Earth is almost out of time! The Wisdom Omega Titan has already feasted on Colu, and Earth is the next morsel up for consumption. The four Justice League teams race back home; but even if they make it there before dinner time, what’s to stop them from failing just like they did before? Find out in Justice League: No Justice #4, as the story concludes (or does it?)! SPOILERS AHEAD
The weakest of the four
No Justice is worth reading, and No Justice #4 is certainly worth reading as its conclusion. It’s a decent finish to a mercifully-short, mostly self-contained event. As often happens with events, however, the finale feels busy, and there’s an awful lot of complex explaining going on to justify the solution that our heroes come up with. And it all happens super-quickly. That last point is probably the biggest problem, because it forces us to digest (or vomit up) the bizarre final play. And if we reject that play—as I did—it ends up feeling like deus ex machina. And who knows—maybe with further reading and thinking, I’ll feel differently about it; but in the midst of reading the book, the path from destruction to super fruit snack to cannibalistic titans is a windy one, so it’s hard to follow it well.
There are some other problems, too. I saw fans complaining that Harley Quinn was part of Brainiac’s plan to save the universe; and while I didn’t have a problem with it, I thought last issue’s revelation that the villain was just manipulating everyone for his own ends helped make such complaints irrelevant. Brainiac is a supervillain super-genius, so if his master plan involves someone as bonkers as Harley, so be it.
But here in the final issue, things get a bit weird around Harley’s inclusion. It’s just a moment—Harley grieving at the loss of Colu—but it sticks out like a thumb that just got pounded by a mallet. I’m not sure if this is part of some plan to further separate Harley from her roots and redeem her into something good, but it strikes me as a bit off. Coluan homelessness doesn’t seem like the sort of thing that would arouse her sympathies—particularly given the violent insanity she witnessed—and sometimes took part in—when she ran with the Joker. To be fair, I don’t read Suicide Squad or Harley’s solo book, so this may be more in line with recent developments than I’m aware. But it still felt kooky to me.
But what throws me even more is Flash standing there consoling her. Barry’s a great guy and no mistake, but this just seems off.
Still much to enjoy
There is nevertheless much to praise in No Justice #4. Though the means of defeating the Omega Titans feels a bit dense, their threat and the stakes still feel real to me. And more than that, Snyder and co. establish compelling new threats to feed the upcoming Justice League title. Vril Dox is perhaps the biggest villain of the present issue, but as the narration tells us, “this [is] not the end of his war against the Earthers.” Lex Luthor is at last a villain again, and his path back actually makes sense—both in that it is a path of reason, and that the reasoning is consistent with his character. And let’s not forget that the Source Wall still has a gaping hole in it.
For all of my complaining that the language of Wisdom/Wonder/Mystery/Entropy was often imposed on the proceedings of this story, I actually really liked the way that the title was brought to bear here in the finale, as Amanda Waller tries to justify the extreme measures she’s about to undertake. I hope that we see Waller show up in Snyder’s run on Justice League, because this reminded me that she can be far more interesting than she has often been in the limited issues of Suicide Squad that I’ve read in the past few years.
Lastly, I think the epilogue is excellent. I’ve been excited about Snyder’s JL since I found out about it, but I’ve been lukewarm on the other two titles: Odyssey and Dark. After No Justice, my interest has risen considerably. I want to see Starfire and Cyborg lead a team into the cosmos to handle conflicts and threats born of the sudden release of worlds from Colu’s archives. I want to see Diana and Zatanna working together and exploring the mystery of the remaining trees—a mystery most appropriate for the likes of their Dark teammate, Swamp Thing. I’ve had mixed experiences with Williamson and Tynion’s DC work, but with a strong course laid out before them, I’m hopeful they can produce some memorable stuff.
It’s time for New Justice.
- You like nice things.
- You’ve enjoyed No Justice and want to see how it ends.
- You’re excited about the upcoming Justice League books, and you want to know their origins.
No Justice #4 may be the weakest installment of the series, but it is still an entertaining—and at times moving—conclusion to the best event DC has published since Darkseid War—and maybe better than that. With Manapul back, the series ends on a high note, and the upcoming Justice League titles have a strong foundation on which to build.