Adventures In The DC Universe #5
DC Comics (August, 1997)
Martian Manhunter: “The Fire This Time” & Ultra The Multi Alien: “Aliens Among Us”
WRITER: Steve Vance
PENCILER: John Delaney
INKER: Ron Boyd
COLORIST: Bob LeRose
LETTERERS: Gaspar (story 1) and Tim Harkins (story 2)
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Frank Berrios
EDITOR: KC Carlson
In Denver, two kids are keeping an eye on a visiting girl from Metropolis whose parents are heading for divorce. She talks her friends into going into a condemned building seeing fun. However, a flying saucer goes on the attack, but Denver is the hang out for J’onn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter. The saucer’s computer speaks English and knows J’onn’s weakness to fire. It also attacks the Vectel corporation (which some representative claims is an accident as the previous owners left it behind) and J’onn must fight his weakness and save the children when the abandoned building catches fire during the battle. Then they eat Oreos and watch a cheesy black-and-white sci-fi flick.
What they got right: Imagine J’onn speaking with Carl Lumby’s voice (who portrayed him in the Justice League cartoons from the DCAU) and this cartoony style, especially when he finds out his milk has expired. The story is already fun with your typical dumb kids (although there’s something about them it’s almost too bad they don’t join his supporting cast in the regular comics–although the one girl actually lives in Metropolis and learns Superman isn’t the only cool hero on Earth) but hearing Lumby in my head in this style just makes it even better.
What they got wrong: Boy, when a super hero is pulling you and your friends’ backsides out of a burning apartment building is the wrong time to say “I told you so” to the girl who prefers Superman and Metropolis over your local hero.
Other notes: The Metropolis girl is named Megan, which is coincidentally the (secret identity) name of later addition Ms. Martian, a teenage girl from Mars with all of J’onn’s powers. I’m pretty sure this isn’t her, but she is a shapeshifter after all. 😉
The back-up feature has our hero going to a convenience store for supplies and forced to hear the cashier talk about the odd event that just happened to him. As he’s being robbed a space man made up of four aliens calling himself Ultra The Multi Alien arrives to foil them. He’s actually Ace Arn, who was turned into the Multi Alien in the future and fell into a hole in time, where he took the opportunity to get some snacks they stopped making in the future. It’s as goof as the character one (created in 1965) and this is a fun little almost-parody of the character, the way characters talked back then, and how silly the whole concept was. A ray gun that turns you into a slave-duplicate of the person holding the gun? Really?
Recommendation: Overall another fun issue that’s worth checking out.