Martian Manhunter / Marvin the Martian Special #1 (DC Comics)
Alright, two quick things to begin the week.
The first? We were sort of swamping our feed and page with comics every Wednesday. Our reasons for this were honest: Wednesday is when new comics hit the stands and we wanted to share some stuff that we thought was cool, but it’s overwhelming the way we were doing it. We’re gonna spread the love throughout the week. Make this a little more palatable.
And two: DC Comics is doing a crossover with some of their biggest characters and the classic Looney Toons this month. There’s gonna be a host of these things and their chalk-full of comic madness, the sort of thing that Marvel missed the boat on with their whole chaos thing a few years back. They missed the boat: Nazi Steve Rogers could have done a whole thing with Donald Duck.
So, good on DC for seeing this opportunity and nabbing it. Even better on DC Comics for making the most of the chance by putting some damn fine writers and artists on the project – the likes of Steve Orlando and Frank J. Barbiere and Jim Fanning on writing, John Loter and Jerome K. Moore on art. All of them are excellent and so is this comic.
It’s a tale told in two parts, one in DC style and one like a classic cartoon.
The DC-style story is comic tragedy, the sort of tale that easily fits into continuity without any issues. J’onn, the Martian Manhunter, becomes aware of an extra-dimensional telepathic message being sent to Martians, and he builds a gate to answer it. He’s met by the last Martian of a different dimension – Marvin – and the two greet one another as friends with sympathy and respect.
J’onn is then horrified to learn that Marvin is there to murder every last human.
Marvin tells of how the humans of his home dimension ruined everything, giving into greed and destroying their own ecology and one another, and when the Martians tried to help them they did the same to the Martians until only Marvin was left. J’onn tries to tell him his humans aren’t like that but Marvin isn’t taking any chances, and every effort J’onn makes to stop the destruction Marvin causes is met with hostility by the humans he’s trying to protect.
It’s great and poignant and ends with J’onn sending Marvin home and trying to make peace with the humans he’s just saved and starts both humanity and J’onn down a path of greater understanding.
The Looney Toons story focuses on Marvin trying to destroy Earth because it obscures his view of Venus only to run into the Martian Manhunter. Here, Marvin is driven to madness by the lack of power he has when compared to J’onn, who is another Martian. It’s all kinds of great.
It’s two high-quality comics for the price of one, and as of this publication (2017-06-19), it’s on shelves. Get into your comic shop and grab it, because this sort of comic magic is a rarity and you’re going to want to read it for yourself.