to visit. However, J'onzz didn't trust this friend, Alex Dunster (Warren Oates,) who was brilliant and disciplined enough to shield his mind from psychic inspection. J'onzz's suspicions were confirmed one night when, while he was off exploring, Dunster murdered Erdel and stole key elements from the relativity ray projector.

Warren Oates as Alex Dunster

J'onn J'onzz deliberated on how to proceed, then came to a logical solution. The Martian took on a more human form, walked into a police station in Middletown, and claimed to be an out-of-town police detective on the trail of murder suspect Dunster. "John Johns" spoke with Lieutenant Saunders (Lawrence "Larry" Dobkin,) and waved various blank papers and a wallet at the officer that, through "mental manipulation," appeared to verify Jones' claims. However, Saunders wasn't about to turn Middletown over to some "outsider," and joined Jones in "discovering" Professor Erdel's body. The pair followed a trail that led to Dunster attempting to sell the relativity ray to Soviet agents. A gunfight ensued, leaving Dunster and his contacts dead, as well as rendering the relativity ray inoperable through damages and loss of know-how. However, Captain Harding (Simon Oakland) was so impressed with John Jones, he soon hired him to patrol Middletown permanently. Well, the darker parts of Middletown anyway, since Jones could only convincingly appear as a colored man, and folks in other parts of the city might take exception to such a person carrying a gun and badge.

Diane Meade's head was spinning at these revelations as she reached her destination outside John Jones' apartment building. It was now after dark, so Jones felt it might be best for Meade to go home and sleep on her decision overnight. Meade agreed, and left Jones at the curb. John walked up to his empty apartment, and laid down on the couch. An ethereal glow came from the far side of the room, and Jones was addressed by Professor Erdel, who chastised him for the sort of breach of confidentiality that cost him his life. Jones explained that Meade wasn't like Dunster... that her mind was both brilliant and open to accepting another life form as more than an opportunity for profit. Erdel hoped Jones was right, as he and his light faded off into darkness...

Trivia: Larry Dobkin had previously appeared with Raymond Burr in a 1960 episode of Perry Mason.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Martian Sightings for May, 2011

Written by DAN JURGENS
Art and cover by DAN JURGENS and NORM RAPMUND
Dan Jurgens returns to BOOSTER GOLD just in time for this FLASHPOINT prelude. Booster Gold returns to Rip Hunter’s lab after the events of TIME MASTERS and finds that this world isn’t the same one he left behind.
On sale MAY 18 • 32 pg, FC $2.99 US • RATED T
Blog reader mathematicscore, who recommends the original Elseworlds mini-seriesFlashpoint, posited the theory that this series' Batman is actually the Martian Manhunter. Between the little red circle behind the bat-symbol and this Batman's ability to trade blows with the Flash, I could see where he was coming from. However, we're both somewhat biased, so I set M.C.'s theory aside... until I saw the red eyes on the upcoming Batman action figure. M.C. called it!

Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Art and cover by ANDY KUBERT
1:25 Variant cover A by ANDY KUBERT
Variant cover B by IVAN REIS and GEORGE PÉREZ
Not a dream, not an imaginary story, not an elseworld. This is Flash Fact: When Barry Allen wakes at his desk, he discovers the world has changed. Family is alive, loved ones are strangers, and close friends are different, gone or worse. It’s a world on the brink of a cataclysmic war – but where are Earth’s Greatest Heroes to stop it? It’s a place where America’s last hope is Cyborg, who hopes to gather the forces of The Outsider, The Secret 7, S!H!A!Z!A!M!, Citizen Cold and other new and familiar-yet-altered faces! It’s a world that could be running out of time, if The Flash can’t find the villain who altered the time line!
Welcome to FLASHPOINT!
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with three covers. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale MAY 11 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
I'm still not going to buy this book, because I'm burnt out on the DCU, never liked the junior Kuberts, and don't care about the Flash or alternate timelines. However, I'm suddenly reminded that Barry Allen and J'onn J'onzz had a relationship, as co-stars in a Brave & the Bold and teammates in the 1960s. J'onn was M.I.A. throughout the 1970s, and only came back as Barry was heading out the door in the mid-80s. The Martian Manhunter never really had much to do with Wally West, but a Flash friendship might be worth revisiting in the near future.

Art and cover by J.H. WILLIAMS III and MICK GRAY
Reprinting a classic Superman tale featuring the art of J.H. Williams III!
Fifteen years after the disappearance of Superman, a teenage Jon Kent awakens one day to learn that not only is he the son of the Man of Steel, but he has suddenly inherited his powers. Looking to follow in his father’s footsteps, Jon joins a rebel organization that fights against the now completely corrupt U.S. government and their plan for total economic segregation. But by becoming an enemy of the state, the son of Superman instantly becomes a target of the government-run Justice League. Now in order to live up to the legacy of his father, Jon must defeat corrupted and deviant versions of Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and The Flash.
On sale MAY 4 • 96 pg, FC, $7.99 US
I couldn't remember if I liked this one or not, so I dug up my review of the book from the old Martian Manhunter: The Rock of the JLA site, and will post it soon.

Art and cover by BRIAN BOLLAND
Artist Brian Bolland, best known for his work as illustrator of the best-selling title BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE, is the subject of this new hardcover collecting his covers for DC Comics. Featuring highly detailed and meticulous craftsmanship combined with dramatic takes on the world’s best-known Super Heroes, Bolland’s work has been featured on GREEN LANTERN, BATMAN, WONDER WOMAN, THE FLASH, ZATANNA and the Vertigo series THE INVISIBLES and ANIMAL MAN. This spectacular collection includes rarely seen and never-before-published art, along with commentary from Bolland.
On sale AUGUST 31 • 208 pg, FC, 8.625” x 11.625”, $39.99 US
Argh! I cannot afford this at this time, but it will be mine eventually! Bolland is one of the greatest cover artists of all time-- one of those guys that will get you to buy the book for the cover alone. Bolland has produced all that many Martian Manhunter images, but most of the ones he has were instant classics. See: Animal Man #9, The Flash #165, Secret Origins tpb (1989) and Superman: "Whatever Happened To the Man of Tomorrow Deluxe Edition.

Following the deaths of Batman and Martian Manhunter – both charter members of the Justice League of America – a new team of heroes arises, determined to stop evil from ever striking. But when the JLA’s foe Prometheus plans his revenge on the heroes, will this new team be ready to pay the cost for the justice they seek? Collected from the 7-issue miniseries!
On sale JUNE 15 • 232 pg, FC, $19.99 US
Nothing quite says "dated" like a new trade paperback about a super-team formed to avenge the death of J'Onn J'Onzz, although it was an admittedly brief afterlife.

Cover by ALEX ROSS
The best-selling 12-issue series illustrated by Alex Ross is now available as a single volume hardcover at DC’s standard trim size.
The villains of the Legion of Doom — led by Lex Luthor and Brainiac — band together to save the world after a shared dream that seems to be a vision of the Earth’s demise. They are confronted by the Justice League of America, who doubt their motives—and as their true plans unfold the two teams do battle.
On sale JULY 27 • 384 pg, FC, $39.99 US
I promise to finish my synopsizes of this, just as soon as I can be bothered to finish reading the damned dumb thing.

Miss Martian
Written by JAMES PEATY
It’s the brutal conclusion of “Good-Looking Corpse”! The true identity of the villainous Alex has been revealed, and he’s taken over the minds of Miss Martian, Robin and Blue Beetle. His first order? Destroy Supergirl by any means necessary!
On sale MAY 18 • 32 pg, FC $2.99 US • RATED T
Art and cover by ART BALTAZAR
Because you demanded it, the wait is finally over – it’s the all-Kroc issue! Ever wonder if you’re doing things the right way or the wrong way? How about the Kroc way? This issue is filled with household, how-to, and cooking tips – the Kroc way! Don’t worry, the Tiny Titans will be there, too!
On sale MAY 18 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED E
I've given up on Young Justice featuring Miss Martian, so the listing is dropped.

Jemm, Son of Saturn
Leaving Earth behind for a life in the Kryptonian military, Superman must make many sacrifices to appease his people while averting a conflict with the other planets. But an attempt on the life of a high-ranking Kryptonian sends Superman to Earth on a mission that may ignite the very conflict he’s been avoiding in these tales from SUPERMAN: NEW KRYPTON #6-12.
On sale JUNE 1 • 192 pg, FC, $17.99 US
This collects Jemm's appearances in the mini-series, but not the coda that explains why he was bothered with from Adventure Comics.

R.E.B.E.L.S #28
Written by TONY BEDARD
With Starro the Conqueror on the verge of complete victory, our rebel fighters Lobo, Vril Dox, Adam Strange, Starfire and the gang pull out all the stops in this series’ bloody conclusion!
On sale MAY 11 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US, FINAL ISSUE • RATED T
I decided to spotlight Lobo one more time to commemorate the passing of R.E.B.E.L.S. This volume never held a candle to Tom Peyer's work, but it was overall and enjoyable series that brought DC's sci-fi characters together and cleaned up a lot of the messes made since Infinite Crisis Still, the book never really came together, and seemed adrift after the premature resolution of the Starro arc. Here's hoping L.E.G.I.O.N. turns up in that inevitable Martian Manhunter ongoing series, assuming the L.E.G.I.O.N. itself doesn't make a comeback after Flashpoint

It turns out the target Lobo hauled across half the cosmos isn’t quite the man he thought he was – but did that fact just double The Main Man’s payday or leave him holding the bag? Meanwhile, Garbage Man crosses paths with the one person to treat him kindly since the accident that turned him into a monster – but does he have time to make friends with Batman closing in on his trail? And when Tanga told the soldiers holding her at gunpoint to take her to their leader, she wasn’t expecting it to go quite this poorly!
On sale MAY 4 • 5 of 6 • 40 pg, FC $3.99 US • RATED T
Lobo still has his solo anthology slot for one more month, but this sure was a Solicitation of the Long Knives. The always confused and aimless The Outsiders with or without Batman that Martian Manhunter was supposed to be a part for more than a couple of issues got the ax. The first Doom Patrol volume I put off reading rather than actively avoiding since Morrison is gone. I doubt many tears will be shed over the ham-fisted Freedom Fighters, which has yet to last much into a second year in any incarnation.

Monday, February 14, 2011

2010 Martian Manhunter by Eddie Nunez

Click To Enlarge

David H. of Subject : THE SUICIDE SQUAD ( Task Force X ) dropped me an email about a post at It's a Dan's World spotlighting an unfamiliar artist, Eddie Nunez. Among the pieces featured was the potent image above, which I'd seen a number of times in the recent past, but never credited. Looking through Nunez's gallery,you can see the influence of '90s hitmakers like Joe Madureira, Ed Benes and Al Rio, so fans should give it a look. Thanks to David and Dan for giving me the opportunity to finally spotlight this swell art!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Super Powers Collection

This may be hyperbole, but I tend to think the Super Powers Collection was the turning point of the Martian Manhunter's career. The character made regular, usually monthly appearances from 1955-1968. However, J'onn J'onzz did not successfully make the transition from background player to solo star, and was shuffled off the stage in 1969. For the next fifteen years, the Manhunter from Mars had only a handful of minor guest spots that tended not to show the character in the best light. However, things began to change in 1984, starting with a planned mini-series called "Jemm, Son of Mars," which was to feature the nephew of J'onn J'onzz inheriting a heroic legacy on Mars II. The creators of that series were informed that the Justice League of America's longtime writer, Gerry Conway, had decided to lay claim on any future Martian adventures, turning Jemm into a red-skinned Saturnian. The interesting thing about the timing was that while Conway had toyed with the character in the past, why would he specifically decide 1984 was the perfect year for a Martian invasion, and the return of J'onn J'onzz to monthly comics? What made this such a fervent passion that he would torpedo the Jemm mini-series?

Meanwhile, the toy company Kenner had begun making action figures that year based on DC's style guides for their best known characters. The Warlord and The New Teen Titans may have been DC's top sellers of the time, but Kenner focused on stalwarts Aquaman (then only appearing in comics as a back-up feature,) Batman, Brainiac (in the recent Ed Hannigan robot mode,) The Flash (soon to be canceled,) Green Lantern, Hawkman (no series at the time,) the Joker, Lex Luthor, the Penguin, Robin, Superman and Wonder Woman. That first series exhausted most of DC's broadly recognizable characters, so the second series focused on some Bronze Age Justice League/Super Friends notables (Firestorm, Green Arrow, Red Tornado) with Kirby's Star Wars inspiring Fourth World characters (Darkseid, Desaad, Kalibak, Mantis, Parademon, Steppenwolf) as villains. The only oddballs were Dr. Fate and Martian Manhunter, who only had those recent style guides in common.

As it happened, the third and final series of Super Powers arrived around the same time production had begun on a Justice League relaunch whose nine hero membership consisted of five Super Powers toys, a sixth hero who was a variation on one, and a seventh that had been planned to figure into a fourth wave*. Prior to Super Powers, J'onn J'onzz was still formally known as the "Manhunter from Mars," and it was through the various Super Powers tie-in products that the first official "Martian Manhunter" logo was popularized/trademarked. J'onn J'onzz was the only League member to transition from the first to second volume of the book, the only one to have his own action figure, and one is left to wonder whether he would have been in either title were it not for that toy.

For my own part, the Super Powers Collection was my real introduction to the Martian Manhunter, as I'm sure he was for a generation of fans set up by the one-two punch of the toys and the irreverently revered Justice League International. All evidenced suggests that the majority of current comic book professionals either don't know or do not care about anything that happened in J'onn J'onzz's publishing history prior to 1985, so the toy line was essentially ground zero for modern Martian Manhunter fandom. Despite having been created in the mid-50s, he's somehow become a child of the Reagan years.

*The other two were girls, and Wonder Woman was the only heroine Kenner tried to manufacture for the line.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

2010 Super Powers Martian Manhunter LithoPrint

More Manhunting on eBay!

You are bidding on a 2010 SUPER POWERS - MARTIAN MANHUNTER LithoPrint featuring The Man from Mars. The print celebrates DC's 75th Anniversary and used the vintage Super Powers artwork, printed on a very heavy, quality paper. Absolutely fantastic lithoprint, measures 14" x 20" - Near Mint condition.

1) What the frigging frag is a "LithoPrint?" Webster's defines a lithograph as "a print made by lithography," that process being "printing from a plane surface (as a smooth stone or metal plate) on which the image to be printed is ink-receptive and the blank area ink-repellent." Therefore, "LithoPrint" is either an oxymoron or an obfuscation.

2) If the print is from 2010, why is the copyright date 1984?

3) There's no way a high quality Martian Manhunter print was produced in an English language country in 1984. Maybe if it had an "Ajax" logo, I'd buy it. Man, I'd really like to see an Ajax logo, come to think of it.

4) Assessing points 1-3, I must conclude the legality of these prints (and there are a couple dozen different ones featuring Super Powers characters) is at best dubious.

5) I burn for this. If I had $20 to blow on a poster that I won't even hang anytime soon (frames aren't cheap, and space is limited,) it would be mine. I can't graduate soon enough.

Friday, February 11, 2011

2011 Fred Hembeck Sketch Card: J'onn J'onzz and The Hulk 1 of 1

J'Onn J'Onzz, the Manhunter on eBay:

This card is a fully finished, unique piece of art by cartoonist Fred Hembeck (Fantastic Four Roast, Fred Hembeck Destroys The Marvel Universe, The Nearly Complete Essential Hembeck Archives Omnibus). It is one of a collection of sketch cards being offered by the artist.

The card is drawn on 2.5" by 3.5" smooth surface bristol paper that Strathmore produces under the "Artist Trading Cards" specialty designation. The back of the card has a hand-lettered declaration, reading "This is a genuine FRED HEMBECK SKETCH CARD!!" A "Fred Head" caricature as well as the name of the character depicted is also included on the opposite side.

The card will be slipped into a sleeve and then put in a top loader.

Please note that "1 of 1" refers to the specific illustration on each card, NOT the character depicted. Inevitably, some characters will appear on multiple cards in different poses. Each card is hand drawn, therefore unique.

Currently going for $14.99 with one bid and three days remaining...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

2005 JLA Portfolio Sample by Philip Tan

Click To Enlarge

Before Phillip Tan became known for well promoted but usually quite brief runs on various mid-level series and minis, he was schlepping a portfolio around like most aspiring artists. This was one of the pieces he produced to get work, and guys like Todd McFarlane and Dan Didio seem to have dug it. It kind of weirds me out to see the Flash so far at the forefront that his head's barely in the shot (yet he's still looking at me with those creeper peepers,) but it actually makes a lot more sense than his usual positioning. The prominent Wonder Woman is also nice. For obnoxious-mode Plastic Man, Tan's got a nice touch. Not really digging that J'Onn-J'Onn, though.

Check out the artist's deviantART gallery for more.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"Woody Strode as John Jones"

Continuing our synopsis from last week of the "1967 Manhunter from Mars Movie..."

John Jones approached a street corner hustler who knew him only too well. Shades Cooley asked, "What's your bag, Fuzzy John? I'm out here tryin' to score some scratch, but you're putting the kibosh on my action, man!" Jones told Shades to cool it with the lip, or he'd get run in. The Man had some questions about a new outfit in town called "Vulture." Cooley's eyes went wide enough to crest over his shades, and he made a break for it. Jones gave chase down the street as an up-tempo sax theme kicked in. Jones grabbed Shades by the shoulder, and as he spun around, Cooley popped a switchblade and jabbed Jones in the chest. When Shades drew back his blade hand to threaten another stab, he did a double take when he realized all he had left was the handle. Before Shades could get over the shock, Jones wrapped his long fingers around Cooley's lapel and picked him up off his feet. "You just attempted to murder a police officer. You'll tell me what I want to know, or I'll put you in a hole so deep, you'll have to learn Chinese." Shades lamented, "I fink, and even that won't be far enough away from Faceless!"

Jones drove Shades to a deserted back road so that he could "spill." Cooley explained that a whole new crop of criminals had been coming onto the scene for months from across the globe. "Wops, Krauts, Reds, Buddha Heads-- Limeys to Camel Jockeys. Everybody! All the crime in the world's been coming here to roost!" Shades didn't know who was running the show, but word on the street was that the big man was so undercover, he didn't even have a face to speak of.

In the distance, Jones and Cooley could hear a car horn blasting with a frantic staccato. As they searched the horizon for the source, a group of heavily armed men approached from the opposite side of their vehicle. Machine gun fire tore through the air, riddling Jones' ride and shredding Shades. Windows shattered and the engine caught fire. The assassins surveyed their handiwork, and content the two men were dead, stomped off in the direction from which they came.

A second car skidded to a halt near the burning wreck, and Diane Meade emerged from within. Rushing to what was left of Jones' car, Meade saw John looking back at her through the flames. Brass instruments screeched discordantly to express Meade's shock at Jones appearing to have dark green skin and cloudy white eyes. Jones' door wrenched open, and the detective stood up to reveal a suit in tatters from the hale of bullets, but no signs of blood loss. However, Jones stumbled and fell to the ground. Meade knelt down to help Jones to his feet, and supported him as they crept back to her car and sped off.

At first, sweat dripped from Jones' olive colored skin, and he appeared deathly ill. To stave off her anxiety, Meade rattled on about how she had been following John as part of her unofficial investigation, and tried to warn him by honking when she spotted the gunmen. As the pair drove further from the accident, Jones slowly began to regain his composure, and his skin seemed to return to a more normal shade of brown. "What just happened back there, Jones? What... what are you?" There was a pregnant pause, and then with a sense of resignation, Jones replied, "That was the first strike of Vulture against us, Diane... and I am the person who will stop them. I am a Manhunter... from Mars."

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

2006 Martian Manhunter: From Bruce Wayne's private files in the Batcomputer

Text by Jim Krueger writing as Batman:

In many ways, Martian Manhunter is like an amalgam of Superman and myself. He is a detective, cunning and logical, but he is also one of the last of his race, capable of many of the same superhuman talents as the Man of Steel.

Science and science fiction have always speculated upon the notion that there was life on Mars. One scientist, Dr. Saul Erdel, attempted through experimental communication technology to contact the Red Planet. What returned through the beacon he transmitted was not just a message from Mars: it was a Martian, and not the sort fictionalized by H.G. Wells. This being was humanoid, at least to a degree, for his shape was random. He was a shape-shifter.

Erdel learned that Mars was dead, burned, lost in time. This Martian was named J'onn J'onzz. He had no desire to invade Earth, but instead took to this world, joining its people and the Justice League to make certain that the end that befell Mars would never threaten Earth.

The Martian Manhunter's fear of fire suggests hypersensitivity, but this is too simple an explanation. His weakness would be too common to this world as well as Mars. Perhaps this is because his mass changes depending upon the form he adopts. My understanding of spatial relationships in both the seen and the unseen world needs to be modified. I will have to speak with Ray Palmer on this subject.

Additional materials from the back pages of the February 2006 issue of Justice #3 included Alex Ross' design sketches for Gorilla Grodd and a Martian Manhunter painting by Ross over Doug Braithwaite's pencil art. The latter became a rare variant cover for the series and was turned into a t-shirt by Graffiti Designs.

Monday, February 7, 2011

JLA #83 (September, 2003)

Superman had a terrifying vision of Lex Luthor initiating aggression again the nation of Qurac as a high critical parallel to U.S. President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq; ending in death and destruction. The whole thing was generated in Superman’s mind by a device of the Martian Manhunter’s, something like a telepathic virtual reality generator, which was employed outside J'Onzz's supervision.

Wonder Woman called J'Onn afterward to explain the damage the Man of Steel had caused through his spastic reaction to the nightmare. “He said you owe him a new 'Transconsciousness Articulator' ...and that Chocos will help the headache, but not to touch his private stash in the commissary. He also said you were lucky. Forcing your conscious mind into the realm of your subconscious without a telepath to help maintain balance can be very dangerous.” Superman noted that J’Onn had used his invention to help Kal unburden his mind of anxieties in the past.

"American Nightmare" was by Joe Kelly, Chris Cross & Tom Nguyen. For a more detailed look at Wonder Woman's role in this here, check out my coverage at the Diana Prince Blog.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

2010 Brave and the Bold: The Lost Issues Batman and The Martian Manhunter Mock-Up Cover

Since I finally got around to visiting Ross' Brave and the Bold: The Lost Issues in depth after yesterday's post, I thought it was about time to also point out his fan fantasy team-up with this blog's subject. In fact, Ross credits his unrequited desire to see a classic pairing with two of his favorite super-heroes for inspiring the hundreds of faux team-ups he's created for his blog. You can read more about it here, and should know you haven't lived until you read the story of Batman running the Fonz out of town, so do peruse the blog while you're there. As a fellow dabbler in MS Paint cobbling, it's heartening to see his progressive skill at integrating all his cover elements. Maybe I can get that good someday...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

1999 Unused Community Chest Card #2 Art by Mike Allred

Click To Enlarge and More!

You've been voted Justice League chairman!

Collect $50 from each player!

I've always regretted not buying the 1999 Hasbro Justice League of America Monopoly Game, and I suppose that's doubly true now that my girlfriend and I enjoy playing rounds of electronic Monopoly when we're both on break from school. I would get a much bigger kick out of a Martian Manhunter token than the top hat I usually rock. I also dig the illustrations by '90s J'Onn J'Onzz licensing artist extraordinaire Ed Barreto. However, what I never knew before last year was that Madman's Michael Allred was originally supposed to provide art for the game. Ross at Brave and the Bold/Marvel Two-In-One: The Lost Issues bought a whole batch of Allred's unused work off eBay, and offered up some swingin' scans! If you check the links, you'll see that Barreto remained true to Allred's layout for this Community Chest card. Which version do you prefer?

The text quoted above was written in light blue pencil on the card art, by the way. It's the same as what made it to the actual game card...

Friday, February 4, 2011

2009 Black Lantern Doctor Light design by Joe Prado

Click To Expand

I always feel like I need to apologize for featuring Dr. Light on this blog. Technically, Arthur Light has fought J'onn J'onzz more times than a good chunk of the Vile Menagerie, and contributed to his death in Final Crisis. On the other hand, those pairings lacked any weight or dramatic tension. As with the Human Flame, J'Onn's murder was really all about Libra, who didn't intend it as a personal offense himself, and it isn't like J'Onn didn't get "better" faster than an X-Man.

So yeah, I'm sorry for posting about Dr. Light on a lazy Friday. I tend to direct such Light posts to my Atom blog these days, but I've been doing crossover spotlight of these Joe Prado Black Lantern designs at my other blogs, and I kind of scraped the crunchy white bottom of the barrel chest with this creep to get the Martian Manhunter in on the action. I already ran Ethan Van Sciver's Black Lantern J'Onn J'Onzz design long ago, so this was the best I could do.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

"1967 Manhunter from Mars Diane Meade Promotional Still"

In late 1966, even before a script had been completed, Vulcan Productions Incorporated had begun approaching name actors to play Batman-style guest villains in the "Manhunter from Mars" film. A list of prospective bad guys had been compiled by Jack Schiff, Jack Miller and Arnold Drake through file copies and film of old Martian Manhunter stories at the offices of National Periodical Publications. Charles Bronson's agent was approached, and although the actor was then attached to The Dirty Dozen, he agreed to look at the script. Upon receiving the first draft, Bronson was said to be disinterested in the garish affair. However, his good friend Jill Ireland ended up reading his copy, and as her television series Shane was drawing to a close (not to mention her marriage to David McCallum,) her representation met with Vulcan. By that point, the script had shifted gears toward a more series bent, and Ireland was said to be impressed with the movie's politics.

Ireland was cast as Diane Meade, and as she explained in a voiceover introductory montage, her family's religion was the Middletown Police Force. Her officer father was disappointed to have never had a son, but he had raised his daughters to love, honor and respect the sacred institution of law enforcement. While her sisters opted to marry blue, Diane chose to wear it, much to her father's chagrin. In fact, once Dan Meade became the city's police commissioner, he made a point of insuring Diane be assigned an "octogenarian" partner on the safest beat in town.

However, Patrolwoman Meade was ambitious, and had become fascinated with new trends she had noted in local organized crime. Through Interpol records, Meade had come to believe the international criminal organization known as "Vulture" was easing its way into Middletown. Diane Meade made her case to Captain Harding, who insisted that her lowly rank and political pressure from above would keep her from pursuing further investigation. Charitably, Harding offered Meade the opportunity to unofficially collaborate with any plainclothes detective under his command who was willing to take on the case.

Through another montage, Patrolwoman Meade was repeatedly shot down by precinct detectives. As she would point out later, they all either disbelieved her theories, were afraid of locking horns with the commissioner, or simply disregarded her as a woman outside her place. While bemoaning her sorry situation while on patrol, Meade's partner asked if she had talked to John Jones. Meade wasn't aware of any such detective, and learned that Jones worked as something of an adjunct officer in the "dark" side of town.

Patrolwoman Meade used her status as the commissioner's daughter to intimidate her way past a secretary to the personnel files at the police station. Looking through Jones' record, she was amazed to learn that Jones had an outrageously impressive history of catching and aiding in convicting his prey. Curiously, Jones also had a knack for sniffing out suspects unjustly deterred and locating the actual guilty party. Detective Jones may just have set as many innocent men free as run down true perpetrators.

Patrolwoman Meade requested that Captain Harding set up a meeting with Detective John Jones. Harding was more than a little concerned about the position such a move could put him in, but being a fair man, he agreed. Later, Jones arrived at Harding's office to look over Meade's information. Jones believed Meade's theories had merit, congratulated her on the accomplishment, and calmly explained that he would pursue the case on his own...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

"1967 Manhunter from Mars Movie Poster"

While we wait for the continuation of the new Middletown TV series after it's pilot sneak preview episode last week, I thought we would take a moment to look back on a major influence on the production: the brief spark of "Martian Mania" in the late 1960s.

Everyone remembers the sensation that was the Batman TV show, launched on January 12, 1966. The "Batmania" that followed was likely the salvation of the faltering American Broadcasting Company, not to mention the Batman comic line. Batman merchandise was everywhere, a feature film was in the works, and everybody started looking for their own pot of gold. Tons of other DC characters soon stepped in line for their turn in the spotlight, with Superman heading to Broadway, Wonder Woman beginning the slow trek to her own TV show, and so on.

Meanwhile, former Batman family editor Jack Schiff was dismayed to see his lost franchise blossom so fruitfully without him. With his position at DC less than secure and his health in decline, Schiff began looking for some kind of salvation. Schiff approached freelance writer Arnold Drake, who had ties to the film industry through some screenwriting work, about the possibility of licensing a property under his stewardship. Drake did Schiff the favor of making a few phone calls, and a producer took a nibble. Adam Benson, a former U.S. Navy Commander who would later gain fame through his association with the Columbo TV series, took an interest in the Manhunter from Mars series. Benson shopped the heavily discounted property around for months, until it finally found a home late in 1966 at Vulcan Productions Inc. Arnold Drake had written the drive-in favorite The Flesh Eaters for the company in 1964, and was tapped for the first draft. Since the "camp" that defined the Batman series was not his strong suit, Drake enlisted the help of fellow comic writer Bob Haney in the endeavor. They turned in their draft before Christmas, and pre-production began the first week of 1967.

Batman rip-offs Mister Terrific and Captain Nice debuted the following week on the same night at rival networks. They were canceled within a week of one another that May. Batman was shedding adult viewers in droves, and The Green Hornet failed in its mission to appeal to those older fans. Vulcan had meanwhile already signed Raymond Burr and Anthony Perkins as guest villains in anticipation of a full roster of celebrity cameos, as well as begun costuming and effects work. Caught between a rock and a hard place, Vulcan had to decide whether to throw away good money after bad as the super-hero craze was rapidly cooling. Vulcan chose to proceed, but they tossed out the original comedic script and ordered a more serious science fiction take from Arnold Drake, with an eye toward economy on a tightening budget. Producer Adam Benson had always thought athlete-turned-actor Woody Strode would be a perfect choice to play the Martian Manhunter, and circumstances had changed such as to allow an African-American to be cast in the lead.

Manhunter from Mars began shooting on April 1, 1967, wrapped later that month, and began its "traveling" release the second week of September. The film proved a cult hit, which came as a bit of a surprise to DC Comics, who had already decided to discontinue the Manhunter from Mars strip in House of Mystery effective in early 1968. Instead, DC was spurred to cobble together John Jones: Manhunter From Mars #100 before the release of the sequel that winter. Surely, Manhunter from Mars' small but loyal fan base factored into John Jones getting the nod for the Smallville spin-off, and we got a swell couple of admittedly small scale movies besides. More on that next week...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

1998 Unused Martian Manhunter Cover Art by Christopher Moeller

Click To Enlarge

After the post on the 1998 DC Direct Martian Manhunter Poster by Christopher Moeller was published, I received the following email...

Hail Diabolu!

Saw you yakking about the old DC poster I did of MM and thought I'd send along a couple scans. The one you have on your blog was one of a proposed pair of covers that never got used. The one you've got was #2, and was made into a poster. #1 was never used for anything, but I've always liked it.



As you can see, the art above is beautiful, and the editors responsible for its going unpublished for thirteen years should be brought to justice for their crime against good taste. Presumably, this was intended for the Martian Manhunter ongoing series which launched that same year. I would have much fonder memories of that series had Christopher Moeller been the cover artist, as evidenced by his glorious two year run on Lucifer. It would be like how I thumb through my collection of hundreds of Wonder Woman comics with covers by George Perez, Brian Bolland, José Luis García-López, Adam Hughes and J.G. Jones, of which I liked reading maybe fifty. I also haven't exactly been looking forward to a possible Martian Manhunter comic spun-off from Brightest Day, but it would be completely validated as an enterprise with Moeller as cover artist. Do check out his illustration site, won't you?

Finally, I was a good boy and asked permission to post the art...

"Of course you may post the scans I sent you. Where but on your MM blog SHOULD they live?"


Update: 1998 Martian Manhunter Project by Marz, Hitch & Moeller