Recently, Martian Manhunter has very quietly become one of the most important characters in the Justice League. Over the last dozen issues or so we’ve discovered new things about his past which directly tie him to one of the most dangerous villains in the DC universe. That relationship is coming to a head in the latest issue as Martian Manhunter confronts Lex Luthor’s father — but wait, wasn’t he dead?!
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Eons ago, the Monitor, the Anti-Monitor and the World Forger stopped the rise of Perpetua–but can they overcome billions of years of mistrust to work together and do it again? Plus, Lex Luthor’s offers across the DC Universe haven’t gone unnoticed–Martian Manhunter is aware of “the Offer.” And J’onn J’onnz will pay the price.
Why does this matter?
“Year of the Villain” is building up right now, so get in on this while you can. This issue directly ties into what will surely be one of the biggest wars of good vs. evil ever in the DC universe.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue juggles two stories. The first sees Martian Manhunter confronting Lionel Luthor, and the second is all about the Justice League attempting to find Forger’s brother. Both offer enlightening reveals and progress the story nicely. Martian Manhunter’s recent romance with Hawkgirl ties in too and it’s nice to see their alternate universe child playing a part in the narrative. Martian Manhunter is finding new purpose in trying to save Lex and it only drives home how pure and good Martian Manhunter is at heart.
There is also a check in with the home base, further revealing how all heroes banding together isn’t going perfectly, but Mera is trying her best to lead. Meanwhile, Starman pops up and there’s a good lesson in there for the Hawkgirl/Martian Manhunter child.
The hunt for Forger’s brother, Monitor, continues to show how big this story is and how far the Justice League have come. They aren’t fighting giant gorillas, but seeking out god-like creatures who created everything. They are building a new kind of team that will most likely bring us one of the biggest battles ever seen when they finally come to blows with Perpetua. It’s also nice to see how Superman’s positivity continues to inspire even gods.
The art by Javier Fernandez and Bruno Redondo is heavy on the dark and edgy look. It suits the two main settings — one of a planet reduced to rubble, and another of a dark and twisted mad scientist lab. This has been a series leaning heavily into hope and positivity, so the art helps shift away from that and bring us a darker atmospheric tone. The end of everything is looming after all, and the art fits the bill.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
Generally speaking, this is good superhero comics even if Martian Manhunter’s confrontation is a bit stretched out with fight-comic stuff. It gets its points across even if it can feel a bit pointless.
Is it good?
Good superhero comics can always be found with the Justice League and James Tynion and Scott Snyder continue to churn out great stories. Check this out for the early build-up to the summer event of the year.