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Justice #4

Posted: Saturday, February 18, 2006
By: Ray Tate



Writer: Jim Krueger & Alex Ross
Artists: Alex Ross & Dougie Braithwaite
Publisher: DC

The gorgeously painted series continues, and in this issue, I almost feel that the Justice League will lose and lose badly. Krueger and Ross in Justice have the villains attack the League on two fronts. Luthor and his colleagues in the Legion of Doom address the populace and reveal their Utopian plans. These include the creation of cities with the promise of an almost Platonic society. Thus, he undermines the Leagues purpose--to serve and protect the innocent. They also attack them physically.

Combining forces you can see The Legion of Doom as an extreme threat. The centerpiece of the story is Superman's defeat, which forces him to do the unthinkable: ask for help from the League. As the Flash states, this isn't really done, and if so many lesser writers haven't made Superman completely impotent and weepy, Krueger and Ross' move would be shocking. Unfortunately, we have seen it before. However unlike the hacks that have Superman sobbing at comets that threaten to impact the earth or crying over hurricanes that he could have stopped in the old days with a clap of his hands, Krueger and Ross find a means to really make the idea of Superman weeping and asking for help absolutely plausible. In Justice, Superman faces the might of Bizarro, Solomon Grundy, another of his Rogues as well as the poison from one of his deadliest adversaries all directed by the strategy of Lex Luthor and Brainiac. That's how many villains you need to down Superman. Impressive.

The geniuses behind the attacks set the Scarecrow against the Arrow and Black Canary. A Cheetah lacking humanity slashes Wonder Woman possibly with a toxin supplied by Ivy. The Hawks fight for their lives against the Toy Man, and as Timm and Dini did on Superman: Adventures, the Krueger/Ross Toy Man is not a brown panted goof. Sinestro disposes of Green Lantern with the help of what appears to be a clue to the true mastermind behind the nightmares of the villains. Through a clever twist of reality Mirror Master occupies the Flash and Jean Loring--sane and healthy--hears what seems to be the end of the Atom over the phone.

How will it all end? I don't know. I just know that somehow the heroes will triumph as they always do.



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