Review – Justice League #4: Doom Comes for the Justice League

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Justice League #4 cover, credit to DC Comics.

Justice League #4 – Scott Snyder, Writer; Jorge Jimenez, Artist; Alejandro Sanchez, Colorist

Ray – 9/10

Ray: Scott Snyder has been all over the map in terms of genres in his time at DC, covering horror, adventure, coming-of-age, and even philosophical epic. But he’s never quite done widescreen comic book action until now, and Justice League #4 is the blockbuster showdown to end all blockbuster showdowns. Snyder takes the Justice League, puts them up a tree, and throws rocks at them for the entire book – and it’s wildly entertaining to read as things spiral out of control. Unlike many past supervillain team-ups, Snyder’s Legion of Doom seems determined to give each of the rogues a reason for being part of the plot. We’ve already seen Luthor and Sinestro, and this issue has a fantastic intro segment for Gorilla Grodd that shows the genesis of his cruelty as a young outcast ape. In many ways, he’s the main villain of this issue, using the mysterious child he’s found to harness the Still Force and manipulate the Justice League into freezing at will and fighting each other. Barry desperately tries to stop him, but it’s not enough and the League is plunged into chaos.

The origin of Grodd, credit to DC Comics.

Surprisingly, though, I found Flash vs. Grodd and the Still Force to be the LEAST compelling segment in this issue, as it’s the most earthbound. When the story heads into space, that’s when it gets really epic. Sinestro has been one of the biggest stars of this run so far, and his showdown with John Stewart is thrilling, as he forcibly drafts the GL leader into the Ultraviolet Corps and then proceeds to head to earth, harnessing the people’s emotions to create the largest Corps in history. However, even this pales when it comes to what Luthor and Joker have planned. A shrunken Joker loose inside Superman’s nervous system, stalking Hawkgirl as she aims to protect Superman for corruption. Luthor, essentially hacking Superman’s mind and then doing the same to J’onn as he turns the Justice League against themselves. These villains are evil, yes, but they’re also incredibly intelligent and clever, and they beat the League straight-up in a way we almost never see. Next issue is James Tynion’s turn to give them a starring role, which means it’s a month before this story continues. After this issue, that couldn’t be more frustrating – I want it now!

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