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Justice League #33 - Injustice League, Chapter 4: Puppet Strings Review

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The Justice League vs Doom Patrol vs Lex Luthor vs Power Ring. There's a lot of fighting going on.

The Good

As a carry over from FOREVER EVIL, we're seeing what's happening with Power Ring's power ring. Jessica Cruz is suffering from Agoraphobia and the sentient ring feeds on the fears of others. Jessica has unwillingly become its new host and as the Lex Luthor, the Justice League, and Doom Patrol try to stop the destructions she's causing, they all have their own reasons to stop her as well.

One of the fun things in this issue is seeing Lex Luthor step into the spotlight. We all love a good villain and of course Lex is more than just a villain. There is some complexity that puts him above others. Now that he's weaseled his way alongside the Justice League, it's fascinating to see what he's thinking and what this could mean for the future of the team. Lex simply knows how to push people's buttons. Getting to see his rivalry with Niles Caulder is a treat as well.

Geoff Johns is also giving us a look at the Doom Patrol in the New 52. It's great having a team where you can't really be sure what the motives are. Can Caulder be trusted? Is he trying to do the right thing? The "he said, he said," between Lex and the Chief is pretty golden. I don't know if I'd want an actual Doom Patrol series but my curiosity is definitely getting aroused.

Doug Mahnke has his hands full. There are a lot of characters and a lot of fighting going on. I always enjoy when Mahnke does close ups to see the expressions and emotions the characters have. Andrew Dalhouse must be working overtime on the colors. There's so many great scenes with a variety in the color palette. It's almost mesmerizing looking at the color and shading of the explosions, energy from the power ring, and simply shading of the sky when the dust settles.

The Bad

I've mentioned before that while I respect the Doom Patrol and their history, I'm not the biggest fan. The bigger issue for me here is how easily they dive into a fight against the Justice League. We also have so many characters fighting each other, we miss out on a lot of the action. There's just not enough room to see how everything plays out. This gives a slight disjointed feel as he just drop in on the different combatants. It's a little unclear where everyone ends up when the fighting ends. The isolated feeling in some scenes made it feel like the fight was scattered across the city.

The Verdict

The Justice League is going through some changes. Too often team books continue down the same path and can end up feeling a little stagnant. Geoff Johns is shaking things up and having Lex Luthor around is like dropping a live grenade into the mix. While most of the issue focuses on the fighting between the Justice League and Doom Patrol, we get to see more developments for the future of this title. Doug Mahnke is tasked with drawing a huge amount of characters. Andrew Dalhouse's colors are fantastic. Things are changing for the Justice League and you won't want to miss what's developing.

53 Comments
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Posted by HolySerpent

Must pick up

Posted by Boynerdgeek

I really enjoy this issue. Not masterpiece , not bad but it is solid

Posted by Squalleon

I thought Geoff did justice to Batman in this issue. Bats was a boss.

Posted by cmd735

I really like the Bruce/Lex dynamic in this series.

Posted by MrTummyTumms

Has The Chief always been a been a jerk or is it just New 52 Chief?

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Edited by sealife

How did Hawkgirl appear, isn't she on Earth-2?

Oh, the variant cover.

Posted by Saren

Has The Chief always been a been a jerk or is it just New 52 Chief?

He's always been a jerk.

Moderator
Posted by Lvenger

So apparently Shazam doesn't display a major new power in this issue. Hooray for misleading solicits...

Posted by Jphu8414

Pretty good issue, Jessica Cruz should be an interesting character I think, and Batman saved the day!

Has The Chief always been a been a jerk or is it just New 52 Chief?

New 52 is nothing compared to how much of a jerk Chief was Pre-52, read Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol run, Chief did some nasty stuff there.

Posted by andreww154

The Darwyn Cooke variant cover is super-cool.

Posted by HushoftheWind

I thought Geoff did justice to Batman in this issue. Bats was a boss.

I agree sir. Lex looked kinda childish in this issue, calling Bat's by his civilian name and flying off leaving Batman in the middle of his dust.

Posted by Superguy1591

I'm going to wait for the Batman fans to come in here and find a reason to critic Geoff'S writing of Batman.

They'll find something...@entropy_aegis ...come on, buddy. I know you have something to say.

Anyway, Geoff writes a great Luthor. Luthor made me Lols so much.

Posted by justice teen

Now I am waiting for them to show why Superman and the flash left the team.

Posted by SmashBrawler
Posted by DrThanos91

I liked this for many reasons,first and foremost is the Mind battle of who can be the brilliant hero Between Batman and Luthor,the age by page battle of whos gonna save the day.and next Is Jessica the new Lantern,I'm sure a few of knew of her coming when in Green Lanterns they show simon baz trainig her,(we never got an image of her face...) but now that time has come,so we hopefully we will be seeing Simon Baz come around

my only issue was Shazam..I'm sure a few others who read it may agree with me on this

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Posted by Superguy1591
Posted by spacemanspiff85

I'm hoping they bring Simon Baz back into this soon, since he was shown helping Cruz way back when Johns left Green Lantern.

Posted by SmashBrawler

@superguy1591: Please. What you're trying to do here is painfully obvious.

Posted by TheBhramaBull

@superguy1591: Please. What you're trying to do here is painfully obvious.

Agreed. That said, I will bite.

I find it pretty ridiculous that Lex has to explain to Bruce that the ring works like Hal's does, except it feeds off fear rather than will. Anyone on the League should have been able to realise that and that they needed to break that connection.

But that's just nitpicking, the rest of the issue he did justice to Batman for once.

Edited by Kerrigan

Mostly a good issue, although Supes and Lex look like they're chewing tobacco or have some unpleasant jaw inflammation here:

Posted by fil123

@smashbrawler said:

@superguy1591: Please. What you're trying to do here is painfully obvious.

Agreed. That said, I will bite.

I find it pretty ridiculous that Lex has to explain to Bruce that the ring works like Hal's does, except it feeds off fear rather than will. Anyone on the League should have been able to realise that and that they needed to break that connection.

But that's just nitpicking, the rest of the issue he did justice to Batman for once.

they do that for the readers id assume

Edited by PapiNacho

@squalleon: I agree, I mean Geoff's dialogue had some problems but the character work was well done.

It does give me hope that Batman wont just let Luthor walk all over him.

Posted by Jayc1324

I love having Luthor on the league. He's the one thing Johns does right. However I don't want this to turn into the lex luthor book, and the art is bad sometimes.

Posted by batcat91

@jayc1324: It's definitely interesting to have Luthor on the league yet still incredibly bizarre seeing him and Superman on the same team. I have a feeling this arc will be Luthor-centric. There are books that sometimes give the spotlight for one character in a team book. For Batman it was Tower of Babel, for Wonder Woman it was A League of One, and for Aquaman-- Throne of Atlantis.

Glad to hear that Batman was portrayed in a positive light in this issue :)

I also wonder how Heat Wave, Cold's Sister, Weather Wizard and the rest of the rogues feel about Captain Cold being in the Justice League

Posted by Boynerdgeek

@jayc1324: well can't wait for Jason Fabok to take over art duty ;)

Posted by Fastestmanalive

Really great issue. Its been a bit since JL has been good. Batman kicked ass. The story is moving forward. And the Doom patrol's new spin was pretty cool as well.

4.5/5 for me.

Posted by Superguy1591

@smashbrawler: I actually had no idea that Batman fans would try to complain; I just was just trying to get them to say that Johns doesn't hate Batman since Batman saved the day over Luthor...then @thebhramabull came and I remembered that you guys are just irrational.

My bad

Edited by Superguy1591

@jayc1324: everyone gets a turn, buddy. I told you guys that. This is actually Batman's arc, not Lex's.

Lex is just going to be the antagonist Batman has to take on. This is called a build up. It's like wanking except it is for a villain. Geoff is building up Luthor into a threat that would require the entire JL to stop.

You our see the difference between wanking and build up?

Posted by timelord

I'm really getting tired of the constant team bickering I just want them all to be friends. Where up to issue 34 now and it feels like they would rather fight each other than the bad guys.

Cyborg and Shazam are a nice change of pace they only get a few panels of dialogue or so each issue which is worth it.

At least Jeff Lemire gets it in Justice Leauge United the team is not even together yet and they feel closer to being friends than the main Leauge after 6 issues.

Posted by SmashBrawler

@superguy1591 said:

I remembered that you guys are just irrational.

There it is again. Knock it off.

If you want to have a good, rational discussion with someone else, do so. Don't bait people into petty arguments and belittle other users with baseless assumptions.

Posted by Jayc1324
Posted by Boynerdgeek

@timelord: well every team have different kind of team dynamic. If every superhero team dynamic is kind like "everyone we are now friends after 10 issue" then comics will become clichè and boring

Edited by batcat91

@smashbrawler: I actually had no idea that Batman fans would try to complain; I just was just trying to get them to say that Johns doesn't hate Batman since Batman saved the day over Luthor...then @thebhramabull came and I remembered that you guys are just irrational.

My bad

Posted by batcat91

@boynerdgeek: Since Lex and Cold are in the team it makes sense for there to be tension. But the Justice League as whole should be above being petty. It's less about proving you're better, and more about contributing to the team with your own personal experiences and abilities. The team would be more effective and well coordinated. Though I agree there should be times when they get into disagreements to provide drama in the story.

Edited by timelord

@timelord: well every team have different kind of team dynamic. If every superhero team dynamic is kind like "everyone we are now friends after 10 issue" then comics will become clichè and boring

It's been three years every event seems to drive them apart more. We had the team form then Hal quit after we had Throne of Atlantis where Cyborg stepped up then we had Trinity War and Forever Evil.

Posted by kazekaine1

Has The Chief always been a been a jerk or is it just New 52 Chief?

Lot of People won't admit it but the chief was always a manipulative Douche

Posted by entropy_aegis

@lvenger said:

So apparently Shazam doesn't display a major new power in this issue. Hooray for misleading solicits...

They've misled us with every single issue of this arc.

I'm going to wait for the Batman fans to come in here and find a reason to critic Geoff'S writing of Batman.

They'll find something...@entropy_aegis ...come on, buddy. I know you have something to say.

Anyway, Geoff writes a great Luthor. Luthor made me Lols so much.

He finally wrote a decent Batman,remains to be seen if he can do it consistently. This doesn't change anything,especially not years of Johns work.

@jayc1324: everyone gets a turn, buddy. I told you guys that. This is actually Batman's arc, not Lex's.

Lex is just going to be the antagonist Batman has to take on. This is called a build up. It's like wanking except it is for a villain. Geoff is building up Luthor into a threat that would require the entire JL to stop.

You our see the difference between wanking and build up?

Haha no,this was not Batman's arc. This was a new JL members set up arc,after that we've got Amazo virus and Darkseid war,then Rise of the Seven seas. There is no Batman arc.

Edited by mksystem74

@jayc1324 said:

I love having Luthor on the league. He's the one thing Johns does right. However I don't want this to turn into the lex luthor book, and the art is bad sometimes.

Sometimes? I couldn't stand the art the entire issue. For one of their main books, the art should be a lot better, especially since the quality has been there for over 2 years now.

Posted by Dernman

It seems this is going to be a Batman and Lex book from now on. Other characters are just background.

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Edited by Jayc1324
Edited by entropy_aegis
Edited by batcat91

@superguy1591 said:

I remembered that you guys are just irrational.

There it is again. Knock it off.

If you want to have a good, rational discussion with someone else, do so. Don't bait people into petty arguments and belittle other users with baseless assumptions.

Posted by johnny_blaze

Where was the big battle?

Posted by Frozen

@lvenger said:

So apparently Shazam doesn't display a major new power in this issue. Hooray for misleading solicits...

It was completely misleading, or in fact, a straight up lie.

Posted by TheBhramaBull

@superguy1591 said:

I remembered that you guys are just irrational.

There it is again. Knock it off.

If you want to have a good, rational discussion with someone else, do so. Don't bait people into petty arguments and belittle other users with baseless assumptions.

You are awesome!

How about we have a rational discussion @superguy1591 ? What exactly was irrational about my point? If I, the reader, am well aware that the power ring is like Hal's except it feeds off fear and that they needed to break the connection, I think it should have been fairly obvious to anyone on the league. Especially to someone who is "the World's Greatest Detective", who even saw the ring being used in action before when he battled the original Power Ring from Earth-3.

Posted by TDK_1997

The issue did justice to Batman but apart from that it wasn't good. The Doom Patrol isn't anything like the old version we all love and the characters appeared for a few panels each which was a big waste of them to even put them here.

Posted by Justthatkid

The issue was great. The Batman confronting Cruz felt familiar though. Possibly might be from when in the animated cartoon he confronted Ace or something else. Don't know..

Still a really great scene and that moment was drawn great.

Edited by The_Tree

Yeesh, I hope Johns doesn't touch the Doom Patrol again.

Though I do find it hilarious that Niles' spine is constantly being threatened by people in the New 52. It's like the guy with the missing arm in Hot Tub Time Machine, you're just waiting for it to happen.

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Posted by Jayc1324

Any tender moment where batman shows emotion and care for someone like he did here is special.

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