Comic Book Review: Martian Manhunter #7

Martian Manhunter has been a pretty solid mini-series. It did sag a bit in the middle, but the past two issues have been pretty good. Lieberman has this title rocketing toward what promises to be a pretty exciting ending. I’m confident that Martian Manhunter #7 is going to be another good read. Let’s do this review.

Creative Team
Writer: A.J. Lieberman
Penciler: Al Barrionuevo
Inker: Bit

Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We begin with Dal’En in his white Martian form brawling with Martian Manhunter. J’onn enters Dal’En’s mind and shuts it down placing him in a coma.

We cut to Till’All in his White Martian form attacking Sara. Suddenly, a screeching sound causes Till’All to fly away.

We shift to Martian Manhunter taking on Telok’Telar who is also in White Martian form. J’onn thinks about how Batman was right. That J’onn was blinded by his desire for the others to truly be members of his race. J’onn then shuts down Telok’Telar’s mind.

Suddenly, Mica’Kel in his White Martian form suddenly appears on the scene. Mica’Kel attacks J’onn and asks J’onn what did he do to him.

We shift to Rio in a car with a couple of government agents. Rio has a box with her that has something important inside. One of the government agents shoots the other agent and then shoots Rio. The rogue agent takes the box from Rio’s dead hands and leaves the scene. We see the agent deliver the box to Keane. The agent then goes back to clean up the two killings that he committed. Rio is gone and a bullet proof vest is sitting in her seat.

We cut back to J’onn brawling with Mica’Kel. Their brawl takes them deep inside a mining shaft. During the fight, J’onn realizes that the methane from the coal is building up to a critical mass. Mica’Kel could care less and lets loose a massive energy blast. This causes a huge explosion in the mining tunnel. J’onn flies as fast as he can and manages to escape the explosion. J’onn then thinks that there is only one White Martian left to deal with.

We shift to J’onn tending to Sara. Sara tells J’onn that Till’All hit her and then suddenly left. J’onn tells Sara that all the Martians were really White Martians. That the Martians had no idea that they were really White Martians. That they are just pawns in a greater conspiracy.

Sara asked why the Martians all looked like Green Martians. J’onn replied that a Martian’s physiology allows him to change his physical form to reflect his mental state. That someone convinced them they were Green Martians; therefore, they took that form.

J’onn says that it seems that they were set free from whatever control made them think they were Green Martians. That it would take a person of immense power to control that many Martians. Sara says that a Martian like J’onn could do something like that. Someone whose motives would never be questioned. Someone who could hide in plain sight. Whose position put them everywhere they needed to be to control the others.

We cut to J’onn outside Keane’s house. We see Rio on the roof of the house. J’onn calls out for Keane to show himself. J’onn then blasts the house with his heat vision and destroys the entire home. J’onn flies inside the house and sees Keane lying on the floor. J’onn then realizes that he made a mistake. That Keane is not a Martian at all. End of issue.

The Good: Martian Manhunter #7 was another good read. Lieberman definitely cranked up the pacing with this issue. The middle part of this mini-series felt a bit lost and lacked any real action. Lieberman definitely rectified that problem by delivering a seriously action packed issue.
It was great watching J’onn finally shake off his pacifist ways and engage in some monster brawls. Because J’onn is such a pacifist, I think that his character tends to get overlooked whenever there is a discussion concerning who are the most powerful heroes in the DC Universe. A pissed off Martian Manhunter definitely reminds readers that he is one of the most powerful heroes in the DCU. Martian Manhunter is a force to be reckoned with.

Seeing J’onn blow up Keane’s house was wild. Such rage and destruction from J’onn is incredibly unusual. Lieberman did a good job showing the reader the side of J’onn that he keeps locked up inside of himself. But, every man no matter his personal beliefs or self control has an absolute breaking point. Lieberman has driven J’onn to his breaking point in order to show what J’onn is capable of doing once he loses his vaunted self control.

Lieberman has placed Martian Manhunter deep in his worst nightmare. J’onn has blinded himself to everything in his desperate hope that there were more Green Martians still alive. J’onn’s blind hope is completely understandable and that only makes his current situation even more tragic.

J’onn is forced to admit that Batman was right. Sure, Batman seemed like a total dick when he refused to help J’onn. But, Batman’s judgment wasn’t clouded by passion and hope like J’onn’s judgment was. And J’onn’s turning on his own Justice League teammates furthers to underscore how he was willing to do anything in his hope to believe that he was no longer the only Green Martian alive. J’onn is now stuck in a situation where he has effectively cut himself off from any help from his Justice League allies.

Lieberman did a great job increasing the intensity of the storyline. At this point, the reader has no idea what is going to happen next. What does Rio have in the box? Why would Keane try and kill his most trusted assistant in Rio? What was the purpose of brainwashing these White Martians? And the biggest question is who orchestrated this entire event and what is their objective?

On top of all these questions, Lieberman served up a great hook ending. All signs were pointing to Keane actually being a Martian. But, Lieberman pulled a shocker by revealing that Keane is just a human. I didn’t expect this. I cannot wait to see where Lieberman is going with this plotline. Clearly, there must be someone of immense power like J’onn calling the shots behind the scenes.

Barrionuevo’s artwork is solid as usual. His heavy lined style isn’t going to be popular with some. However, I like his unusual style. My only complain is that his humans just look odd to me. On the other hand, his Martians are pretty sweet looking.

The Bad: No complaints with this issue.

Overall: I’m glad that I stuck through the slow middle part of this mini-series. Lieberman is doing a nice job leaving many questions unanswered as we head into the final issue. Lieberman has set the table for what should be a wild finish to this mini-series.