Martian Manhunter #7 – Steve Orlando, Writer; Riley Rossmo, Artist; Ivan Plascencia, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Steve Orlando and Riley Rossmo’s Martian Manhunter maxiseries changes pace dramatically from last issue’s masterful death-of-Mars spotlight issue, as J’onn and Meade are now closer to the same page and are able to work together as police partners again – although Meade is still highly suspicious of J’onn and he’s hesitant to show her what he can really do. The segment that opens Martian Manhunter #7 is one of the best action segments I’ve read in a while, as J’onn and Meade burst into an abandoned slaughterhouse that’s being used for a gun-and-drugs-running operation by some local criminals – who might have ties to the kidnapping of the girl who survived the family massacre in the first issue. It soon becomes clear that these goons are willing to fight and die for whatever they have hidden in this warehouse, which is not something you’d expect from random criminals. Even before the truth is revealed, the tension is raised sky-high.
Then, once they get into the basement, things veer from action into hard-boiled horror and this becomes one of the creepiest issues of the series. The shabby warehouse above gives way to a secret government base staffed with professional soldiers, and J’onn is finally forced to show the full extent of his powers on the way to one of the creepiest moments of the series.
There’s scenes in this issue that firmly establish our villain as one of the vilest creatures to ever inhabit the DCU, but we also get a much clearer picture of what he’s been doing to Ashley – and it seems likely to establish her as a major player in this series going forward. The ending has a powerful scene between J’onn and Meade, and next issue seems ready to pull back the curtain on J’onn’s partner’s mysterious history. This series might not be for everyone, because Orlando and Rossmo do not skimp on the horror, but it’s one of the most inventive series in the DC stable right now.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.