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‘Justice League #4’ (review)

Written by Scott Snyder
Illustrated by Jorge Jimenez 
Published by DC Comics

“Listen to me Grodd! This is bigger than us! The Still Force is Universe ending stuff.”

“Heh. Oh, we’re counting on it. Aren’t we junior?”



Justice League #4 hits the shelves this week, and with this latest issue of Scott Snyder’s run you should expect… more of the same.

Much more.

Not to say that we don’t learn anything.

We now know for example, just what Lex Luthor and the Joker are actually doing in the brainstems of Superman and Martian Manhunter. (Uh boy.)

And we now know (or at least we are told) that the ultraviolet energy of the invisible spectrum is far more powerful than the will of any one person chosen to wield a ring of the emotional spectrum. (Much less the common people of earth.)

But isn’t that the point of willpower though? Hm, don’t get me started.

We learn just what happens when the Still Force is fully unlocked. (More like locked down.)

And, we now know that Jorge Jiminez is making a stellar run of this series, with artwork on the page laid out like jewels for our appreciation.

We even discover, finally, just what lies at the heart of the Totality.

That one’s pretty good.

But why has it been sent to Earth at all? And why does it appear to have a particular animus against J’onn J’onnz specifically? What central role is J’onn destined to play in what is very possibly shaping up to be the end of the DC Universe? And how is it that Vandal Savage (apparently) came by all this knowledge? How is it, for that matter, that Luthor has it himself now?

The answers are out there. But not in this issue.

No, the purpose of this issue seems mostly to drive home the fact that the League is in waaay over their heads. Outgunned and outmaneuvered at every turn. One by one taken off the board by their greatest adversaries, as DC’s most villainous play their own parts in Luthor’s endgame, the entirety of which is still only hinted at.

Even if the scope of it has finally come into view.

To be sure, Snyder is upping the stakes.

It’s no longer the fate of our heroes, and the fate of the Earth, but the fate of the entire multiverse that hangs in the balance. With each of Luthor’s lieutenants being positioned to control a critical sphere of influence in what is looking more and more likely to be a new dawn of triumph for the dark soul of humanity, and the dark soul of the DC Universe entire.

The inevitability of that seems more and more intractable, and Snyder seems eager to drive the point home, both by refusing to cut his readers in on just what the hell is really going on, while simultaneously emphasizing yet again the fact that Luthor has been right about everything all along. Whatever that all is. Or what it’s leading to.

It’s honestly becoming a little bit tiresome.

Or anyway, tiring.

The feeling that we’re just along for the ride as a script we can’t really understand or fully perceive plays out to its inevitable conclusion. I suppose though that the uncertainty serves a purpose. Because usually by this point in a story arc we’d be getting indications of just how things might get better. Whereas this all seems to indicate that they just can’t.

Things are bad. They’re getting worse. And Luthor still holds all the cards. Now it’s the fate of the multiverse that lies within his grasp. A fate he’s fond of calling Doom.

There may very well be a victory for our heroes at the end of this.

And an answer to the mystery at the heart of Scott Snyder’s fascination with the dark soul of the multiverse. And maybe even a redemption for the very soul of humanity.

But if any of that’s to be forthcoming, my guess at this point, is that it lies on the other side of whatever is yet to come.

Well on the other side.

Get ready for a ride.

Next Up: More Doom. Much More.



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