Justice League #4
By Scott Snyder, Jorge Jimenez, Alejandro Sanchez, Tom Napolitano
Scott Snyder and Jorge Jimenez’ reboot of Justice League continues this week with The Totality part 4. At this point, the League is divided into three teams in three different locations, and the Legion of Doom is split up similarly. What that means for readers is we’re able to dive into perspectives of several of our favorite heroes and villains. Somehow, Snyder proves he can juggle three separate plotlines and bring them together happily. Jimenez, meanwhile brings his energetic artstyle. Whether he’s dealing with a close up shot, a mid, or a distance shot, he’s able to capture momentum and emotion with his gesture lines and facial expressions. His figures are emotive and connote the personalities of each character differently. Colors by Alejandro Sanchez not only highlight all this, but are a constant indicator of which perspective is being told at the moment.
Critics of Snyder’s recent team books will say that there are too many points of view. Readers who agree should be ready for more of the same, but those who have loved Snyder’s clever characterization should be clambering for issue #4. Truly, the creative team balances each sub-team’s scene flawlessly. Sanchez’ colors distinguish where the reader is efficiently. From the beginning, he establishes Superman and Martian Manhunter in an area with blacks and browns, Flash, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman in a green area, and Cyborg and Green Lantern in a grey and dark blue space. Since these colors run consistently throughout the issue, it gives readers an immediate sense of space. Transitions that might be confusing otherwise are almost subconscious.
Tucked into these scenes are Snyder’s intimate readings of each character. He begins each issue of Justice League with a small introduction to one of the villains that ties into an overarching narration. In issue #4 this remains true as Gorilla Grodd receives a short but punchy origin. Snyder uses that origin as an anchor to continue telling the story, which adds to the issues’ sense of grandeur. This is one of those comics that wants readers to feel like everything could be lost in an instant.
Jorge Jimenez’ pencils can’t go unmentioned when it comes to giving the issue weight. His style is so distinct but so nostalgic it just begs to be looked at. He draws tone. His gesture lines are emotive, his faces are electric, and even his environments are gorgeous. Looking at Jimenez’ work is a treat, and his collaboration with Snyder and the rest of the team is clear.
Justice League #4 is a team book that’s fun to look at and fun to read. Snyder is at his best when he can play in wild scenarios and churn out enticing conversation, which is exactly the writing in this issue. Sanchez balances the three pronged storytelling with his thoughtful colors. Each character looks distinctly their own thanks to Jimenez. Their personality is infused into their appearances. The hype around these books is absolutely justified, and a must buy for DC fans.