Wednesday, February 16, 2011

BRIGHTEST DAY #15

“Whatever Happened to the Manhunter from Mars?”

Writers: Geoff Johns & Peter J. Tomasi
Artists: Patrick Gleason & Scott Clark
Inkers: David Beaty, Mick Gray, Tom Nguyen, Rebecca Buchman, Keith Champagne, Sandra Hope & Gleason
Editors: Eddie Berganza

Synopsis

It’s been twenty-five years since J’onn J’onzz restored life to Mars, and he celebrated this milestone with a visit from his friends in the JLA.  However, their reunion is cut short as each of the heroes is attacked and killed.  J’onn teams up with Superman to find the killer, but the murderer is revealed to be J’onn himself.  He soon realizes that this perfect world is simply an illusion projected into his mind by D’kay, and he wakes up with his hand around her throat…

On Earth, Firestorm arrives at the Hall of Justice, begging the JLA for help – he’s about to destroy the universe…

Notes

Page 1:  Seven inkers?  Really?

Note the White Lantern symbol on the ground that emanates from the obelisk. 

Pages 2-3:  According to Batman’s comment, the events of this story take place 25 years after J’onn restored Mars to life, as seen in Brightest Day #12.  However, as we learned in that issue, Mars’ restoration was merely a mental trick D’kay played on J’onn.

J’onn J’onzz last appeared in Brightest Day #12.

Note that unless I am completely and one-hundred percent mistaken, this story marks the first time that the entire, original, charter membership of the Justice League of America – Superman, Batman (Bruce), Wonder Woman, Green Lantern (Hal), Flash (Barry), Aquaman and the Martian Manhunter – has appeared together since Justice League of America (first series) #200.  And that was in 1982. 

Granted, since that issue, most of them have died, retired, been broken, or been otherwise indisposed, so a reunion was impossible.  However, with the recent return of Bruce Wayne, is it really such a bad thing for the original gang to get back together?

M’yriah is J’onn’s wife.

Note the White Lantern symbol that appears in the sky over Mars.

Page 4:  “Kinda strange to think that the last time most of us were together on Mars it was lifeless and barren and we happened to be burying you, J’onn.”  That was in Final Crisis: Requiem #1.  Clark, Bruce, Diana and Hal were there, Arthur was dead, and Barry had yet to return from the Speed Force.

Page 5:  Ah, the classic League.  It’s been a while.

I know, I know, time marches on, teams grow and evolve, but let’s face it; it’s been almost thirty years since we’ve seen this team together.  Grant Morrison’s JLA came close to recapturing this line-up, but as much as I love Wally West and Kyle Rayner, they aren’t Barry Allen and Hal Jordan.  It’s just cool to see the originals, the icons, interacting like old friends, that’s all. 

Page 6:  Not sure if the dog is supposed to be the one which was owned by D’kay’s family which J’onn rescued from the shelter back in Brightest Day #3, or just a dog that looks like it.  Hard to know for sure when you deal with mental illusions and all.  It is, however, named “Melissa,” which was the name of Saul Erdel’s daughter, who witnessed D’kay’s arrival on Earth when she was younger.  J’onn took the dog to her to keep as a pet. 

J’onn feeds the dog Chocos, to which he was addicted years ago.  Hopefully he has conquered this addiction and can live a Choco-free life. 

Page 7:  K’hym is J’onn’s daughter, who has grown up to become a Manhunter. 

Page 9:  Batman was shot with pearl bullets, calling back to his origins, in which Joe Chill shot Thomas and Martha Wayne after Thomas refused to hand over Martha’s string of pearls. 

Page 10:  Like Bruce, the rest of the JLA was killed in pretty horrific manners.  Diana strangled with her own magic lasso, Arthur dehydrated in the desert, Barry keeps running even through he’s been decapitated and Hal lost his ring hand, causing him to freeze in space.

Page 11:  J’onn seems to relinquish his Green Lantern power ring here, preferring to act as a Martian Manhunter and not a member of the Green Lantern Corps. 

Page 12:  Imprisoned in the Martian underground security bunker are Despero, Starro and someone who looks like Johnny Quick from the Crime Syndicate. 

Page 13:  “When do we get the same consideration the Earthlings do?  Where do we rank, da?”  J’onn’s personal demons are manifesting in the words of his daughter, specifically his guilt about not being able to save Mars like he has done countless times for Earth. 

Page 14:  “When do you finally cut the ties that bind you to Earth so you can be here with us completely in mind and spirit?”  This is the central question being posed by J’onn’s journey in Brightest Day.

Page 16:  “Have you ever felt like the ‘Last Son of Krypton’?”  This is a nicknamed commonly attributed to Superman. 

“I need Mars to remain a living and breathing planet now more than ever.”  How far will J’onn go to see Mars restored?

Page 17:  Oh. J’onn, you crazy, homicidal Martian, you…

Pages 18-19:  D’kay D’razz has carved the symbols of “love” and “hate” onto her body, as explained in Brightest Day #12. 

Page 20:  “Wake up!”  Bruce was trying to write this on the ground as he died to warn J’onn, as seen on Page 8.

Mars has gone a little crazy here…

Page 21:  Man. J’onn is pissed….

Page 22:  D’kay’s a bit twisted.  It seems like she dug up some Martian bodies and arranged them at that makeshift kitchen as a set piece for her little fantasy with J’onn.

Does it remind anyone else of the corpses found in the cave during the first season of Lost?

Page 23:  Congorilla, real name Bill “Congo Bill” Glenmorgan.  First appeared (as Congo Bill) in More Fun Comics #56 and (as Congorilla) in Adventure Comics #248.  A human mind possessing the body of a powerful golden gorilla with superhuman healing factor and the ability to increase its size.

Starman III, real name Mikaal Tomas.  First appeared in 1st Issue Special #12.  Sonic crystal embedded in his chest allows him to fly and project energy. 

Page 24:  Firestorm last appeared in Brightest Day #12.

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