I would have done anything not to give another issue of Justice League International two stars, but a fifth part for the story arc involving new big bad Peraxxus was as necessary as the second X in his name. It's just like I said in the review for the previous issue — the story should have climaxed with this promise:
Aaron Lopresti's and Mat Ryan's artwork under Hi-Fi's colors is gorgeous. They are blameless and earn this book its second star. I'm almost inclined to give yet another because the illustration is so stunning, yet part of my job is to decide whether or not the entire issue is worth buying. Sadly, it's not.
If you're a Lopresti fan, as I am, you'll want to add this issue to your collection. Everybody else can skip it and take it as read that Justice League International finally beats the interstellar scrap salesman. The Big Bad's defeat however could have been condensed in the pages that followed the rousing splash page last issue. Observe.
The Next Page
I cobbled that together from the finale of this issue, and there's still room for more character interaction and/or fisticuffs. There was no need for this fifth issue. All of the story could have fit in the last.
The best thing I can say about this issue writing-wise is that Jurgens makes Fire much more knowledgeable than the previous version.
Keeping Up with the Bat
That's all. The finale doesn't exhibit any grand cleverness that would excuse the waste of trees or reader time. The finale doesn't really offer any stronger characterization than previously seen. In fact some of the "acting" summarizes what has gone before, only through clumsy dialogue.
Ray Tate's first online work appeared in 1994 for Knotted. He has had a short story, "Spider Without a Web," published in 1995 for the magazine evernight and earned a degree in Biology from the University of Pittsburgh. Since 1995, Ray self-published The Pick of the Brown Bag on various usenet groups, where he reviewed comic books, Doctor Who novels, movies and occasionally music. Circa 2000, he contributed his reviews to Silver Bullet Comic Books (later Comics Bulletin) and became its senior reviewer. Ray Tate would like to think that he's young at heart. Of course, we all know better.