Written by Christopher Priest
Illustrated by Pete Woods
with Marco Santucci and Ian Churchill
Collects Justice League #34-#30
Review by Lenny Schwartz
The Justice League is under scrutiny by the government and the public in this six part storyline. It starts off interestingly enough with the Simon Baz Green Lantern coming across a big intergalactic tour bus of sorts while in outer space. Is it part of a bigger story Priest is weaving? Of course it is, that why he’s a master writer.
Then, a nun seems to have been taken hostage.
And then something crazy happens: Batman and Wonder Woman fail to save her. And then a viral video of them is released. The story delves into territory other writers might be afraid to try to explore. It’s admirable. Seeing things like Batman admitting he blew it is heartbreaking and something we don’t see every day, for example. We also get to see Wonder Woman lose her usual composure which we definitely don’t see in every issue. He’s grounding these heroes in reality and giving them real reactions and consequences. Priest isn’t just happy with that plot line though.
The public starts to become critical of the League. So, a man dresses up like Batman and starts killing those members of the public. Then, an American submarine has been found in the waters near China. Aquaman wants it gone! This leads into more political discussions and the question of why is the Justice League allowed to exist. It’s a strong book with many ideas in the overall plot.
Priest can balance it all too. The Justice League has to now fight on two battlefields: one against the different villains they come up against. And they also have to fight in the court system and the court of public opinion. It’s great to see them take a stand in a legislative way. Emotions are high and this sends the Justice League reeling. The public starts to judge the League with Batman, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman taking hits from social media. Cyborg however gets attacked online the worst and it’s horrifying to read. Priest makes great story choices and expands these characters and their characterizations perfectly.
Pete Woods does a great job here as well. The art is a little too cartoony at times for my tastes but it serves the story well here and the style doesn’t bring down the more weighty elements of the book. The art in the later chapters by Santucci and then Churchill is decent as well.
The story is where it’s at though. Near the end it gets completely wild. In one of the craziest moments, a horde of Batmen have taken Portland. Twitter blows up with some supporting the League and some not. Some say the League only help rich people and not the poor. And all of it is incredibly relevant. This is a great look at the price a hero pays.
And thanks to our friends at DC Comics, we’re giving away two copies!
To enter, send an email with the subject header “PEOPLE VERSUS THE JUSTICE LEAGUE” to geekcontest @ gmail dot com and answer the following question:
Writer Christopher Priest used to write under a different name until he
legally changed it in 1993. What was his former name?
Please include your name, and address (U.S. only. You must be 18 years old).
Only one entry per person and a winner will be chosen at random.
Contest ends at 11:59 PM EST on July 2nd, 2018