Writer: Geoff Johns
Art: Mikel Janín, Jordie Bellaire, Jerry Ordway, John Kalisz, Rob Leigh, Yanick Paquette, and Nathan Fairbairn
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: May 23rd, 2023
Helena’s journey through time continues as Justice Society of America #4 by Geoff Johns continues! Each new time period gives her one more piece of the puzzle, but is Degaton too far ahead in his quest to eradicate the JSA to be stopped? Is this truly the end of the Justice Society?
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Justice Society of America #4 by Geoff Johns begins after a long hiatus dropping some pretty thrilling story nuggets along the way. Fans get mysterious, future, one-liner reveals that spark some intrigue for upcoming events, however, Johns doesn’t really progress the story forward much at all. Sure, fans will get more mystery and clever cliffhangers. Yet we get no answers as to what Degaton’s true plan is. The “present” JSA ask a very good question; “if he’s looking to erase us from history, … why bother with the future rather than focus on the past?” This is a great question that isn’t provided with an answer in this week’s Justice Society of America #4. Furthermore, I feel it’s a strong question that needs a better answer fast because it makes a ton of sense. And not something whimsical either like “it’s needed for the ritual”.
On a more positive note, I loved the way Johns writes Helena Wayne. You can see characteristics of both Batman and Catwoman in her to be discovered so well. Her inner dialogue, logic, and drive are identical to her father’s but with her own unique charm. However, that wild spark and deviation from authority she derived from her mother is spot on. Moreover, I love the explanation of Helena’s version of the JSA in her timeframe. Readers see a better reasoning for the creation of the team and justification from Helena’s perspective. Additionally, I loved the side problems enforced by Johns with Helena, Batman, Yolanda, and Beth. These were expected twists that will provide fans with more questions that will ultimately leave fans desiring more information fast!
Mikel Janín and Jerry Ordway continue to stun as Justice Society of America #4 begins to unfold. However, Janín’s digital, 3-D style is one that I find fans either love or hate. I, myself, am a huge fan and love the realistic feel it gives to the comic. Plus, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bad design from Janín and Bellaire when they work together. I actually love the realistic, almost action-figure look of the characters. Ordway’s sections aren’t bad at all, however, they lack the crisp and clean design that Janín provides in the present. Both artists provide their own take that’s different in each time period but authentic to the story giving each time period a distinct feel that opens up the issue well. It’s that same design that ultimately adds weight to the issue.
Justice Society of America #4 was a strong read filled with some rather dynamic twists, inspiring story beats, and thrilling action. However, with the extra long distance between issue to issue, fans will be better off reviewing the content from issue three before diving into this one. Additionally, if you’re expecting more background on Degaton’s plan, how he’s going about everything, and why he’s doing it in this manner, you won’t find that here this week. Sure, his intentions are clear but we need more from his angle to be invested in his character just like we are with Helena Wayne.
Speaking of Helena, that’s a huge highlight of Justice Society of America #4. Readers will clamor for more from the character. Johns writes her in such a familiar way that fans will instantly be able to connect to both Batman and Catwoman at the same time. Plus, this “present” version of the JSA is a great mix of young and old hats that blend the team together well for long-time comic readers as well as the newbs test-driving the team for the first time. Sure, I wish Johns revealed a bit more, however, the excitement and action provided enough of a mask in this issue to keep fans connected through to the end. Nevertheless, without more detail and reasoning from Degaton soon, fans may begin to lose sight of the purpose and ultimately the point of the series. With all that said, I still strongly recommend giving Justice Society of America #4 a look as well as the series. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!