Thursday, July 17, 2008

Final Crisis: Requiem

Creative Team
Writer: Peter Tomasi
Artist: Doug Mahke
Inker: Chritian Alamy and Rodney Ramos
Colorist: Nei Ruffino

Issue Rating
Story: 9.5/10
Art: 9/10
Overall: 9.25/10 (Must Have)

Issue Development:
The issue starts with most, if not all, the DC Universe gather together at Mars for J'onn J'onzz, also known as The Martian Manhunter, funeral. In a flashback to J'onn death (Final Crisis #1) we see that Libra and his villain society drug J'onn with a bunch pyro-tranqs. Once J'onn is brought up to were Libra and the villains are J'onn is stab with a flaming spear. Not willing to die yet J'onn fights back and makes all the villains hallucinate that Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, and various other heroes have come to rescue him. While all the villains scared out of their minds Libra is unaffected by J'onn mind trick and stabs him to death. Right before his death J'onn is able to leave one final message to Superman, Batman, Black Canary, Green Lantern, and Gypsy.

We then see in a New York space museum Nightwing finds J'onn Jonzz corpse impaled on a Mars display.

Shifting over to the five people J'onn contacted before his death we see each of their reactions to J'onn death. Green Lantern and Green Arrow talk about what J'onn meant to them anf that they want revenge for who ever killed him. Then Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Black Canary, and Gypsy in some sort of trance telling the story of J'onn J'onzz. We then see Gypsy mourning over J'onn is corpse with Ice trying to comfort her.

Back at J'onn's funeral in Mars with the Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Black Canary, and Gypsy giving their final thought of how much J'onn menat to each of them and that they will never forget him. The issue ends with Batman placing a Choco on top of J'onn coffin and seeing one final image of J'onn and his family finally together again in heaven.

Wow now this is how a death and a funeral for one of the DC Universe most powerful superheroes should be handled. Morrison made J'onn go out like a little punk with how he handled his death. I was very glad to see that Peter Tomasi showed us that even with his inevitable death J'onn actually fought back like a true hero even with the odds against him.

What I loved about how Tomasi portrayed J'onn death is the fear the villains had for J'onn. J'onn has always been one the most powerful superheroes in the DC Universe up there with Superman, Wonder Woman, and Captain Marvel. And it is realistic that even though Libra was able to drug J'onn with pyro-tranqs he was still dangerous enough to fight back. I like that J'onn was able to still project each villains fear of the respective heroes they fight. The mental powers that he has have always been what sets him apart from other heroes that can fly and have superhuman strength. And it has always been these mental powers that make him dangerous and it was awsome seeing Lex Luthor heart getting ripped out by Superman even if it was just a hallucination.

I also liked the choices Tomasi made on which characters J'onn would project his final thought to. Batman, Superman, Black Canary, and Green Lantern(Hal Jordan) were obvious choices since they have been friends with J'onn since he arrived on Earth and teamed up in the first Justice League. But when I first thought about it I thought it was strange that J'onn would contact Gypsy instead of Wonder Woman or Green Arrow but after a second read through I realized that J'onn shared a really close bond with Gypsy back in the Detroit Era of the Justice League. It was a cool little homage to that era of the Justice League that many people forget and shows Tomasi did his reaserch before writing this issue.

This was truly one of the best tie-in issues to a series Civil War: Cofessions that I have ever read. What was awsome about this issue is the reactions to his death by the five people J'onn contacted. It is totally in character for Green Lantern and Green Arrow to be pissed of at the people who killed J'onn and want revenge on who killed him. It sets up nicely for the new Justice League title that will be published after Final Crisis ends.

Also for characters like Batman, Superman, and Black Canary it was nice to see that the three of them dealt with J'onn death by doing there superhero work. For Superman to continue to potrol his city and go to the Fortress of Solitude were things he would do the best way for him to honor J'onn. And I liked that both Batman and Black Canary decided to write the story of J'onn down on the batcomputer and in a book (respectively).

In the end I really felt for Gypsy for losing one a father figure and in truth I would like it if DC would publish a Gypsy one-shot about her getting over her grief over one the closest people in her life. Also the last scene with Batman placing a Choco on J'onn coffin was truly touching to see one of the characters that never lets anyone see his emotions paying respect for his friend in such a touching way after everyone else left.

Now originally I wanted to give the issue a 10/10 but the reason I took out half a point was because this didn't happen in Final Crisis. Because the way Morrison portrayed J'onn death was quick and him not fighting back. This issue showed that so far in Final Crisis Morrison just goes from one scene to another without much development. But this is only a complaint of Final Criss and not of this issue since I thought this was a truly wonderful issue and a fitting end for a great character like Martian Manhunter.

The art in this issue was great. Doug Mahke and crew really did some excellent work on this issue and the last scene with J'onn with his wife and kid together was a great way to end the issue. This was the first time I have seen Mahke work so I am not familiar with his other work but I hope I get to see more of his work on one of the monthly titles I read if it looks like this.

Overall: This was a great issue and a fitting end to a great character. So if you like Final Crisis or are a fan of the J'onn J'onzz the Martian Manhunter or of the Justice League this one-shot is a must have.