Monday, March 1, 2010
The Life and Undeath of J'Onn J'Onzz
On Monday, January 14th, 2008, Rich Johnston's CBR gossip column "Lying in the Gutters" broke the news that Martian Manhunter would likely be killed in Final Crisis. Even though my Idol-Head blog had only just begun a few months prior, I was fairly nonchalant about the news, feeling J'Onn was better dead than mangled by modern DC Comics editorial.
Within days, 1970s Manhunter from Mars artist Michael Netzer launched his popular internet campaign "Take Me... But Don't Kill J'Onn", in hopes of saving the fictional life of the super-hero he was most identified with (or at least getting to draw his send-off.) I was very happy to see Netzer produce new digital art for the effort, but ultimately, nothing more came of it. Again, outside of wanting Netzer to get work, I felt it was for the best (as evidenced by my take on how new stories would read by modern DC creators like Judd Winick and Frank Miller, repurposing their own crappy dialogue. A shame I never completed the Garth Ennis entry in the series.)
After months of speculation, J'Onn J'Onzz was murdered by Libra with the help of Effigy and Dr. Light at the request of the Human Flame on Wednesday, May 28, 2008. The J'Onn J'Onzz Memorial Service was held here that Friday.
Thanks to the soon to be completed Blackest Night mini-series, the corpse of J'Onn J'Onzz has been reanimated by a Black Lantern ring. Accessing J'Onzz's memories and powers, the deceased now serves as a soldier in a corps of the undead under the command of the Green Lantern foe Nekron. It's been generally assumed by fandom that Blackest Night's resolution will involve the true resurrection of a number of fan favorite characters, most prominently Aquaman in his classic form. There's a good probability the Martian Manhunter will also rejoin the living.
This blog has had its ups and downs over the last two years, but whether May marks the observance of the second anniversary of J'Onn's passing, or continues the celebration of his return, I hope it will more stable and entertaining by then. So many of my hopes and plans have been dashed in recent months, but I've worked throughout February and will continue in March to improve the performance of all my blogs. Here, until the outcome of Blackest Night is covered, we'll be continuing current features, looking at the path that led to J'Onn's death, and hopefully closing the book on this Black Lantern business. You may have noticed a distinct absence of Martian Manhunter material on this blog recently, and that's partially intentional. I wanted folks to miss J'Onn J'Onzz just a little bit more in this closing stretch. Either his absence will make the end of Blackest Night that much sweeter, or I'll be prepared to fill the void if things turn out tragically. Whatever the case, the Idol-Head of Diabolu will remain to remember the greatness of the Manhunter from Mars, and March will give us a chance to consider where things went wrong...