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‘Martian Manhunter #10’ (review)

Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Riley Rossmo
Published by DC Comics

 

A Manhunter’s job was to protect Ma’aleca’andra. I couldn’t. And if I can’t kill this darkness, clean the poison from my mind, I won’t be able to save Earth either.”

 

J’onn J’onzz, Martian Manhunter, has some demons.

That’s not surprising, given all we’ve learned about J’onn’s life on Mars before the fateful day that he lost his family and his world, only to find himself forever in exile on Earth, the sole survivor of his race.

Or so he thought.

But Charnn is also from Mars, and unlike J’onn he’s had thousands of years to gather his strength.

So, if J’onn has any hope of confronting the crazed psycho-criminal from his past, he has to get back to full strength – and fast.

That means a deep dive into the Mindscape, where all J’onn’s demons dwell, to finally confront the emotional trauma and fear that has been crippling him since he arrived on Earth.

Thankfully J’onn’s partner, tough-as-nails detective Diane Meade, has his back.

Unfortunately, in the Mindscape those demons are very, very real.

Our latest chapter in the latest, greatest maxi-series origin of everyone’s favorite big green Martian Manhunter, is a chance for author Steve Orlando to cut loose in a landscape we’ve seen far too little of from the Justice League’s premiere psychic powerhouse over the years – the landscape of the mind.

That provides all manner of opportunities, and Orlando takes full advantage, with the interesting twist of shaping J’onn’s very hostile inner demons through the lens of the visions of Mars that J’onn has absorbed through all his years of watching Earth television.

It’s a clever bit of storytelling that drives home the point that J’onn has internalized a few too many of the monstrous ideas his adopted homeworld has imagined about his nature, into his very own self-concept.

A self-concept he must now purify, in full Warlord of Mars mode, if he is to become the hero we know him to be.

Artist Riley Rossmo’s unique, dynamic style is excellently suited for the journey, with all manner of wild, weird – and ferocious – visual effects for us to digest, as J’onn and Diane fight through all the levels of the one-time Manhunter’s remorse and self-loathing, given life.

Thankfully both are warriors born. Because J’onn’s demons are just as likely to consume them entirely, before all is said and done.

It’s another wild and wonderful chapter in the unknown story of the one and only Martian Manhunter. One that comes just in time.

Because Charnn is hungry. And his Vultures are driven by demons of their own.

Next Issue: Homecoming Slaughter

 

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