Thursday, July 10, 2008

Final Crisis: Requiem

I confess that this is the one announced-to-date issue in this entire project that made me think "let's just get this over with" before I'd even seen it. So... let's get this over with.

Pg. 2:

Clockwise from top left: Dr. Mid-Nite (I think), Wildcat with somebody or other behind him, Wonder Woman, Grace, Wonder Girl, Black Lightning, looks like Captain Marvel, Superman with somebody else behind him, Mr. Terrific, Firestorm, Hawkgirl, Booster Gold, Starman, Plastic Man, Bulleteer (who never to my knowledge even met J'onn), Green Arrow, Stargirl, Aquaman--

Wait a second! Aquaman's dead! What's he doing here??

--Anyway. Donna Troy, Starfire, Batman, somebody whose white legs I don't recognize, Red Arrow, Geo-Force, Flash/Wally West, Ion/Green Lantern/Kyle Rayner (who was alleged in MARTIAN MANHUNTER #1,000,000 to have been a key player in a moment in J'onn's life when "everything seemed darkest," although that issue also presents J'onn as being alive and having his consciousness unified with Mars 853 centuries in the future--but then again BOOSTER GOLD #1,000,000 just came out this week, so I'm assuming that future is still in play), Power Girl, Adam Strange, Supergirl, Hourman, Damage, a boot that appears to belong to Dr. Light/Kimiyo Hoshi, Blue Beetle, Sand, Zatanna comparing fishnets with Black Canary, Green Lantern/Alan Scott, Huntress, Red Tornado, Steel, Flash/Jay Garrick, Hawkman with somebody behind him I can't identify, a green boot that might well belong to Green Lantern/John Stewart, Cyclone, a totally unidentifiable figure, Green Lantern/Hal Jordan, Vixen, Nightwing and Robin with Beast Boy and Raven behind them, Metamorpho. [Thanks to Adan and Don MacPherson for correcting some of my more egregious errors.]

Moving on--

Pg. 4:

A flashback to FC #1, obviously. But there's still a missing bit of information here: what led up to this, to recap, was that J'onn went to the prison planet in SALVATION RUN to see what was going on, disguised as Blockbuster; he saved Catwoman's life (in her own series), for which she repaid him by betraying him to Luthor; Luthor imprisoned him in a flaming cage, then left him behind when he brought everyone else back to Earth; and J'onn disappeared via boom tube in JLA #21. Who called up the boom tube and delivered him to Effigy and Dr. Light? And if that was Libra, what does he need Effigy and Dr. Light for?

Pg. 7:

Yeah, I didn't like that new uniform either.

Pg. 8:

Panel 3: The stretchy guy at left is the Elongated Man, who is also presently dead.

Pg. 10:

Panel 1: I guess he really is a "hairy-chested love god"!

Pg. 13:

"Malacandran": Martians call Mars "Ma'aleca'andra," as in "Malecandra" from C.S. Lewis's Out of the Silent Planet. "I know how it all ends": might that be some kind of reference to DC ONE MILLION?

Pp. 14-15:

I see that Superman is talking to himself again, and that he's still forgetting his participation in THE DEATH OF THE NEW GODS. And perhaps he should have kept a closer eye on Lois, you know?

The invisible chick in the bottom tier is Gypsy, created by Gerry Conway and Chuck Patton, who first appeared in 1984's JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA ANNUAL #2--one of J'onn's teammates from the mid-'80s "Justice League Detroit" era; after her own death, she was resurrected thanks to J'onn's intervention with his god H'ronmeer in MARTIAN MANHUNTER #12. And you thought Superman was a "proactive God"! Squashua points out that she's a human/Martian hybrid.

Pg. 17:

The Rose Center for Earth and Space exists in the real world, believe it or not.

Pg. 18:

Wait, so they kill J'onn in Central City (which I think is generally considered to be in the Kansas City sort of area) and then transport his body to New York City just so they can staple it to a model of Mars in the Hayden Planetarium? Seems like kind of an excessive gesture.

Pg. 19:

I'm betting all the framed pictures in panel 2 are redrawn versions of old JLA covers; anyone want to identify them? UPDATED: top row is something that looks fairly unidentifiable, JUSTICE LEAGUE #1, and a variation on THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #28; lower row is something that's sort-of-but-not-really like JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #258, and two I can't identify, although something keeps calling Darwyn Cooke to my mind in conjunction with the middle one. [Thanks to Don MacPherson again.]

Pg. 21:

A Turkey Tearror Broadhead is a very nasty-looking (but reportedly sort of ineffectual) arrowhead for shooting turkeys with a bow.

"My Favorite Martian."

Pg. 22:

Oh Jesus, Batman's a Skrull too?

"Green and white tore each other apart": the division between Green and White Martians first came up in the first Justice League series (as Garrie Burr points out), and reappeared in the early issues of Grant Morrison's mid-'90s run on JLA.

H'ronmeer was first mentioned in the 1988 MARTIAN MANHUNTER miniseries, I think. Ma'alefa'ak turned up in MARTIAN MANHUNTER #0, ten years later. These five pages are more or less a recap of the John Ostrander MM series.

Pg. 24:

The Josh Johnstone thing happened in MARTIAN MANHUNTER #20. The Bronze Wraith and the rest of the Justice Experience first appeared in CHASE #6.

Pg. 27:

The Fernus business happened in JLA #84-89, which Mahnke drew.

Pg. 28:

J'onn's fondness for Oreos was a running gag in the Keith Giffen JUSTICE LEAGUE series. They became "Chocos" as of MARTIAN MANHUNTER #24, an issue that is yet another example of the plural form of "Revelations."

Jeff notes that the Spectre moved J'onn's ancestral home to a pyramid in the Gobi desert--where there aren't actually pyramids, so I bet it won't be missed now that Superman's re-relocated it to Mars--in MARTIAN MANHUNTER #23.

Pg. 30:

Interestingly, the first Martian Manhunter story that Peter J. Tomasi wrote--back in SHOWCASE '95 #9--was also on the theme of death reuniting people with their loved ones.


In other news, FINAL CRISIS #3 has officially been bumped to August 6. Congratulations, everyone who guessed that issue in the contest! Email me at finalcrisis [at-sign-goes-here] douglaswolk period com, and we'll figure out what your prize is.


Adan said...

Pg. 2: Atom Smasher is actually Damage and the guy in the hat you can't identify is Sand. The people behind Robin are Beast Boy and Raven.

Pg. 19: Those are probably all covers, but the only one I can identify is JLA #61.

Pg. 28-29: J'onn's ancestral home is the pyramid in the Gobi desert. The Spectre moved it there from Mars during the Ostrander Martian Manhunter series, though I forget what issue.

Don MacPherson said...

Page 2
The woman you identify as Thunder is actually Grace of the Outsiders.

Behind Plastic Man is the Bulleteer. Directly behind Aquaman is Donna Troy.

The white boots just over Damage's left shoulder belong to Dr. Light II (I thought she was dead), and the blue, armored legs are like the new Blue Beetle's.

The green boots just to Hawkman's left likely belong to Green Lantern John Stewart. The woman in the dress between Hawkman and Hal Jordan is Cyclone of the JSA.

Page 19, Panel 2
We can see a Starro tentacle in the picture in the upper right corner of the panel, making that the cover of The Brave and the Bold #28, the first appearance of the Justice League.

The picture in the upper middle part of the panel (with Guy Gardner, Dr. Fate and Blue Beetle) is a modified version of the cover image of Justice League #1 (the 1980s humor era).

Douglas Wolk said...

Adan and Don, thank you both for your corrections!

Adan, I'm not sure which image you mean looks like JLA #61--the tiny one in panel 3 with everyone flying upwards doesn't look quite similar enough to me...

Don, I don't think Dr. Light II is dead, although she got beaten up pretty badly in the course of what I fear I am going to have to call World War III II; she turned up in BIRDS OF PREY a little while ago.

fcfanatic said...

Assuming no editorial screw-up (a tall order, I know), this comic confirms that the Batman in FC is Bruce Wayne.

Squashua said...

I'll have more comments later as usual, but for now I want to point out that in Booster Gold 1,000,000 Skeets mentions that it is the year 1,000,000, which is not the appropriate concept, I believe.

If I recall correctly, DCU 1,000,000 was what would the DCU be like if issue #1,000,000 was hit for every comic. It would be the 853rd Century, not Year One Million as Skeets mentions.

Just pointing that out.

Squashua said...

Aquaman is a Skrull.

Also significant regarding Gypsy is not only her Detroit JLA connection to Manhunter, but that in the Ostrander MM series, it was established that she is one of many Martian / Human hybrids, which explains her power of invisiblity; it's martian based.

Squashua said...

Argh. Last one. Gypsy was also with Manhunter in JL: Task Force, which is where they really connected.

Garrie Burr said...

The White Martians actually first appeared in the Denny O'Neil Justice League -- "And So My World Ends" from issue 71 (first series) -- which sent J'onn searching after the remains of his race. This was probably ret-conned later, as was the Steve Englehart use of the White Martians in the "real" origin for the Justice League, issue 144 (first series).

Jeff said...

The (Hal Jordan) Spectre set up John's pyramid during his comic in the 90's - issue #23, I think.

Mr. Adams said...

I think I remember Dr. Light II in the Superman Up, Up and Away trying to blast Superman with light to get his powers back...

DeepSpaceTransmissions said...

Hi there. Good work you're doing here.
I think the guy behind Wildcat is Kid Devil, judging by his proximity to the other Titans.

Adan said...

The picture just to the right of Ollie's head is JLA #61 (you can even see the lone head in the back that's supposed to be Plastic Man). It's modified, but so is the Justice League #1 cover homage, so grain of salt, I guess (plus JLA #61 was Mahnke's first JLA comic, so I'm actually surprised he didn't feature it more prominently).

The photograph furthest to the right in that panel seems very familiar to me, but I can't quite place it.

You know what's kind of weird? In Page 2, where everybody is standing around J'onn's body, Mr. Terrific is the only one who has his hands in a sort of supplicating/praying manner, and he's a devout atheist.

Adan said...

Oh, also: What exactly is World War III II?

David Uzumeri said...

World War III was the excessively lamentable continuity cop miniseries (where all four issues were released in the same week - why not just put out a fucking TPB?) that accompanied 52 Week Fifty.

Doug, good on you for doing this, while the issue wasn't weak I couldn't think of jack shit to analyze by the end. The whole exercise of this issue just seemed sort of tacked-on, though.

As for the Hayden Planetarium thing, I *guess* they could have used any one of a number of their teleporting members, but it still sort of just seems like an excuse for Tomasi to throw Nightwing in there.

Adan said...

@david uzumeri: Right, but what's World War III II, as Doug mentioned in conjunction with the female Dr. Light getting beat up? Is it the same thing? If so, what then is World War III I?

Douglas Wolk said...

David's got it: World War III II was the thing in 52; World War III I was the final storyline of Morrison's JLA.

ryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ryan said...

Should Liberty Belle/Jesse Quick be standing with Hourman on pg 2? They are married, after all.

Adan said...

Ah, that's right. I forgot that that was the name of Morrison's last JLA arc. Thanks for the clarifications, David and Doug.

Also, that totally is Dr. Mid-Nite.

Patrick C said...

I agree with deepspacetransmissions, I think that is Kid Devil in the upper right. Is that Jason Todd behind Supergirl next to Adam Strange?


The DC Encyclopedia refers to Morrison's final JLA arc as the Mageddon War - WW III was just the name of the arc.