Wednesday, April 30, 2014

2014 Martian Manhunter Movie Fan Casting: Clea DuVall as Cay'an

I've been terrible about starting and mostly stopping this fan-casting series for a Martian Manhunter movie, in part because I often linked the posts to numerous other similar entries across my family of blogs. Since I'll undoubtedly go deeper here than anywhere else, I might as well do more Sleuth from Outer Space specific entries, right?

I was introduced to Clea DuVall through The Faculty, taking note of her due to her striking bone structure and her sharing a name with Dr. Strange's #1 fwb/apprentice. I continued to follow DuVall through her interesting film choices But I'm a Cheerleader, Ghosts of Mars, Thirteen Conversations About One Thing, The Laramie Project and Identity, plus the totally boring HBO series Carnivàle. She had a unique screen presence, and I enjoyed her work, but she seemed to slip out of my view around 2003 or so. I was surprised to find her in a relatively minor role for Argo, and I understand that she more recently turned up on a season of American Horror Story.

I liked DuVall's ability to transform from her more common tomboy look to that of an uptight diplomat, and think she might be similarly chameleonic moving from Sara Moore to Cay'an. DuVall often plays meek and introspective, but I think she could use an opportunity to at least nibble on some scenery. Despite Cay'an's barely there outfit in the comics, I never saw the sex appeal of the vengeful last surviving female of Mars (Model Year 2007) so much as her hardness. She seemed chiseled from limestone and possessed of a singular disregard for life while laser-focused on her byzantine agenda. With more appropriate attire and some time in the make-up chair, I think it would be great to see DuVall really dig into a villainous role such as this.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

2009 “Alex Ross : Justice League : Seven” tattoo by Chris Dewitt

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"When I 1st seen this piece I fell in love with it.
I knew I had to have it as a back piece.
This piece still has about 30+ hours left until it is completed.
Superman still needs some coloring ,Aquaman need's his scales , everyone will get little touchups here & there & then the real pain kicks in, The background will be colored !"
This guy got an old Alex Ross painting of the "Magnificent Seven" Silver Age Justice League of America permanently affixed to the flesh of his back through thousands of needle pricks. I can't even commit to throwing up a j-peg, some HTML code and a little text regarding the Martian Manhunter on a timely, daily basis.

Monday, April 28, 2014

2013 New 52 Martian Manhunter Aborted Series Promo Art by Brad Walker

Click To Enlarge Original B&W Art

You guys are slipping. I run a Martian Manhunter blog, and repeatedly jumped at bait regarding the possibility of a New 52 solo series, with nothing ever coming of it. Finally, for the first time since 2011, fairly conclusive news of at least some plans having been made for such a prospect emerged... in November... and none of you told me. I had to hear about it on "the street." You're supposed to drop by and leave a comment so that I of all people am not the last to know.

Cosmic Book News (who?) broke the pseudo-story a few days before Turkey Day 2013, so that might have contributed to the collective lack of acknowledgment on teh internet, though I'm sure it being an Alien Atlas alert couldn't have helped burn up much bandwidth. Aside from a single image and its artist Brad Walker's involvement to some unexplored degree, there was nothing else to report. I hit up Walker on Twitter to see if I could dig up any more dirt and, yeah, nope...
"No info to give, really. Just one of those things they were thinking about doing that ended up falling through...

This happens all the time. It was one of several series from that time that didn't pan out."
Best known for his work on Guardians of the Galaxy, along with runs on Green Lantern: New Guardians, and Secret Six, Walker would have been fantastic on J'Onn J'Onzz. I like his stuff a lot, and wish it crossed over with my reading habits more. On the other hand, the Martian Marvel versus anonymous military/SWAT guys? You want to read that? Because me and all the other people on this planet? Don't. If the big fat failure of the 2006 mini-series should have taught us anything, it's that a Manhunter that overemphasizes his otherness while using Superman-class powers against mere humanity does not sell like hotcakes. That's urban vigilante crap. These guys wouldn't make an impressive showing against Nightwing, but they threw in "bulletproof" and "laser vision" to ensure minimal stakes. No word on a writer, and the promo concept was probably cooked up by DC's cancerous editorial, so no great loss beyond Walker. It's a hell of a Goldenesque pin-up, at least. I tried to color it in with my paltry MS Paint SKLZ, but it was so packed with detail I gave up part way through. See the unadulterated, larger-sized art here.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

2011 Martian Manhunter digital fan art by Robert Shane

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Robert Shane produced a JLA group picture, then decided to separate the individual character images into more detailed solo pictures within their own environments. I greatly prefer the isolated Alien Atlas, but I do have a noted bias.

2005 JLA art by Roy Allan Martinez

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Roy Allan Martinez is a Filipino artist who got his start at Wildstorm with the help of Whilce Portacio. I unenthusiastically read some of his early books, but didn't start paying attention to him until he was in the unenviable position of taking over Aria. This was briefly a hot book thanks to the romantic art of Jay Anacleto, and while Martinez couldn't sustain that heat, I thought he was the more interesting illustrator. Clearly born under a bad sign, his next major project was drawing Wonder Woman for a spate of issues written by the fan favorite Phil Jimenez when he couldn't handle the art chores himself. Again, Martinez's work was a lively departure, but not embraced by the Amazing Amazon's fans as readily as the seeming second coming of George Pérez. Martinez's last extended work for a major publisher was the 2006 Son of M mini-series at Marvel, but otherwise it's only been fill-ins and a little indie stuff. It's really too bad, because I find Martinez's look unique and exciting, but he never seemed to find a vehicle that could properly present it to a large audience.

Friday, April 25, 2014

2013 CBR Reader Message Board New 52 Martian Manhunter Artist Poll

In mid-October of last year, a Comic Book Resources message board user called Movieartman asked his fellows which artist, exempting DC fan favorite Ivan Reis, they would like to see draw a Martian Manhunter ongoing series. Twenty-six users voted on the poll he set up, with no votes going to Eddy Barrows, Dale Eaglesham, Jason Fabok, Guillem March, Rafa Sandoval, Paulo Siqueira, or David Yardin. Personally, I'd be quite happy with most any of those guys. Interestingly, a separate poll for Guillem March's next project saw the Manhunter from Mars in a three-way tie for second place. At single votes each were David Finch and Miguel Sepulveda, who have each worked on ongoing series featuring the Alien Atlas in the New 52. At two votes each were Jae Lee, Phillip Tan and Ethan Van Sciver, which I figure to be pipe dreams anyway. Francis Portela pulled in an extra vote over them. Far and away the favorite at nine votes was Doug Mahnke, who drew the single most popular issue of the only ever Martian Manhunter ongoing series, and drew him extensively during his run on JLA and beyond. While I enjoyed the fill-in artists, I was a bit miffed that we didn't get Mahnke for much of the Manhunter/Stargirl story arc in Justice League of America, as we were initially promised. Write-ins included Fernando Pasarin, Alberto Ponticelli, Darwyn Cooke, Tom Mandrake, and Cliff Chiang. Brett Booth and Scott McDaniel got one yay and one emphatic no each, sort of canceling each other out. Patrick Gleason and Francis Manapul came up several times.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Iwangis vs. The Creature King of the Sea

The Creature King
Debut: 1965
Nemesis: Martian Manhunter
Other Major Foes: None.
Appearances: One comic story
Powers: Giant-sized; super-strength & durability; animate and command stone statues; explosions triggered when struck.

The Creature King was a stone colossus brought to life by the Diabolu-Head who paid it forward by creating an army out of a menagerie of statues. Was tricked into defeating itself by J'onn J'onzz.

Vile Menagerie Stats
Win: Aroo (4-1), The Chulko (5-2*), The Color-Ring Creature (3-1), The Orchestra of Doom (4-0), The Venomee (5-1*)
Lose: 0
Draw: 0

"Jed Coombs"
Debut: 1961
Nemesis: Aquaman
Other Major Foes: Aqualad
Appearances: 3 comics.
Powers: Giant-sized; super-strength and durability.

Bio: A diver working under an alias who tricked Aquaman & Aqualad into helping him recover a sunken treasure. A potion allowed him to claim the supposed birthright of his ancient race to become a twenty foot purple beast that ripped booty out of ship hulls and swatted whales away.

Vile Menagerie Stats:
Win: 0
Lose: 0
Draw: 0

Idol Speculation:
The Creature King of the Sea may have come first, but The Creature King of the Vile Menagerie comes hardest. Iwangis has a wider variety of powers, and greater defensive strength, so he's most likely to blow his competition out of the water.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Martian Sightings for July & September, 2014

Martian Manhunter
"Over the past three years, DC Comics has established September as a very important month at the publisher -- and as revealed on Newsarama, they're looking to keep that momentum going with each of their mainline titles set to flash-forward five years into the potential future, along with the return of "Villains Month"-style lenticular covers. The issues will tie-in to DC's upcoming weekly series "The New 52: Futures End," which debuts in May..."
Because of the delays and allocations that came with last year's gimmick covers, DC is advance soliciting these September shipping books to better establish demand for setting their print runs. No creative team information or cover images are currently available.
Advance solicit • On sale SEPTEMBER 10
32 pg, FC • RATED T
3-D Motion Edition: $3.99 US
2-D Standard Edition: $2.99 US
Orders due May 29 • Not offered on FOC

The mystery of the Martian Manhunter is revealed at last as his decades-long plan for world domination comes to fruition! Continues in this month’s JUSTICE LEAGUE UNITED: FUTURES END #1!

I can't get excited about yet another possible future that will not ultimately come to pass, but if the past set here is in line with New 52 continuity, this reestablishes J'Onn J'Onzz as being active well before any other major DC hero. Also, it wraps a dangling plot thread from Stormwatch, and provides motive for a probable heel turn from the Alien Atlas even after Futures End resolves. At this point, I'm fine with that, because I'm bored with a dead Mars and one or two other "last survivors" at a time, plus the Manhunter gets a significant event plot of his own for once. I'm most excited to see if any of our Comrades/Menagerie members turn up.

Advance solicit • On sale SEPTEMBER 17
32 pg, FC • RATED T
3-D Motion Edition: $3.99 US
2-D Standard Edition: $2.99 US
Orders due May 29 • Not offered on FOC

In the concluding chapter of the epic story that began in this month’s JUSTICE LEAGUE: FUTURES END #1, the armies of Mars rise against the unsuspecting population of Earth – and only the combined might of the Justice League and the Legion of Super-Heroes can stand against them!
Again, this is an Elseworlds wrapped in a Tangent stuffed in a Tales of the Dead Earth. I'd like to think Futures End is a self-aware satire of the dreck DC's published as the New 52, going all Flashpoint again before returning to the old continuity. I'm confident that gives DC far too much credit, and even if that were the intention, we'd still have the same worn out talent and crumby editorial machine in place that had already ground out most of my enthusiasm for DC for a decade prior. So by all means, give us an evil Martian Manhunter, his army of invaders, and a clean break for me to stop concerning myself with anything DC publishes until they decide to stop acting like Heroes World Marvel of the late '90s. And thank you for containing this story in just the two issues. These, I can maybe buy.

BATMAN 75 variant cover
1:25 Variant cover by JEFF LEMIRE
On sale JULY 9 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US
RATED T • Combo pack edition: $4.99 US
Retailers: This issue will arrive in stores with four covers. Please see the order form for details.

So many questions hang over this nascent team. Will Hawkman sacrifice himself to save Rann, one of Thanagar’s enemies? Will Alanna and Adam ever be reunited? Can Miiyahbin face her fears and become the hero she’s meant to be? And the answer to all of this spells death for one of them. This issue is also offered as a combo pack edition with a redemption code for a digital download of this issue.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say they kill Adam Strange so Alanna can't ever marry him (Didio forbid!) but can take his place (which was already alluded to when the book was in the planning stages.) Say, why does Supergirl have to get Byth's tongue? Also, Animal Man's costume makes him look as most like a dolphin/whale, but I really don't see any "animal" in there. He's more like "Bob Sled: The Sleigher."

On sale JULY 23 • 48 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST

As Lord Superman stands on the edge of triumph against a physically and emotionally exhausted Justice League, Terry McGinnis returns from the Justice Lords’ world armed with a secret weapon! Don’t miss the stunning conclusion of “Justice Lords Beyond.”
So is Lord Manhunter in this, or what?

Written by MATT KINDT
On sale SEPTEMBER 10 • 192 pg, FC, $24.99 US

As the smoke clears from TRINITY WAR, one thing looks disturbingly clear: The members of the Justice League of America are dead, betrayed by one of their own. But all is not what it seems. Martian Manhunter and Star Girl live to fight another day, only to find themselves trapped on an alien world under the control of a group of Super-Villains. The key to their survival may lie in the hands of Despero! Don’t miss these stories from issues #8-14!
I've still only thumbed through most of these. They look very inconsequential. I'm sure Martian Manhunter appears in some other trades this month, but they all look crap, and DC doesn't deserve the press.

Miss Martian
Art and cover by ART BALTAZAR
On sale JULY 2 • 32 pg, FC, 2 of 6, $2.99 US • RATED E

The Tiny Titans journey to the Fortress of Solitude, where they meet up with the Man of Steel! Can he help them get their treehouse back? Only if he’s not super-busy!

2008 JLA color art by Christopher Copeland, Kristafer Anka & Fabian Schlaga

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Original Version My current job is simply ridiculous with its scheduling and workload. We can't hire in anyone with experience because they know better than to take something like this on in general, much less for such lousy pay. We also can't keep new people, who get scared off or simply worn out. Mostly, the only ones left either aren't doing the whole job and covering their tracks well enough, or leave huge bungles for the few of us who are trying to hold things together to clean up. I've already decided to make a change in May, either in my schedule/duties, or jumping ship altogether. Last night, I actually had some energy and desire to do something semi-substantial, but everything I tried to start was foiled by my wanting to link to previous posts whose illustrations are in the old Photobucket account that's used up all its bandwidth until the end of the month. Frustrated at being thwarted the one time I didn't decide to phone a post in, I chose to feature the above image... only to find that it was a collaboration between three artists whose credits I was too tired to sort out. Sorry for the late post.

Monday, April 21, 2014

2003 JLA: The Obsidian Age Book 2 tpb virgin cover art by Doug Mahnke

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So I posted a nice little link list the other day, and crashed my old Photobucket account again. Dang it. Anyway, here's nifty trade paperback original cover art from back when publishers did that sort of thing, and you can see it as published with full trade dress as well.

2013 New 52 Martian Manhunter Color Commission by Julius Abrera & Omi Remalante

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Idle-Head of Diabolu, Vol. VI: 101 Missives for a Dead Martian

Way back in January of 2011, I started trying to catalog updates and old op/ed pieces that have been featured on the blog's now 6½ years of service. That lasted about a year, and ended up mostly devoted to filling out what became The Martian Manhunter Encyclopedia. Since I was misguided in my devotion to a one-image-per-post rule in our early years, and Comic Vine got stingy with their remote embeds after I exploited them extensively for a couple more years, I have a lot of old posts with far too much text in need of scans. I figured I'd clean some of that stuff up, and repackage it into link posts. Also I'm feeling lazy and behind schedule, so let's pretend we're working an Easter resurrection theme or something. This list covers us throughout 2008:

Of Hook Hands and Idol Heads

Trying to get past stories a fan hates about characters they love to appreciate the whole picture.

J'Onn J'Onzz (and maybe Aquaman) is DEAD!?!?

From a time when Arthur Curry was already "dead" and Final Crisis was still offering rumors.

Mike Netzer: "Take Me... But Don't Kill J'Onn"

That time a former artist on Manhunter from Mars angled for new work on the character in lieu of offing him entirely.

Xavier... Marco Xavier...

While "John Jones" was "dead," a criminal leaves behind the second most famous Martian Manhunter moniker...

The Atomic Bomb

J'Onn J'Onzz's relationship with the Tiny Titan and mine with a late blog devoted to Ray Palmer.

Super Powers/Super Friends

Facing Martian mortality with fellow bloggers.

Neither Here Nor There

Really boring sausage factory business that never panned out anyway.

Grant Morrison and the Absorbascon

Interviews discussing Final Crisis and Scipio Garling's extended Manhunter/Human Flame coverage.

The Dynastic Centerpiece of Diabolu

My first pass at applying Scipio's theory of super-hero family brand building to the Alien Atlas.

The Idle-Head of Prescience?

Evidence mounts on Martian murder.

The Mancave? Cavehunter from Mars?

Scipio asked if John Jones' beat had a name, and I couldn't remember...

Apex City Scipio unilaterally dubbed it himself, and I initially went along

The Revisionist JLI

Where I griped about how Super Buddies was not the sum total of valid membership.

Grant Morrison Spoils Everything

Valerie D'Orazio thinks J'Onn is dull and Final Crisis writer talks Human Flame, plus Perez draws Coneheadhunter.

News You Can Lose!

Final Crisis links.

The Story of the Human Flame

Scipio's hilarious exegesis.

The Idol-Head vs. the Aquaman Shrine

A compare & contrast of themed super-hero blogs. No actual bloodshed.

The Slow Steady Death of J'Onn J'Onzz

Where I take Scipio and fandom in general to task for using J'Onn as a vehicle for other characters instead of looking deeper into his own mythology/merits.

The Misconception of John Jones

A literary existential crisis for the Sleuth from Outer Space.

Goodbye J'Onn...

Dead aliens aren't much fun.

The J'Onn J'Onzz Memorial Service

Martian Manhunter Memorial Moratorium

Let's think about livin', let's think about lovin'.

Artists of the Decades

Considering the definitive Martian Marvel masters.

Favorite Martian Manhunter Stories

Links to my coverage of best loved tales.

The Vile Tarot

Plugging villains of the Martian Manhunter into Scipio's rogues gallery formula.

John Jones, Manhunter of Integrity

He's less about superdickery, more of a super-dick.

Secret Wars of the Super Powers

My early days collecting comics and first brushes with the Alien Ace.

Frienemies of Mars: Hal Jordan

Green Lanterns do not have our best interests at heart.

Final Crisis: Requiem #1 Doug Mahnke & J.G. Jones Covers

Lengthy commentary on the issue.

Do You Know The Way To Middletown?

After some research, I realized "Apex City" was actually Middletown, and started triangulating where it would be located.

Martian Manhunter International

Do you know what they call a Master Earthbound Detective in France?

Color My World

Microsoft Paint shenanigans from before I had color Detective Comics reference.

Being Carter, Thal, J'Onzz & Frank

Welcoming Hawkman to specialty blogging.

Year Two

How meat was processed in 2008.

Martian Manhunter's Silver Age Costumes

Couture evolution.

Mission Accomplished

I finally finished a first pass of covering all the Vulture stories after nearly a decade of intention.

A Few Final Words...

Still dead. Much missed.


Commander Blanx screwed with my head.

Friday, April 18, 2014

2011 Martian Manhunter art by Simon Fraser

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Cookie contemplation. Or, if you prefer, a famous gorilla.

Simon Fraser

Thursday, April 17, 2014

2013 Triumph Comicpalooza Commission by E.K. Weaver

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"In the span of a single day, Amal calls off his arranged marriage, comes out to his conservative parents, promptly gets disowned, goes on a bender... and wakes up the next morning to find TJ, a lanky, dreadlocked vagrant, frying eggs and singing Paul Simon in his kitchen. TJ claims that the two have made a drunken pact to drive all the way from Berkeley to Providence. As it happens, Amal promised his sister he'd be there for her graduation from Brown University. And TJ, well... TJ has his own reasons. The agreement is simple: Amal does the driving; TJ pays the way - but a 3500 mile journey leaves plenty of time for things to get complicated."
E.K. Weaver is the creator of The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal, a free web comic which I liked on skimming but confess to having not properly read. However, Weaver is clearly gifted at drawing pretty queer boys, and since Christopher J. Priest outed Triumph, I've been wanting to see Will MacIntyre envisioned through a more sympathetic, gay-friendly lens than, say, Mike S. Miller.

Triumph was a retcon created in 1994 to take advantage of the Zero Hour event comic to introduce a previously unrevealed "founding member" of the JLA, who was lost in time and memory until returning contemporaneously. He saw himself as a peer to DC's greatest heroes, without having their accumulated years of experience, and ended up on the Martian Manhunter trainee team Justice League Task Force. Insubordinate and conniving, Triumph was eventually beaten and fired by J'Onn J'Onzz before getting sucked into the demonic machination of Neron and being reinserted into the timestream proper. Triumph failed utterly when given a second chance to relive his lost years, then was turned evil by a magical imp and punished severely by the Spectre, the Old Testament GOD's agent of vengeance.

Triumph was a much loathed character, but was essentially the Guy Gardner of the JLTF-- a catalyst for great stories specifically because he didn't follow the rules of uptight, upright super-heroes. His being gay added a subtext and tension to those stories that is both uncomfortable and intriguing. In Weaver's art, you see the attractive, vital face of a good man and potential hero, but the streaks of flesh tones are overwhelmed by contrasting grays and stark whites. His golden armor is made dull-- abstracted-- unreliable from compromise. The pure, competent, heroic Triumph is all in Will MacIntyre's head, as his ornamentation fails him and frail flesh and blood lies beneath. This rendering tells a story of Triumph's possibility, his unique aspects, but his ultimate inability to ascend to the Pantheon and validate himself as the champion he declared himself to be.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

2014 The Fire and Water Podcast: Episode 85 audio interview with Dan Jurgens


The bifurcated broadcast of Firestorm Fan and The Aquaman Shrine just featured The New 52: Futures End and Aquaman & The Others author Dan Jurgens on their show. This is relevant here because Jurgens had a hand in the creation of Bloodwynd, who briefly replaced the Martian Manhunter on the Justice League in the mid-90s before the end of their confusing relationship helped J'Onn J'Onzz launch Justice League Task Force. At the 34:47 minute mark, Podcast co-host Shag Matthews randomly asked Jurgens, "What was the deal with Bloodwynd? As a reader, it sort of felt like his story never really finished, or got explained, or maybe got derailed? What was your vision for that character...?"

Poetically, Jurgens' explanation never really finished and got derailed, as he turned his focus more toward the pressures and time constraints his involvement in the death and return of Superman placed on his relatively short stint writing and drawing Justice League America (#61-77) than the particulars of Bloodwynd. "...Ultimately, by virtue of that, I think the time I had to work on Justice League got cut back more and more and I probably should have left the book earlier than I did, but ultimately it meant yes, I had to wind up the Bloodwynd story and kinda get out of that and move on sooner than I had planned to."

Shag tried to steer back into the Bloodwynd skid with, "Had he always intended to be Martian Manhunter?" Jurgens confirmed "Um... there was always the intention that it be Martian Manhunter, but to resolve itself in a different way... Part of that... if you look back at that now, y'know, it does feel, I think, somewhat rushed and shoehorned a little bit... The mystery was actually going to play out longer... which I think would have been cool. I think some of the best mysteries in comics... you play them out as long as you can until the fans are ready to just, like, go after you with knives and forks... We didn't get to do that, in that instance, and... it had everything to do with what was going on in the other book."

Unfortunately, Jurgens didn't really elaborate on Bloodwynd as a character/concept, and the conversation naturally segued further into the phenomenal response to Superman #75. Notably, it came in a black polybag with a poster of the Man of Steel's funeral procession that included both Bloodwynd and Martian Manhunter, with only Lord L'Zoril between them, all drawn by Jurgens. Between that, how the matter played out in Jurgens' stories, and his words here, I expect Bloodwynd was supposed to be a separate entity from the Alien Atlas from the beginning. I doubt that, under the circumstances described, Jurgens would have gone to the trouble of constructing Bloodwynd's rather involved origin story if he could have more quickly and easily just made Bloodwynd an alternate identity of the Sleuth from Outer Space.

Listen to the entire 49 minute episode here!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

2013 “Who Is He? (And What Is He To You?)” Justice League Fan Video by Reagan Hawkins

"Trouble in the Justice League... Even the most powerful among us are not immune to jealousy and betrayal.Trouble in the Justice League... Even the most powerful among us are not immune to jealousy and betrayal.
Courtesy of Comics Alliance

Saturday, April 12, 2014

2012 Martian Manhunter Kuru Pendant Wallpaper by Morgan R. Lewis

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“I thought the "Kuru pendant" J'onn J'onzz had in the post-Infinite Crisis Martian Manhunter miniseries was pretty cool looking, so I drew up a vector version and created a wallpaper based on it. While I've generally come to want to avoid using simple strokes for interior details, in this case I still think it was the correct approach. And in the absence of a better idea for a background, I went with a red-green gradient for two of the dominant colors in the Manhunter from Mars's color scheme.”
While the Kuru Pendant was meant to apply broadly to Martian culture, I'll understandably always associate it with Cay'an, so it makes sense to run this the same week as my Vo Nguyen commission of her.

Friday, April 11, 2014

2010 Martian Manhunter fan art by David Pielich

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"As for the image it is a picture of the Martian Manhunter. It’s a character I’ve wanted to do for some time now, since I’ve always dug him but never really drew him before. So here it is, drawn and inked on marker paper, colored in Photoshop CS4, and the background done in Photoshop with some NASA pictures of Earth, Mars, and a nebula."
Like that piece by Eddie Nunez, this number is huge with internet articles related to the Manhunter from Mars. About time I ran it here.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Weird War of Gilgana: Iwangis IS The Creature King!

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The clash was tense, and initially appeared to turn against the Chulko that had already stalemated against the Venomee, who themselves found loggerheads with the Creature King. Unseen but always felt in these proceedings, the wizard cursed the prospect of using his magic to arbitrarily decide a victor, or else wearying his menagerie by drawing out the conflict still further. Briefly, surprisingly, the Doom Shadow fell in such a way that it seemed the battle might favor it. Ultimately though, the energy blasts of the Purple People striking Iwangis triggered a series of explosions that launched a rockslide. Pink sand was pushed off the beach into the waters of Gilgana, causing a far greater explosion, into which the Chulko succumbed. The additional statues that slid to shore expanded the Creature King's army, which finally overwhelmed the Venomee.

The creature commandos of Iwangis may have overcome, but as he looked out over the desolation wrought, he recognized that he would be the king of nothing in this realm but dirt, rocks, and calamitously unstable water. Could Iwangis even dare sleep this night without fear of a native watery hand drowning him, or a monster goring him? Iwangis' goldenrod paw allowed pink sands to pass through his massive fingers, and contemplated an alternative that may have been influenced by sorcerous suggestion. From a slightly safer distance as allowed for the Creature King to continue controlling his minions, Iwangis directed them to sacrifice themselves pushing a mound of meteoric sand into unstable sea, insuring a catastrophic detonation that tore a small gap in the already threadbare reality connecting Gilgana to Earth. From a hole in the sky, the monsters once collected by Diabolu in ancient times rained down to the ocean surrounding a precarious, remote isle...

Despero had done much with his reign as champion over the vile villains of the Martian Manhunter. After outlawing interpersonal conflict among the gathered rogues, he initiated a purity test derisively referred to as SurVILEvor Island. As it turned out, the location was actually Diablo Island, a home to the true evil of Eclipso, who launched ongoing eviction proceedings enforced by the Legions of Doom. These distractions had allowed Ma'alefa'ak to instigate rounds of torture against his brother's friends and allies, but with blood and a bestiary in the water, Malefic saw an opportunity to reclaim his title as original victor over the Vile Menagerie. With The Interferer finally displaced, this supposed "Isle of Diabolu" was up for grabs...

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

2013 Cay'an Comicpalooza Commission by Vo Nguyen

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When I met up with Vo Nguyen, artist of Bette Noir and Cameron Chase at the last Comicpalooza, he told me he wanted to concentrate on fewer, better commissions in 2013. I was all in favor of that, so long as I got one, so I dropped a c-note for Cay'an. I've developed a weird affection for the absurd not-so-mastermind, and after never getting around to asking Joe Eisma or David Marquez to do her, wanted somebody to add to the collection started with Jonathan Thibodaux. Vo intended to "really blow it out," and this ended up becoming the physically largest piece I own at 13" x 16". I can't actually find anyplace where I can scan the whole thing, so what you see above is about a fifth shy of complete. I had to buy an oversized portfolio to display it, and it allows a roomy home for other high end 11" x 17" commissions I want to keep polybagged without cramming them into spaces. This rendition is peachy, and we even get a display of Cay'an's power of invisibility!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Super Powers Collection Style Guide Benchwarmers Line-up

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José Luis García-López famously set the standard for the looks of DC characters across their merchandising via style guides produced in the late 1970s to mid-80s. However, some minor characters were beneath García-López's notice, and were farmed out to artists I've never been able to identify (although Ed Hannigan's comes up around some examples, like this.) Above is a piece I've never seen before in total, but components have turned up here and there. That crude looking Martian Manhunter was used as the character's image for his official biography page on the DC Comics web site in the late '90s.

Doctor Fate was in the same 1985 Super Powers Collection toy assortment as J'onn J'onzz, plus he was sort of the Alien Atlas' parallel hero on the Pre-Crisis Earth-Two, for want of a legitimate analogue. Samurai was one of the multicultural heroes introduced on the Challenge of the Super Friends cartoon in 1978, but he had to wait until 2011 to get his own toy.

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Another cultural diversity animation creation was El Dorado, arriving in 1981 on an episode of Super Friends. He was proposed for inclusion in the Super Powers Collection, but joined Samurai in that 2011 DC Universe Classics eighteen wave instead. With his powers of super-strength, teleportation, telepathy, and illusion casting nearly duplicated by Bloodwynd, I'm still trying to convince the internet that El Dorado was just another alternate identity of the Sleuth from Outer Space to give him a retroactive pass into the Hall of Justice.

The last two are real dogs. Cyclotron was a name lifted from old DC Comics, but as seen here was a robot created solely for the crumby 1986 wave of Super Powers figures. Arguably the least loved toy in that line, with major competition in the very off-model Orion. Ripping off the 1983 Mattel Masters of the Universe figure Man-E-Faces was more of a priority than accurately portraying the son sacrificed by Darkseid to "The Pact." I like seeing the Manhunter from Mars in this sort of company, if only because it advances my Patron Saint of Loser Super-Heroes thesis.

Monday, April 7, 2014

2014 “Holly Hunter joins the Batman-Superman movie, presumably as Martian Manhunter” article by Sean O'Neal

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Ostensibly a news article for The A.V. Club, a side benefit of the commentary is the skewering of fanboys jumping to casting conclusions in super-hero movies. Assuming Jason Momoa, The Rock, or someone else who hasn't been officially connected to a Martian Manhunter that we don't even know figures into the script doesn't get the part, I wish Hunter the best as Joan Jones (or more likely, Maggie Sawyer?) Thanks to Joe Slab for the alert!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Weird War of Gilgana: Terrible Trio Title

The Orchestra of Doom floated toward a stone menagerie on a plateau of Gilgana, where their furry flaxen foe appeared to be caressing the art. Its yellow hue dimmed, but the statues soon came to unreal life. The Creature King never heard the demonic strains of the Doom Band-- only watching with satisfaction as they were played out by his bestial soldiers...

The Venomee had been successful at evading the Doom Shadow, but were unsure if their transformative touch would be wise to apply against The Chulko. Further, the vision powers of the Purple People were stymied by their need to avoid the Chulko's own paralyzing gaze. Would the approach of Iwangis and his creature army break this stalemate, or conquer its participants?

Saturday, April 5, 2014

2013 “JLA and the Avengers in 3D Anaglyph” by George Pérez & Jérôme Bonnaud

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I couldn't find my analog 3D glasses to see how well the effect works here, but as I look at the image, I'm struck by bittersweet pangs of nostalgia. I'm pretty sure those longing for a return of Golden Mullet Aquaman are in the minority, but the Magnificent Seven JLA with retcons on the backburner and "widescreen" sci-fi/fantasy action at the fore in fantastic stories? Only one Avengers team with a largely classic line-up crafted by the cream of veteran creators? For the most part, we knew how good we had it in the late '90s/early '00s with this talent on these characters, which is why it's such a bummer to come crashing back to the reality of Forever Evil and Original Sin. It's like scoping out the Facebook page of an ex and seeing how they've let their self go. It doesn't make your present any better, and it taints your fond memories of the past to see the lengths to which your former loved ones have sank.

On that cheery note, I only just realized that I somehow managed to have never posted the promo art that served as the basis for this modification, which you can see here, as well as the vital original uncolored line art.

Captain America vs. the Martian Manhunter (blog)

Who do you trust? To run a daily Martian Manhunter blog, I mean? Not me! I'm off seeing the late Thursday/early Friday showing of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, then buying related merch, then going to sleep and waking up to finally watch the disappointing season finale of The Walking Dead, then going out to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier again with my friends in IMAX 3D with Super Soldier Serum mixed drink in hand, then going to sleep and getting up to read the latest disappointing trade paperback of The Walking Dead, then taking a nap, then phoning in an obligatory post. If you're waiting around for me, might I recommend that you instead see Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which has been over-hyped, but is still one of the finest super-hero movies ever? Also: retroactively wins me every argument with Batman fans over who would win in a fight. Wait, you care about a victor in the Alien Atlas/Sentinel of Liberty match-up? What are you, nine? Besides, I love both these guys! Team-up!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

No seriously, it's our 2014 March Madness Final Four

The turnout for our March Madness contests on the blog have always been rather sad compared to most sites' polls (have we ever broken 30 votes?) but "The Weird War of Gilgana" has gotten offensively embarrassing. We've only been getting 4-5 votes per round (including myself,) so I'm trying to shuffle it off as quickly as possible. Still, the last poll launched Monday night, and while it was admittedly swiftly buried by the tossed together April Fool's post, exactly one person has voted on the two contests. I went ahead and added my vote, but there's a tie, and I may have to just shut the whole damned blog down if I can't get two other people besides myself to engage with this thing. So take inspiration from this famous magazine cover, imagine Jupiter in its place, and friggin' vote.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

2013 D'Kay D'Razz Comicpalooza Commission by Austin Rogers

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Austin “Redbeard” Rogers returns for a second piece of Awesomest Alien Atlas Art Anytime! Following his Martian Manhunter vs. the Scary Monsters, here's the mass murdering madwoman D'Kay D'Razz, the other last survivor of the Red Planet per Brightest Day. You know, I don't recall hearing anything about her time on her home planet before coming to Earth, or how she survived the plague. Hopefully, we'll get some more such details someday!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Nabisco Oreo Chocolate Mint Creme

"The world's favorite cookie. Delicious and full of Wonder for over 100 years. Find Oreo games, videos, songs, and see how the Wonderfilled story goes!"
Oreo is a sandwich cookie consisting of two chocolate disks with a sweet cream filling in between. The version currently sold in the United States is made by the Nabisco division of Mondelēz International. Oreo has become the best selling cookie in the United States since its introduction in 1912.

Size: 15.3 OZ
UPC: 4400002542