Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Coming in February 2014- Martian Manhunter: Son of Mars TP

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Bleeding Cool reports that the early issues of the only eponymous Martian Manhunter ongoing series ever will finally get an English language trade paperback collection.
Martian Manhunter: Son of Mars TP
Writers: John Ostrander and John Arcudi
Artists: Tom Mandrake and Jan Duursema
Collects: Martian Manhunter #0-9
$19.99 US, 240 pg
Gah! It weirds me out to see that cover image. The art for #0 was used in advertisements for the series, #9 and #24 are favored images for articles about the Alien Atlas, #8 was commonly seen around the time J'Onn J'Onzz's death was leaked ahead of Final Crisis, and many of the rest turn up in character biographies for Antares, Bette Noir, Jemm, Cabal, and Mister Bones. The Martian Manhunter versus the JLA cover to #6 gets around, even though that's a disguised Malefic, and even Martian Manhunter Annual #1 has its fans. However, in the marketing stunt that surrounded the series' debut with two #1s, a #0, and a #1,000,000 within a span of a few months, the cover to #1 really got lost in the shuffle. Yet, it was used in a previous collection of this material, Universo DC: Detective Marciano Nº 01, the first in a two volume Spanish edition that compiled the entire three year run of the series.

The fact is, the U.S. really lags behind international Martian Manhunter editions. The gold standard of Sleuth from Outer Space tales, American Secrets, has been in trade paperback everywhere but America. In fact, the only full color Martian Manhunter trade released in North America so far is 2007's The Others Among Us, so inauspicious a debut that the only others available to date are the two black & white fire sale volumes of Showcase Presents.

Not to make too big a deal of it, but "Son of Mars" will be the first edition to collect well received modern age stories featuring the character's origin, the introduction of his nemesis Ma'alefa'ak and several lesser character-specific foes, the explanation of his ties to the Son of Saturn and White Martians, plus copious guest appearances. Finally, DC has a tendency to put out seemingly random collections like this around the same time as launching a new series, and after several waves of failed mini-launches after the initial splash of the New 52, it might finally be J'Onn's turn. Few of the outgoing Green Lantern family creative teams have announced new projects, so maybe we'll see Pete Tomasi (who edited the comics in "Son of Mars" and started his writing career doing Martian Manhunter short stories) and Fernando Pasarin will launch a solo series? Of course, I've been wrong a few times or so.


LissBirds said...

Oh, wow, I am surprised by this. I'm guardedly hopeful that maybe this means DC is finally realizing that J'onn has a fan base. I wonder how far this will go...I hope they can at least get to #24. I'm not much of a fan of the Ostrander series, but I think this is a step in the right direction. (American Secrets next, I hope.....)

Diabolu Frank said...

I'll probably, but not definitely, get this. I have the original issues, and am not wild about them, so some kind of extra something or other would really help put it over the top. Heck, the early issues used a superior paper stock to most current DC trades, so even that's not a deal maker. A new cover, an introduction, interviews, design art... give me something to brighten the green light.