Review: Justice League #34

“Justice/Doom War” – Part Five
Writers: Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV
Artist: Bruno Redondo and Howard Porter
Color Artist: HI-FI
Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Review by Bryant Lucas

Perpetua ascends to her full power, as The Legion of Doom prevails over The Justice League in this week’s riveting Justice League #34.

Once again, things aren’t looking great for our heroes. The Flash and Green Lantern are stuck in the past, struggling to return home after encountering Cheetah, Sinestro, and Grodd. Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman are stranded in the future, dealing with a cosmic level Brainiac. All the while, Starman, Hawkgirl, and The Ultra-Monitor are presently locked in combat with Perpetua and Apex-Lex Luthor, as Starman attempts to recall the scattered teams in order to reassemble the pieces of the Totality.

Starman’s plan falls apart when Hawkgirl goes rogue, allowing Perpetua to unlock the seventh secret power of the multiverse. The issue ends with the Doom sigil engulfing the sky.

A Fantastic Execution

Justice League #34’s script is magnificent, as Snyder and Tynion’s epic crescendos. In many ways, the last thirty-plus issues have been building to a cataclysmic confrontation, and for those who have been reading since the beginning of this run, Justice League #34 will feel monumental.

For Hawkgirl fans, this issue is absolutely tragic. While the stakes feel incredibly high for the entire League, much of this issue hinges on the actions of the three heroes in the present. Therefore, watching Hawkgirl’s thirst for vengeance lead to this tragic conclusion is a gut-wrenching experience, as Snyder and Tynion execute the scene brilliantly. Hawkgirl went off script and attacked Luthor – not out of heroism or Justice but rather personal vengeance.  Accordingly, what makes this Hawkgirl moment so powerful is its thematic implications: when heroes abandon Justice, Doom (or evil) wins.

Porter Returns

Once again, the series experienced an artistic shift, as Daniel Sampere was replaced by Howard Porter. Porter teams up with Bruno Redondo, who worked on Justice League #33. These two artists work very well together, as their styles complement each other. Both have a certain detailed, cartoony aesthetic that works for a story like this. Despite the story’s scope, they manage to handle a complicated, cast-heavy script with ease, thereby streamlining the reading experience for the readers.

Nevertheless, when “Justice/Doom War” is compiled into a trade, the rotating roster of artists will undoubtedly be distracting. Each issue will look slightly different. Part of the problem is the book’s schedule, as it must be hard for artists such as Porter and Jimenez to pencil two issues a month. While each of the teams who have worked on this title are all incredibly talented, they all brought something different to the table. A rotating art team isn’t a bad thing between arcs, but it creates a jarring experience for the reader when it’s done within one storyline.

Conclusion

Justice League #34 is an emotionally powerful issue. Snyder and Tynion are telling a story where evil wins. This pessimistic, apocalyptic tale is both disturbing and exhilarating. Porter and Redondo’s work is effective in its interpretation of a complicated script.

Overall, this issue is incredibly strong, and poses a powerful question for the superhero genre: what happens when the villains win?

Final Verdict: buy the book and savor every page.

Images Courtesy Of DC Entertainment


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