Review: Justice League #4 by Geoff Johns & Jim Lee

Justice League #4

Written by: Geoff Johns
Pencilled by: Jim Lee
Inked by: Scott Willaims
Colored by: Alex Sinclair with Gabe Eltaeb
Lettering by: Patrick Brosseau

Published by: DC
Cover Price: $3.99

Note : This review is for the digital version of the comic available from DC Comics on Comixology

Before I start this review, I wanna give a shout out to fellow Nexus writer RJ Schwabe. I’ve been wanting to review Justice League since issue 1, but most weeks I don’t get to read my comics until Thursday or Friday, which makes it tricky to get a major review like Justice League posted by Wednesday. I had an unexpected day off today, and even though RJ called dibs on Justice League  this week, he was willing to let me do it. Thanks!!

Summary (contains spoilers): This issue starts with Professor Stone using “promethum” technology to try and save his son’s life. It’s not a pretty process:

Two Parademons burst into the lab, and Victor Stone’s revealed in his full Cyborg glory. The cybernetics go into offensive mode and quickly dispatcs the Parademons, reconfiguring itself to create weapons. Victor realizes what his father did to him, and rushes off. He ends up encountering more Parademons and is able to translate their orders. He decides to track them to their source, and the armor creates what seems to be a boom tube.

In Metropolis, Aquaman has joined with Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, and Green Lantern. Aquaman quickly takes on a leadership role, expecting the others to follow his orders. He wants to use Green Lantern as a lore to try and draw in the Parademons. Hal thinks that Aquaman is outclassed by the rest of the heroes, so doesn’t see why he should follow him. Until Aquaman shows him what he’s capable of:

Overhead, the military opens fire, under orders to take down all non-humans, whether they are aliens or superheroes. Superman wants to take them down, but Flash is more hesitant. Superman acknowledges that Flash seems like he is trying to do the right thing, but it’s not the right choice. Flash reluctantly helps Superman stop them.

Victor suddenly appears among them, saying that “They go world to world. He’s coming.” When Batman asks who, Darkseid arrives!

Review: One of the things that is odd about Justice League is that even though it does a lot of things I typically hate in comics, it still is a very good comic book. This arc is moving so slowly (the team only really comes together at the end of the fourth issue), and the cliffhangers at the end of each issue keep kind of fizzling out. So many of the pages are these big posed pin ups that make it possible to read Justice League in just a few minutes, and at a four dollar cover price, it would be very easy to feel you aren’t getting your money’s worth.

BUT, the characterization is so sharp, the action so huge, and the art so gorgeous, that when reading this comic, I’m on the edge of my seat the entire time. It’s only in reflection I think about those things I normally don’t like. And that really is what impresses me most about Justice League, for those few minutes, you really are pulled completely into this world.

My favorite moment in this issue was when Green Lantern accidentally comes in contact with Wonder Woman’s lasso, and starts admitting that:

I just thought it was a very nice touch in the middle of all the chaos going on around them. I really enjoy the way Johns’ has set up a strong dynamic between these characters. They really feel like people trying to feel each other out and they understand they need to work together to survive. In this world, everyone is against the heroes, and it seems like in most cases, this is the first time these heroes have found someone they can rely on.

Some of the dialogue does feel a little off at times, I actually cringed during this panel:

But thankfully most of the writing is much better than this.

And I can’t possible praise the art enough. Jim Lee has been probably the best pure superhero artist for the last twenty plus years, and this book really gets to show off his talents.  Superheroes doing massive heroic acts, with lots of explosions and dramatic shots.

One thing I really have to call DC out on is the 4 dollar price tag. Yes, the book has extra pages, but boring dossiers about side characters and two page spreads showing the new Flash costume in detail feels like a waste. I would rather extra pages in the story, or a back up story (like the Captain Marvel one that is starting in Justice League #7). Otherwise I am paying an extra buck and not getting anything for it. If I wanted to do that, I would read a Marvel comic.

Justice League is the perfect book to serve as the flagship for DC Relaunch. Iconic characters, brilliant art, and a huge blockbuster story. It does have its flaws, but it also does a terrific job in hiding them when you are reading this comic.  Definitely Highly Recommended!

Final Score: 8.5 While I do think Justice League could pick up the pace some, I really do enjoy it quite a bit. Really, this comic is a big budget action movie, and definitely worth the price of admission. As high as it is!

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