Saturday, April 23, 2011

Martian Manhunter - Women Are From Venus - Matt Duarte

Martian Manhunter in “Women Are From Venus” by Matt Duarte

Imagine this in a 50's art style. In my mind, this would be drawn by Darwyn Cooke.

Panel 1

Description: The door of an office, which reads “John Jones, P.I.” Inside, we can see a silhouette.

CAPTION: I don’t get it. This always works. They always fall for the damsel in distress act.

VOICE (from inside door): You MUST help me Mr. Jones, I fear my life is in danger.

Panel 2

Description: A woman in a striking black dress is sitting on a desk seductively, this is Ms. Swan (new character). Behind the desk sits John Jones (a.k.a. Martian Manhunter in his civilian identity), completely nonplussed by her.

CAPTION: I’ve done this a dozen times, always works flawlessly. Why isn’t he taking the bait?

SWAN: My ex-husband is a very jealous and violent man, and he has been following me around these last days. He may even be outside this building this very moment.

JONES: Ms. Swan, I assure you that you are in no danger. There is no one waiting for you outside this building.

Panel 3

Description: Ms. Swan is now grabbing Jones’ tie, pushing her face close to his. Swan is smiling, while Jones remain as unimpressed as ever.

CAPTION: Get the private investigators away from their office. Steal their confidential photos. Make profit.

SWAN: You don’t understand, Mr. Jones, I need protection and I’m willing to pay for it... handsomely.

JONES: I’m afraid that it’s you, Ms. Swan, who doesn’t understand. I don’t think we should enter any relationship, business or otherwise.

Panel 4

Description: Ms. Swan is now backing away from Jones, frustrated. There is an angry look on her face, looking away from him. Meanwhile, Jones is now smiling confidently still sitting behind the desk.

CAPTION: That’s it. I’m bailing out of this office and trying it somewhere else.

SWAN: It’s like you are from Mars and I’m from Venus, and the gravity of the situation is lost in the translation! I will find a more cooperative investigator elsewhere.

JONES: Ms. Swan, I assure you, my “Martian” brain can understand you perfectly. However, I can’t allow you to leave the room...

Panel 5

Description: Jones has stood up and grabbed Ms. Swan’s arms. She looks terrified, as if she had seen a ghost. Now it’s Jones who is putting his face close to hers.

JONES: Your extortion days are over. The police have already been alerted and are on the way here.

CAPTION: Impossible. How did he know?

CAPTION (green color): I have my ways, Ms. Swan.

The End.


  1. Matt - it seems many people liked the PI aspect of MM. Interesting. This page works well to stand alone and I like that. It certainly has a Silver Age feel both with narrative and density of text.

    However, some of Ms Swan's dialogue is a bit thick to chew through. I'd say it over and over, and even if going for that old belle style still pare it down a bit.

  2. Matt, I love the build up of this and for me the atmosphere is perfect and the set-up wonderfully Chandler-esque. I just hit a bit of a wall with the Mars / Venus line - I'd have preferred you just left that in the title, it just seemed incredibly shoe-horned to get it into the dialogue as well.

  3. Haha, guilty as charged. I just liked that line too much to leave it out of the script, but I can definitely see what you are saying.


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