Comics / Comic Reviews / DC Comics

Final Crisis Requiem

By Hervé St-Louis
July 15, 2008 - 20:22

While the Martian Manhunter was killed by Libra and his criminal associates in Final Crisis #1, the scene was shown off page and mostly alluded to in other books. Requiem shows exactly how the Martian Manhunter died and also shows us what kind of will he had prepared for the day of his death. This issue serves as a tribute and history to the Martian Manhunter, a founding member of the Justice League.

Readers who did not like the light treatment J’onn J’onnz, the Martian Manhunter  got in Final Crisis #1 will rejoice in a way at seeing that his death was not an off panel affair after all. There is a tendency for many readers to expect meaningful deaths of characters and Requiem gives all the meaning and reverence to the Martian Manhunter’s ending that reader wants.

First, it shows that J’onn J’onnz did not easily fall. He is after all one of the most powerful super hero. It showed that he fought and used his Martian abilities until the end to starve off the obvious. But what sets this story apart from some of the many death of characters ones, is the gift and the legacy that the Martian Manhunter distributes to his friends as he dies. He makes them a gift that only he could have given them and in doing so passes poetically.

Now, if anyone thinking that the Martian Manhunter might make a miraculous recovery sometimes soon, their hopes will be smashed after reading this story. He really dies and there are no tricks or hidden bodies. Although I didn’t like that he had to die, if this one death can stick, I will be happy. It’s hard to imagine who could replace the Martian Manhunter. Perhaps a new version of the character could come but without duplicating the powers of Superman. One with shapeshifting, invisibility, telepathy and telekinesis is more than enough.

One thing which I like was whom was chosen to receive the gift of the Martian Manhunter. Here Tomasi did his research and showed who his true friends were.  I might have a few points of contention about Black Canary instead of Wonder Woman, but Gypsy was part of the bunch and that was a good call. I probably would have picked Guy Gardner and Fire over Hal Jordan, but it seems that Tomasi went for the original Justice League Year One line up instead.

You know there’s a problem when you confuse the teacher for the student. All along, without reading the credits, I was assuming that Patrick Gleason had drawn this story. I kept asking myself why his J’onn looked so different than from the JLA Work Week and some Aquaman stories. It turns out that it wasn’t Gleason doing the art shores but Doug Mahnke who’s work inspired Gleason years after. While Gleason gave us a Martian Manhunter that was a football player, Mahnke gives us an anorexic Martian that looks like one of those aliens with a skinny and Asian-like features that are supposed to come visit us often.

I’m not against Mahnke’s interpretation of the Martian Mahnunter, as it gives it a unique look among all the football-player-like super heroes he used to fight with. The death of the Martian was gruesome but effective. It did show some of his emotions through his eyes which lack irises. That’s a feat.

Rating: 9 /10

Last Updated: January 24, 2022 - 11:00

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