Christopher Priest starts his run on Justice League by asking one question: What happens when Batman overworks himself?
Justice League #34 is the first issue of acclaimed writer Christopher Priest’s run on the iconic series. Picking up after a rather unpopular and not so good run, Priest’s debut is a vast improvement and is a very interesting new direction for the book with impressive art by Pete Woods.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
“LOST” part one! When the Justice League is confronted by three concurrent threats, a sleep-deprived Batman makes a crucial error that causes an unthinkable–and potentially unforgivable–tragedy. Legendary Eisner Award-nominated writer Christopher Priest (Deathstroke) is joined by artist Pete Woods for a brand-new must-read Justice League story like you’ve never seen before!
What’s the story?
Christopher Priest’s first arc on Justice League poses one question. What happens when Batman pushes himself too much and the Justice League messes up?
When the threat of a hostage situation, possible alien invasion and a tsunami are all looming, Bruce is pushed to his limits of trying to manage every situation and coordinate the League. He relegates Cyborg to Watchtower overwatch while spreading the rest of the League thin. Initially dealing with a disaster zone, a possible intergalactic invasion and a hostage situation is taxing Bruce already. However, when it turns out that a tsunami that passed by is threatening a city, Bruce has to divert Aquaman (who had been pretending to be a bus driver on the cover of the hostage situation) to stop it with Flash when everything starts to take a turn for the worse. The FBI breaches a building of hostages that Wonder Woman is de-escalating, blowing open the wall, knocking her down and killing two of the suspects. This allows the third a chance to use Diana’s knocked-away sword to kill a hostage. All the while, it turns out that the space fleet approaching Earth that Superman, Cyborg and the two Green Lanterns were dealing with were in fact tourists.
Priest asks the question of whether Batman is spreading himself too thin very well as it shows multiple times through the issue that he is almost falling asleep and has barely slept for four days, leading to him making mistakes. Priest also shows that Cyborg is capable of making much-needed calls, which finally gives Cyborg a role on the League beyond “the tech guy.”
And the art?
The art by Pete Woods is great to look at — smooth and appealing to the eye. Each character looks great and the backdrops to each panel look really good. The paneling mirrors the paneling on Priest’s Deathstroke and gives the book a very straightforward feel, which is also helped by the title boxes of sections that Priest utilizes throughout most of his works.