Justice League of America #4
Justice League of America’s first arc had an abrupt, yet exciting conclusion.
A lot of that credit can be attributed to the return of artist Ivan Reis. As one of the legit superstars in the DC roster, Reis can raise even mediocre material to a higher level. Writer Steve Orlando fares better wrapping this storyline than its opening three chapters mainly just for getting out of the way and letting the League and Extremists fight.
While that could have been stock fisticuffs exchanges, Orlando exhibited a great comprehension of the League members’ powers and fighting abilities. It’s Vixen, not Batman, who has the arc’s best moment thanks to a clever power display.
The big battle would have been more engaging if more of the League teamed up like Killer Frost and Atom, but it was fun watching them in action rather than have prolonged strategy sessions. And it definitely doesn’t hurt having Reis draw in it his detailed, larger than life cinematic style. Earlier issues were more dialogue focused and didn’t fully take advantage of his skills. This issue was a breakneck action sequence from one page to the next.
Orlando briefly offers a glimpse of The Extremists’ other world with its Marvel analogy Avengers. These heroes were different from the original Extremists origin. Hopefully at some point, Orlando will explore this world pre-Extremists attack further as this could prove an interesting world and characters for the League to discover.
Wrapping up the first arc in four issues was a good sign that Orlando won’t draw out stories. While this first one never fully connected and his take on Batman remains off, there’s potential here with this title. Especially if Reis sticks around to illustrate it.
Rating: 8 out of 10