on 9 April 2015
This is by far the most disappointing instalment of the series so far. Yes it has some great moments, the metal men are a lot of fun, but ultimately it just goes nowhere. The issues included are heavily tied to the trinity war story line, which if you've not read will make little sense to you. This is where DC has messed up with many of the runs, too many crossovers and tie-ins, not such a problem if you are buying the monthly issues, by nearly impossible if, like the majority of us, you are buying them in collected volumes.
Artwork is solid, although, I am becoming a little bored with the genericness of the DC style.
If you are a big Cyborg fan, knock yourself out, otherwise just skip straight to Trinity War and Forever Evil
on 6 July 2015
Volume 4 tells the story of events that unfold in trinity war. This volume has it all batsman confronts superman and, wonder woman about their relationship. Firestorm, atom and element woman go into battle with despero with a little help from Martian Manhunter.
In the last couple of issues superman is poisoned by a tiny slither of kryptonite that was implanted in his brain by atom a.k.a Rhona pineda. In the last issue atom is revealed as a member of the crime syndicate of America from earth 3.
Geoff johns as usual does a God job with the writing and the artwork is as good as ever.
on 20 April 2014
I'll start this review with the negatives which are the same as justice league of America volume 1 & that is it only contains 2 parts of the trinity war story, this is likely to confuse readers as its the first & last parts of the story. As such I'm going too focus my review on issues 18-20.
Firstly you need to be aware this volume is not a complete story as previous volumes have been, it's a build up to the trinity war and it's follow on event FOREVER EVIL and it begins with the justice league looking to recruit new members inviting them to the watch tower. After an incident involving a certain member of the metal men, the league decides on Atom, Firestorm & Element woman.
Also a thief breaks into the bat cave and steals some kryptonite, once you get to the end of trinity war you'll have good idea who the thief is. The new members of the league take on the villain Despero who is wielding a kryptonite ring(i wounder where he got that from?), luckily for them a certain green Martian shows up and batman has a chat to wounder woman and superman about the implications of their relationship.
Even though these issues are only a build up they offer enough intrigue and mystery to keep you interested, I'm not saying you necessarily need to read them to enjoy trinity war and it's definitely not a good place to start for new readers.
As for issues 22 & 23 the trinity war I would recommend buying the justice league trinity war book as it contains the complete story in order. On the whole if your like me and enjoy Johns story telling and the little hints he leaves you of things to come then I think you'll enjoy it.
Side note another reviewer stated issue 21 the Shazam issue was included, it isn't at least not in the copy I received.
on 20 April 2014
it's not the most earth shattering story ever, it's readable, but it's not a plotline that anyone will still be discussing ten or even five years from now.
The numbering of this volume is quite confusing, as it actually makes more sense of the story arc to read this one (volume 4) before the official trinity war collection (volume 3).
on 3 September 2014
Throne of Atlantis was the high point of the series and in my opinion, the best stories of Justice League New 52. This story carries on for the events from Throne of Atlantis where the League wants to expand it ranks and give full time membership to many of it's reserves. Two story-lines exist in this book, the second is that of the Justice League series has been building to since its beginning; The Trinity War, where three different Leagues to war over a mysterious object. The Trinity War was the first big crossover event and this volume collects the first and the concluding chapter of the epic story-line with chapters of the story found in other books of to complete the Trinity War story arc. I wasn't really a fan of this story, it was good but it to too hard to top the three previous volumes that have come before it; Origin, The Villain's Journey and the crowning glory Throne of Atlantis. These tales by Geoff Johns and various artists just got better and better and will be difficult to top. I enjoyed this book but I don't feel the need to go and seek out the missing parts to complete the story, it wasn't for me. On a positive note I was extremely satisfied with the final issue and conclusion of the Trinity War story as it paved the way for a bigger and more interesting plot to unfold in Volume 5 with the arrival of the Crime Syndicate of Earth-3.
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on 18 February 2015
I read a library copy of the paperback
I came to this volume of the League having purchased the collection devoted to the entirety of the Trinity War.
Whilst I loved that crossover collection I did think that this Justice League set of comics would be a pale taster of that War and a few issues treading water before it.
That’s not quite fair, this is much better than I thought it would be.
I liked the membership drive (but then, I’m an Avengers and an LSH fan – so it’s in my blood!) even if I didn’t find those possible members chosen very inspired and had little knowledge of most of those called up.
What I did like was the interactions, the dialoguing here seemed very organic, natural and engaging which helped get over the fact that the main storyline – the fight against Despero- did appear to be standard fare thrown in to pad out the plot points.
The revelation of the true motivations of one of the team I was already aware of, due to the Trinity War trade (and I won’t spoil it here) but whilst that is hardly an original concept it does segue well into the action and the cliffhanger.
I’m not too sure how the individual League issues of the crossover function on their own, I believe it’s just capable of being followed if the rest of the issues are missed as presented here but I would recommend buying both this trade and the crossover together to greatly enhance the experience.
All in all this is well done and there is more entertainment than expected, don’t dismiss this trade it’s actually quite good.
on 18 April 2014
Justice League, Volume 4: The Grid has got to be the most schizophrenic New 52 book I’ve read so far!
What stories do we have here? There are “tryouts” for new Justice League members; Despero and J’onn J’onzz fight in the Watchtower, crashing it to Earth; there’s the last issue in the Shazam mini-series; and the volume closes out with the first and LAST parts of Trinity War!!!
Oh… dear. Where to start…
Actually, the tryout issue wasn’t bad. I’m guessing the JL are looking for more members after Green Lantern skedaddled in Vol 2 and Aquaman went crazy in Vol 3. The characters interact well, nobody does or says anything monumentally stupid, and the issue flows nicely. Rosie the robot (I forget her real name) goes a bit koo-koo bananas (which is foreshadowing for a more serious act later on down the line) and that’s about it.
Then things spiral out of control. Why does Despero show up? Why does J’onn J’onzz show up? When did the JL decide Firestorm and the Atom were the new JL members? Why didn’t Cyborg notice the intruders until it was too late? No clue.
Superman and Wonder Woman’s boring, drawn-out romance becomes the reason why they’re away from the Watchtower as they interfere in Kahndaq (DC’s catch-all Middle Eastern country that’s either Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan or any and all of the above) and they’re referred to as “Americans” – are they really? Maybe Superman as he was raised in Kansas, but Wonder Woman? She’s an Amazon princess! Or Greek God or whatever her new incarnation is in the New 52. Anyway, it was one helluva contrived and stupid reason to make the Watchtower vulnerable.
Then there’s the Shazam issue which wraps up the Shazam storyline. For those who’re coming to this book cold – and wow, this must be a confusing experience for you if you are! – Shazam was a backup that ran in the JL issues that were collected in its own volume. It’s finale became a full Justice League issue but if you weren’t following it, its inclusion here just comes out of nowhere. What’s happening? Who.. what?! Anyway, if you’re read the Shazam book, you’ll have already read this issue.
Of course this is all filler for Trinity War of which we get the introductory issue and its insane ending – leaving out all the stuff in the middle! A character called Pandora holding a Damien Hirst-esque golden skull – Who? What? When? Why?! Like so much of this volume, she’s just thrown in – who’s mumbling about some kind of war with the trinity or something blah blah. Madame Xanadu’s got a tarot deck featuring the weirdest looking cards ever – instead of the usual figures of the tarot, it literally features Superman, Wonder Woman, and so on, exactly as they are! Are these tarot cards or superhero trading cards?
Doctor Light, a paper-thin character who was barely introduced in Justice League of America specifically for this issue, gets killed by Superman and the three Justice Leagues – Justice League, Justice League of America, and Justice League Dark – get into a dumb fight because they’re all morons. So far, so stupid. This book assumes you’ve been reading the other titles so you know what their deals are: why the JLA were formed, what they’re doing in Kahndaq, and so on. The problem with too many crossovers is, unless you’re reading EVERYTHING, then you’re missing pieces that makes the main story confusing – which is this book all over.
So the first issue of Trinity War then jumps to the last issue, so you’d be forgiven for wondering why 1) the various Justice Leagues have formed teams of their own, 2) what that golden skull has to do with anything, and 3) why the hell Superman is suddenly green, dying and crazy! If you’re a monthly comics reader you’ll already know how Trinity War played out as Forever Evil – aka Trinity War Part 2 – has been dominating the DC publishing schedules since it launched late last year. I won’t go into why Trinity War was so remarkably terrible because this review is already too long (in a year which had Age of Ultron and Infinity, Trinity War turned out to be the worst comics Event of 2013), but it did provide me with a good laugh when 90s Aquaman appeared – and died instantly!
Suffice it to say the “story” of this book is a complete shambles – it’s rushed, it’s barely coherent, and it makes zero sense. Readers are unlikely to understand quite what the filler issues have to do with the Trinity War or why the book is called “The Grid” when it plays so little a role in the book. The Grid is just an electronic telephone directory created by Cyborg, and Grid is also the name of the evil Cyborg – neither of which are the focal point of this random assortment of comics, though it’s arbitrary title is fitting for this grab-bag of stuff.
Ivan Reis’ art isn’t bad but Joe Prado’s stuff is very cartoonish and lacklustre. The dialogue is brainless for the most part. Evil Alfred literally says out loud to no-one but the reader: “Thanks to me, everyone will actually believe Superman’s killed Doctor Light!” while Superman’s dialogue isn’t much better, announcing his motivations thusly: “I won’t stop until Batman’s dead!”. Oh and the Atom literally goes into an MMORPG in a scene that is utterly baffling. Apparently, being able to shrink to the size of an atom means you can actually be in a computer game?!
If Justice League is DC’s New 52 flagship title, the fourth JL book is indicative of the line as a whole: it’s a poorly thought out mess.