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Justice League of America #4 Review and *SPOILERS*
Gooble Gobble, One of Us
Written By: Bryan Hitch Art By: Bryan Hitch, Daniel Henriques, Alex Sinclair, Chris Eliopoulos
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 14, 2015
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
Wow, it seems like a long time since I jumped into this out of continuity Justice League story..... and you know what? It has been. This book just kept getting pushed back and each week I thought I was going crazy because I swore that it was supposed to keep coming out, but it's finally here and we can see how evil religion really is........ oh man, I'm really projecting onto you good people here...... but seriously........evil. In the previous issue we saw Flash transported from 250,000 years ago in Krypton's past to 1961 on Earth, where he met up with that mysterious Infinity Corporation, while Hal stayed behind to meet with the Kryptonian God Rao. Wonder Woman was in a dark void that was once Olympus, while Batman worried about Superman and Superman appreciated it..... you know, because he thought it was sweet. All of this and Rao cured the world of sickness, hunger and bigotry. With god's like these, who needs heroes? Well, let's find out as we jump into this issue. Let's check it out.
Our story begins with our heroes starting to get on top of the situation....... you know, alien invasion and all that because however you want to look at it, that's exactly what it is........ bring all the love you want E.T., you aren't invading my ass. Anyway, Superman wants Cyborg to test his blood and Batman is running some tests of his own at the Gotham General Hospital with the help of a bored doctor, who since Rao came to Earth has just been going through the motions. All of this of course is because Rao has been sending his prophets out and about, blessing everyone they can and whoever gets blessed.......well, they want others to feel how blessed they are. This is a goddamn zombie apocalypse right here. The terror of the situation really hit me when we saw a father and mother forcing their little girl, who was afraid of the prophets and afraid of what the blessing does to a person, get blessed and immediately go from crying to wanting to see others blessed as well. It was a really effective scene and really set the tone for the entire book.
So while the Superman, Cyborg and Batman are trying to get to the bottom of things, Green Lantern is meeting Rao 250,000 years in Krypton's past and boy, Rao sure looks different. He's an old fogey, who is happy as hell to see a Green Lantern because there's a rival faction in Argo City and Rao wants GL to help him with the peace negotiations and to do that, Rao has to put his game face on. Before they leave, Rao has his prophets give him some of their life force so that he can become young again....... and now it makes sense why he would want everyone on Earth loving his ass.
While Hal gets ready to talk peace, on Earth during the present, we see all over the news how Rao is spreading his message and gathering more prophets......... and we see how fucking useless Aquaman is in this series because all we see of him here is Mera and him laying in bed at Mercy Reef watching the news and Mera asking him if it was such a good idea for him to leave a prophet in Atlantis...... where Aquaman pretty much goes "Meh".
In the end, we find out that the people who have been blessed by Rao have new protein markers within them, fundamentally changing them and making them calmer....... like lambs to the slaughter in my opinion and the fucked up part of all of this is, Superman has them as well, but they were bred into him. As Cyborg deduces, at some point in Krypton's past, his people were changed to immediately love Rao at birth........ I'm guessing this has something to do with GL in the past, but I don't know how Superman's going to counteract it because as our issue ends, Superman is confronted by Rao and a bunch of his prophets in his Fortress of Solitude and you know that can't be good.
That's it for this issue of JLA and while I haven't exactly warmed up to this story from the issues we've had so far, I can really see myself stepping onto the JLA trolley after this because as I said earlier, the scene was perfectly set from the little girl crying and screaming as her parents pulled her towards a prophet to get blessed...... and I actually felt for that girl and that's what I really want from a story, just a little emotion to grab me and make me care. My only real complaint from this issue is something that I've had an issue with from the ones that preceded it and that's the entire team isn't really featured and some like Aquaman and Wonder Woman don't really seem to have anything to do at all. Hell, Aquaman seemed to sell out his own people and when he learned about what was going down, he pretty much reacted like he'd get to it after he was done watching his stories. It's still a bit rough in both writing and art, but I found myself digging this issue and hopefully it continues to tease my emotions.
Bits and Pieces:
This is a weird blurb, but this story is really reminding me of the final two seasons of Stargate SG1, when the team dealt with the Ori....... and while some of you might not know what the hell I'm talking about, it's kind of important because it deals with similar stories and when I originally watched those two seasons, I didn't like them, but eventually I warmed up to them and just like those final two seasons of Stargate, I'm beginning to warm up to this series as well. While it's still not perfect, it's something that's enjoyable and I hope it maintains the atmosphere that it set here.