Justice League #34 Review: When You Wish Upon A Star…

by Olly MacNamee

Reading through Justice League #34 it felt like the combined super-powered forces of the past, present and future were finally on the cusp of a great and significant victory. After so many, many issues in which the JL have been knocked back, only to get back up again, it felt like it was their time. I was rooting for them already, especially when I marvelled at this issue’s growing series of magnificent double-pagers depicting these combined forces coming to the rescue, like a modern day Light Bridge charging into battle. But like that self-same Light Brigade of Tennyson’s poem, they too were charging into the ‘jaws of Death’.

With Kamandi coming to the rescue – alongside any and every Justice Leaguer ever to exist it would seem – while Jon Stewart, the JSA and friends talk Vandal Savage into helping them out, and the combined forces of the Anti-Monitor, the Monitor and the World-Forger merging into one badass opponent suitable to take on Perpetua and Luthor’s Legion of Doom, you’d think this was it, the grand denouement. The balls-to-the-wall grand finale.

But, this is the Year of the Villain and it’s only just got going. I was jibbed, conned, taken for a ride. Goddammit! Just as I could smell victory, it was snatched from the collective traps of all superheroes everywhere! If anything, by the end of this issue, the scale of the danger had just escalated. A crisis on infinite Earths? And then some.

Of course, if I’m really honest, I didn’t really expect such a complex and continuity-shattering event of this magnitude to be wound up in this issue, even if it really did feel like it would be. When you read for yourselves the rise of the heroes across time and space, you too will be fooled.  Or rather, you may be simply projecting your own desires for these put-upon superheroes to finally win the battle, even if they haven’t won the war. But, no, they don’t even win this one. Even though they seem to be miles ahead. 

Once agin, I was bowled over by Scott Synder and James Tynion IV’s plotting. For all of the reasons mentioned above. Just stop playing with my emotions so much, please guys? To be astounded, once again, by Bruno Redondo’s widescreen, blockbusting action – especially on those double page spreads, designed to tug at any DC Fan’s hopes and fill them with soaring optimism and sheer geeky bliss at witnessing so many familiar faces – is always an added joy, but to be met with Howard Porter’s artwork half-way through the issue was a huge added bonus for this reader. I cannot tell you how much I love Porter’s artwork and am always delighted when it appears. The whole reading experience was, once again, a delight, even if the Justice League may not agree. Plus, that last page reveal shows how closely linked this book is to the rest of the DC Comics line. But, unlike other sites, we won’t spoil your enjoyment of finding out exactly how, for yourselves. After all, isn’t that one of the greatest thrills when reading comics? 

Justice League continues to not only be a great read with each and every issue, but it’s also a brilliant example of how great comics can be! And, with so many trades out since this Rebirth run began, it’s certainly one I’d recommend to any lapse readers out there. Justice League: making comics great again! 

Olly MacNamee

A unashamed DC Comics fan and sometime teacher for over 20 years! I got lucky and found the escape hatch. Now, I just read and write about comics all day long. Co-host of the ICE-Cast podcast and one third of the brains behind Birmingham's street art and graffiti festival High Vis Fest.

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