Martian Manhunter #8, “A Prisoner With Power,” is published DC Comics, written by Steven Johnson, with art by Riley Rossmo, colors by Ivan Plascencia, and lettering by AndWorld Design. Previously, J’onn and Diane were involved in a raid of a criminal enterprise held up on a pig farm. However, that was only the beginning, as the detectives probed further until finally the true horror was revealed to them.
In Martian Manhunter #8, we open up at the exact same point we left off on from the previous issue. The two detectives are at Diane Meade’s house and continue their heartfelt discussion about John Jones while knocking back some drinks. I was particularly fond of the lettering here, and within the previous issue. AndWorld Design is able to intelligently and creatively capture the inebriated dialogue. The small manipulation of the speech bubble identifies that something is different in their speech and I really appreciated that level of depth that is conveyed. In fact, there are several great moments within the lettering that really pop.
As promised from the prior issue, Diane reveals the history of her past with John Jones, which sheds more light on her own story. Orlando captures something in this issue that’s he’s been threaded throughout the arc; the notion of hiding oneself for fear of persecution from the outside world.
This is a very real fear for J’onn as a Martian on earth. Revealing himself in the past has brought out the fear in people that there’s a monster on the loose. Unfortunately, with J’onn’s past on Mars and how he betrayed his fellow Manhunters, Martians, and family, that’s exactly how he feels as buries himself deeper and deeper inside John Jones.
Diane however, shows him a side of herself that she’s also kept buried. She reveals her past where she was dating the female medical examiner in a prior town to Middleton, CO. The two chose to report their relationship to the Chief, whereupon it was heavily suggested that their small town would never accept this, and immediately the news would travel everywhere. While Diane was willing to tackle this head-on, her partner wasn’t, so left.
The art and coloring, on display in this issue, by Rossmo and Plascencia, continue to be of a high standard with plenty of examples to point to. Rossmo’s attention to detail, such as the food featured in the issue. Some of the other fantastic panels include Diane standing in the rain. As I read through those panels, I felt that downpour because of the detail captured on the page. Rossmo has shined within this arc, capturing all of the weird and wonderful images that come along with a story about a shape-shifting Martian. But even in a calmer issue, his work continues to be a treat aided by the wonderful coloring skills from Plascencia.
As the story develops within Martian Manhunter #8, you can see those same elements in Diane that J’onn has been projecting as well; a fear, and intense anxiety that your true self will be rejected by those around them. All of this culminates into a truly beautiful union between Diane and J’onn as they finally accept each other as police partners. Orlando absolutely nails the parallel between the two protagonists, as they cross the bridge of understanding in a tango of shared experiences. Martian Manhunter #8 is a solid issue that continues to march forward with an exceptional story and masterful art.
Martian Manhunter #8 is available now in comic book stores.
Martian Manhunter #8
Martian Manhunter #8 is a solid issue that continues to march forward with an exceptional story and masterful art.