Friday, July 11, 2008

Final Crisis: Requiem

The Martian Manhunter is dead at the hands of Libra
et al in the pages of Final Crisis 1, so DC tries to cash in on this with a single issue called Final Crisis: Requiem. For a cash-in issue, this might be one of the most poignant and touching superhero comic books I've ever read.

Expanding on the one page death scene, we see that once the Manhunter gets stabbed, he telepathically attacks all of the villains in the Secret Society until Libra stabs him again with Vandal Savage's knife. Not one to go without a fight, J'onn tries to take on Libra, but he's too wounded. He lets Libra know that their kind will always lose. Then he dies and explodes a telepathic message to certain League members.

The message is the history of Mars. Since J'onn is dead, the legacy of the Martian people now falls into the hands of J'onn friends, who transcribe an oral history of Mars in their sleep thanks to the telepathic command. Superman, Batman, Dinah, Hal and Zatanna(?) are now the keepers of Martian history.

In the final scene, Batman puts a Choco on the coffin and says goodbye. The end.

Written by Peter J. Tomasi and drawn by Doug Mahnke, this might be the best thing to come out of a big summer crossover event comic. It's heavy on the continuity in a loving way, rather than obsessive, and heavy on the character, rather than plot points. I don't think I was prepared for how much reverence and respect this comic would treat J'onn. It's very good.

Strongly recommended for Martian Manhunter fans and for readers not following
Final Crisis.

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