Martian Manhunter vs Stormwatch
By: Andrew Hines
In the year since Stormwatch became a part of the DCnU, We’ve been waiting to see just how much J’onn J’onnz has changed. It looks like we get our answer in this issue. Now throwing the often underrated Martian Manhunter into Stormwatch, he may have a better home than he ever did in the Justice League. We probably won’t get too into the other characters since this one pretty much focuses on the green guy with a fear of flames. As comic characters go, Martian Manhunter was always underutilized. For a guy with all of the powers of superman and a much more commonplace weakness, writers could have done a lot more with him. A good and moral character with more powers than Superman in the 70s and he’s essentially sidelined most of his career. That changes in issue 12.
Peter Milligan is a writer I don’t know too well, which is why this title is all the more impressive. He’s been writing it since issue 9, the third writer to take the reigns of this book. I like the dialogue and pacing, which is hard to do on a team book. He could have gone many different ways with this type of arc, but this feels like it’s the only way it really could have worked. J’onn seems more aggressive here than he ever has before, which is a nice change. He was always known as the soul of the Justice League, though now he seems to be the embodiment of the group’s last vestige of hope in humanity’s potential. This was a well-written issue and I wish Milligan luck on the next few.
Will Conrad and Julio Ferreira split artistic duties on this issue, which seems to work out well. I actually preferred the first artist, Miguel Sepulveda, who illustrated the first six issues, but Conrad and Ferreira are pretty good in their own right. Guy Major does a great job as the colorist in this issue, giving us some awesome effects on the printed page.
I give this an A-, due partly to the excessive inks on this page and partly because it just feels too much like a filler issue. We also get some great action scenes and a flashback of Midnighter’s chin spike coming in handy. (You’ll se what I did there after you read the issue.) I still recommend this to anyone who ever liked Martian Manhunter or was a fan of Stormwatch before the fall of WildStorm.