Tuesday, October 28, 2008

JLA: Black Baptism #2 (6/01)

Martian Manhunter: "An ocean stretches across the surface of the moon! Aquaman, what's happening in there?" Gravity-- physics-- all gone haywire at the will of magic evoked by the mad Zatanna.

Zatanna: A stream of flies flew from her mouth as her words reshaped lunar reality. Faust tapped the souls of Green Lantern and the Flash, then created an illusion where Zee had to either regain composure or drown in Houdini's famous water torture trick.

"Manhunter to JLA. The moon is reverting to normal as quickly as it changed." Zee fell back into unconsciousness.

Faust: Visited June Moon at Detroit's Elysium Fields Sanitarium, who had been in a near catatonic state since he slit her throat to use the soul of the Enchantress to reignite the fires of Hell during the Day of Judgment.

Zatanna: Committed to a sound-dampened room at Arkham Asylum by Manhunter and Batman.

Martian Manhunter: Refused to take leave of this mission, despite the likelihood of demons bringing fire to bear. Felt that if magicians better communicated with one another, the attacks of the Diablos would not be as effective. Struggled to maintain psychic barriers against the insane babble of Arkham inmates. "The poor souls here... To think they experience first-hand the anguish I must actively fight to keep out. The very stones seem to weep with the desolation of the mad."

Batman: "John Zatara-- Zatanna's father-- was one of my greatest teachers. He taught me most of what I know of magic... both sleight of hand and the arcane mysteries."

Bloodwynd: Drawn with a Luke Cage-style tiara. In stable condition.

Blue Devil: Stabbed in the back with one of his own bones, kept by Faust when he resurrected the "demon" to keep him pliable. Faust wanted to dissuade the exceedingly loyal B.D. from following him deeper into damnation. Kidnapped by the Diablos.

Martian Manhunter: "Moons of Mars! The fiend masked its presence!" Transformed into an armored insectoid form to battle Scratch. Also present: "The succubus! She must be here for Zatanna! Incredible-- this creature is no mere demon, but of an older order altogether. How did the Diablos manage to tame it? ...Take what form you will, ancient one-- you will not pass!" Prevented Anita Soulfeeda from entering Arkham with his laser vision while fending off Scratch. Came to realize Anita Soulfeeda was Scratch's weakness for its concern, and tried to exploit it, but was shot in the hand by Anita's flame-emitting pistol.

The Creators: This was Jesús Saiz's first major work for DC Comics, after starting out in the European market. His work is almost unrecognizable here, as it is much more exaggerated than his later efforts for the company, "Manhunter," and "Checkmate." The look works best on the monsters and magical elements, aided by dramatic lighting and sex appeal. The super-heroes fare worse, coming off as silly intrusions in their own book.

J’Onn J’Onzz’s Nicknames of the Issue: "J'Onn" -Batman
"The Manhunter" -Wonder Woman
"Lousy green freak" -Anita Soulfeeda

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