12 Days of Christmas – #11 JLA: TRIAL BY FIRE

Posted on 14 December 2012 by GI Jolie

If you love Martian Manhunter, you’re going to love this book! Read more about our #11 pick here…

JLA volume 14 JLA: Trial by Fire
Written by Joe Kelly
Pencils by Doug Mahnke
Inks by Tom Nguyen
Colours by David Baron
Published by DC Comics


Officially Trial by Fire is volume 14 of the JLA (Justice League of America) series in the DC library and collects issues 84-89 of the series run.

The story features a character from the DC Universe that is well loved, but not often used —MARTIAN MANHUNTER. Current readers who may have read Grant Morrison’s Final Crisis story line may remember that ManhunterSPOILER ALERT was among some of the characters slated to die by the end of that series (including Batman) but in true comic book fashion, they were inevitably resurrected, and live to fight another day.

As his name suggests Martian Manhunter (aka J’onn J’onzz) is an extraterrestrial being who, like Superman, finds himself on planet Earth through no fault of his own. J’onnz establishes his life on Earth and is noted as becoming one of the founding members of the JLA, though he still must deal with the intergalactic burdens of his past alien life, namely Fernus, otherwise known as The Burning Martian. Though not directly tied to one another, in this story arc both Fernus and Martian Manhunter play a huge role in the plot itself, with the actions of one affecting the motivations of the other in this, a story of crime and chaos, and ultimately defeat.

In this story, criminals all over the world have suddenly come to regret their actions. The Joker, Two-Face and even the KKK seek to punish themselves for past evils. Meanwhile, J’onn J’onzz (Manhunter From Mars) has taken a leave of absence and is now spending time with Scorch, his former teacher. As in any good action story, his vacation is cut short by the current crisis.

The art is handled by Doug Mahnke and Tom Nguyen. Slightly exaggerated, but lush with detail and passion, they are the perfect match to Kelly’s story.

Martian Manhunter has unfortunately been sidelined in DC’s New 52 Reboot (apparently he was not even a founding member of the Justice League), but here he occupies his proper place at the forefront of the Big Seven: a icon of DC’s science fiction based past. Alien, shape-changer, telepath–the embodiment of Atomic Age superheroes.

You can buy JLA: Trial by Fire on Amazon.com here: http://amzn.to/UGpCh0

And just so you can sample it yourself, here’s a gallery of some of the pages from this volume: