Matt Kindt continues to delve into the characters and back-story of Martian Manhunter and Stargirl, and whilst this issue is perfectly decent, at this point I’m more than ready for it to become Justice League United and for Jeff Lemire to come in and pour maple syrup over everything.
The issue begins with Manhunter getting his ass kicked by Clayface, but before long, Stargirl returns to save him, which is a cool moment. I know it’s mollified by the fact that Manhunter has lost some of his powers, but still, one of the most powerful characters in the DC Universe needed Stargirl to save him, and she did so in style. During Johns’ run on this book, Stargirl was just kind of there, and that was by design, she as a PR exercise for Amanda Waller, but now, Kindt is showing us the real hero inside, and she is showing just why she became such a fan-favourite in the JSA days before the New 52.
Stargirl and Manhunter re-team, although Stargirl still plans to split up to protect her family, rather than hunt for the Firestorm prison. Luckily, it looks like Firestorm is in roughly the same direction as the rest of the Whitmores, so they can stick together for now, and stop to save Denver from a giant robot. Throughout this issue, Stargirl continues to have flashbacks to her early days of superheroing, including a memory she’s tried to suppress. I just hope Kindt isn’t going where it looks like it’s going and having Stargirl be raped as part of her origin, which is just lame and terrible and probably offensive and just unnecessary. There’s a reason nobody ever mentions that aspect of Kate Bishop’s origin anymore.
Hopefully it’s not the case, and it does look like she and J’Onn are still being manipulated by the Society, as Despero is following them. The issue ends with Despero attacking our heroes, slams Manhunter to the ground, and then proceeds to drown Stargirl. It’s obvious that they aren’t dead, but I am interested to see what Despero is up to here. He seemed to be the one in control of the giant robot.
The art from Tom Derenick and Eddy Barrows was once again strong, I do like that they have similar styles, and Barrows in particular draws a great Clayface. This title is still worth reading, but I do feel like they are missing a trick in not having it be more vital to the overall Forever Evil storyline. I suppose it is worth the time to really develop Stargirl and Martian Manhunter as characters, but it’s more worth it to do so whilst making the crossover more interesting too.