Justice League #34 Review
Written by Christopher Priest
Art by Pete Woods
Letters by Willie Schu
Reviewed by Lorna Maltman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Juggling is an art, it takes a lot of practice, both actual and metaphorical juggling. Batman, especially with the number of teams he is on at the moment, has a lot of things to juggle and it seems he has not quite got the grasp of it, as this issue shows the consequences of Batman forgetting he is human and taking too much on at one time.
We open with Simon Baz, Green Lantern, preying on an alien planet when he is quickly interrupted by a fleet of alien ships that are heading towards Earth. Cut to Batman getting no rest as, once he is back from a patrol, he is called in by Cyborg, where he is informed of three crises – an earthquake that is threating millions, a hostage situation and the aforementioned alien fleet. Batman does what he does best and draws up a strategy, delegating team members to the various situations. The rest of the comic is some good old-fashioned heroics, with every character having at least one moment, but of course, the situations go awry due to some mismanagement. Batman is dismayed, but the comic ends on a touching moment between Bruce and Clark.
This issue is really about over-extending yourself and juggling too much. Priest does a wonderful job of not just saying but showing this in Batman’s actions. However, this does not feel like a Batman comic featuring the Justice League, but rather a Justice League book that has a focus on Batman’s character, as no character feels short-changed. Priest has often been seen as an overly complex writer with some not enjoying his Deathstroke comic due to the dense confusion it can cause. This, though, is not evident in Justice League – it is a simple story, but with layered characters and great writing that elevates the issue. If you had jumped off Justice League like I, and I suspect many, did this is a welcome and easy stepping on point.
Pete Woods is a great addition as well to Justice League, his cartooning brings a great sense of energy to the page. The only detracting feature is that his backgrounds are often scant or less detailed; most of the time it does not lessen the enjoyment of the comic especially when you get to see Aquaman driving a bus with Bruce, as a passenger, wearing a fake moustache.
BUY. Priest and Woods have done a stellar job here as, if you are even remotely interested in Justice League, this is worth picking up and it looks into the reality of Batman having too much going on with the seriousness it deserves, whilst injecting levity into the comic.