Crime Syndicate #4
Scheduled to arrive in stores: June 1, 2021
Cover date: August 2021
“First in War, First in Pieces” – Part 1: “Emerald Light”
Writer: Andy Schmidt
Penciller: Kieran McKeown
Inker: Dexter Vines
Cover: Howard Porter and Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Variant Cover: Khary Randolph and Peter Steigerwald
Reviewed by: Craig Boehmer
The story starts in a bar with Johnny Quick and Atomica. The cops are called on them which leads to a large amount of destruction in the city. It then flashes to Luthor who is attempting to help put the world back together after the Starro invasion and the reveal of thousands of metahumans of dubious intentions. He reveals his newest ally, Sinestro who heads to John Stewart to convince him to resist the Power Ring. We again change to Superwoman and Owlman as they confront Ultraman about forming a union with them to maintain power over the new metahumans. Superwoman reveals that she needs someone to provide her with an heir, which greatly excites Ultraman. Luthor is next shown on the streets of Metropolis removing some of the debris, Ultraman shows up to help. Thomas Wayne also shows up revealing that he has bought enough shares of Luthor Corp to be on the board of directors. The story ends with John Stewart visiting his daughter who is terrified of him before traveling to Luthor’s satellite base to meet the Legion of Justice.
Story – 5: This story has a lot of great plot threads that have drawn me into the overall story. First, Luthor creating a Legion of Justice to fight the Crime Syndicate is freaking awesome. I am so excited to see how this story plays out. John Stewart’s inclusion on the Legion of Justice creates a nice level of dynamic and tension on the team. Second, Superwoman and Owlman’s recruitment of Ultraman is great, especially Superwoman’s sexual manipulations of Ultraman. This shows that they are not really a team yet but are building towards one through duplicitous means. Finally, I am intrigued by the story between Thomas Wayne and Luthor on the business front. How will that confrontation play out? And is Luthor really a good guy, or is he just trying to manipulate his image for greater power? Either way, this arc looks very exciting.
Art – 4: Overall the art is great, there are some images, and this may be because of the colorist, that appear too cartoony for the vibe of the comic. But I really enjoyed seeing the designs of all the Legion of Justice characters.
“Walls Closing In”
Writer: Andy Schmidt
Artist: Bryan Hitch
This tells us the origin of John Stewart as Power Ring. He starts as a beat cop escorting his daughter, he is confronted by the son of a criminal who helped John get a surgery for his daughter. The son confronts John, remarking that he owns John. John erupts on him and beats him up which leads to the Power Ring coming to him. He than obliterates the criminal’s son and vows to protect the city.
Story – 5: I am really enjoying seeing John Stewart in this role. It provides a new idea on the Power Ring that is significantly different than what we saw in the “Forever Evil” event, which was also awesome.
Art – 5: Great art from Hitch on this back up, as usual.
Cover Art – 4: I like the construction of this cover, showing the different groups within the Crime Syndicate and giving a tease of what each group will do in the issue. Johnny Quick and Atomica fighting police officers, while Superwoman and Owlman track down Ultraman’s Fortress. However, I am not really a fan of the cartoony proportions that some of the characters have.
Variant Cover Art – 5: This is a very cool image of John Stewart. I really like how the green energy looks almost like fire covering him. Plus who doesn’t love shoulder pads like that.
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