[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Christopher Priest
Artist: Philippe Briones
“JUSTICE LOST” part four! As public confidence in the League continues to fall, strained relationships within the team are set aside when Simon Baz is kidnapped by the mysterious figure known as the Fan: a zealous Justice League acolyte who was inspired by the team as a youth and who now deals death to the League’s enemies. The Fan knows literally every detail about the League membership’s powers and tactics, and easily turns their own systems and resources against them “for their own good.”
The idea of superheroes having the general public turning against them isn’t new – it was done well in the Legends event and is also a component of the current Doomsday Clock series. However, where this is being orchestrated by a villain, in this story the villain is trying to help the heroes, but is only managing to make things worse.
The fake Batman from the previous issues turns out to be Joshua Christian, who is using the League’s own technology to ‘help’ the League by murdering people who he determines are threats to the League. Christian had been one of the workers who assembled the League’s Watchtower base, which gave him access to the League’s tech.
This is a villain that many fans can relate to: an obsessive fan that just wants to help his heroes. He doesn’t even have his own sobriquet or costume, but cos-plays, previously as Batman, but in this issue also as the Hal Jordan version of Green Lantern.
There is a short flashback of the League’s past, told from the view of Christian, which includes Martian Manhunter, who hasn’t been seen much since the Rebirth relaunch. Is this an indication that the League’s history has been rewritten to restore J’onn’s history as a League member?
Oddly, the same flashback shows several Leaguers in their Rebirth costumes – including Batman, who adopted his Rebirth costume only very recently (in DCU time). Yet, the villain is a teen in the flashback, but an adult in the present. At the very least, this flashback has to be five years in the past. It seems most likely that this is a mistake, but there is the possibility that the DCU’s history is still in flux.
Despite this apparent continuity error, this storyline is proving to be a refreshing change for Justice League. The title was starting to feel a bit tired and repetitive, but Priest has managed to reinvigorate the title.