Review: Justice League #4

[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]

Writer: Scott Snyder

Artist: Jorge Jimenez

Colors: Alejandro Sanchez

Letterer: Tom Napolitano

 

Summary

What is hidden in the darkest depths of the ocean and farthest reaches of space doesn’t even compare to the insidious secrets buried in the pasts of Flash, Green Lantern, and Martian Manhunter! While the rest of the League battles to save their friends before all of reality unravels, the citizens of Earth make a startling decision…to join the Legion of Doom!

 

Positives

The Totality storyline continues and there are a lot going on. First, we get an interesting flashback of Grodd’s childhood. We see that Grodd was always the monster that he is today. He discovered the dark things lurking in the depths of the mind and the power that could be derived from them.

This is the same power that is used by the Ultraviolet Lantern Corps that Sinestro unleashes on the world. And it seems that the entirety of the human race responds to this power and join Sinestro’s Corps.

Occasionally, there we see a story where the heroes call upon humanity as a whole to help defeat a threat, but this story turns that idea on its head. How will the League prevail when the entire human race is turned against them?

On top of that, the League is seriously hampered in a number of respects. The Still Force negates The Flash’s powers, while Grodd uses his telepathic abilities cause Wonder Woman and Aquaman to believe each other to be their foes Cheetah and Black Manta. Batman is left defenseless against alien organisms in Superman’s body, while Superman and Martian Manhunter are being controlled by Lex Luthor and The Joker.

And to cap it off, the Legion of Doom’s plan pays off and they are just about to take control of the Totality just as the issue ends. Snyder has brought the League to the edge of what looks to be a final and permanent defeat.

When I reached the end of the story and saw the blurb, “Next: Doom Takes Hold!”, it occurred to me that the word “Doom” looks a lot like the font used for the Doom Patrol logo. Could that be a hint that the Doom Patrol will figure into this story, or is it just coincidence?

 

Negatives

There are a lot of complex ideas involved in this storyline and they are flying at the reader at a furious pace. This story does require an attentive reading, which may be more work than some readers are prepared to put into reading a comic book. But so far, I have found that it isn’t a chore for me to focus my attention on the story.

I also worry that younger readers may find the storyline to follow. Admittedly, comics are aimed at an older audience than they used to be, but I worry that some readers might find it hard to follow the story Snyder is telling.

 

Verdict

Snyder has ramped the stakes up to an unprecedented level. It’s like the League was having to deal with two or three Crisis-level events simultaneously. Doing so is something of a risk, but it’s definitely paying off. Snyder has returned Justice League back to its rightful place as a cornerstone title of the DC lineup.

 

 

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Derek McNeil

I have been an avid reader of DC Comics since the early 70s. My earliest exposure was to Batman and Superman comics, Batman (Adam West) reruns, and watching the Super-Friends every Saturday morning.