STARMAN: Life After Death
Part 3: Meta More Facts
Written by Joel Ellis Rea aka
Panels similar to Page 1 of previous chapters, showing Starman telling this story. This time, cut to Marie and Jayne as needed.
Caption Box:Several months ago
MARIE: Youre not my son. Youre not even a human being.
JAYNE: Mom, please! Whatever else he may be, he still thinks like Will. He thought he was Will all this time. In every way that counts, hes still your son, and my brother.
Jayne turns to address Starman.
JAYNE: Kitty Faulkner told me she suspected from the first time she analyzed you that you werent a human being. But you still have a human soul, as far as Im concerned. Youre the kindest, gentlest man I know, one who would never use his power to harm anyone, no matter how powerful you may truly be. Lord Acton notwithstanding.
STARMAN:Thanks for your faith in me, Jayne. I only wish I could live up to that, but I cant. The stakes are too high. But that can wait til later for now, you need to know how I learned about the other half of what I am. You know now about my Fire Elemental nature,
Pages 2 3 Two-Page Spread
Similar to the spreads in the previous chapters. Marie and Jayne are sitting by the elm tree in the lovely park-like place, with Starman standing in front of them. This time, there is a quite worried look on their faces.
STARMAN: but that is, literally, only the half of it.
MORE FACTS / METAMORPH ACTS
Same as the last scene of the last chapter. The place is the Western slope of Paradise. Urania Blackwell approaches, and Alec Hollandintroduces her to Starman.
ALEC:Meet my esteemed colleague, Urania Blackwell.
URANIA:Oh, Alec, youre such a kidder! Esteemed colleague, indeed! Good to meet you, Starman. My friends call me Rainie.
STARMAN:Uh, hi, uhm, Rainie. Are you an Elemental template, too?
RAINIE:No, not Elemental. Metamorph. And not a template. The Metamorphæ are quite different from Elementals.
HOLLAND:Well, this is getting outside of my area of expertise. Now that my job heres finished, Im gonna check out the Reincarnation option. Who knows? I may wind up female and meet Linda again (shes already reincarnated as a little boy). I must admit, from what I hear, things are going to be pretty interesting on Earth over the next decade or so. I hope everything works out for ya, big guy. Say hi to Swampy for me when you get back, okay?
STARMAN:Uh, if I can find him, I will. Thanks for everything, Alec.
Alec walks off in the last panel.
Next Few Pages
More talking heads as Urania explains things to Starman.
RAINIE: Okay, lets get started. Youve met Rex, right?
RAINIE: Metamorpho. In the Justice League (or a branch thereof) now, so I hear.
STARMAN: Oh, him! Right. Whats he got to do with this?
RAINIE: Well, hes also called the Element Man. Can turn himself into just about anything made of any elements (Periodic Table chemistry elements, not those Elemental alchemy elements Alec was telling you about). At first, he thought he was limited to only those elements found in the human body, like manganese and iron and carbon, but he learned later that that limitation was all in his head.
STARMAN: Yeah, we fought Eclipso together.
RAINIE: Anyway, I was the Element Girl. I had the same powers as Rex, when I still lived. And were not the only ones, or even the first. Thereve been others, like this 2000-year-old Roman Centurion named Algon. Were called the Metamorphae. Thats plural. Singular is Metamorph thus Rexs chosen code-name.
STARMAN: So what does all this have to do with me?
RAINIE: Well, remember when Eclipso controlled you? He used your Elemental ability to shape-change to remove the visible effects of his control (such as the red eyes, pointed ears, and eclipsed face), but he also had you mimic one of the other Justice League heroes briefly.
STARMAN: Yes, I remember. Metamorpho.
RAINIE: Right. But, not only did you duplicate his looks,but you actually were able to duplicate his powers as well! You even turned into a gas at one point, if Im not misinformed. Ever wonder how you did that?
STARMAN: Well, I havent exactly had a chance to reflect on it since then, but now that you mention it I thought then I could only change my looks to another human form, but I did turn to gas, didnt I?
RAINIE: So Ive been told. Now, how could you have done that, given your powers as you understand them?
STARMAN: I guess Eclipso tapped into my Elemental control over my own bodys matter to a greater degree than I knew then that I could do.
RAINIE: No, not Elemental control. Elementals can control and even re-arrange atoms, but they cant turn an atom of one kind into another not even those that make up their bodies.
STARMAN: So how did I do that?
RAINIE:With your Metamorph powers. Didnt Will tell you you were created by the Earth and the Sun? Well, as Alec told you, the Earth goddess or spirit Maya creates the Elementals. Now you must learn that the Sun god creates the Metamorphæ.
STARMAN: Sun god?
RAINIE: He has many names. The Greeks called him Hyperion, then Helios, and later Apollo, a name by which he was also known to the Romans. The Egyptians called him Ra, which is how Rex and I know him. We got our powers from the Orb of Ra.
STARMAN: So, youre telling me I was able to duplicate Rex because I had his same powers all along?
RAINIE: Yes, plus your Fire Elemental powers, which are major-league, too. And, they can work together. For instance, when you get back to Earth, if you wanted to create a humanoid body for yourself again, you would have had to use atoms of the same elements found in human bodies, if it werent for the Metamorph power. Easiest way wouldve been to find a recent corpse, and animate it and reshape it to your liking.
STARMAN: (looking a little queasy, even for a disembodied spirit) Uhhhh
RAINIE: But since youre also a Metamorph, you can build your new body out of anything! Likewise, your Elemental nature to affect matter not part of your body lets you extend your Metamorph ability to change elements themselves to atoms not part of your body, which is something neither Rex nor I could do (though, for some strange reason, his son could affect only atoms not part of his body perhaps related to the way Tefé has the reverse of her fathers powers but I digress).
STARMAN: So why do the Earth and Sun or Maya and Ra need someone this powerful? Youre saying Im more powerful than either Elementals or Metamorphæ?
RAINIE: Even more powerful than both combined. Your two natures will work together and augment each other. The whole is literally greater than the sum of the parts.
STARMAN: But why?
RAINIE: Because you face Eclipso. And make no mistake as powerful as you are, you are no match for him at his greatest level of power. You can control matter almost absolutely, but he can control the minds, hearts, and talents, normal and metanormal, of all mankind! Yet you are the only one who even has a chance of stopping him.
STARMAN: But we already destroyed him!
RAINIE: Unfortunately, no hes even harder to kill permanently than an Elemental or Metamorph, or even a hybrid such as yourself. So long as any negative emotions exist among Earths dominant species, he will be rejuvenated by that worship, no matter how badly he may be weakened or damaged. Hes already active again, this time on Earth. You and Bruce Gordon succeeded in greatly weakening him, and driving him from his base on the Moon where he was shieled from the power of Ra, his eternal enemy. But thats all you did. You will never defeat Eclipso power-for-power. Hes back, and he has a plan that, over the years, will give him total control over all mankind.
STARMAN: What can I do to stop him?
RAINIE: Ill let your parents explain that.
STARMAN: My parents?
Urania is pointing at two enormous figures who just materialized out of nowhere. One is a beautiful, motherly woman in very fancy clothing, and another is a noble-looking man in ancient Egyptian royal attire. He wields a scepter whose top curves over the front and downwards, and ends in a glowing glass sphere.
A mountain in Asia. Hank Hall, wearing the armor (but not the helmet) of Monarch, is standing like we last saw him. Hes looking in shock at a figure that we can only see a small part of in the bottom right corner of the panel. We're looking over the second figure's left shoulder, and can only see said shoulder and part of the helmet. Both are metallic blue armor.
Caption 1: Interlude. These events are currently unknown to Starman, and are not part of his recountings of his experiences to his family, but will come to concern him closely in the future.
Caption 2:The Mortal Realm. A certain Himalayan mountainside.
HANK: But I killed you! I am you!
Bottom panel shows the second figure straight on. He is, as I'm sure youve guessed by now, Monarch. Complete with helmet.
MONARCH: No, you are Hank Hall. I am Monarch.
Panels focusing on Hank and Monarch as needed.
HANK: But youre me! My future self!
MONARCH: You really fell for that, did you? I see I chose my patsy well.
HANK: Patsy? PATSY!?Im nobodys patsy!
MONARCH:You did precisely the task I needed you for. The heroes of this time defeated you, as I knew they would. They now think they have stopped me, preventing my reign from ever happening. They havent. My timeline is still very much on track. They will not suspect as, one by one, they are eliminated in this time, and my reign comes to pass just as I remember.
HANK: Youre lying! IM Monarch! The only Monarch! I killed you once, I can do so again!
Next Two Pages
Battle sequence! Im gonna leave the panel layout entirely to the artist. Hank blasts Monarch full power. Monarch is totally unaffected. Hank next tries physical attacks, to no avail. His strongest blows dont even dent the armor or helmet of Monarch. He uses martial-arts kicks, including the roundhouse side thrust kick, the most powerful blow a human being can deliver. Monarch isnt even slightly shaken by it. Throughout this sequence, Hank is spouting dialogue you wouldnt believe out of the mouth of any other DC character (except maybe Lobo), but which is totally in-character for him (particularly in the emotional state hes been in since A:2001 #2).
HANK: Im Monarch, I tell you! ME!! I watched you kill Dawn, and knew you were me, so that Iwas her killer. That gave me the anger and determination to beat anyone! Even you! (etc. etc. etc.)
Monarch casually raises the little finger of his left gauntlet, and a massive power beam erupts from it that totally shreds the armor of Hank Hall, hurling him back into the mountain a good ways. This is shown over several panels.
The next few panels show Monarch casually standing in front of the cavern created by Hank's rather unexpected flight. Mumbles can be heard coming out it. The voice becomes more distinct, as an unarmored but rather large figure approaches from the shadows.
HANK (seen only as a silhouetted form barely visible in the shaded mouth of the cavern): Okay, I see you dont know the rules of gentlemanly combat. Allow me to teach you
A red-gloved fist connects with Monarchs helmet, actually staggering him. Hank is now fully visible, but is no longer Hank Hall
HAWK: First rule: Dont mess with HAWK!!
Next Few Pages
Hawk punches Monarch again (with his other fist), and this time actually knocks him down!
HAWK: Second rule: Dont mess with HAWK!!
Monarch raises one glove, and Hawk stops in his tracks.
MONARCH: I said, enough! You will now be still.
HAWK: Oh, yeah, right. You pulled this on me last time. What is this, some sort of mind-control or time stasis or force-field?
MONARCH: Solidified air molecules, actually.
HAWK: Well, drop this field and Ill show you a real fight.
MONARCH: You know, if you had thought to change to Hawk while the armor I gave you was still intact, you might have been able to cause me pain. Briefly. You would certainly have lasted longer against the superheroes even Superman would have been no match for you one-on-one. But, of course, you didnt think of that. As I knew you wouldnt. Thats why I chose you.
HAWK: Chose me? You had no choice! You are me!
MONARCH: After all youve just seen, you still believe that? Think, Hall: If I were you, why would I come back in time just to be killed by you?
HAWK: Because thats how you remember it happening! You had to die in order to ever exist! You had to bring the armor back in time so I could have it and become you!
MONARCH:Oh, and who was going to rule my global utopia and keep it running once Id gone back and died? I killed off all other heroes and villains, for that matter who had any super-power. Who could maintain such a worldwide utopia without power? And as for the armor, think! WHO CREATED IT?
MONARCH: If the armor you wore was the same armor I had when I came back in time, and I supposedly got it when I killed my older self when he came back in time, and I wore it until I went back in time to die at your hands and pass it on and restart the cycle, where did it come from in the first place?
MONARCH: Say it louder.
HAWK: I said I dont know!
MONARCH: And then theres your very nature as a Princeling of Chaos. To establish and maintain a stable, orderly, global utopia such as none have created before requires not Chaos, but ultimate Order!
Hawk just stares, literally dumbfounded.
MONARCH: It makes no sense for me to be an older you. Anyone with any common sense would have seen right through the story I told you before. But, I knew you wouldnt. Common sense and you arent exactly close friends, or even distant acquaintences.
HAWK: But but you were me! I saw your face!
MONARCH: So says the man who has met how many friends and foes who were either illusion-casters, shape-shifters, or masters of disguise? None of those possibilities even occcurred to you, did they? Like I said, common sense might as well be completely alien to you. Also, this helmet distorts and deepens my voice, so that no one could learn my identity or even my gender by voice analysis. I could be anyone
Monarch removes his helmet. The face underneath is that of
DOVE (Dawn Granger): even a woman!
End of Part Three
All characters are DC Comics
"alt.showcase.94" concept by Joel Ellis Rea.
This story is © 1999 by Joel Ellis Rea.