REVIEW: ‘Martian Manhunter,’ #11 – “A Duel to the Death”

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Martian Manhunter #11Martian Manhunter #11, “Through Carnage to Joy,” is published by DC Comics, written by Steven Orlando, with art by Riley Rossmo, colors by Ivan Plascencia, and lettering by Deron Bennett. Previously, J’onn J’onzz and Diane delved deep in the psyche of the Manhunter. In order for the Martian to unlock his full potential, he first needed to confront his inner demons: shame, anger, and duty. Each of them have taken on nasty, large physical manifestations. J’onn, with the help of his partner Diane, overcome the ghosts from his past and emerges stronger.

Now, in Martian Manhunter #11, the time has come to face Charnn and rescue Ashely Addams. All the while, a secondary assault on Middleton, CO is occurring. Charnn has mentally enslaved the Vulture Cartel as they go looking for human children. As was discovered in the prior issues, human children are more adaptable to the Martian metamorphosis.

Meanwhile, J’onn comes face to face with Ashley Addams after her initial kidnapping, and he’s astonished at her transformation. Not only does Ashley Addams look like a Martian, but she’s also gained the biological powers of one.

Martian Manhunter #11 is the culmination of two well-crafted character arcs approaching the epic conclusion. Orlando and Rossmo have combined time and time again to deliver some brilliant stories and captivating art. Orlando’s use of a broken Martian Manhunter who, again, finds his power thanks to his partner Diane, is hugely satisfying. as we’ve watched him dwell in his own grief and self-doubt. I also would love to spend more time discussing the shocking end of this issue, but this is a non-spoiler review so you’ll have to read it for yourself!

Rossmo’s art is so perfectly suited for this series. The panels are extremely engaging, as not one singular page is like the other in its arrangement. Aided by the expressive colors of Plascencia, the illustrations come alive on the page. This is especially noted during the latter stages of the issue when J’onn J’onzz battles Charnn. The colors of the two Martians contrasting against each other on the page are a visual representation for their emotional states. Charnn is depicted with a sharp, aggressive red, whereas J’onn is colored with a softer light blue and green.

The lettering from Bennett has also been a highlight of the series. His styles are uniquely applied to give each character their own style. This becomes extremely important when you’re dealing with telepathic communication from three different Martians. Martian Manhunter is likely a series you could have flown by without giving it much thought. The strength of this series, however, should not be downplayed. It’s such a massively enjoyable read that I can’t recommend enough.

The depth of what Orlando has delivered to the Martian Manhunter is how this character should always be approached moving forward. I didn’t know I needed this series until I read it. It’ll be sad to see the 12-issue arc come to an end, but ultimately, this has been a highly successful run.

Martian Manhunter #11 is available in stores now.

Martian Manhunter #11
5

TL;DR

The depth of what Orlando has delivered to the Martian Manhunter is how this character should always be approached moving forward. I didn’t know I needed this series until I read it. It’ll be sad to see the 12-issue arc come to an end, but ultimately, this has been a highly successful run.