Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Haikuesday in the Shipping Room

You know, there is SO much to J'onn J'onzz and Apex City, so many repeated themes --the meteors, the fires, the spinning, the ice cream cones, the falling safes and planes, the flocking and the statues, the finger snapping, the vibrating, the blowing, etc.-- that's it's hard to imagine a panel, or even a PAGE, that could get it all in. Not even if George Perez drew it (and that's a challenge to all your artists out there).

J'onn (like God, whom he symbolizes) and Apex (like the Universe, which it symbolizes) cannot be comprehended all at once by the human mind. It would, like, violate the Turing Principle, or some such.  Understanding of them can only be approached asymptotically from the slow accumulation of details, from the cumulative effect of a thousand different panels, each of them like the facet of a cubist painting, or as in one of those portraits composed of photos of other things.




The Martian Manhunter is perhaps less an actual character than a meta-character, an ever-changing synthesis of all that is alien to us, all that we do not understand.  J'onn has been portrayed as 'the one-man Justice League' for some time, but that is all part of his disguise, since he's more like a one-man Doom Patrol.

That said, there are some panels that contain more of JJ's essence than others, and this is certainly one:


We mustn't spend so much time making fun of comics that we fail to notice how brilliant they are from certain perspectives.  Never lose sight of that.


The invisibility silhouette. The falling safe. The floating flamethrower. J'onn's exclamation.  The counterbalancing of yellow, blue, red, black, and white.  This panel is a masterpiece of comic book art.

AND of comic book PROSE, if you read all the words:





BUT AS THE MASSIVE


OBJECT COMES HURTLING DOWN...


'FIRE!' <SHIPPING ROOM>

You might charge that I'm 'cheating' in perceiving this haiku, because it's not entirely 'spoken'.  Well...NONE of the words are 'spoken'; they are all written. You, the reader, are the one making that distinction, in your own mind.  They are all just words on a page, you know...

What haiku can you compose about this panel, the Martian Manhunter, or the phenomenon of compositional character comprehension?

12 comments:

John said...

While no haiku,
Funny you should mention the
Doom Patrol, because...

I've often thought that J'Onn and Robotman should've switched teams. Cliff Steele is basically a reboot of Robert Crane, like the Silver Age Green Lantern and Flash reboots, while J'Onn could have been divided into the physically-powered Manhunter and the mentally-powered human Mento who moonlights as a crimelord (like Marco Xavier). Add in adopting a green-skinned kid who can change his shape, and I can't help but wonder if Niles Caulder changed his name from Mark Erdel...

Andrew said...

The ne plus ultra
of the Martian Manhunter
is Gardner Fox's.

Joshua Roots said...

Haikus are better
With ice cream, safes, and fire
So, thank you, J'onn J'onzz.

Bryan L said...

Mr. Moth steals lights
While Apex citizens flock
Now J'onn must spin.


According to my Martian/English Dictionary compiled by N'oh Web'str, J'onn is properly pronounced as two syllables: Juh-Onn.

Scipio said...

Heh; even if it isn't, Bryan "Now J'onn J'onzz must spin" works just as well.

Cameron Vale said...

Question: what color
is invisibility?
Answer: yellow-white.

Andrew said...

+1 to Cameron Vale

John said...

Obviously, this
would be a better comment
for an older post.

However, there's a
Solar System model in
Nevada; see link:

One three nine four five
Five eight eight five on Vim-eo
dot-com, secure link.


The planets are lights,
yet no Mothcopter is seen.
Apex for the win.

Cameron Vale said...

You know what, I'm starting to question whether is legit. Otherwise why can't I do this:

Martian Manhunter?
more like Martian Popped-Collar
Wearer.

Cameron Vale said...

That's weird, every time I put "shipping room" in that post, it disappeared.

Jeff R. said...

The actual cheats
Are miscounting syllables
of 'hurtling' and 'fire'

Anonymous said...

The rain(ing object)s
fall on the just and unjust
(and Martian) alike

- Mike Loughlin