Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Transconsciousness Articulator (JLA #83 & 90)

In case you've missed it, I've been spotlighting instances of J'Onn J'Onzz interacting with his fellow founders of the JLA (as in "Rock of the...") So far, there's been Superman (Doomsday Wars, Muhammad X,) Aquaman (a Comrade of Mars,) Green Lantern Kyle Rayner (Darkstars #30,) and Batman (Detective Comics #714-715.) While some of these instances were minor, they do highlight important aspects of their relationships. To Superman, J'Onn plays sounding board and cannon fodder. With Kyle, there's both mutual respect and wariness, as Rayner is somewhat put off by J'Onn's demanding and foreign nature. With J'Onn, Batman is oddly more comfortable and agreeable than he is with pretty much anyone, like-minded professionals with a curious fraternity. The Aquaman post was about nothing but their contentious friendship, and the non-relationship with the Wally West Flash is upcoming. That leaves Wonder Woman, for whom J'Onn brings out an affectionate candor to refute her painfully misguided but reoccurring Ice Princess characterization. I can't recall a single instance where J'Onn has played mentor or commandant to Diana, a rarity, and I feel J'Onzz is perhaps one of the only men Diana feels comfortable around. Maybe it pays to not have a monkey in your evolutionary chain. I'll get back to these two at a later date, but for now, two quickies.

In JLA #83 (9/03), Superman had a terrifying vision of Lex Luthor initiating aggression again the nation of Qurac as a parallel to our own President Bush’s invasion of Iraq. The whole thing was generated in Superman’s mind by Manhunter’s “Transconscious Articulator” device, something like a telepathic virtual reality generator. J’Onn told Wonder Woman Kal-El owed him a new one after the damage wrought by the Man of Steel’s spastic reaction to the nightmare, “…and that Chocos will help the headache, but not to touch his private stash in the commissary. He also said you were lucky. Forcing your conscious mind into the realm of your subconscious without a telepath to help maintain balance can be very dangerous.” Superman noted that J’Onn had used his invention to help Kal unburden his mind of anxieties in the recent past. By Joe Kelly, Chris Cross & Tom Nguyen.

“’Peace is found within.’ No one understands that better than I do…but actually finding said peace is significantly more complicated than that simple aphorism implies.” Wonder Woman had decided to use the Transconsciousness Articulator to determine the extent of her recently emerging romantic feelings for Batman, this time under the Manhunter’s supervision. J’Onn warned that “Walking your dreams is no alternative to living your reality.” Afterward, both Diana and Bruce decided to call the whole thing off. By Kelly, Cross & Nguyen. (JLA #90, 1/04)

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