Friday, 6 September 2013

Justice League of America #4 Review

Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Brett Booth

I have been loving this series, and it is quick becoming my favourite Justice League series, as although both Justice League, and Justice League Dark have phenomenal over the last couple of years, this series in it's short time has been going from strength to strength.

Plot


Catwoman has infiltrated the Secret Society of Super Villains' hideout, and is letting her curiosity get the better of her. Amanda Waller enlists the help of Dr. Light, and the Justice League of America follow his finding to the Secret Society's hideout.

Martian Manhunter Back-up

The Martian Manhunter explains why he's vulnerable to fire, and how his planet was destroyed.

Review


This was an amazing issue, and probably the best in the series so far. When Geoff Johns is good he's phenomenal, and although we don't always see this, it's brilliant when we do. I loved how he managed to make this issue everything that I hope for in a comic, as it was dramatic, interesting, mysterious, and entertaining, all at the same time, which was brilliant. The way Johns has continued to develop the character's in this series has probably been what I've loved the most, as he's taken a couple of character's who have had poor outings in their solo series (Catwoman, and Hawkman), and made them amazing again, which I can't thank him for enough. The way Johns has handled the action in this issue was also superb, as although not a lot of it was as exciting as we've seen in the past, it did help with the pacing of the issue perfectly, and there was one action sequence that was really exciting, and entertaining. I've also loved how Johns has handled the dialogue in this issue, as it was perfect, felling very natural, and realistic. I also really liked how he handled the character's emotions, in this issue, as although that's something that the artist mainly shows, Johns dialogue also showed this perfectly.

This issue was the first in the series not to have been drawn by David Finch, with Brett Booth taking over art duties for this issue, and the next, with Doug Mahnke then taking over during Trinity War. Now I have to say that although I really liked Finch's art on this series, I'm so glad that Booth has taken over, and am just upset that it's only for two issues. To be honest I'd never thought of Booth working on a Justice League book, expecting his run on Nightwing to be much longer than it is (it will end after issue 21), but after seeing his art on this issue I'm very happy that he's on the series, even if it is only two issues. The detail in Booth's art is just outstanding, and he really makes everything look amazing, which I've always admired about his artwork. The thing that probably stood out the most for me with Booth's art was the way he drew the character's, as he managed to make them all look phenomenal, especially Catwoman, and Shaggy Man. I also loved Booth's layout's, as they really added more drama, and suspense to the issue, making it that much more exciting. As I said earlier Johns did a brilliant job showing the character emotion through his dialogue, but as is usually the case the artist still shows the most emotion, and this is no different with Booth. Booth did an amazing job of this, as you could see the curious, and charm in Catwoman's expressions, and you could also see both the determination on Stargirl, and the frustration, and anger on Waller, all of which was amazing.

This issue started with Amanda Waller giving Dr. Light a call, asking for his help. Now I'm not the biggest fan of Dr. Light, and don't know too much about him as a character, besides the basics, but it's nice to see him make an appearance in this series. Without going into too much more detail about Dr. Light's appearance in this issue, I'll finish by saying that I really look forward to seeing what role Dr. Light will have to play in this series, and how Johns will use him in the rest of this story, especially considering Dr. Light used to be a member of the Secret Society of Villains prior to the New 52.

In this issue the JLA got themselves a lovely new modified C-17 Boeing military transport jet. Now I loved the fact that the JLA got their own jet, especially with the classic logo on the side, but when it was revealed that the plane could also turn invisible, I couldn't help but see a similarity to Wonder Woman's Invisible Plane. Besides that I really loved all the cool things that Steve Trevor described about the plane, and hope that although it's apparently just for this mission, that we see it, or another one later on in the series.

Last issue ended with Catwoman being taken in by the Secret Society, and being strapped to the same chair that Scarecrow was strapped to in the second issue. Catwoman however wasn't going to sit and wait for the Secret Society though, as this cat was very curious, going for a look around the Secret Society's hideout. Now I really liked these small sequences, and although they weren't as exciting as the sequences the rest of the JLA were involved in, the conversation from Catwoman was very fun, and added a bit of humour to the issue.

Last issue also showed that Stargirl hasn't been happy with Amanda Waller keeping of active duty, only using her in the media. Well this issue saw Stargirl sneak onto the back of the invisible jet, and Waller was far from happy. Now this didn't take up much of the issue, but I loved that Stargirl finally took matters into her own hands, as Waller has been manipulating people as often as she can, and although that's what make her character the way she is, it's nice when you see someone stick it to her, and that's essentially what Stargirl has done here. Besides that we may now get to see what Stargirl's like in action, which should be interesting, and I really look froward to seeing that.

What was probably the best thing about this issue had to be the appearance of Shaggy Man, which was amazing". Again as with Dr. Light, I don't know a lot about Shaggy Man besides the basics, but it was nice to see him in this issue, with the JLA having, "finally something worth fighting," as Hawkman put it. Now the fight that would embroil between the JLA, and Shaggy Man was also amazing, and very exciting, and this along with the brilliant dialogue from Catwoman was what made this issue as good as it was. Booth's art as I said earlier also really made this sequence that much more phenomenal, and although I'm sure Finch (who's brilliant at action sequences himself) would have done a good job, it would have been hard to have topped what Booth has done here. I also look forward to seeing how this fight continues in next issue.

Now I won't go into any detail about the next part, but I will say that the ending of this issue was shocking, and amazing, and it alone is worth getting this issue, and I look forward to seeing how it continues into the next issue.

One of the other things I've loved about this series over the last couple of issues has been the Martian Manhunter back-up stories, but I wasn't too sure if I liked this one. Matt Kindt did a decent job of telling the story of how Martian Manhunter returned to find his planet in ruins, and how he's vulnerable to fire. I did however find it slightly slow, at time, and it also felt slightly confusing at times, feeling a little too far over the place. It was still however enjoyable, and although it's not necessarily memorable, it was nice to see why he's vulnerable to fire. The art from Andres Guinaldo was good, and although I still prefer the art that Manuel Garcia, and the late Scott Clark produced on the last two stories, Guinaldo still did an amazing job, and you could really feel the Martian Manhunter's emotions. Talking of emotions, that was another thing that Kindt did brilliantly in this story, as I loved how it was very emotional, and sad, with the Martian Manhunter recalling what is probably the saddest time of his life, and like Guinaldo's art did, Kindt did an excellent job of showing this.

Final Verdict


This was probably the best issue in the series so far, being nothing short of phenomenal. The issue itself contained everything I love in a comic, being dramatic, emotional, mysterious, humorous, and exciting, all in the right doses, and Johns really out did himself here. The action was also spectacular, and with appearances from both Dr. Light, and Shaggy Man, Johns definitely seems to be livening things up. I would highly recommend this issue, and the series as a whole, and can't wait for the next issue.

Rating: 5/5