Review: Justice League of America #4

Written by Rachel Freeman

Justice League of America is published by DC Comics. It is written by Steve Orlando with art by Joe Prado and Ivan Reis.

Here we are at the finale of the first JLA story arc. We have our heroes: Batman, Black Canary, Killer Frost, Lobo, The Ray, and Captain Atom fighting a rather brutal battle against a totalitarian group who call themselves, “The Extremists”. The Extremists goal is to bring the nation of Kravia under their rule and if they succeed, they will most likely go after the rest of the world as well. While, in classic fashion, a rebel group of humans exists, most of the Kravian leaders have submitted to Lord Havok and his ideals. I mean, Kravia isn’t on the brink of civil war anymore, there’s no crime, but there also isn’t free will. In each area of Kravia, an Extremists member is there to keep order. And for the poor people who happened to be in Dreamslayer’s assigned region, they are frozen, time has stopped, and Dreamslayer has no intention of ever returning them back to normal.


So, in the last issue, we saw The Ray attempting to reason with Dreamslayer. Well, that’s still happening. Everyone else got their asses kicked and are now returning the favor, while The Ray, arguably the most powerful of the JLA, is have a discussion with the actual most powerful of the Extremists. It sounds like his part is super lame, right? It’s actually not. And it makes total sense. Dreamslayer is the most powerful, but his psyche is very fragile. He was a soldier, he needs control and order to function, to make decisions. If the Ray just flew in guns a-blazin, Dreamslayer would probably just kill every person he has frozen in time. Instead, Ray decides that reason is the best course of action to save everyone, including Dreamslayer, who really doesn’t seem like a bad dude.

Meanwhile, Lobo is fighting Tracer, Black Canary is taking on Gorgon, the Atom and Killer Frost (mostly Killer Frost) is against Death Bat, and finally, our fearless leaders, Batman and Vixen, are attempting to take down Lord Havok. Out of all of the fights, Batman and Vixen’s seems the most futile, however, Vixen has a special trick up her sleeve. I didn’t even see it coming, it was honestly a genius maneuver, kudos to you, Steve Orlando.

Pros: We get some awesome fight scenes. Seriously. This issue is like, 90% brawling. Punching, kicking, blood, smashed buildings, explosions, fire, THE CANARY CRY, we get it all. I don’t think I’ve commented on this yet, but I really love the ladies’ outfits in this series so far. Good job, Joe Prado and Ivan Reis. I mean, sure, Black Canary still has her corset-type top and fishnets, but it’s not just a leather one-piece now, her top looks like its armor or at least padded for fighting and she wears shorts and combat boots as opposed to the stilettos they sometimes put her in. Also, they all looked ripped as fuck. They’re super heroes. They’re supposed to look that way. Yes, even if they’re female.

Cons: All I can see when I look at The Extremists are the Marvel characters they are clearly based off of. Yes, I know they were created that way, but come on DC. You couldn’t have made them look different now? This is REBIRTH. You had the chance to change them for a new generation and you didn’t. Like, it’s not even subtle guys. Anyone who has read a Marvel comic or even just watched any Marvel movie will be like, “Gee, Tracer sure looks a lot like Sabertooth. Gorgon sure resembles Doctor Octopus”. Maybe it’s just me, but it made it hard for me to read them as they are for this comic, as opposed to their Marvel counterparts.< OVERALL SCORE: 9 / 10

Without spoiling, I will say that I really liked the ending. I like that everything is ultimately rounded up, but now we have a new question. It already allows us to start imagining what the JLA could be up against next. So make sure you pick up a copy at your local comic store!

Happy reading!