Justice League of America #4 Review

Justice League of America #4

Written by: Geoff Johns, MattKindt
Art by: Brett Booth, Andres Guinaldo

Justice League of America #4 is better than its predecessors, but still makes me question whether or not this book has a legitimate purpose. Because their ultimate goal is to take down the Justice League when necessary, I feel as though this team could have maintained an adversary within the pages of Justice League.

This book isn’t bad, it’s just that popcorn movie with generally undefined characters. The characters are minimally defined by their stereotypes (the gruff one, the cute one, etc.) with equally defined opponents in the Secret Society. It’s the back up feature that redeems this book. Here we dig deep into Martian Manhunter’s anguish, and how his fear of fire comes from its role in the destruction of all his relationships back on Mars. While that story is great, its 8-pages don’t justify the price of the entire comic.

In terms of the main feature, I still can’t pinpoint what the Secret Society has done that is all that bad (besides having an awfully suspicious name). However, Johns justifies how bad they really are with the cliffhanger. This just shows that they’ll do horrible things to accomplish their evil deeds, yet there’s no overly substantial evidence of those evil doings.

Catwoman is the real draw for this book, as Johns writes her with sharp dialogue, while using her specialties as a natural entry into the Secret Society. However, the cliffhanger points to a limitation of her use in the near future. Besides Catwoman, every other team member is diluted to one or two lines of dialogue that superficially represent their attitude on being with the team. Yes, their membership was explained on paper in issue one, but there’s been no real revelation of their emotional draw to the team.

Brett Booth is a fine addition to the book. I don’t find his work to be particularly emotive (certainly better than Finch), but his detailed, sculpted portrayal of superheroes is a good fit for this series.

I want to like this series more, but Justice League of America #4′s effort doesn’t quite get me on board with the series’ premise or characters. It’s Matt Kindt’s stellar back-ups that redeem this series month-to-month. If only the depth explored in those 8-page tales could translate into the main feature.

Score: 7.0/10