Justice League #34 Review: Testing the Limits of Batman

Justice League #34
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Summary
Writer: Christopher Priest, Artist and Color Artist: Pete Woods, Letters: Willie Schu, Cover by: Pete Woods, Variant Cover by: Nick Bradshaw and Alex Sinclair, Editor: Brian Cunningham, Associate Editor: Rebecca Taylor, Publisher: DC Comics, Release Date: Out Now, Price: $2.99

It’s a busy day for the Justice League. An alien armada is set to arrive near Earth, an earthquake has put people in danger in Corona del Mar, and a group of terrorists have taken a pair of nuns hostage.

Batman has divided the Justice League into groups best suited for each task. Superman, the Flash, and Green Lantern Jessica Cruz are to answer the quake in Corona. Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Batman are going to save the hostages. Green Lantern Simon Baz is already trying to contact the alien fleet. Cyborg is on deck just in case anyone needs backup.

It’s going to be a long day.

Justice League #34 cover by Pete Woods
Justice League #34 cover by Pete Woods

Without spoiling anything, Christopher Priest’s first arc on Justice League is tackling an interesting angle: the fallibility of Batman. Even he has his limits, and the best Batman stories will explore those limits as much as his strengths. We also get an idea of how he balances his work with the League with his nights in Gotham.

He also has a sense of humor in this issue, too, and that’s almost as important as the limits thing.

This issue also has the positive of showing the Justice League answering crises without it being a massive multi-part epic level threat. No Darkseid. No Anti-Monitor. No Despero. It’s like the X-Men playing softball, but with lives still being saved. It feels like a normal day for the Justice League — with the exception of the ending.

Also, I’ve read some of Priest’s work on Black Panther from the late 1990s and early 2000s. As you’ve seen, I’ve also been following his current Deathstroke run. It didn’t hit me until just now that the location stamps and subheadings are a trademark of his.

Justice League #34 art by Pete Woods
Justice League #34 art by Pete Woods

Pete Woods’s art is dynamic and lively. It may be a little more cartoonish in style than one would be used to from recent issues of Justice League, but it still works quite well. His color art is quite good as well, and it balances the color a little differently than the norm. The green on the Green Lanterns especially looks a bit different, and I like it. It gives the comic a unique visual identity.

Priest and Woods’s first excursion into the Justice League title is compelling and exciting. It shows an interest in looking into how the League functions on a day-to-day basis and how each member copes with this massive responsibility. I highly recommend checking it out and hope for a great tenure from this creative team. Give it a read.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.