Justice League: No Justice #4
By Scott Snyder, Joshua Williamson, James Tynion IV, Francis Manapul, Hi-Fi, AndWorld Design
Justice League: No Justice #4 isn’t a finale; it’s a transition. Critics of this series will call the story predictable. To some extent, that’s true, but in the sense that matters, No Justice is the opposite. It’s a character-first story. Snyder, Williamson, and Tynion IV again capture the essence of a ridiculous amount of heroes and villains in delightful ways. Manapul’s lines depict them with the same grandeur that made his run on Trinity so distinct. This series hasn’t been about endings; it’s always been about beginnings.
Several characters see their return to DC thanks to No Justice, and each of them is done with respect for the character. The standout, as has been true throughout the series, is Martian Manhunter. Even when the martian isn’t on the page, the way that he’s written gives him so much importance. It feels like he was always the key to the Justice League, and that’s palpable in books’ pages as well as in the meta. Without spoiling anything, fans who have missed his presence will love what’s in store for him by the end of No Justice #4. Even if he doesn’t see his own solo book, rest assured that if he continues to be written with the same gravitas, you’ll be satisfied. What’s shocking, is that the team is able to elicit this feeling in only a few panels. What’s more shocking is that the team does this with just about every character. Green Arrow sees a fan favorite reunification, Raven’s witty one-liners return, Lex Luthor schemes and broods – J’onn J’onzz is back – and more. It’s truly difficult to ask for more from this book.
Manapul’s flow from panel to panel combined with lettering from AndWorld Design makes this oversize issue a breeze to read. Where some oversize comics can be cumbersome, No Justice #4 is quick and fun. Keeping in theme with the idea that this arc has been about what comes next, the art direction puts a focus on the micro rather than the macro. The big moments aren’t about bringing down massive gods; they’re about how our favorite characters work together. When he steps up close to a character, he uses thick, meaty lines mixed with textured ones. Add in his hatch lines and colors from Hi-Fi, and it’s hard not to feel engrossed with the person on the page.
This is a team of creatives who know exactly what their goals are and how they can achieve those goals. Justice League: No Justice #4 is a slice of the DC Universe’s best qualities. The distinguishing factor of Big Two comics is the familiarity with old characters. We can recognize a drawing that we’ve seen weeks or years ago, on a page or on a TV screen, because each person who’s touched them loves them as much as we do. No Justice is just that – another story of characters we love, from people who love them, too.