MARTIAN MANHUNTER #1

MARTIAN MANHUNTER #1 launches today from DC Comics, by me, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferriera, Gabe Altaeb and team. It’s my first ongoing for DC, so I’m very excited about it. Great covers too. The primary one by Dan Panosian and a varient by Eric Canete.

You can buy it digitally from Comixology here: https://www.comixology.co.uk/Martian-Manhunter-2015-1/digital-comic/221188

Pictures work better than words. This is comics. Here’s some art:

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That’s Mr Biscuits. He’s new.

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Actually, the sound effects on this sequence really enhance it. You can read the full 5-page preview here: http://www.comicbookresources.com/comic-previews/martian-manhunter-1-dc-comics-2015

It’s a fun first issue that Eddy and the guys have made to look amazing. Approaching wriitng a character like J’onn J’onzz is an interesting thing. Primarily I guess you can’t escape from the fact that you loved these characters and this world when you were a kid – comic pros are all largely nostalgists at heart. So, there’s always an element of excitement about handling such a beloved mainstay. I loved reading J’onn in Justice League comics, especially the Giffen/Dematteis run on JLI – so there’s a pressure to try and get the character ‘right’ and stay true to the core of why people love them.

But you’ve also got to come at things from a somewhat fresh perspective otherwise… what’s the point?

So, we’re introducing several brand new characters here who’ll be part of our core cast alongside the Martian Manhunter himself. And that means different worlds, disparate storytelling tones. Mr Biscuits is rather Studio Ghibili/Miyazaki in intent. Like a child’s fairytale character come to life. Then there’s The Pearl, a Dubai-based teenage thief, there’s Daryl Wessel, an FBI agent investigating a bizarre murder, and, in the middle of a global terror plot mystery dubbed ‘The Epiphany’ there’s J’onn J’onzz. P0or, doomed J’onn. The last of his kind, but perhaps not the ‘kind’ that you thought.

“Everything you thought you knew about me was a lie, one that I wanted you to believe.”

One thing I was keen to do with the book is play up and explore the sense of J’onn as truly alien. Not just a big green version of Superman. He isn’t the creature you’ve met before. And he’s capable of things that a human mind can’t quite comprehend.

The Martians are here. They need J’onn to achieve their goal. And that makes him the series’ macguffin. From there it’s a deadly chase. J’onn’s always had the power set to take out half the DCU on his own should he have wished. He’s an A-list heavy hitter.

He’s a weapon.

Canete cover

That’s the Canete varient.

And just released this week is the Dan Panosian cover for #4.

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And here’s the solicit text for September:

MARTIAN MANHUNTER #4
Written by ROB WILLIAMS
Art by EDDY BARROWS and EBER FERREIRA
Cover by DAN PANOSIAN
On sale SEPTEMBER 16 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+
What is tying four individuals around the world to the ghost of J’onn J’onzz? And will they find out before they’re torn to pieces by the unstoppable Martian Maneater?!

The Martian Maneater’s coming. “Wo-ah boy, he’ll eat you up.” – Martian Hall & Oates.

In other news, JUDGE DREDD: ENCELADUS starts back up again in 2000AD 1340, by myself and Henry Flint. ‘Old Life’. That’s a cold, cold, bloody rush to the end of our whole ‘Titan’ storyline. A final reckoning that Henry is making look extraordinary (genuinely no hyperbole).

Non-spoilery sneak peak:

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Look at those bike wheel chains…

Enceladus: Old Life goes to some very unexpected places, I think. Guest stars. Recognised characters ending up in different places to where you’d expect to find them. It’s the type of Dredd story I’d have loved as a teenage 2000Ad reader. Up to now we’ve been building tension. This is where things come to a head.

DOCTOR WHO: THE ELEVENTH DOCTOR is approaching the finale of its first ‘season’ from Titan Comics. The upcoming #13 completes the two-parter by myself and Warren Pleece – with the big Who fan-favourite villain reveal at the end of #12 upping the stakes – up to now in this series we’ve come up with a brand new set of villains, so it was fun to dip into the Who pantheon here. (I’ve just remember that there was a Nimon in #6, but he was rubbish and said DOC-TOR! a lot).

And then #14 & #15 is ‘The Comfort Of The Good’ a two-part series finale, co-written by Al Ewing and myself and drawn by Simon Fraser. Must admit to getting a bit teary-eyed by the script to this one. Saying goodbye to certain characters, and the tone of the piece. It’s both very sad and very uplifting, I think. And Si’s done a great job on it.

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Very nice cover by Boo Cook there for #14.

There should be an announcement on ‘season two’ of Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor pretty soon, I think. That brings an unexpected twist. Or two.

Speaking of announcements, I’m told that something I’ve been working on for a while will be announced at San Diego Comicon in a few weeks. Will shout about that when I can. But it’s exciting.

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