THE BOY SCOUT’S LAST
“What has happened to this country of ours? ...This country was founded on the notion that a person should be free to follow their destiny... I will no longer be party to any form of oppression or persecution... It is my destiny... my goal, to tak part in reclaiming this country. For free men and women everywhere. And I know in your hearts that you all want this too.”
“...certainly... I think we... back your play. By the way, Superman, allow me to introduce America’s newest “landed” immigrant. This is John Jones. He’s from Mars.”
“Er... a pleasure Mr... Jones.”
“Likewise sir. I greatly enjoy your animated adventures at the cinema.”
His handshake is like a balm for my troubled mind. So calm and confident. So proud of these people he’s with. Seeing Superman and King together on this... they’re ready now. He turns to address them again, his voice charged with emotion.
“It’s up to us to stop it, whatever it takes. WHO’S WITH ME?!!”
They answer him as one. And with a smile and a wave, he’s gone. My Martian mind is oddly cross-connected between the two of them. The Centre’s prsence percolates in my conscious mind now, but I can see Superman as well, a bright blue arrow knifing through the murk. Several of the creatures detach and attack him. He gauges their strength and then dispatches them with due speed. A split second before it happens, he knows the attack was simply a distraction. It is like using an atomic bomb to snuff out a candle. My mind explodes into Alizarin Flowers of Pain. Shared pain.. confusion... then nothing... Nothing but darkness.
SHALL EARTH ENDURE?
“I appreciate the help, June. John is very susceptible to telepathic attack, but his link to the Centre could be valuable.”
THE DAWN PATROL
“Now let me get really crazy. For the last few weeks, I’ve been in contact with an alien whose telepathic abilities are very sensitive. He calls himself John Jones. Some of you met him yesterday. Before he collapsed, he was getting very strong mental waves from the Centre. The reason it’s appeared here is simple. It wants the rich store of exotic fuels we use for the rockets. It wants this fuel to aid its journey into space... Make no mistake. This thing intends to exterminate us. It has decided that mankind poses a threat to its home. So it wants to do a little housecleaning before it goes on holiday... JUDAS PRIEST! What the hell is that?”
“No. Oh, no.”
“This is way too hot. We have to get you somewhere safe.”
“Please, King, you must get me away from its pull! I fear--- I--- IIIIAAARRGH! I can fight it no longer! King! You must kill me! Kill me before—IIIIAAAARRGH! Ants! Warm-blooded vermin.”
“You should have killed him, King Vermin. I have the alien’s mind now.”
“John! Listen-- Give it to me. Let me take it from you.”
I feel King’s consciousness knife into my mindscape. With a will I wouldn’t have thought possible, he locks onto the Centre’s essence and draws it out of me, like poison from a wound. For the first time in weeks, I am clear. I awaken like a curtain has been drawn away from my mind. The Centre’s hold had been greater than I thought. But so was the cost of my freedom. My last rational thought is to shift into a “kinder” shape to avoid friendly fire. During my time here on Earth, I have done my best to repress my abilities and live as much like the men around me as possible. I feared if mankind knew of my power, they would seek to destroy me. But the time has come for J’Onn J’Onzz to join the fight. As I tear the last monster in half, I utter an oath of rememberance. My friend King Faraday will not have died in vain. Today we will triumph.
-By Darwyn Cooke. “When KING FARADAY gets behind SUPERMAN’s leadership, our American heroes are able to see past their differences and act as a group. For this moment at least, all the lines are redrawn, and everyone’s on the same side... King pays the price, and J’ONN “comes out” with all his awesome power.”
Back to DC: The New Frontier #5 (2004)
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