Tuesday, May 16, 2023

The Justice Society of America #4 Review


Written by: Geoff Johns
Art by: Mikel Janín, Jerry Ordway
Colors by: Jordie Bellaire, John Kalisz
Letters by: Rob Leigh
Cover art by: Mikel Janín
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: May 16, 2023

The Justice Society of America #4 spells out Degaton's plan and how he intends to wipe the JSA from all time and space. Can Future Huntress and the current JSA stop Degaton?
Is It Good?

The Justice Society of America #4 is far and away a much clearer issue in the maxi-series from Geoff Johns, meaning this issue gives you all the answers to spell out what's happening. Whether or not the answers are enough to keep readers hanging on for eight more issues remains to be seen.

When last we left Future Huntress and the current JSA, we learned the time-traveling Nazi, Degaton, was behind the murders of JSA teams throughout time. Now, Deadman and Bobo recruit Madame Xanadu's help to look into the timestream to figure out Degaton's plan and how to stop him.

On the one hand, clarity is the sore point this series has lacked since the beginning. Time-hopping shenanigans are all fun and games until the story gets too confusing to hold a reader's interest, so replacing confusion with clarity is a big plus. We know what Degaton wants, why he wants it, and how he needs to enact his plan to succeed. In one fell swoop, Johns establishes the stakes (beyond stopping people from dying) and the threat level.

On the other hand, Degaton's plan borders on predictable. Degaton travels through time and kills people. That's sort of his shtick, so all of the confusing time-travel shenanigans established expectations for a massive challenge for the JSA that Johns didn't pay off. You're almost compelled to think, "That's it? It's just Degaton doing Degaton things again?" In fairness, Johns has eight issues to put in a few twists or make the story compelling through the execution, but for now, convincing anyone but die-hard JSA fans to hang on for another eight issues is going to be a tough sell.

How's the art? It's fine. Janín and Ordway deliver excellent figure work, super clean lines, imaginative action, and fantastic-looking sets. As a bonus, Bellaire and Kalisz's coloring work is phenomenal. Janín's realistic style isn't as dynamic as most comics in the DC lineup, but it looks great here.

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

The Justice Society of America #4 brings clarity to the chaos with an explanation of Degaton's plan that establishes the threat and stakes in a big way. The writing is technically solid, and the art is great, but the details of Degaton's plan don't quite pay off the build-up.


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