The New 52 Justice League Volume 4: The Grid is a story where Geoff Johns does his best magician impression and creates a tour de force of comic storytelling.
The Grid sequence collects Justice League #18-23, and it starts out as your ho-hum "We have to add some more heroes to the team" sort of story before picking up speed when one of the prospective JL members shows herself to be less than mentally stable and tries to destroy the Watchtower. Naturally, a great fight ensues, and though it is never specifically discussed, the team members seem to suspect that someone or something insidious has caused the whole event. Before any real investigation of this suspicion can ensue, however, another ominous event transpires that propels this story ahead full steam.
From there, Geoff Johns and crew keep the punches coming fast and furious in this collection. There is a trust issues among the team. New members reveal themselves to be not what anyone thought they were. Ancient evils re-appear. Mysterious entities pop up and begin causing havoc. And the Justice League is kept so off balance that even Batman cannot help but be caught unawares. The surprises and pulse pounding action just keep coming and coming, page after page.
And what beautiful pages they are!
Every character in this comic is beautifully drawn in vivid detail and stunning colors by Ivan Reis, Joe Prado and crew. Superman flies off the pages. Wonder Woman is deadly beautiful. Batman is dark and mysterious. Even Despero - one of our many villains - is penned in all his supremely evil magnificence. And the battles fill the pages to overflowing with heroes in statuesque poses, tense with movement as they physically contest with one another. Honestly, it is one of the best art jobs I personally (and yes I know, I’m no comic book aficionado anymore) have had the honor to view lately.
While most comic readers already know this sequence is a lead in to the Trinity War, the set up laid out here is great reading and is highly recommended to anyone who enjoys comics or would just like to try them out. However, there was one thing that I did not enjoy about this story, and without giving spoilers, I feel that I must mention it.
After an entertaining set up of the insidious forces creating machinations behind the scenes, Geoff Johns finally reaches the reveal point in the story. Naturally, this revelation of who is doing these things and why has to be absolutely awesome, because the lead up has been handled so masterfully. However, to me, this reveal fell completely flat, because it was done much too quickly and was not terribly realistically, and once the "evil masterminds" come out from the shadows, the story skips ahead in time. A fact which had me scratching my head, trying to see if I had missed a whole section of the book or something, since the story flew ahead so abruptly.
If not for this misstep on the final act of this story, I would have given this collection the very highest rating. As it is, however, the ending left a bitter taste in my mouth, and I can only say that "I liked it". So give Justice League: The Grid a read, it has a very good story and sets up the Trinity War perfectly.
I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. I’d like to thank the publisher for allowing me to receive this review copy and inform everyone that the review you have read is my opinion alone.