Review: JUSTICE LEAGUE INCARNATE #4
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writers: Joshua Williamson, Dennis Culver
Artists: Chris Burnham, Mike Norton, Andrei Bressan
Letters: Tom Napolitano
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Justice League Incarnate #4: THIS ISSUE…A HERO DIES! Doctor Multiverse discovers there is a threat greater than Darkseid! Is the Justice League Incarnate’s only option to work with the Lord of Apokolips? Meanwhile, on Earth-7, Orion and Aquawoman lead the rest of the team to gain control of the Oblivion Engine! But by the time this issue is over…a member of Justice League Incarnate meets their end!
The solicitation text for Justice League Incarnate states, “THIS ISSUE…A HERO DIES!”. This refers to the Flashpoint Batman, who is apparently obliterated by Darkseid’s Omega Beams. But I wouldn’t worry too much for Thomas Wayne, considering that DC’s announced that he will be featured in the upcoming Flashpoint Beyond miniseries. I am guessing that he’s just been transported elsewhere, much like Bruce’s apparent death in Final Crisis.
The issue begins with a history of DC’s various Crises that gives us a summary of how DC’s cosmology has evolved, leading up to its current state. This wraps the whole complicated mess up in a relatively simple and understandable package. DC should consider putting these pages on their website as a handy reference for new readers trying to wrap their heads around DC’s cosmology.
The old adage “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” comes into play in this issue. Doctor Multiverse realizes that she has to cede the power of the multiversal crack to Darkseid. It is revealed that Darkseid is neither the ally nor the servant of the Great Darkness, but its foe. As he states, “The absolute enemy of existence is also the enemy of Evil! And only Evil’s god is powerful enough to stop it”.
So, Maya surrenders the crack to Darkseid, but the rest of the League isn’t happy about it. Flashpoint Batman even attempts to kill her to prevent it. However, this is because has become possessed by the Great Darkness, which prompts Darkseid to blast him with his Omega Beams. But Thomas is only the first to succumb, as the League arrives on Earth-7 to find the other half of the team also possessed.
The team realizes that if Darkseid defeats the Great Darkness, they will still have to deal with him, which seems a futile task. But as Captain Carrot says, “Are we just going to take Darkseid’s word for things? Or worse, his moron kids?!…We have to give up hope because Darkseid doesn’t believe in it? That’s bonkers!”. I like that it’s Captain Carrot that gives hope to his teammates with these words. Some might point to President Superman, but I believe that Captain Carrot is the true heart of the team. Captain Carrot is an often unrecognized beacon of hope in the DC Multiverse, just as much as Superman or the Flash.
There’s only one issue left in this series, which doesn’t seem like enough room to completely resolve all the threads present in this series. I suspect that the next issue will only give a partial resolution with many of the threads leading into either the Flashpoint Beyond series or DC’s upcoming major crossover event.
In much the same way that Infinite Frontier set up this miniseries, Justice League Incarnate will set up the next one. This isn’t really a drawback, as we knew going into this miniseries that it was meant to be a continuation of Williamson’s overall story, not its culmination.
With each issue of Justice League Incarnate, Williamson and Culver continue to build the story started in Infinite Frontier #0. I am eagerly awaiting this summer’s major event where we’ll finally learn what all this is building towards.