While searching for a quotation from Grant Morrison’s JLA, I stumbled on this book. Glimpsing up and down this page, my first thought was that it was some sort of spam lit automatically generated by random content from the net.
Martian Manhunter: All is lost.
Batman: I don’t believe that for a second. What should I expect to feel?
Martian Manhunter: Despair. Cosmic despair. Telepathic contact with Superman is only possible through the Mageddon mind-field that holds him in thrall. It broadcasts on the lowest psychic frequences… horror, shame, fear, anger.
Batman: Okay, Okay. Despair is fine. I can handle despair and so can you.
But, no, it’s a real book by a couple of real quantitative analysts who are geeky enough to extensively quote comics and give a shout out to a couple of comics forums in the acknowledgements.
The quote is from what is one of my favorite sequences in literature: the Justice League’s final battle against Mageddon, and Batman talking Superman through his dark night of the soul through the Martian Manhunter’s telepathy. As is often the case with Morrison, the story suffers from feeling rushed as he tries to cram so much in. But the image on the sixth page below is sheer comic book poetry. It requires knowing not only the famous tragedies underlying Batman’s and Superman’s origins, but J’onn J’onzz’ less famous one. Like Superman, he’s the sole survivor of a doomed planet, but he didn’t escape as an infant and learn about it later – he saw everyone he loved die horribly.