By Peter Tomasi (writer), Doug Mahnke (pencils), Chrstian Alamy with Rodney Ramos (inks), Nei Ruffino (colors)
I thought this book was going to be just a bunch of heroes crying over Martian Manhunter. And we get a bit of that in the opening pages, but from there it goes into eulogy about J’onn J’onzz’s life, giving lots of little nuggets and highlights along the way. To be honest, I didn’t know too much about the character, so this stuff was most welcomed. Some fans who already know this stuff may find this retread a bit boring, especially at a steep $3.99 cover price.
From there, the story radically shifts to the incident involving J’onn’s death. Personally, I always felt his death in Final Crisis was anticlimactic and just done for shock. In this issue, we see all the details leading up to his final moments including a series of events that bolsters the meaning of his death. J’onn didn’t go out like a chump – he fought tooth and nail until the end. I wish this was shown in the core Final Crisis book, because what’s on display here is much more meaningful. It’s also revealed how his final moments of life will forever resonate with some key Justice League members.
If you’re a fan of Final Crisis, you’ll most likely enjoy this book. If you’ve found the series to be puzzling and a mess (like me), you’ll be relieved to know that this is a straight forward story that digs deeper into a subplot that seemed almost wasted.
Doug Mahnke draws some strikingly detailed art and handles the ensemble cast like a pro, while Peter Tomasi delivers a strong, heartfelt script. It won’t make you cry or anything, but it will make you appreciate one of DC’s most under appreciated (and lovable) characters. Is the cover price a bit too high? Yeah. But then again story told here is much more comprehensible and compelling than the first two issues of Final Crisis we’ve been fed so far. (Grade: B+)
– J. Montes