So I just finished reading Justice League of America #4 “Power and Glory” written and drawn by Bryan Hitch. In this issue we find the Justice League regrouping to take on the forces of Rao. Rao, who is converting the mass population into believing in him, is using prophets to send his message and convert the people of Earth. Batman and Superman however know all is not what it seems, and Batman begins to investigate these “converts” to see what change they are exactly going through.
Hitch as always gives us impressive drawing and writing as we see how the League copes with the world accepting Rao as their supposed savior. Superman who knows something is wrong gives Cyborg and his father his own blood to analyze, hoping there’s a way to find out how Rao is converting so many people to follow him. In these few panels Hitch shows well how the League interacts and trusts each other. And although the mission is clear and the stakes are high there is even a small amount of light banter between Superman, Batman and Cyborg for a panel that made me laugh quite a bit. We also are shown the world’s reaction to Rao, which honestly surprised me for a minute. Through the U.N. Security Council, the nations of the world agree to open their borders to Rao’s prophets to be converted and “blessed”. Hitch even shows you an average American family who has been converted, and now wants their daughter to do the same. As she is dragged out of her home to a prophet, it becomes clear that whatever Rao is doing–its not a good thing at all.
My only complaint about this issue is the pacing. However that’s because I’m an action person at heart anyway. Although we have a few panels of action, this issue is basically the League trying to find any information they can at stopping Rao. That lets me know however that there is bound to be action in the next issue, and that this one is basically just setting us up for a slugfest–I can accept that. What I would like to know though is what about the villains? Are the villains at Arkham being converted? Or Blackgate? I think Hitch did well showing what happens to the “regular” people who become Rao’s converts but I’d like to see someone unexpected to convert to Rao. Maybe next issue we will see that.
Overall I thought Justice League of America #4 was a solid issue. It doesn’t give you a major fight–but I think Hitch is saving that for the endgame. He does a good job showing the League trying to understand how the world they’ve fought for is slowly being undone around them. Average people are being converted and its obvious that there is an bigger scheme that Rao is orchestrating. Just exactly what we don’t know and that’s the part I really do love. Hitch never shows you Rao’s master plan and everything that Rao says in this issue makes you think he has humanity’s best interest at heart although you already know otherwise.