Monday, December 27, 2021
2021 “DC Comics 1999 Editorial Presentation: Countdown To The Millennium”
Since 2020, Siskoid has co-hosted with various guests Who's Editing, "the show where armchair editors re-imagine the DC Universe based on single issues of Who's Who!" Basically, the participants have to pitch a new ongoing series for every protagonist (and an optional antagonist) featured in a given 1980s issue of "The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe." I took to the podcast like a pig to slop, creating my own fan fiction universe of titles with running mock Previews catalog-style solicitation blurbs for every entry (and then some) in the comments section of each episode. I figured with the round robin guests, Siskoid would eventually get around to me, with the natural assumption I would get tagged for the Martian Manhunter edition. Then he called me up way earlier than I had planned or prepared for, Who’s Editing #8: Flashes in the Pan. I made my initial intentions toward Vol XIV clear, and since Siskoid figures to cycle through most of his first run of guests twice, that about suited his own needs. Since I'd called dibs, I wanted to make this one extra special, so I glommed onto the old 1992-94 DC Editorial Presentations as a template. To compete with all the better selling flibbertigibbets in the Chromium Age, DC would outline an entire year's worth of titles in two page spreads, one of art, and the other copy. There were some that fell through the cracks or were altered, but more or less, you could reliably see what a given year had in store for DC readers. I also wanted to do a line devoted to the Alien Atlas, because look around the page, man. I got a little work in early, other matters demanded my attention, and then a few months ahead of deadline I committed hard to producing the mock catalog linked above. While the Manhunter from Mars maintained a strong presence, the demands of the other subjects sent things into more of a fantasy direction favoring the Marvel Family and sword & sorcery types. For instance, The Warlords of the Ultra-Realm. But hey, more on that later...
Monday, December 20, 2021
DC Comics 1999 Editorial Presentation: Manhunter
133 MANHUNTERFREQUENCY MONTHLY
PAGE COUNT 32 PAGES
SHIP DATE CURRENT
EDITOR FRANK BERRIOS
WRITER MARK MILLAR / TOM PEYER
PENCILLER FRANK QUITELY / BART SEARS
INKER RAY KRYSSING
COVER ARTIST FRANK QUITELY
The first ever ongoing series devoted to the Manhunter from Mars launched out of DC ONE MILLION with an innovative campaign. Debuting with a special #0 issue detailing J'Onn J'Onzz's earliest days on Earth living as an African-American, and why he ultimately instead chose the role of a white male authority figure; continuing into a premiere GHOSTS Annual; followed by the #1,000,000 issue co-written by GRANT MORRISON accounting for the Alien Atlas' far future. Finally, the #1 edition, examining the sole Manhunter's decision to drop part of his title following repeated White Martian incidents, and his position as the most prominent super-hero outside the United States.
In this initial story arc, the International Ultramarine Corps have assumed an aggressive role in defending South America, naturally bringing them into contact with the Manhunter. The U.S. government still views many of them as military deserters, and their push back against Latin exploitation in the wake of the tragedy in Montevideo has earned them vicious enemies. When a despicable new incarnation of corporate metahumans The Conglomerate perpetuate a horrific assault upon the team in Superbia, the Manhunter's response places him at odds with the U.S.
As the new creative team take over, Bloodwynd alerts Manhunter to strange activity in the Guyana of Venezuela. Soon joined by Swamp Thing, Aztek the Ultimate Man, and Rima the Jungle Girl, they discover a source of the Endless Energies of Entrop, indicating it as one of the twelve prime mana sites on Earth. Despite his status as a fallen angel, Asmodel and a fraction of his Bull Host will make for strange company in defending the reserve from the forces of Grendel, a new player in the Underworld. Next, we'll see Manhunter guard the Watchtower against the cybernetic assault of Lord Havok, as J'Onn tries to reach the humanity in his old friend, inflaming his awkward standing with former JLA teammates.
Manipulated by the psychic residue of Despero into believing that he's developed a soul, and romantic feelings for the illusion casting Gypsy, L-Ron becomes an increasingly brazen stalker... violently colliding with his friends in a clash of wills. Soon, sharing his base in the frigid Martian city of Z'Onn Z'Orr with a new super team, J'Onn's supporting cast is joined by Oberon, Gypsy, and L-Ron. When Castle Carnage is rediscovered by the Star Hunters along the shores of the Weddell Sea, J'Onn recalls a 1970s adventure involving retiring veteran policeman Dan Richards, playboy Marco Xavier, the international crime cartel of Vandal Savage, and an army of Paul Kirk clones led by the soulless Stalker.
A new incarnation of the Hyperclan is formed from the handful of White Martians that had previously escaped capture, guided by an ancient evil far more deadly than the Manhunter has ever known. Closing out the year, "Alex" Luthor succeeds in creating a bridge to Earth³, but attracts the CSA, whose Ultiman enjoys amplified abilities in the presence of magic... a major modern hazard for the Martian Marvel!
Monday, December 13, 2021
The Vile Menagerie: KARMANG THE EVIL
Alter Ego: Karmang
Base of Operations: Castle Karmang, Mount Olympus, Mars
First Appearance: All New Collectors' Edition, Vol. 7, No. C-58 (1978)
More than a thousand millennia ago, an exceptional White Martian sought immortality at any cost. "Like Ancient Greece on Earth, [Mars] was a civilization of thought and wonder... and of all thinkers, of all its men of science, one was there who dared more... who probed the farthest realms of the imagination... One there was... named Karmang the Good..."
Despite protestations from his friends and fellows, and supposedly in the name of science, Karmang engaged in forbidden experiments that tampered with the forces of sub-nuclear energy to disastrous result. Whether through cruel fate or merely his close proximity to the source of the energy storm that he had ignited, the "would-be wizard" survived while one billion surrounding Martians perished. The "sorcerer" gained the immortality that he had sought, but as a consequence, would be haunted by the spirits of the multitudes that had paid the price for his arrogance.
For what seemed like a million years, far beyond sanity, Karmang sought a means to reverse the tragedy that he had caused. Driven mad by his endless existence, Karmang devised a plan wherein he would cause the multiversal worlds of Earth-One and Earth-S to collide, supposedly releasing a specific, incredible amount of energy which would allow him to resurrect the wraith-like Martians that haunted him. To this end, he summond Black Adam and the Sand Superman, forcing them to do his bidding upon pain of torture. Each planted destructive devices on a given Earth, then used violence and devices to provoke combat between Superman and Captain Marvel, the only beings who could stop Karmang.
As the powerful but bedeviled heroes fought for hours across Earth-One, Supergirl, Mary Marvel, and the wizard Shazam joined forces to end the contest, restore sanity, and ambush Karmang at his castle on Mars. Karmang was so engrossed by the clash of titans that for the first time, he felt ecstactic relief from his haunting. When the heroines attacked, he cast spells powerful enough to thwart even the Maid of Might and World's Mightiest Girl. However, Supergirl used her knowledge of advanced Kryptonian science to analyze Karmang's equipment. She uncovered a button that would send Castle Karmang into a state of limbo, and with her superhuman speed, managed to escape beforehand with Mary in her arms. When last seen, Karmang was screaming endlessly, unable to escape the spirits that tormented him.
Powers & Weapons:
Karmang commands significant magics, which he casts via rhyme. He can project fireballs that immolate foes, while summoning a shield to protect himself. Karmang once cast an "illusion spell" to make Black Adam appear to be Captain Marvel that was capable of deceiving Superman. Through unknown means, Karmang culd monitor actions from worlds away. Karmang provided his unwilling agents with the Judgment Ray, a green palm-sized device, which among other things emitted red sun radiation. The ray could temporarily blind and distort the reality of mortals as mighty as Superman and Captain Marvel, allowing them to be provoked into hours-long irrational rages. In his bid to bridge the dimensional gulf to cause a cosmic catastrophe, Karmang crafted a space-time engine that would cause parallel-reality Earths to collide. An engine would need to be correctly placed on each affected world, and once the control-nodule had been activated, a magnetic aura would surround the device that was capable of repelling all but the most awesome physical forces. Within two hours, the space-time engines would theoretically become acclimated to their host world, adjusting their magnetic fields until the worlds would be attracted to one another across all known boundaries. Disrupting the engines once activated would still cause untold destruction through the altered magnetic field's impact on climate and geothermic structure.
It is unclear whether Karmang is able to leave his sacred citadel, or if he is trapped along with the billion Martian ghosts inside Castle Karmang. He has been driven insane, causing him difficulties in concentration and linear thought. He does not appear to suffer from the vulnerability to flame that plagues most Martians, and in fact displays none of their typical superhuman abilities.
Karmang's eyes are asymmetrical
Quote: "The Undying Ones! By all our ageless gods-- let me be! Why won't you ever let me be?"
Created by Gerry Conway & Rich Buckler
Thursday, December 9, 2021
Action Comics #1037 (January, 2022)
In Metropolis, a variety of people of different races, ages, and genders all end up at Middletown Apartments, unit 225. They are all explorations of J'Onn J'Onzz, who wonders about whether the harder choice is just being himself, "But what the hell does that even mean?" As the Martian Manhunter, he feeds his housecat Double Stuff, reflecting on his own time in that role (along with Isobel de la Rosa, also deriving from the 1998 series, plus Bloodwynd.) "An endless list of endless aliases. Of endless lives. Yet none my own. I'm more vagabond than manhunter." Next he pours himself a bowl of Chocos cereal, and plops on the couch to watch a news program on the television. He reflects upon his disconnectedness from his adoptive world, still moored to lost Mars, and wonders if it's time to finally settle in.
Under the identity of Certa, essentially still John Jones, he's a plainclothes officer with the Metropolis police. Another brown haired white man named Peters visits his desk to discuss an ongoing investigation. Something to do with unconnected young people from all walks of life being linked to some crime, presumably the museum theft from the TV. A break in the case-- they visited an internet sub-forum called "Katharsis Aureus."
It's the Martian Manhunter who visits the Metropolis Museum. Admiring the painting "Lost" by Kyle Rayner that seems perhaps inspired by J'Onn himself, he's met by a stylish Black woman named Gwendolyn Heath. The Museum Director, she reports that the only items missing were pieces of an artifact they had been storing. The Sleuth from Outer Space perks up on learning that the "worthless" pieces were from "a large bust known as the Idol Head of Diabolu," which J'Onn confesses to having broken himself.
The discussion is interrupted by a brutish man in a sealed protective uniform featuring a series of bilateral small flaming jets running vertically up the chest. "Enough talk, nerds. I didn't come here to learn... I came here to burn! It's me, ya boy, HUMAN FLAME."
"A Face in the Crowd" was by Shawn Aldridge and Adriana Melo. I was passingly familiar with the Brazilian artist, who did work on two runs of Birds of Prey with Gail Simone, recalling Ed Benes and Terry Dodson. I'm a bigger fan of Steve Pugh, who she seems to be taking more cues from these days. I must confess to being completely unfamiliar with the writer, whose credits in the industry seem mostly in the lettering department. There was a four-parter in the Dark Horse Presents run that I've had sitting unread in a box since 2015, so that's on me, as well as the mini-series Hack/Slash vs. Vampirella and The Dark and Bloody. According to the podcast playing in the background, he's from Kentucky. For what it's worth, I tried to buy a physical copy of this issue from one of the biggest Houston comic shops, but they only had copies of previous issues left on the shelf. I can't speak to the Mongul lead story, as I've bought almost no new DC content this year, but am waiting for the trade of this arc.
Associating the Martian Marvel with the Man of Tomorrow goes back a long ways, but I still tend to chafe at stuff like basing the character in Superman's city. That said, the scripter goes further out of his way than anyone I've ever read to accommodate me specifically as an entitled fanboy. I considered various ways of highlighting all the fan service in the synopsis, but decided it would look like a heavily redacted transcript. One of the complaints I've heard about movies I've chosen not to see like Ghostbusters: Afterlife and The Rise of Skywalker is that filmmakers appeased hardcore audiences by just cobbling together images of all those things they like, so that they can point and say "look at that thing I like on the screen, making me happy by association with the familiar." I usually poo-poo such a thing, but I'm a whipped
I wouldn't have pegged J'Onn as someone who keeps pets, as I myself don't, but then he also had children, so maybe that's me projecting. He's definitely more of a cat person (same,) and I just spent too much time looking at pictures online to hazard a guess at its breed being Ragdoll (???) So I suppose I'm into it. It's fun, something sorely lacking in Manhunter comics, and I hope he gets to do some straight comedy in this serial (a stated goal in the podcast.)
Other things I'm not into? I didn't make it halfway into the last maxi-series, a prequel that featured a costume much closer to his Silver Age look. I don't know if that was used to pivot back to this '80s JLI look in the current continuity, which I'm sure many fans have missed since Infinite Crisis. Meanwhile, I always had an issue with the old costume, and wholeheartedly embraced the New 52 design, which I think would better fit Melo's style besides. The references to some momentous change are lost on me, and mentioning it without any context is vexing. I doubt every issue is somebody's first anymore, but it's my first in a long time, and I miss the brief recaps of comics in my youth. "Certa" is way too on the nose for me, and we don't need a white John Jones in the comics when he's now invariably portrayed by African-American performers in other media.
Yeah, that's about all I've got. It's been decades of my banging the drum for a representation that respects and builds upon the Alien Atlas' lore. This story intentionally draws from as many well loved eras of the character as could be reasonably expected within the space and then some, with direct references to Silver Age stories entirely erased for decades. I'm super-duper gun-shy about having any expectations going forward, but for at least this brief shining moment, I'm Montgomery Brewster and "This is the room I could die in."
Monday, November 29, 2021
“Interview: Martian Manhunter” from JLA Secret Files #1 (September, 1997)
Monday, November 22, 2021
“LOST PAGES”: The "new" Superman meets the JLA from JLA Secret Files #1 (September, 1997)
Sunday, November 14, 2021
“The Manhunter from Mars” profile page from JLA Secret Files #1 (September, 1997)
I can carbon date my J'Onn J'Onzz fandom to August 7, 1996. As I've discussed many times before, my familiarity with the character went back about twelve years earlier, to house ads from the time of the Martian Marvel's 1984 return in Justice League of America, and I bought his Super Powers action figure the following year. That was one of my favorite toys growing up, and I had plenty of experiences with the Alien Atlas in the comics. I consider them near misses-- instances of my liking and having an interest in exploring the Martian Manhunter, but still not quite connecting in a significant way.
I was working at a comic shop in 1996, so I would have taken Justice League: A Midsummer's Nightmare #2 home on its day of release. I recall reading it in bed, reaching that glorious gut punch of a splash page by Jeff Johnson, in a sequence co-writer Mark Waid credited to Fabian Nicieza. In period parlance, it was Agent Kujan finally deducing the identity of Keyser Söze, Neo suddenly knowing kung-fu, or Cher Horowitz realizing that she loved Josh. A switch just flipped. I stole a car, drove west, played an 8-track at full blast until it stopped, got out of the car, got in a fight, got back into the car, drove back to town, went to the Cargas Club, and then got into the most prestigious hotel of all time. I was a Martian Manhunter fan, man.
A quarter century later, with admitted gaps and lots of burn out, I'm still here plugging away. But a journey of a thousand miles begins with baby steps, or some such. I was still a Padawan with much to learn, from older fans like Commander Benson on the DC Message Boards, or from scavenged back issues. There were no wikis back then, and very few fan pages. Virtually all of them referenced Don Hillsman's art from JLA Secret Files & Origins, as I was surely not alone in a newfound appreciation of the Martian Manhunter amidst the explosive success of JLA. For many of us, this was the gateway.
"All Who's Who pages written by Mark Millar and colored by Tom McCraw" if you can believe it.
Wednesday, November 3, 2021
Monday, October 11, 2021
2015 Super-Team Family: The Lost Issues: "1000th ISSUE SPECTACULAR!" featuring Martian Manhunter and Drax the Destroyer
In the long life of The Brave and the Bold / Marvel Two-in-One: The Lost Issues, Ross has surely reached a lot of numerical milestones by posting every weekday. #1000 has to be among the most memorable though, since in 2015 no American super-hero comics had made it to that many issues, far eclipsing the combined runs of the various team-up titles that inspired the project. Also, people still paid attention to blogs in 2015. For the occasion, Ross did a real tour de force post, including scan of childhood hand-drawn team-up comics, how-to tutorial, best of gallery, and more! This is clearly a lifelong passion project, as evidence by his still going another half-dozen years since.
Ross also produced a special 1000th edition speculative comic in the tradition of DC Comics' 100 Page Giants, offering seven different pairings involving Batman, Deadpool, The Thing, Firestorm, The Hulk, Black Lightning, Superman, Gladiator, Ant-Man, The Atom... The primary story involved the Avengers and JSA, but for the purposes of this blog, a (crudely) foregrounded a back-up with J'Onn J'Onzz and Drax titled "Riot on the Red Planet!"
I just noticed that I screwed-up last week's link for Tars Tarkas, but another entry in my short-lived Martian Knock-Offs series of posts was Drax the Destroyer. Even by 2011, the characters had diverged sharply, to the point where the similarities ended with broad physical characteristics. Certainly, no one who has seen Dave Bautista (and of course James Gunn's) portrayal of an obtuse, brutally violent, fairly misogynistic MCU anti-hero would confuse the character with the more empathetic and pensive live action Alien Atlas. That said, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has made Drax a full blooded alien mourning a deceased wife and child with deep wells of sadness detected by his psychic cohort Mantis, so in some ways they're even more alike today.
The images here were taken, I believe, from a Phil Jimenez two-page massive group spread from JLA Secret Files & Origins and a Ron Lim cover for Silver Sufer when Drax was still in his imbecilic Hulk phase. I was a huge Adam Warlock fan growing up, but unless Jim Starlin were to do the project, preferably in 1977, I doubt this would be my bad today.
Monday, October 4, 2021
2012 Super-Team Family: The Lost Issues: Martian Manhunter and John Carter, Warlord of Mars
As I got away from writing posts, I likewise more or less stopped reading blogs. When Ross Pearsall of Super-Team Family... The Lost Issues! recently made a guest appearance on The Fire and Water Podcast, it reminded me that I hadn't exploited his fanfic team-up efforts for easy content in years!
We regifted a Batman and The Martian Manhunter Mock-Up Cover in 2011, Beta Ray Bill in 2012, Marvel Two-in-One: The Thing in 2013*, Captain America Vs. The Justice League of America in 2015.
One that I passed on covering for nearly a decade was John Carter, despite once harrassing his buddy Tars Tarkas. I remember having ancient Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan movies playing in the background to my less than rapt inattention when I was a wee lad, but I never had much use for Edgar Rice Burroughs. Blame Spielberg and Lucas, but I was raised to appreciate the bravura loving tributes, not the clunky source material.
* and just for good measure, Mahunter Paul Kirk and Iron Fist
Monday, September 20, 2021
2021 Martian Manhunter art by Nick Bradshaw
"Martian Manhunter bust illustration in pencil, ink and acrylic ink. Portrait, 11 x 17". By Nick Bradshaw."Sorry that I skipped out for most of September. I've been juggling a lot this month. Ironically, by hitting a wall on my more elaborate projects, like podcasting, I'm taking a breather this week that allowed for posting here. Depending on how things go, I may try to make up some of that missed time, or not. Anyway, here's a big name artist with a very pleasing Art Adams streak providing a rare take on DC's Alien Atlas!
Thursday, September 2, 2021
2021 Martian Manhunter costume redesign by Scott E. Hileman
A few months back, I started receiving some friendly emails from one of our reader/listeners, and thought I'd share a sampling of his words to go with the art above...
I first encountered the Martian Manhunter back in my elementary school days in the early 70s in a reprint of an earlier JLA comic where Fox and Sekowsky had them fighting robots or statues that looked like them. I’d catch him at different times over the years in reprinted stories in 100-page giants, etc. I was very excited when he returned to earth and the JLA during the Detroit-era, perhaps the only good thing to come out of that time period. Then I pretty much followed him ever since until the early 2000s. IMHO, ever since Identity Crisis, the flavor of DC Comics changed for me to the point where I just didn’t buy new DC Comics. And as such some of the newer appearances of J’Onzz I missed except for the last outing. I bought the first couple of issues but I haven’t looked through them, let alone read them.
So that’s my relationship with the character. Obviously, mine isn’t as deep and passionate as yours. I hope that some day soon that DC will J’Onn J’Onzz book that hit all your buttons. You deserve it for trying to keep the blue flame of Mars alive...
Fan-casting for a 1950s style J’Onn J’Onzz story, I think Richard Bulgi would make for a great John Jones.
If you could warp time and space, I’d suggest the late, great John Huston would have made a great Monte Moran. Not just his look but his voice too. I can hear it in my head mocking J’Onn as he gets away...
Here’s my idea. I’m not re-inventing the wheel by any stretch but I think this looks pretty cool in my humble opinion. It is nothing more than basically taking the blackest night costume and adding the original MM color scheme to it. I tried to make his shirt more like a tunic for a subtle nod to Ancient Rome (the whole Mars-Roman god thing). Also I didn’t want to give him outer shorts like Superman, but it need some kind of break between the legs and torso would do that and look a little better shorts or loin cloth. The open neck and short sleeves shows off more of his green skin and gives him a causal air about him, like he isn’t afraid to face any menace.
Monday, August 23, 2021
Wednesday, August 11, 2021
2021 Martian Manhunter by Paul Smith
Juggling too many projects this week while also suffering from the energy depletion of dieting, so nothing substantial this week. One of those efforts is Siskoid's "Who's Editing" fan fiction thought experiment, for which I offered...
THE SATELLITE LEAGUE #1
written by G. WILLOW WILSON
art & cover by PAUL SMITH
Spinning out of the pages of DOOMSDAY CLOCK & ATOMIC! The Shadow Lords’ trap has been sprung, bringing about a new world order. Their Stormwatch Intercontinental now patrols the globe, capable of putting down any threats to their planetary rule. With the Justice League no more, numerous other challengers neutralized, and even the alien refugees being deported from Earth, their control appears complete.
Despite faltering at Shadowspire, there is yet a collective of heroes to fight back against these nihilistic fascists. Aided by Staq Mavlen before his demise, Ray Palmer located the 30th Century telepath Imra Ardeen within a dank prison, the captive of Adrian Veidt. Her own mission to save Superman, Johnny Thunder, and the new Rorschach Reggie Long has failed, but Veidt himself offered a path to redemption. The son of Erika Manson and Marcos Maez held special meaning to Doctor Manhattan, who left the boy to be raised by the former Silk Spectre and Nite-Owl in 1992. That boy, now adult, is somewhere on Earth with the full inheritance of power from his “foster father,” capable of correcting the time stream to save… everyone?
Dr. Osterman had prophesied before his disappearance, “In the year 2020, Superman’s timeline is bombarded by the reckless energies of the Old Gods, once again warping the Metaverse.” Instead, the New Gods brought about his end in that year, or have they? So many threads to pull on this harrowing new reality, and who better than the survivors of the classic Justice League, joined by their proud legacy from 1,000 years in the future? The Atom and Saturn Girl escape with Elongated Man, Hawkman and Hawkwoman, herself drawn to reunite her cohorts in serving The Life Entity during Brightest Day. But first, they need allies and a base to plan their next moves, and after a quick stop for Sue Dibny, they are directed to Monument Point, Virginia. Former mayor Jay Garrick is also under fire from the government after aiding XS & Kid Flash against A.C.E., and is ready to get back into the race as The Flash. Hot in pursuit is the Shadow Cabinet, led by the aged Veidt’s heir apparent, Cleopatra Pak… the villainess Nostalgia.
ON SALE 5.26.21
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES
FC | DC
Like all right-thinking people, I love Paul Smith, so it's fun to see his take on J'Onn J'Onzz. He's bit too inhuman to me, especially with the Spock ears and vampire collar on an otherwise very Silver Age-y interpretation. The Alien Atlas isn't on my fake team because I killed him off with the rest of the Magnificent Seven JLA at the start of the project. More on that next week...
Monday, August 2, 2021
JLA: Year One #12 (December, 1998)
The Daily Planet buzzed over Earth's heroes beating back the Appellaxian invaders. Two generations of Green Lanterns & friends saved Metropolis. Black Canary & the Blackhawks had an Iwo Jima moment in DC. Aquaman, the Sea Devils and others were in... um... ocean? Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Shining Knight, and Black Condor fought avians in... air, and Martian Manhunter had to listen to them wonder how the aliens knew all their secret identities. Awkward. Kalar took out his frustrations on Stonehenge, where a teleporting Vandal Savage used the mindwipe device to take out a group of Appellaxians, and also took offense at the insult to his design. On to St. Louis. In a brilliant moment, the Atom shattered a crystal proxy by enlarging slightly in one of its flaws, but the explosion knocked Ray Palmer out, leaving his tiny form to be caught in the palms of Doll Man. In Paris, Molly Mayne reported on the Global Guardians. In Central City, Canary and Flash reunited, as did Barry Allen and Iris West, so Dinah made clear that she wasn't going to be her mother's daughter in a way that would make for two-timing. Also, Green Arrow showed up to flirt.
Monday, July 26, 2021
Year One: The Post-Crisis Retcons
Despite being familiar with Martian Manhunter going back to around 1984, I didn't become a proper fan until 1996's Justice League: A Midsummer's Nightmare #2. It was a moment of epiphany, as if all the near misses of finding favor with the Sleuth from Outer Space all swerved the other way at the same time. In a single splash page by Jeff Johnson, depicting a story beat co-writer Mark Waid informed me was Fabian Nicieza's contribution, it hit me that I loved this character. Being of limited means, I did what most new fans do; started picking up what I could of the character as it came out or when back issues presented themselves to me. While I was certainly a veteran comics reader, it became clear rather quickly that J'Onn J'Onzz's solo stories were a blind spot not only for me, but for the majority of the then-modern audience. Likewise, JLA was an immediate smash hit, reintroducing a new readership to the "Magnificent Seven" Justice League not seen since the early 1980s. DC wisely recognized that these recent converts would be receptive to a new testament, and so a twelve issue maxi-series was commissioned to expand upon a one-off revised League origin story the way Man of Steel and Legends of the Dark Knight had elaborated upon a modern take on heroes' formative adventures. These revisionist histories formed the ground floors of my Alien Atlas adoration, though I'd later face the cognitive dissonance of a deeper understanding of how the Manhunter did (or admittedly most often did not) work on his own terms. In this era, the gospel of J'Onn as "the Heart and Soul of the Justice League" reigned, strongly informing the late '90s WebTV fan site that predated this blog (to my knowledge, only the second significant one of its kind at the time.) Textless solicitation images of period books like JLA: Year One were the backbone of the site, especially before I had access to a scanner (and even then, always someone else's.) Seeing an image like the one above always sends me back to that period.
Martian Manhunter (1998)
- #0 (Oct.'98): "Pilgrimage" by Ostrander & Mandrake
- Book one. (September, 1992)
- Book two. (October, 1992)
- Book three. (November, 1992)
- American Secrets House Ad (Review)
- #11 (Summer, 1993): "Heat Wave" by McGreal/Rawson/Cockrum
- #35 (1988) "Martian Manhunter" by Mark Verheiden & Ken Steacy
- #32 (November, 1988) "All Together Now" by Keith Giffen, Peter David, and Eric Shanower
- #29 (August, 1988): "The Secret Origin of the Atom" by Roger Stern, Dwayne Turner & K.S. Wilson
- #1: "Justice League of America: Year One"
- #2: "Group Dynamic"
- #4 "While You Were Out..."
- #5: "A League Divided"
- #6: "Sum of Their Parts"
- #7: "The American Way"
- #8: "Loose Ends"
- #9: "Change the World"
- #10: "Heaven and Earth"
- #11: "Stalag Earth"
- #12: "Justice for All"
- Silver Age #1
- Silver Age: Justice League of America #1
- Silver Age: Dial H for Hero #1
- Silver Age Secret Files & Origins #1
- Silver Age 80-Page Giant #1
- "Girl's Day Out" by D. Curtis Johnson & J.H. Williams III
- "1976: Super Freaks and Backstabbers" by James Robinson & Craig Hamilton
JUSTICE LEAGUE EXTREME #1
written by BRANDON THOMAS
art & cover by BRAD GREEN
variant cover by PHIL CHO
card stock variant cover by ED BENES
Bloodwynd is no hero. The mysterious dark mage of death has his own agenda, which he preferred to pursue in isolation. Outed by his nemesis, the necromancer briefly played at being a champion during a time of unprecedented tumult, when the world’s greatest super-heroes were threatened with extermination. The savage Kryptonian behemoth Doomsday beat Superman into a coma. Hulking criminal mastermind Bane broke the Batman. The minions of the war god Ares saw to the demise of a Wonder Woman. The multiversal destroyer Anti-Monitor extinguished the Flash. Alien tyrant Mongul drove Green Lantern mad. Extraterrestrial terror Imperiex obliterated Aquaman. The worshipers of Darkseid, Lord of Apokolips, executed Martian Manhunter. Through his necromancy, Bloodwynd recognized that these magnificent seven crusaders were tied mystically to the fate of all creation, and he stepped up to defend all of existence… including, especially, his own.
Then came Judgment Day, when the Overmaster and his Cadre arrived to witness the end of the Earth. Bloodwynd was cosmically aware that this moment was beyond him, that all hope rested with the Justice League. He merely watched as the universe ended… and began again. Like tumbling dominoes, the events set in motion by Doomsday led to Hal Jordan becoming Parallax, and with other terrorists against time itself, unleashed entropic energies that annihilated the universe. Only a handful of heroes remained at the Vanishing Point to restart everything with a Big Bang. Today, another Crisis in Time has begun, and many of the horsemen of the previous apocalypse rise again… without any of the Magnificent Seven to meet them. The Septuplicate is essential for salvation, a search for seven successors, an extreme form of Justice League.
Reignman has been born through the melding of the corpse of the Cyborg Superman Zor-El, further enhanced with the automations of John Henry Irons, controlled by the intelligence of the Kryptonian Eradicator. The unjustly exiled Amazon Artemis has chosen to wear the indignity on her back, in the discarded garb of her fallen sister Diana from her own hour of disgrace, as a living Requiem. Freed from Mother’s control and picking up where The Colony left off, the genetically engineered and psychologically programmed killer Jean-Paul Valley is among the sole standing vigilantes defending Gotham from Leviathan, within his sealed Knightfall battle armor. Arrived from a catastrophic near-future where his family perished before his eyes, Walter West takes no prisoners with the crimson quickness of Dark Flash. Compelled by the Life Entity within his White Power Battery to defend their home world against aliens, Kyle Rayner returns to Earth to wield nearly limitless powers over creation as the Omega Lantern. Obsessed with reclaiming the throne for his bloodline, Arthur Curry’s only surviving son, the berserker Koryak, would rule as Aquamaster.
The return of Mongul to Coast City attracts several of these anti-heroes who have faced him in the past, and understand the danger he normally represents. However, the flaxen fiend has not come alone, and his fellows’ reach and menace in unfathomable. What is the Superman Death Squad, and what purpose could it still serve in a world without the Man of Tomorrow? And what of these would-be heroes? Are they all that they seem, and could there be just as much of a threat within their ranks as without?“Justice League Extreme #1” by Brad Green
ON SALE 05.12.21
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES
CARD STOCK VARIANT COVER $4.99 US
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