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Justice League of America #34

Posted: Friday, June 26, 2009
By: Jason Cohen

Dwayne McDuffie
Ardian Syaf, Eddy Barrows, Various (i), Pete pantazis (c)
DC Comics
Plot: Itís the final showdown between Starbreaker and the remnants of the Justice League

Comments: The League has fallen so far that in this arc it actually becomes part of the story. It's as if McDuffie has taken the last 6 months to prepare for the title's cancellation. The League is John Stewart, Vixen, Firestorm, Zatanna, Dr. Light (if she counts) and they are joined by Icon and Hardware with cowboy-Batman (that's right) as a throw-in. This can hardly be called the Justice League of America, but somehow were expected to pay the same money.

This is the conclusion to the story that introduced the Milestone characters into the DCU. After so much hype about their inclusion, there seems to be very little payoff with only three of their characters appearing in this issue (one of which is unconscious for the majority of it). The final step in introducing this new world is a contrived and meticulous explanation for their existence. Needless to say it is a highly unnecessary, one which does not need a silly cosmos-are-in-danger spin-off. Why can't they just be there? Why can't it be easy anymore?

Most of this issue is a fight scene, drawn out with character pieces throughout. McDuffie does know how to craft his characters, displaying just how focused to progression he is with Firestorm's competency with his power, John Stewart's attempt to lead the team and Dr. Light's strong will. He also does a nice job in setting up who these new characters are, Hardware more than Icon. He depicts Hardware as Steel with an attitude; however it still isn't that simple.

The ending seemed very rushed, as it seemed McDuffie wanted to cram enough fight in while leaving room for a Dharma-Icon-Superman chat. Therefore the 'all-powerful' Starbreaker goes down pretty easily after such a long fight. Thank you cowboy-Batman for saving the day and proving that sometimes all you really need is a big enough gun.

After the first two pages the art quality slowly but surely goes down hill. The characters become more and more sketchy and less detailed with every flip of the page. The last pages seem to have been done in 20 minutes and if you flip to the first page again, you'll wonder how we got to this. I don't know what Eddy Barrows had to do with this issue (if he drew the first two pages) but everything else seemed just so-so.

If you're interested in the Milestone characters, you could check this out, or read Teen Titans or Brave and the Bold. For anyone else, this issue isn't really worth your time, just wait for either Len Wein's coming story or the Robinson/Bagley powered League premiering in October.



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