Justice League Odyssey #4 Comic Review
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Philippe Briones
Colors: Jeromy Cox
Cover: Stjepan Sejic
Letterer: Deron Bennett
Variant Cover: Terry & Rachel Dodson
Ghost Sector Part Four
“Are You Not Entertained?”
What You Need to Know
The next step on this odyssey takes the team to the Machine World where Cyborg is worshipped as a god. The team searches for more answers in regards to the secrets within the Ghost Sector, and it may take Cyborg accepting his role as a god to get the answers they need. Meanwhile, Darkseid is seeking a different type of team-up that probably does not bode well for the team.
What Just Happened
This issue picks up where last issue left off, with the refugees of the Ghost Sector worshipping Cyborg as a god. Cyborg is uneasy and uncomfortable with all the attention he receives. One of the refugees informs the team that he will take them to one of the machine worlds to see Cyborg’s influence for themselves. The team agrees to visit the planet and takes the refugees with them. The team is surprised to see that the machine world is a functioning society amidst the Ghost Sector. Upon landing, the team is immediately confronted by The Programmer, a being who is skeptical that Cyborg is a god. The team is attacked and Cyborg is prepared for “the test” to see if he is worthy of being a god.
Elsewhere in the Ghost Sector, Darkseid approaches the “Queen of the Ruins” to discuss an alliance. The “queen” turns out to be Blackfire. Darkseid offers to Blackfire the answers as to why Colu kept Tamaran hidden from the rest of the universe.
On the machine world, the “test” is revealed to be a gladiator battle between Cyborg and Azrael to prove that Cyborg is the god the people worship. Jessica Cruz and Starfire are held captive during the battle. Cyborg handily defeated Azrael and the people of the planet believe he is there true god. Cyborg actually begins to enjoy the admiration. After the battle, Starfire and Jessica Cruz break out of captivity with Azrael to regroup with Cyborg. The team is then confronted by Rapture, who pledges his allegiance and worship to Azrael. Azrael is amused by the fact he has his own worshipper. Cyborg learns from The Programmer that the people of the machine worlds are building a mother box in order to replicate the accident that turned Victor Stone into Cyborg.
This issue advances the overall story in some interesting ways but also deals with some issues in tone that can be distracting. Especially in regards to character development for some characters in this issue. It makes sense that Cyborg would be uncomfortable with being worshipped as a good, as I think many people would feel weird unless they are sociopaths or narcissists. The “test” of this issue seems too barbaric for a technologically advanced society to use as a proving ground. This “test” seemed like an excuse to have some action happen in otherwise slow issue. I did enjoy the fact that Azrael seemed to bite off more than he can chew and was not prepared for a fully unleashed Cyborg. Jessica Cruz and Starfire had little to do in this issue besides a brief escape sequence after being held captive on the machine world. The characterization of Azrael really bothered me in this issue. The past couple of issues showed Azrael as a possibly deranged agent of god who wants to prove he is Batman’s equal. This issue has Azrael as a wise-cracking comic relief that does not really fit the character. It was pretty funny to see how excited he was to have a worshipper of his own in Rapture.
The most interesting aspect of this book was Darkseid’s meeting with Blackfire. These two working together could mean big trouble for our group of heroes. Darkseid still seems to be hiding a big secret that could be the key to the mysteries within the Ghost Sector. Darkseid seems to know why Tamaran was locked away within the sector, but is he telling the full truth?
The art in this issue is good, but I would like to have Stjepan Sejic back doing interiors as soon as possible. Briones is a solid artist, but his depiction of the characters faces can look off which can be distracting, at least for me. Jeromy Cox’s colors are beautiful and add a punch to the artwork.