DC Comics
Review: Martian Manhunter #5
By Philip Schweier
May 22, 2019 - 7:39

DC Comics
Writer(s): Steve Orlando
Artist(s): Riley Rossmo
Colourist(s): Ivan Plascensia
Letterer(s): Andworld Design
Cover Artist(s): Riley Rossmo; Josh Middleton

I despise clichés. I find them to be indicative of lazy writing. This issue of Martian Manhunter has a big one.


In his human form as a cop, J’onzz has a partner, Diane – a female cop. As many writers would have you believe, a woman can’t be a cop without sacrificing her feminimity, implying all female cops are lesbians. Anyone with any sense knows this to be untrue, yet Steve Orlando perpetuates the stereotype.


In fairness, stereotypes exist for a reason. Male hairdressers are often gay, but I would argue there are more female police officers than there are heterosexual male hairdressers. So the writing in this series has just lost a great deal of credibility.


But other than that, the overall story still is better than most comic books on the shelves. While the Martian Manhunter has enjoyed some success as part of the JLA in recent years, this series may propel him up a few rungs on the ladder.


Riley Rossmo’s artwork continues to dazzle. It’s surreal, it’s stylized, and everything suitable for a character whose mental landscape is intended to be imaginative and original. It’s not an easy trick to pull of, but Rossmo does make it look easy. Where perhaps he stumbles is a bit too much of the Ralph Steadman-style of the more human characters. But that may substantiate the alien quality of the Martian Manhunter, so I’m willing to go with it for now.


Rating: 5/10

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