Monday, February 18, 2008

The Idle-Head of Prescience?

Normally, I prefer not to use early solicitation material on this site, so I can read through the Diamond Previews and post a comprehensive, if not wholly reliable listing of Martian Manhunter related items. However, I got so much mileage out of Grant Morrison's comments about using an obscure J'Onn J'Onzz foe I'd never of in "Final Crisis," I fear I may have missed the forrest for the tree. I'll now indulge in a bit of Diabolu Idle-Speculation with the aid of the aforementioned material. The faint of heart may consider what follows to be potential spoiler material, and are duly warned...



Okay, Grant Morrison is writing the actual "Final Crisis" title, but he noted here that "DC Universe #0" and a multitude of other related books are being co-plotted with Geoff Johns. Obviously, there have been mini-events at play since the end of "52," which Morrison and Johns also plotted together. The rapidly dying New Gods, and specifically Darkseid are involved-- which is one connection to J'Onn J'Onzz, thanks to the Ostrander series. Now, another prime mover is this Libra character from the 70's era JLofA, of which Manhunter was not in fact a member. Yet, in the above cover, we see Libra consorting with, of all people, the Human Flame. When the subject of obscure characters in "FC" came up to Morrison, he replied, "Ah – in terms of obscurity, there’s so many." Further, the solicitation copy for the book notes, "The entire Multiverse is threatened as the mysterious Libra assembles an army of the DCU’s most terrifying super villains." Aren't most of DC's super-villains in the process of killing one another while imprisoned on an alien world? Does Libra rescue them to form his army, or has he instead rounded a mass of losers like Human Flame and used his now godlike powers to give them a Neron-style upsizing in threat level? Otherwise, why bring back someone like the Human Flame?

"Worlds will live and heroes will die in this epic tale spanning the beginning and end of the DC Universe!" Seems to me we heard much the same during Johns' "Infinite Crisis," which launched with the massacre of the Freedom Fighters. So here's ad copy for JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #21, shipping one week before FINAL CRISIS #1: "Meet Libra and the Human Flame, two central villains in the upcoming FINAL CRISIS! Where’d the Human Flame come from, and who does he hate more than anything in the universe?" Well see, he's made exactly one previous appearance, in which he and his pal Joey are sent to prison by J'Onn J'Onzz after failing to exploit rumors of the Martian's weakness to fire. That'd help bring up some hate, right? Oh, and FC#1 ships with two covers in 50/50 ratio, one of which isn't currently available to the public. Wouldn't it be interesting if, say the Martian Manhunter were on it in a spotlight, as Hal Jordan is on the solicited cover?

My prediction: Human Flame, the fannish poseur super-villain taken under Libra's wing, proves the revived villain's threat level by killing the Manhunter from Mars in Final Crisis #1. Sure, the fire weakness was written out recently, but we've been down that road before, and wasn't it Morrison who returned that very weakness to prominence in "New World Order?" Alternately, the Human Flame could just as easily batter fry Arthur Joseph Curry, the pretender Aquaman. Maybe both? That would actually be heartening, as an early bow for J'Onn J'Onzz could lead to the same late game resurrection Animal Man enjoyed in Morrison & Johns' "52," likely in a classic, non-Skrull form. Alternately, you could easily "avenge" the Manhunter in decidedly lethal fashion with regard to the Human Flame, and no one would be likely to undo the deed. I may just be playing with my mashed potatos here, but consarnit, this means something...

4 comments:

Luke said...

The appearance of the Human Flame must be significant beyond the pun Morrison alluded to ("snuffing out the Human Flame"). I don't think that J'Onn will die that early on in the story, though AJ Curry is a decent bet. With J'Onn showing up on the villains teaser image, I figure he might make a heroic sacrifice towards the end, probably right before Ray Plamer and Wally West (you heard it hear first!). Which sucks on all levels, but as we all know, just because you're dead doesn't mean you can't be a star. The last Crisis gave a renewed focus for Supes and Bats, and a new series for Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and the Flash, so maybe this Crisis will give us the return of the Aquaman I think most people want to read about and the Martian Manhunter we all love -- including, it would seem, Morrison, if JLA is any indication.

Frank Lee Delano said...

Time will tell...

Scipio said...

Not the clues in this week's Brave & the Bold...

Frank Lee Delano said...

Don't tease... tell...