Review – Justice League #34 (DC Comics)

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Christopher Priest
Artist: Pete Woods
Letterer: Willie Schu
Release Date: 6th December 2017

Christopher Priest’s current Deathstroke run has to be one of my favourite books at DC right now, with the result being that his coming to the writing desk of Justice League is something I’ve been eagerly anticipating.

Now, with it finally in my hot little hands, I can’t say all the pieces are on the board just yet, but there is most certainly something bubbling under the surface that may just be worth sticking around for.

As with any Priest issue, it may take a little sidestepping to avoid spoilers, but this issue works by splitting into three different scenarios happening at once that the League must try to manage. A possible threat of space invasion, a natural disaster and a terrorist-hostage situation.

How different League members are sent, how they deal with it, the consequences of each scenario and how that reflects Batman’s responsibility at the helm of the League remains the real core of this issue, and will clearly influence just where this arc will go. It sets up the current situation of each Leaguer as team members, provides us with a look into the personal lives of a few, and establishes the shake-ups that Priest will of course bring to these characters.

With an arc title like The PEOPLE vs. JUSTICE LEAGUE and a long look at just how we see responsibility, it’s definitely going to be interesting to see where Priest wants to go with the Justice League and the themes he will tackle.

It’s an action-packed issue too, with Priest’s writing giving every page importance and working to make the issue a full package — and then some. However, the setup nature of the issue and its set pieces means that the only thing missing is a complete rounding of the team.  We see every current Leaguer in these pages, but giving the weight to the issue’s actions and thematic establishing means we don’t quite get to hear enough from each member to feel totally certain that Priest will get these characters right.

Pete Woods’ art and colours are fun and vibrant, with each scene feeling alive and detailed. The colours in particular help to make the pages really pop.  There’s some fun and interesting character work and body-language for each Leaguer too, but like the writing, it’ll be a lot more exciting once we get to see where Woods takes the visual side of the book, and to what extent he gets to explore more intricate scenarios for the League later on.

With a strong setup, Priest’s distinctive brand of writing and action, and some seriously vibrant art by Woods, there’s some real weight to this action-packed issue. However, where Priest and Woods actually take us with this setup, and whether Priest proves he has the voices for our favourite super-team will need to be shown in the upcoming issues to really convince us that is going to be a run to remember.

Rating: 3.5/5.

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The writer of this piece was: Connor Stephens
Connor Tweets from @diddlesMVP

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