J'onn J'onzz: Alien beings, eh?
Daughter: L'Narr SAID. . ."
Wife: Your Father, dear, prides himself on his analytical mind. (pause) Sometimes. . . a little too much.
J'onn J'onzz: I simply prefer to deal in matters of clue and evidence. Besides, it would not matter to me in the least if there were alien life on every world beyond our sphere, just so long as it did not interfere with the life we have here. . . together.
#1, Sept. 1996
Meet L'NarrThe name "L'Narr" is only mentioned once in any comic book (to my knowledge anyway). But this was enough --for someone like me who fixates on things too much for her own good.
The scene from Midsummer's Nightmare, #1, quoted above, suggested that someone -- some Martian -- had been telling the children tall tales of "pale martians of the poles" and alien beings at the "knowledge ceremony". The elder martians in the scene react to these stories the same way most rational humans do when they're told that Elvis is alive and runs a 7-Eleven in Florida. L'Narr is never mentioned again. That is, he disappears from the comic books, but not from my hyperactive imagination.
Several of my fellow Martian-loving cohorts liked my suggestion that DC ought to do a one-shot series on this L'Narr fellow. How did L'Narr develop his fascination with the Pale Martian myths? Had he been to the poles and saw the ruins of their cities? Had he stumbled across some ancient singing book in a Martian temple and refused to keep silent?
Alas, we'll never know. Not "officially" anyway. So far, L'Narr is just one name in one comic book.
But I WANTED more.
So, I made him up.
L'Narr's SongHe was about as much like J'onn J'onzz as Robin Hood is like Sherlock Holmes.
L'Narr is pronounced (in my mind) rather like le-NAR. L'Narr is, for me, a sort of Green Martian Archetype figure. He's male, of average height and weight, not particularly gifted (any more than the average Green is) mentally or physically, and was considered (by other Martians) to be modestly handsome. He had no distinguishing marks or scars, and was healthy enough until the Plague Years came. When I think of him, I see him as the human equivalent of about 35 years old, and he probably didn't live past 40.
He was, even by Green standards, a little too romantic for his own good: too much in love with old myths and ancient legends than he should have been. In his younger days he was very outspoken about his "quaint" beliefs, and most of his peers chuckled behind his back. Eventually, his insistence on dredging up a past where Greens were (perforce) more violent than they were in L'Narr's own time earned him a reputation as a radical --possibly a dangerous one. Shunned by his peers and censored by his elders, L'Narr gradually grew less bold and kept his sharper opinions to himself.
In the last years of his life, L'Narr found a place in a minor teaching circle, probably (from the sound of it) giving lessons in ancient history. Likely he threw in a bit of his "heretical" thinking along the way, but mostly he had resigned himself to his place. He might have dreamt of the age the Paratexts sang of, but he didn't share his vision of the past with others.
Why "L'Narr's Song"?Good question. Blame Ray Bradbury.
I loved the "Martian Chronicles" as a kid---still do, in fact. When I stumbled across DeMatteis & Badger's "Martian Manhunter" 4-issue comic a few years back, I was surprised at the very Bradbury-esque flavor of his Martians. Needless to say, I was really pleased when I discovered the dedication to Ray in the last book.
The name for this page comes from the final scene in this limited (and alas, hard to find) series. J'onn J'onzz is portrayed in the desert, alone, performing a reenactment of the fall of Mars. Whether he's singing to himself, the planet Earth, or to his gods isn't clear and doesn't matter. "In a language of rare beauty -- he sings!"
This is L'Narr's Song. Unlike J'onn, L'Narr sings of what was and what could have been, not what will and did happen.
Which is just what this website is trying to do.