Martian Manhunter/Marvin the Martian Special
Writers: Steve Orlando, Frank J. Barbiere
Penciller: Aaron Lopresti
Inker: Jerome Moore
Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Publisher: DC Comics
A review by Amelia Wellman
J’onn J’onzz is lonely and desperate for some contact from his home world of Mars. When he receives a telepathic message in his Martian language, he builds a gate that will help whoever sent that message come to Earth. J’onn is hoping for another of his own kind, but instead gets a strange little Martian from the multi-verse named Marvin who doesn’t have Earth’s best intention at heart.
I never used to be a fan of crossovers, but as the years go on, I find myself liking them more and more. Especially the ones that cross properties that seem ridiculous in theory, but work perfectly in practice. Enter the DC Comics/Looney Tunes crossovers. My first entry to this series of special one-shots comes in the form of the Martian Manhunter/Marvin the Martian Special. How well can one of DC’s most tragic heroes, paired with one of the Looney Tunes silliest villains, possibly go?
I don’t know who originally pitched these DC/Looney Tunes crossovers, but they deserve a medal! The premise of Batman and Elmer Fudd has me hyped more than any other comic title ever has! Very much looking forward to that at the end of the month! Within the Martian Manhunter/Marvin the Martian Special, there are two short one-shot stories, the first one is Marvin in a Manhunter story, while the second is Manhunter in a Marvin story. Both have their merits though I was personally more charmed by the second, smaller story which follows the format of a classic Looney Tunes cartoon to a tee.
The first story, which was the longer of the two, is where a more substantial story is told. Marvin comes through J’onn’s Erdel Gate and it’s discovered the telepathic SOS he sent out wasn’t an SOS at all, but was in fact a scrambled message telling anyone in the whole of the multi-verse that if they needed help wiping out humanity, he was there to help. Of course J’onn doesn’t want that and the narrative moves through him trying to talk Marvin out of destroying the Earth while Marvin tries to talk him into the destruction.
Both Martians get a fair amount of back story which will help any readers new to Martian Manhunter learn a little bit about him, and also give Marvin motivation to want to destroy Earth across all multi-verses he can gain access too. The pacing is good, the inner monologue from Manhunter is great (it always is since he’s such a tragic and deep character), and everything falls together really nicely. These Martians were meant to be together! At least for a one-shot.
The art of Martian Manhunter/Marvin the Martian Special has two styles. In the main story there’s a detailed style with lots of colour and little things throughout to draw your eye across the page, especially in the armour that Marvin is wearing. Speaking of Marvin, I’m a little weirded out that he’s buff in this comic. He’s still the little shortstuff from classic Looney Tunes but here he has pecks and a six pack. The little vignette at the end is in classic Looney Tunes style and it’s so great! It’s simple and colourful and expressive, Martian Manhunter included! It’s good to see J’onn get some time to be lighthearted And when Martian Manhunter turned into Duck Dodgers? It made my day and it will make your day too!
For the lettering, I’ve got to give a quick shout out to having Marvin’s name stylized as M’arvinn when J’onn says it! It’s small but brilliant little things like this that can really bring a crossover together!
Buy it! There’s something so charming about the idea of Looney Tunes meeting and crossing over with DC. The Martian Manhunter/Marvin the Martian Special is definitely a promising start to this series of ridiculously perfect crossovers!