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Comic Book Review – Justice League #4

By: Adam Basciano

This issue starts with the armor healing Victor Stone’s wounds, as it becomes part of his body, all the while downloading the necessary updates to function properly.  When Victor realizes what he’s become, he blames his father and literally busts out of the lab.  In Metropolis, the impromptu superhero team comes to terms with its newest member…Aquaman. Aquaman asserts that he should be the leader since he has experience, you know, being the king of Atlantis and all.  Green Lantern takes the most exception to this, and the two engage in a proverbial pissing contest.  Aquaman pulls out the ultimate trump card,  summoning some of his shark friends to eat the incoming contingent of Darkseid’s drones.  Back in Detroit, Cyborg saves a woman from more of Darkseid’s minions.  When he comes in contact with Darkseid’s pals, Cyborg downloads all their info, thus knowing the true threat behind this chaos.  Meanwhile, the brawl continues in Metropolis.  The army joins the fray, attacking both sides.  Out of nowhere Cyborg arrives, via boom tube of course.  Just as he begins to reveal all he knows to the other heroes, Darkseid makes his grand entrance.  With one move Darkseid levels the entire Justice League…

While Aquaman and Cyborg are the headliners of this issue, that doesn’t detract from other League members participation. Clearly, not only is Geoff Johns a great writer, it seems he has a knack for juggling too.  The most impressive  aspect of Johns’ ability in this issue is how he handles each character.  Not only does he give each one a moment in the spotlight, but he manages to keep each characters portrayal consistent with their solo titles.  Whether it’s Superman’s dislike of corrupt authority officials, Flash’s level-headed composure, or Batman simply being Batman, it all remains intact.  He currently writes Aquaman, so uniformity is to be expected, and he’s effectively doing the same for Cyborg within the confines of this title.  The only two characters that feel slightly off are Green Lantern and Wonder Woman.  That’s ok though, since we know that Hal Jordan was a self-absorbed cocky S.O.B. before getting the ring, while Wonder Woman is a bit naive upon her first arrival to “man’s world.”

Jim Lee continues to create great pieces of art with this issue.  Really though, were you expecting anything less at this point?  That page where Aquaman spears Darkseid’s cronies was the best Aquaman images put to paper.  That’s saying a lot, considering the great work Ivan Reis is doing in the Aquaman ongoing.  Also Lee effectively conveys the pain and anguish Cyborg is experiencing during his transformations.  The “Wow”award image goes to the first reveal of Darkseid, and his instant dismantling of our heroes.  Jim Lee manages to make an imposing, evil character all the more so in one image.  I liked the main cover depicting Aquaman having the upper hand over Green Lantern in a fight.  While they didn’t physically fight in the book, the cover is a nice allusion to their war of words.  Let’s face it, a cover with two characters in a verbal dispute wouldn’t sell comics, even if it was drawn by Jim Lee.

With each issue the threat level rises, so our heroes will need to be at their best.  It seems the creative team has taken that challenge to heart as well, as they continue to deliver the goods with DC’s New 52 flagship title.

Overall Grade: 9/10


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