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:




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?