Justice League #34
Writer: Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV
Artist: Bruno Redondo and Howard Porter
Letters: Tom Napolitano
The Justice/Doom War continues on towards the latter half of the arc. Each of the three teams hitting a climax in their conflicts last issue and ready to move toward a confrontation with Perpetua. The past had the JSA and the League meeting up with Vandal Savage in Atlantis. The future had Kamandi finding the Justice League Beyond to aid the League. All while in the present, Hawkgirl and Starman held Lex Luthor and Perpetua at bay. The last few issues have seemed to stay in a holding pattern with a few cliffhangers sprinkled throughout each issue, but here there is finally some new momentum.
The main story here is finally getting the teams back together. The Totality pieces were found in the last issue and everyone is ready to move forward. The JSA and The League cut a deal with Vandal Savage explaining they know exactly how he dies and should help them out for the benefit of his own life. In the future Kamandi not only finds Justice League Beyond, but many other elseworld hypertime future heroes. Both teams are able to get portals into the present, with the help of Starmen across all timelines. The cover of the comic sadly does spoil how this all turns out for our heroes.
I feel like Snyder and Tynion IV have finally moved the story forward in a meaningful way. After issue after issue of standstill, I am finally excited for what is to come next. We know this was all going to lead to “Doom Wins” but the path in this issue is a pretty solid read. I am upset that a few things didn’t really pan out in the most exciting way, for the elseworlds teams in the future amount to a splash page. But, this comic does not fall into the same trap the previous two have (incremental steps forward dressed up to look more important than they are). The Starmen coming together across timelines was a really cool moment and actually made the series as a whole come together. The Totality has been a central figure in this book and it was given some new meaning. The JSA also had a few really great moments in the book (talking about their fashion sense, and looking at John Stewart for inspiration) that reminds the reader how much that team was the heart of the DC Universe line. This comic left me wanting to see what will happen next, and actually making me excited for this arc all over again.
Bruno Redondo and Howard Porter both take on art duties here and it is to the detriment of the comic as a whole. Both artists could not be further from each other, in style, and the switch is incredibly jarring. Redondo pulls off some great work here, in particular the parallel pages of the past, present and future. Each one visually recapping exactly who is involved in each era. Porter’s work continues to disappoint me, having been a fan of his in the past. It looks like something out of a bad 90s Justice League book (rather than the amazing JLA book Porter worked on in the 90s). Every person he draws looks doll like and lifeless. It doesn’t help that it is held directly against Redondo and his much more dynamic layouts. The switch in teams is abrupt and meaningless. This is a book with multiple timelines, and it could have been handled by giving each team an era to play in. Instead it looks like a new cast of characters suddenly dresses up in cheap imitation costumes part way through the book. If this book had great consistent artwork it would have been a much stronger outing for the Justice League.