REVIEW: ‘Justice League: Last Ride,’ Issue #4

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Justice League Last Ride #4 - But Why Tho

Justice League: Last Ride #4 is an alternate timeline story published by DC Comics. Written by Chip Zdarsky with art by Miguel Mendonça. The colourist is Eren Angiolini and the letterer is Andworld Design.

The Justice League was no more. A devastating war against Apokolips led to the death of millions and multiple League members. The team disbanded until the Green Lanterns brought them back together. Lobo has been arrested, and the Lanterns want to keep him alive so he can be brought to justice. But there is a universe of vengeful beings wanting his head. Batman and the League take Lobo to the now-dead planet of Apokolips. Believing themselves to be hidden, the League take some time to try and fix their broken relationship. But when they wake, they realise that there are dozens of ships bearing down on their location.

In this issue, more of the deadly battle that fractured the team is revealed. Stretched thinly across a universe, the League must make a tragic sacrifice. In the present day, the team is in battle again as those hunting Lobo make their first moves. John Stweart and Wonder Woman are in space as warships bear down on them. Batman and Green Lantern venture further into Apokolips, looking to bring it back to life. And Flash and Superman serve as Lobo’s prison guards.

This issue is heart-pounding from the very first page. The outcome of the Apokolips attack has been loosely known for the last four issues, but to see it unfold before our eyes is still intense and heartbreaking. The fights in this issue are unbelievable in their scale, Zdarsky using a full cosmos to tell this story. The pace is quick but the reader will leave the issue feeling like it’s been a monumental read. So much takes place. Not just fights, but deep, meaningful conversations. As some of the initial combat starts winding down, Batman’s strategies begin to come into their own. And a revelation will make the readers’ already broken hearts sink to the floor.

It is very rare for a comic with a scale such as Justice League: Last Ride #4 to boast such immense emotional depth. Zdarsky’s dialogue and script are stunning. The fate of a hero is depicted in the first part of the comic, and the writing of the moment is perfect. The sorrow in the characters’ words is clear, as is the fact that there aren’t any choices left. It makes the regret that Superman and Batman have been feeling clearer. What is evident in these pages is that the two leaders of the League have believed they blame each other for what happened, but they truly hate themselves for their decisions. 

Aside from the deep emotional pain that seeps out of this chapter, the characters also show off how awesome they are. Wonder Woman and Green Lantern take on a fleet of space ships in a display of their power. And some big, high-profile menaces start making themselves known.

The art continues to be magnificent. Mendonça’s crafting of the battle scenes is jaw-dropping. So much is happening and yet it’s so easy to follow. Superman and Green Lantern are barely holding back Darkseid on Oa. Wonder Woman is injured on a battlefield of bodies. And Martian Manhunter and Batman face Kalibak in the bowels of Apokolips. These settings are as intense as they get and the scale is mind-blowing. And yet the artist never ignores the small things. So much of why this comic hurts so much is the facial expressions and body language. Batman’s cowl hides his eyes, and yet his defeat and misery are somehow palpable. The same can be said for Superman and Wonder Woman as none of them are able to stop what must be done. 

The colours are absolutely stunning. There are a lot of fine details added by Mendonç, and Angiolini enriches all of them. The slightly dulled colours fit the sheer darkness of the comic, but the vibrant colours on the costumes of the heroes will always encourage excitement. A lot of the superpowers and abilities used by the characters look fantastic due to the colouring; Green Lantern’s constructs having a real sense of dimensions and texture for example.

The lettering is really well done by Andworld Design. There are a lot of characters and so much happening in the panels. But the dialogue is always effortless to follow. There is SFX during the fight scenes, but they are small and understated.

Justice League: Last Ride #4 is an epic tale of universal proportions. These heroes have been in battles before, and the readers have seen them in some chaotic, magnificent wars. Zdarsky, Mendonça, and Angiolini create a fight not only surpass those in its spectacle but bring planets worth of heart and pain into it as well. The soul of these characters has been exposed and killed, leaving broken shells behind. It could have been so easy for the focal point of this series to be that first Apokolips fight which led to the end of the team. But showing what happens years after that event makes the pain hurt even more. The exploration of what guilt and trauma can do to a family unfolds into a heartbreaking comic. 

Justice League: Last Ride #4 is available where comics are sold.

Justice League: Last Ride #4
5

TL;DR

Justice League: Last Ride #4 is an epic tale of universal proportions. These heroes have been in battles before, and the readers have seen them in some chaotic, magnificent wars. Zdarsky, Mendonça, and Angiolini create a fight not only surpass those in its spectacle but bring planets worth of heart and pain into it as well. The soul of these characters has been exposed and killed, leaving broken shells behind. It could have been so easy for the focal point of this series to be that first Apokolips fight which led to the end of the team. But showing what happens years after that event makes the pain hurt even more. The exploration of what guilt and trauma can do to a family unfolds into a heartbreaking comic.