REVIEW: Justice League #4

Man I have to tell you that fifth week months screw me up when it comes to remembering when certain comics are coming out. In the past fifth weeks meant a weekly event would be coming to a close or there wasn’t a ton of comics coming out and you could leave your LCS without your own wallet trying to murder you. Now with both Marvel and DC flooding the market, the fifth week isn’t any different from the previous four. You maybe wondering what does have to do with new issue of Justice League? Nothing, I just wanted to vent a bit spoilers are followed you have been warned.

After finishing this issue, I’m not entirely sure exactly what Hitch’s intentions were when you factor in the overall plot of this first arc. After the previous three issues following a pattern of dynamic action, exposition, then more dynamic action it seems here that he tries to combine the amazing set pieces with a balance of story. This chapter of Justice League left me asking more questions than I had previously, and while I’m not expecting for Hitch to deliver everything on a silver platter, but if I’m as a reader confused on the actions of the antagonist with no clue despite heavy amounts of dialog that when boiled down can be just summed up as “we want to make a better world by destroying it.”

These sections of dialog between Wonder Woman and The Kindred just felt like Hitch was trying to hard to make this abstract threat feel more dangerous despite previous pages of world destruction. It didn’t help that the word balloon effect for this particular scene strained my eyes and I had reread the scene a few times to even make out what the Kindred was even saying. This might the first instance I’ve brought up lettering in any of my reviews, but good lettering goes unnoticed. There are ways to make a word balloon look visually distinct without giving vision problems to your readers, who has Todd Klein’s number?

On a slightly more positive note, Hitch’s best scenes are ones that are centered on Superman and while they weren’t many pages involving the Man of Steel Hitch’s inner monologue of doubt for him is something you don’t see every time with a character like Superman. This is most likely attributed to Superman’s new status as a father, but Hitch uses it to give great emotional context to an already intense scene. With that being said, Hitch is vastly improving on his dialog, and to use the example of Baz and Cruz as they attempt to stop the invading alien armada. While brief the exchange between the two Green Lanterns felt very natural, the only one who felt stiff was Batman but given the dynamics of the Justice League that’s how I expect the Dark Knight to sound.

Neither Tony Daniel nor Hitch penciled this issue but instead Jesus Merino joins the fray. I’ve seen Merino’s pencils before and it was your typical DC house style, not bad art just sadly art that is forgettable. Merino’s art was more visually impressive than I perhaps remembered, there are still sticking with “Hitch like” splash pages that showcase the scale the threat the Justice League happen to be facing. What I really enjoyed was Merino’s great character acting through facial expressions, seeing Lois anguish at the thought that her husband might not come back home, or even the comical look on Cyborg’s face when he realizes their fate. I’m not sure if Merino is the second artist, but if he is and he keeps up this level of quality then at the very least Justice League will look amazing.

Justice League continues to be perplexing as I’m enjoying a lot of the aspects that Hitch has brought to the series but I’m struggling to be engaged with how he’s handling the execution of the plot. At the minimum Justice League continues to be a high intense thrill ride with enough character moments to most readers invested. Hopefully next issue Hitch is a bit more coherent with the main story.

Justice League #4 earns a 3/5

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