Review: Justice League #34 by Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins


Justice League #34

Written by

Art by Scott Kolins and Andrew Dalhouse


The short of it:

Captain Cold’s dreams are nightmares, as even in his sleep he doesn’t seem to believe that he can go straight. It doesn’t matter that he’s waking up in a giant bedroom, with an amazing view, and getting ready to start his new job as Luthor’s head of security. It’s kinda luxurious, and the bathroom is also huge, but Mirror Master interrupts him while he’s shaving, wanting to know when Cold is coming back. Snart says he’s there to pull the biggest job of their lives, and I can’t wait to see where that leads. Meanwhile, Superman and Lex Luthor are teaming up to fight Gorilla Grodd and I NEVER THOUGHT I’D TYPE THAT! Luthor spends the entire fight trying to justify to Superman why Batman needs to go, and how useless he is now that Lex is there, and Superman tells him to shove it and to understand that it’s not about tangible value, it’s about helping others.

In Detroit, Cyborg’s dad is trying to repair Vic after the number that Power Ring did to him over the last few issues, and Shazam is there, but he just wants to go fight Grodd, and they let him, but Vic’s dad issues more warnings about the Power Ring. Speaking of, Flash is on the Watchtower with Jessica Cruz and running tests on her, and the ring is a full on symbiote that is running all through her insides and up into her brain. It isn’t coming off. On top of that, anytime gets gets a little afraid (which is often since she’s lacking a backbone) Volthoom emerges and starts trying to destroy everything. Back on Earth Lex is with Wonder Woman on a humanitarian mission, where he confesses that when Lexcorp volunteers and helps in situations like this that it’s pretty much exclusively for further building his empire, but he winds up humbled as a young girl thanks him with a flower. She doesn’t understand his power or wealth, just that he was there to help.

In space Flash helps talk Jessica into controlling the ring and restraining Volthoom, and now she wants to know how to use the power instead of just be used by it.

On Earth, a formal partnership is formed between Wayne Enterprises and Lexcorp. Lex jests at how Wayne turned him down only to return saying he had changed his mind, Bruce points out that he will be working with Luthor on every level so as to not be surprised. Bruce explains the difference between them, and how he’ll be waiting for Luthor to slip so he can catch them. Lex compares it to a conversation he had with Superman years ago, and Bruce feels confident that he’s made the right move. Later, Lex watches his own press conference while talking to a shadowy figure, things are coming, and he needs help…even if it’s from a doppelganger.


What I liked:

  • Scott Kolins is drawing Captain Cold. I am a very happy man.
  • Actually, Scott Kolins drawing the entire book was enough to make me a happy man. I love his work, he’s got an incredibly dynamic style, and he really brought his A game to this issue.
  • Jessica Cruz is growing on me quickly, though it could just be because she can’t be in a scene without Volthoom being awesome in it.
  • Shazam is always fun. He’s hanging out while Vic gets rebooted, but all he wants to do is go punch Grodd all the way until Vic says it’s cool, and then bam, he’s gone. He feels like a kid in the body of a man much more than he did back when Geoff wrote him in JSA, when he was pretending to be an adult in the body of a man.
  • Superman and Lex doing a team up, just the two of them. How can that not trigger the inner fanboy?


What I didn’t like:

  • That’s not New 52 Grodd…
  • It’s very, VERY rare that I say this, but they could have stood to have Ivan Reis or Doug Mahnke draw the last two pages. Scott Kolins style just doesn’t get dark enough to feel right for them.
  • Also, I don’t get why Jessica Cruz gets Green Lantern logos in her eyes when she’s fighting Volthoom. She’s not a GL.


Final thoughts:

Can Scott Kolins get more work? I mean, yes, I know that he’s well respected and DC keeps him active, but how about a big name book all for himself again?

Captain Cold dreams of how things used to be, with a Flash that is clearly from the old universe, and is Wally on top of that (check the belt), and Cold as an older man in his classic costume. I mean, seriously, Cold is easily ten years younger than the version Cold Gun blasting at Flash. ANYWAY, the dream is awesome and makes me want to go and reread some of Geoff’s Flash.

So…did Barry wear a Blue Ring in this canon, or is it just a throwback winking line when he says “All will be will”?

Also, that is totally classic Grodd. Every part of this book that could be considered a callback to their Flash run is totally a callback to their Flash run. Classic Cold and Wally, Grodd (not King Grodd with the Speed Force that we have in the New 52), Barry saying “All will be well”. It’s all fan service to the run that put Geoff and Scott on the map.

Why has Scott Kolins not drawn Green Lantern? He does great constructs.

Lex is REALLY eager to be tied up.

Every time I see the thing on the back of Luthor’s neck, I figure something is mind controlling him.


Overall: 8/10

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