Lurking outside the first floor Middletown Apartment of J'Onn J'Onzz was Doctor Trap. I feel seen. After nearly a full page of social media baiting cat petting while explicitly referencing Marco Xavier in 1960s Silver Age stories, the trap was sprung. Double Stuff evaded the thermal that detonated when J'Onn reached for their kitty food in the cupboard. J'Onn began melting like he'd been eating The Stuff before the story started while Trapp kicked down the door declaring a "House call." In a tell that makes me think a pass wasn't made at reading the original stories, the two characters exposit Who's Who bulletpoints while Trapp's voice sounds off for the character. Hired to capture the Manhunter, Dr. Trap decided he just had to kill the former Bronze Wraith, just about the time the cat attacks him. Yes, the big fat orange cat bought J'Onn the time to recover, then was safely "caged" in his abdomen.
The point is made between punches that our boy self-identifies as the Martian Manhunter, not Bronze Wraith, Marco Xavier, or even John Jones. Besides being arch and not exactly relevant, I think the one direct punch connecting would have done Doctor Trap in. I'm glad we moved past the untrained stand-ins for classic rogues to the non-powered real deals as an escalation, but like, what exactly was he going to do with that leg trap he kept swinging? His mind can't be read because of an implant by a guy named "Hugo. Funny looking dude. Head four times too big for his body." Trapp had been sent to give J'Onn a message. "If you want this to end, find them at the place you first met." The implant was in Dr. Ttap's jaw, which J'Onn shattered, then telepathically shut him down.
The next day, Certa and Peters investigated a dilapidated mansion property bought eight months prior by the presumed deceased Marco Xavier. Apparently, Ostrander was under concussion protocols from... um... I don't know? There wasn't a car crash last issue. Anyway, they got shot in their necks with tranquilizer darts. Is this comic a 1970s' TV show? Weird installment.
"A Face in the Crowd: Part Four" was by Shawn Aldridge and Adriana Melo. I know that it's a relatively small thing, given that these are only eight page monthly installments, but I'm really glad the creative team on this strip has been consistent. I liked Melo's work on Female Furies, and her mix of quirk and menace has really defined this story for me. I'll be so disappointed and have to track her down at a con for a commission if we don't get to see her Arnold Hugo in this arc. I've timidly dipped my toe into the waters of Shawn Aldridge coverage because, put indelicately, past interviews with previous Manhunter writers have led me to the conclusion that they're a bunch of f***bois. Honeyed words, crappy intentions. I mean, Aldridge even kind of looks like the new Getaway King. But he seemed like a good guy in the podcasts I've heard him on, and he's clearly done the work here. He's not just slapping legacy names on his own creations (well... Zoey...) but clearly knows who all these characters were and could be again to our Martian Marvel.
This really is the closest we'll ever get to a Batman: Hush or a Who is Wonder Woman? where the entire