"Despair": Martian Manhunter has just realized that he was foolish to assume that he and Stargirl would be immune to whatever charm has entrapped the majority of both Justice Leagues inside the Firestorm Matrix. Fortu
- Where do you put the moments you don't want to remember?
- -- Stargirl
Appearing in "Despair"
- Pat Dugan (Flashback only)
- Mars (Flashback only)
Synopsis for "Despair"
Martian Manhunter has just realized that he was foolish to assume that he and Stargirl would be immune to whatever charm has entrapped the majority of both Justice Leagues inside the Firestorm Matrix. Fortunately, Stargirl's determination prevented that exactly, and she managed to pull them both out into the real world. That real world, however, is nearly as bad as the prison. The Secret Society has overrun the streets in the wake of the Crime Syndicate's attack. Further complicating things, Courtney decided to go to her family instead of helping J'onn get the Leagues back.
Now, J'onn is under attack by Clayface, who begins to suffocate the martian in his mud. Hearing J'onn's cries echoing in her mind, Courtney returns to help him, though she is still set on returning to her family. Seeing how quickly and easily she defeats Clayface, J'onn can't help but admit that she has earned her place on the Justice League of America. He, though, is weak, and he worries that Firestorm may erupt in a nuclear explosion if they cannot find him first. Courtney warns him to take on one task at a time, hoping to get them both out of Gotham City. Her family will come first, whatever the situation. As they travel toward the west coast, J'onn begins to sense that the motivation behind Courtney's every action is similar to his own: an unfathomable sadness.
When they reach Colorado, Courtney and J'onn are forced to stop on their journey in Denver to prevent the destruction of the city by a gigantic robot, whom J'onn determines is under the control of a man who is shielded from his influence. As much as she wants to get to Los Angeles to see her family, Courtney cannot let the destruction continue - and that feeling of responsibility surprises her. Early in her career, she had acted against her parents' wishes and looked into a hostage situation which Pat Dugan had warned was surely a trap. When she arrived on the scene, the hostage-taker admitted that he had only committed the crime to get her to come to him. As she continues to help in Denver, every move Courtney makes reminds her of that day, and what had happened. She doesn't want to remember, though. All the same, the reminders are beginning to make her suspicious. There's something all-too-familiar about them.
When Denver is safe, Courtney and J'onn resume their journey, though the Martian admits they will have to part ways once they arrive in L.A., as he can sense that Firestorm is being moved northward. Unknown to them, they are being followed by Despero, who worries that he will have to change his tactics if his plans are to remain intact. In aid of this, he attacks the pair directly, knocking the weakened Martian out of the sky and then thrusting Courtney down into the cold sea. As she sinks deeper, she wonders why her life isn't flashing before her eyes - like it did when she nearly died once before, on that grave day - and hopes that she isn't dying today.
- This book was first published on January 15, 2014.
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