Justice League: Last Ride #4 – Chip Zdarsky, Writer; Miguel Mendonca, Artist; Enrica Angiolini, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Since this series began, one thing has been hanging over the entire proceedings—the tragic death of Martian Manhunter. We’ve had lots of hints towards exactly what happened—we know he fell in battle in the last big war against Darkseid—but now we see it for the first time, and it explains a lot about the divisions facing the team now. It wasn’t something fast and bloody—it was a sacrifice by J’onn that happened because the heroes who could have survived the same situation weren’t available. J’onn knew he was about to die and chose to cast the deciding blow in the war against Apokalips anyway, and heroes like Wonder Woman and Superman were just a little too late to save him. We’ve seen a lot of superhero deaths over the years, but few are as affecting as this one—and few deliver the emotional gut punch that has ripped the team apart ever since then.
And it’s still as clear now how much it hurts in the present day, with Batman and Superman barely able to talk to each other. As the League waits for the other shoe to drop, we see the way Lobo continues to try to tear them apart even further. We’ve seen some dirtbag versions of Lobo before, but this one might be even more despicable than the one currently manipulating his daughter. The larger threat of Darkseid looms in the background, but other threats are more present—including the Green Lantern Corps as they try to capture Lobo for their own needs. With Mongul entering the fray, and a much bigger threat revealed on the last page, the question isn’t whether the League can win, it’s whether they can pull themselves back together long enough to function as a team—or if the League’s past guilt and trauma will make them easy prey for some of the deadliest villains they’ve ever seen.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.