Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Justice League #4 Review


Rebirth This Rebirth

Written by: Bryan Hitch
Art by: Jesus Merino, Andy Owens, Tomeu Morey, and Richard Starkings
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: September 7, 2016

I don't think it would surprise anyone to find out that in general, I have not been enjoying Justice League since Rebirth.  I have a full list of reasons that I will not go into, but instead will try to stay focused on the positives...at least for this intro.  The art in this book has been pretty solid lately and the inclusion of the Green Lanterns (Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz) and Pre-Flashpoint Superman gives the book a different dynamic than we've had in years.  That's about it for the positives as far as I'm concerned so I am just going to get on with the review.  Is this the issue that turns it all around and shows that Bryan Hitch had a great story going right under our noses all this time?  Let's find out...


The issue begins with Jessica and Simon in space and right away I was thrown out of the issue by the awful dialogue.  I think I've finally figured out what I hate about it...everyone in this book talks, but nobody seems to listen.  Not even to themselves. Take this opener for example.  Jessica and Simon are trying to stop the "things" from getting to Earth and Jessica tells Simon, "Barry is trying to stop them single-handedly. We have to make sure no more get through, Simon."  Simon responds, "If Flash says he can do the job, Jess, he can DO the job.  Now we have to do OURS and keep these freaky things away from Earth."  Suddenly, I yearn for the bickering of the Green Lanterns book.



The scene continues with what may be even worse dialogue and then switches over to Cyborg and Batman.  They are still on the Kent's Farm and Cyborg is still being attacked by those "things".  He ends up turning their language back on them and purges them and then utters the words that sum up what most of us say every time we put money down for this book..."We are so screwed!"



It's then off to see the gathered Kindred who talk of songs, purge, world breaking and the final phase. I have said it before, but I will again, lack of information does not make something a mystery.  This story is not the new boy who moved into town right before the school year started and has all the girls hearts a flutter.  This is a comic book and by issue #4 I expect to know a little of what is going on!  The problem is, Hitch writes everything in such a general way that it's hard to get a grasp on  anything.  Our heroes us general statements...we need to stop those things...It's their language...It says the end is coming and they can fix it.  I don't know about you, but I want to know more, not because I'm intrigued, but because I think I deserve something by now!  Anything!!!

After a quick peek at a crumbling Atlantis and Aquaman going on about the crystals, we are back at the Kent's with Batman and Cyborg.  If you blinked you might have missed that a world wide earthquake just happened, but there are other problems at hand.  Cyborg is still connected the the Purge and he can hear all the planets and people who have already been purged.  He also knows the Purge's master plan...it's trying to "make us into something else, something not human, and I think that's the important bit.  Not Human."  Okay!  I wished for something and now I realize what people mean when they tell you to be careful what you wish for!



We then head to the Earth's core to visit Superman and besides the fact that he doesn't act like the hero who stood up to Doomsday and made sure he defeated him with his final blow, the stuff we get with Lois is pretty good and really puts her Clark squarely on the Justice League.  

We get back to the norm with Flash running around trying to stop the Purge when he runs into the Kindred and an earthquake.  Then we see Wonder Woman finding out a little information from the Kindred themselves and it looks pretty grim.  This is when we go back to Superman and suddenly I'm confused about where these earthquake machines are.  We have talked inner and outer core so much now that I just think they are wherever is convenient at the time.



I guess it is no big deal because he comes up with a successful plan of attack (which may even be a jab at Superman throwing everything into the Sun), but there are still three more!  The issue then ends with Wonder Woman threatening the Kindred, Barry losing The Speed again and the Green Lanterns finding something crazy on the dead planet that isn't so dead.

I have had about enough of this book, this story, this whatever the hell it is.  I know it can't just be me.  Bryan Hitch is making this the worst book of Rebirth and that's a shame for any book, let alone one that is supposed to be a flagship title.  I will continue reading and reviewing it and patiently wait for it to get better or get a new writer.  I think the later will happen first.

Jesus Merino does a decent job on art and I give him credit for that.  There is nothing that really stood out to me (save maybe the cliffhanger page) and the art could not even get close to making this mess any more enjoyable.  It did keep it form an even lower score, so there is that.

Note:  For those of you in the know (ie: listeners to our podcast), I could not give this issue an F-U 5, not because it doesn't deserve the other meaning of such score, but because I don't want anyone to even think for one moment that this is an "average" book.  It is not.  It is way worse.

Bits and Pieces:

While it's hard to figure out who the real villain is in the Justice League book, the real villain in Bryan Hitch.  His story is convoluted, confusing and worst of all, boring.  Really, it is awful and everyone should stay far away from it until DC gets wise and puts a new writer on it.

3.5/10

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12 comments:

  1. Yeah it's pretty bad, it's super vague, the kindred speak in riddles, we don't really know what's going on, the dialogue is poor and frankly it's not an interesting premise. And then you have Wonder Woman talking nonsense some more, everyone sounds like a moron but more so Wonder Woman

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    1. 100 % correct...I love that the Kindred are telling Wonder Woman that what the heroes are doing is helping their plan and Wonder Woman just yells at them...listen Wonder Woman!!!!!!

      this whole thing is utter nonsense!

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  2. Totally agree Jim. The only way DC saves us from this garbage is for the sales to be terrible. But I'm not overly optimistic though. We did just get a JLA book with a BvS cover. That book was delayed and cancelled half a dozen times and DC still gave him Justice League. What does a guy have to do to get demoted at DC?!

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    1. I know! He must know where the bodies are buried!!! We can hope...my prediction is he is replaced after the Suicide Squad/Justice League Crossover

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  3. What the fuck was this bullshit I just read. Holy God I think I'd rather lick my dogs ass after he's taken a shit than read another one of Hitch's Justice League books. I'm out....first cut of the Rebirth. I'm enjoying EVERYTHING else but this bullshit of a book.

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  4. My #1 New 52 book is now my least favorite book in Rebirth so far. Bottom three are Blue Beetle, Batgirl, and this Disjustice D-League crap.

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  5. This story is just so awkward to read.

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    1. that is a very nice way of putting it! The lack of info and awful dialogue really does make it awkward to read

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  6. I stopped reading this book after issue 1. After listening to your review and skimming a few pages on comixology I have a theory the Bryan Hitch is trying very hard to emulate Stephen Moffat area Dr. Who. And not any good episodes either, but bad ones really bad ones. There are so many lines and thoughts that remind of dr. who lines. Particularly songs being sung and entities living inside planets. I am glad it's not a title I am wasting my money on. Whenever Bryan hitch leaves the book I'll try it again, but I can't stand reading something with confusing dialogue.

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    1. I think you're right about the Moffat connection. It's there in the faux authoritarianism of Diana's dialogue, certainly - as well as the over-complicated plot which fails to make connections that actually work. It's there in the too-fantastical lack of groundedness, the belief that simple things can 'fix' huge potentially catastrophic problems. It's a very poor issue.

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  7. I'm in full agreement, Jim. A terrible issue, the eye-pleasing art notwithstanding. The dialogue is appalling, the plot a mess and some of the ideas (if that's not too generous a word) simply risible. If you're going to write an epic global story like this, it has to be way more detailed and grounded than this.

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