Justice League #4 is a so-so issue

Writer Bryan Hitch continues to shepherd together a myriad of plot elements in his epic Justice League tale The Extinction Machines (Part 4), and in issue's past, it has led to some confusion as to what the core threat actually is.

Some of those questions continue to persist in Issue #4.

Justice League 4 Header
(Photo: DC Comics)

You've got the alien "reaper" beings who the Green Lanterns are fighting in space, the creepy crawlies that are attacking the earth in mass, the four celestial beings just standing in the middle of a mountain range while they attempt to sing and siphon people's powers, ancient stones in Atlantis that are speaking to Arthur, and some other force known as The Kindred, who seem to be conversing with Wonder Woman.

"We are so screwed." - Cyborg

On top of that, Superman is attempting to stop multiple destructive cores deep underneath the earth that are causing the massive earthquakes.

That's a lot for a full series, nonetheless for one single arc, but it does seem as if the disparate elements are finally starting to coalesce into a worthwhile whole, and hopefully in Issue #5 we'll finally get some concrete answers.

It can be difficult at times to justify the league's existence when it comes to threats, but Hitch's current storyline does not suffer from that at all. In fact, this is one of the rarer times where the league seems at best scattered and at worst powerless. Superman is at one point just stumped about what to do next, a very humanizing moment that you don't see very often these days from the Man of Steel.

On art duties is Jesus Merino, who's work is Hitch-esque in his sense of scope and awe. When Flash happens upon these massive giants, you feel how disproportionate the two are to each other. Likewise, when Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz are fighting the horde of creatures in space, they feel like two lone specs on someone's windshield, which makes their perseverance all the more palpable.

Justice League 4 2
(Photo: DC Comics)

There does seem to be a method to the madness, something that the book's ending alludes to in true cliffhanger form. It carries some interesting ramifications, and honestly, it is what brought the book together for me in many ways. It doesn't answer too many of the immediate questions, but afterward, some of the pieces started to fall into place.

Justice League continues to be an entertaining ride and puts the team against a true all-powerful enemy that isn't named Darkseid or Brainiac for once. For those who prefer a more streamlined approach to their superhero tales, however, this storyline is probably not for you.

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Written By: Bryan Hitch

Penciled By: Jesus Merino

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Inked By: Andy Owens & Jesus Merino

Colored By: Tomeu Morey