Death in the Team?
WARNING: THIS WILL SPOIL THE ENDING OF JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #4!
This has been one of my favourite series in the New 52 lately, and it's really been the superior Justice League title. I've also loved seeing the developments of the character's, and overall the build up to Trinity War has been amazing.
After killing Catwoman, the Secret Society of Super Villains plan to take the rest of the Justice League of America out. Meanwhile Green Lantern (Simon Baz) joins goes to the JLA's Headquarters to discuss joining the team.
Martian Manhunter Back-up
The Martian Manhunter discovers the creature responsible for the destruction of his planet, and goes to seek his revenge.
This was yet another brilliant issue, and although it wasn't quite as good as last issue, it wasn't far behind. Geoff Johns has really been doing a fantastic job on all his series, but this has been the one that has stood out the most for me as of late. The way he's developed this team over the first five issues has been amazing, and even more during this, as with the Secret Society of Villains having already killed Catwoman, the JLA will have to work as a closer unit to defeat them. Johns' also writes the character's brilliantly on their own, as you can always see their personalities, and characteristics, and although I've enjoyed seeing them work together, they've been just as interesting individually. The drama in this issue was also outstanding, as the issue was really deep, and dramatic, as well as suspenseful. The action was also handled superbly in this issue, and it was very exciting, and dynamic, and the dialogue during it was amazing. To be fair the dialogue was brilliant throughout the entire issue, mainly when the leader of the Secret Society was talking, as he's a really mysterious, and interesting character.
The art from Brett Booth was once again outstanding, and I've been extremely happy that he's managed to work on this title for these two issues, and wish it was for longer. I really enjoyed David Finch's art in the first three issues, but Booth's has been simply phenomenal, and much better. His work in DC has been amazing, and I've loved what he's done in both Teen Titans, and Nightwing, and this may just even be better. The detail in Booth's art is simply fantastic, and there are little, to no imperfections, if any at all. The layout of Booth's artwork was also brilliant, and it really added flare, and drama to the issue, making it stand out more, which is always a positive. The best thing about Booth's art however has to be how he handles action, and he showed that in here. The action sequences were simply outstanding, having ton's of excitement, and suspense. Booth also does a great job of drawing all the character's, and I love how he manages to make them all look like they usually look, whilst adding his own subtle changes, and style. Booth also did a fabulous job of showing the character's emotions, and facial expressions, as you could easily tell how they felt, which adds more depth to the story.
This issue would be the first in the series to properly introduce the Green Lantern, Baz Simon into the JLA. Now Baz doesn't do a great lot in this issue, but the fact that he's finally joined the team made me happy, as I loved him in Green Lantern. At the same time I was happy that Johns waited till his Wrath of the First Lantern story in Green Lantern was finished before properly introducing him to this series, as it helps with continuity. I also loved how Baz wasn't alone in this issue, as he was with Agent Fed, and fellow Green Lantern, B'dg, and the interaction he had with these character's was simply amazing.
Now last issue ended with Catwoman being killed. Now I won't go into great detail about how this was developed in this issue, but I will say my thoughts on the matter. The fact that Catwoman was killed last issue was slightly shocking, as although it was already speculated, it was still shocking to see, and was very dramatic, leaving the perfect cliffhanger. I was however not entirely happy with how it was continued in this issue, as although Johns was clever about it, it kind of took away from the amazing sequence, making it feel slightly cheap, which wasn't nice.
The JLA continued to fight the Shaggy Man, with certain other members going after the rest of the Secret Society. Now this sequence wasn't quite as good as the one from last issue, as although it was still exciting, and dramatic, with brilliant dialogue, and art, it didn't have quite as much suspense. I did however love how the team finally worked as a team, and although they weren't the most well oiled unit, they worked pretty well together. I also enjoyed how other members of the Secret Society reacted to certain things during this sequence, especially from their mysterious leader, and I would really love to see more of the Secret Society, and learn more about their leader in the near future (hopefully the villains month for the Secret Society will grant that wish).
This issue also had things that looked to be setting up the Trinity War, and although I won't go into any details, as to avoid spoilers, it has got me even more excited than I already am about the event.
The Martian Manhunter back-up continues in this issue, with the Martian Manhunter finding the creature responsible for the demise of Mars. Matt Kindt has really been doing an outstanding job with these back-up stories over the last few issues, and although they haven't been the best back-ups stories I've ever read, they've been very enjoyable, and have made me start to like the Martian Manhunter more, as I used to really dislike him. I loved how we got to see some emotion from the Martian Manhunter in this story, and how the goal of getting vengeance fuelled him. I also found the events that would occur to be very interesting, and look forward to seeing any possible development to them. Manuel Garcia, who worked on the back-up story in issue 3 returned to once again do the artwork on this back-up feature, and once again it was outstanding. His style really suits the Martian Manhunter, and he's the second best artist to feature on this back-up, after the late Scott Clark, and I hope he's able to work on it on a permanent basis.
This was a fantastic issue, and although not quite as good as last issue, it was still amazing. The action was continued perfectly, and the dialogue was perfect. There were also some great developments, as well as hints towards Trinity War, which was brilliant. There were however a couple of things that bugged me, and that's what ultimately dropped the overall rating of this issue. I would however still recommend this issue, and the series so far, and can't wait for the start of Trinity War.