That’s right! The Symbifan has officially come out of retirement to bring you not one, but two parts of the monumental storyline known as Justice League: A Midsummer’s Nightmare! (In two articles that is. I’m not a machine!) Umm…sorry about that. Now, where was I about six months ago? ….Ah yes! I was about to give my insights on the second installment of this titanic tale. (Talk about a long build-up! Sheesh!)
We last found ourselves with the “World’s Finest” as they were slowly beginning to regain their memories. It was decided that this new threat would require more than just the two of them this time. It would require a team with experience and abilities the likes of which the world has never seen before. (See how I did that? I just excited you with my words! You’re welcome.) Anyway, that said, we join a green alien child, presumably on Mars, scratching typical children’s artwork into the side of a cliff. The father calls to the child to rejoin him at the top. Being a good little Martian kid, she does so without hesitation. (Ahh. If only this worked so easily on Earth! Am I right, parents?! These kids today….) But I digress. As the girl meets up with her parents topside, there is a back and forth about alien worlds and the lifeforms or lack thereof that might inhabit them. It’s then that a lens falls from the father’s telescope thingy. As he drops to the bottom to retrieve it, he sees his child’s artwork. The symbols seemly oddly familiar to the martian!
Meanwhile, back on Earth, we find ourselves in the Batcave where Batman and Superman decide their next move. It is still unknown exactly which villain they face, but they decide it would have to be a telepath of the highest order to affect the entire world so completely. As if the population of the planet were dreaming in unison. They then wonder where on Earth the Martian Manhunter could be. After all, who better to fight a telepath than another telepath? Batman brings up a list from his computer listing the whereabouts of the “big-hitters” in the superhero community. (Convenient, huh? I want a super-computer like that! Maybe if I’m a good little Symbifan this Christmas….Nah. you’d probably have to be an adult version of a spoiled rich kid to get toys like that. You know, the type that is in his thirties and still can’t cope with the deaths of his parents from age eight! I mean, come on, Bruce! Grow up! Oh, slam! I just insulted everyone’s fav “bat-guy”!) Well then, back to the story. The two decide to assume their civilian identities and seek out their super friends.
It should be noted here that the long-time Justice League villain known as Dr. Destiny is pictured sitting in a high-tech chair of some sort with several wires sticking out of his armored headpiece. He speaks to himself of growing quite full on the dreams of everyone the world over. But, he then speaks of another he calls “Know Man” who seems to be pulling even his strings! (Insert shocking/dramatic music here!)
The first candidate on Bruce Wayne’s list for the most epic of superhero teams is Arthur Curry AKA Aquaman! Bruce, never being one for wasting any time, forcibly dunks Arthur’s head into his fishtank where, to Arthur’s amazement, he can breathe! This seems to do the trick and Aquaman returns to his senses. (Score one for being straight to the point, eh kiddies?!)
We then join Wally West as he tries to forcebly enter the apartment of Kyle Rayner. West begins shouting at Rayner that he hasn’t slept in weeks and that Kyle’s comic book, Green Lantern, has something to do with it. Kyle, thinking Wally to be a crazed fanboy, starts to get angry at this intrusion. (Ah. We’ve all been there, haven’t we, fellow fanboys?!) The situation grows heated until, to both of their amazement, a beam of green energy blasts from Kyle’s ring finger! Instinctively, Wally dodges this attack, but he does it at super speed! The Flash and Green Lantern have returned.
Meanwhile, the world has gone completely nuts as everyday people the world over suddenly develop superpowers. This of course causes mayhem and carnage. As the news reports on this in all languages and networks, a strangely garbed man smiles. Yes, things are going completely as he has planned. While this is happening, Clark Kent pays a visit to Diana Prince AKA Wonder Woman. Being Batman’s polar opposite, Superman takes a more peaceful approach to awakening Wonder Woman to her true identity. He simply shows her that she can fly like him. (See Bruce, things can be done nicely. Damn!)
Anywho, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman meet up atop a skyscraper and discuss their present situation. They come to the common consensus that this all has to have been perpetrated by their old nemesis, Dr. Destiny, and that the Martian Manhunter will probably be needed to defeat him. The only problem? No one can locate the green-skinned powerhouse! (Seriously, have you Googled Martian Manhunter’s list of powers?! It’s insane! I mean, Superman ain’t got nothin’ on this guy!) Just then, all hell breaks loose in the city streets below! Being that they are heroes, this gives them little choice but to help. They leap into action against some new superpowered humans and do what they do best! But the numbers are against them and they soon begin to falter. That is until The Flash and Green Lantern arrive on the scene! The soon-to-be-complete team makes short work of these super wannabes and take a moment to catch their collective breath. Just then, Superman shoots off into the sky. The others follow and soon discover the source of the Last Son of Krypton’s haste….he has found the Martian Manhunter!
The thing is, he is discovered not on Mars at all, but hidden within an Air Force base on Earth! The heroes are relieved to find their Martian friend and offer him freedom not only from military custody, but from this lie he has been living. There’s only one problem….he doesn’t want to be freed! Having lost his entire species once, he is unwilling to surrender to reality. Who can blame him? In this dream, he is a husband, a father again. Before the others have time to protest his decision, the base is attacked by superhuman terrorists. Springing into action, our heroes begin to prepare to battle. But, before much can happen, an explosion sounds throughout the base. Looking, all concerned see flames erupt from where the Martian family is housed! That’s right. Fire. The weakness of the Martian race! (And y’all thought a green rock was stupid for a Kryptonian!) All of them then hear an unearthly cry of anguish. Martian Manhunter holds the remains of his “family”.
He then turns to the attackers, enraged! He marches past his allies and demands who has done this. The superhumans not only don’t deny it, they proclaim credit proudly! Big mistake! With the addition of the Martian Manhunter, the Justice League stands united and ready for action!
TO BE CONCLUDED….
Dedicated to my sweetheart, Renee Grill, without who this article would never have been written. I love you and happy anniversary!