The Origins Of John Jones In Martian Manhunter #3

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
Detective Diane Meade has discovered that John Jones is not human–he has been replaced by J’onn J’onnzz, the Martian Manhunter. Understandably, this horrifies Diane, and she wants answers about what happened to the real John Jones. J’onn agrees and tells Diane the fate of her partner and how J’onn came Earth and took his place. Meanwhile, a girl is currently at the mercy of something horrible, and the Martian Manhunter may be the only one who can save her.

Martian Manhunter #3 cover by Riley Rossmo
Martian Manhunter #3 cover by Riley Rossmo

Martian Manhunter #3 gives the new origin story for J’onn J’onnzz’s arrival on Earth as well as what he did soon after.
It falls mostly in line with previous iterations of the story, such as the Saul Erdel bringing J’onn to Earth and dying of a heart attack shortly after. There are some beats that are new and add a freshness to the story.
You are kind of left to wonder what year it is on Earth when J’onn first arrived because it seems fairly recent, but that would mean that Martian Manhunter wouldn’t have been a superhero that long before the present–not that any of that matters all that much to the story.
All that said, Martian Manhunter #3 didn’t grab me all that much. It cedes some guilt on what J’onn has done here, but the story of Detective John Jones isn’t as interesting or fun as family man J’onn J’onnzz.
Martian Manhunter #3 art by Riley Rossmo, Ivan Plascencia, and letterer Deron Bennett
Martian Manhunter #3 art by Riley Rossmo, Ivan Plascencia, and letterer Deron Bennett

Riley Rossmo’s artwork is distinct and well-suited to the task of rendering this story of the Martian Manhunter. It leaves some panels looking quite dazzling and others somewhat horrifying–all of which performs a function in the story. J’onn J’onnzz is given a faithful, which is appreciated. Ivan Plascencia’s color work gives an other-worldly aesthetic that does wonders for the comic too.
Martian Manhunter #3 is another decent issue for this retelling of the hero’s origins and time on Earth. It has emotional beats and some complex themes laced throughout, and it earns a recommendation in the end. Feel free to pick it up.
Martian Manhunter #3 comes to us from writer Steve Orlando, artist and cover artist Riley Rossmo, color artist Ivan Plascencia, letterer Deron Bennett, and variant cover artist Josh Middleton.

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