SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Justice League #38, by Christopher Priest, Marco Santucci, Alex Sollazzo and Willie Schu, on sale now.
Since taking the reins from previous Justice League writer Bryan Hitch, Christopher Priest has been carefully building towards the inevitable breaking point of one of the team’s most iron-willed, unbreakable members: Batman.
Beginning with Issue #34, in which several tactical errors on his part ultimately lead to the death of a nun, the Batman we’re being presented with is far removed from the World’s Greatest Detective who’s capable of accomplishing anything imaginable if he’s given enough prep time. Instead, what we’re seeing a man whose mind and body are both clouded by exhaustion from years of burning the candle at both ends, and his obsession with capturing the team’s newest foe, the Fan, is simply exacerbating the matter.
Naturally, such an anomaly hasn’t gone unnoticed by the rest of the Justice League, and in Issue #38, the team (sans Jessica and Batman) gather in secret to determine the most appropriate course of action. Wonder Woman, on the one hand, is quick to point out Batman’s already-full plate, given his work with the Justice League of America and the Bat-family, while Cyborg makes note of his compulsion with stopping the Fan. In any case, they all seem to be in agreement that if anyone’s going to try and talk Batman down from the proverbial ledge, it ought to be the person he’s closest to: Superman.
Once the team has reconvened aboard the Watchtower, we witness an awkward face-to-face between Bruce and Clark, neither of whom appear to have any doubts regarding what’s about to transpire in their forthcoming meeting. However, while we don’t actually witness the pair’s discussion, Batman informing the rest of the team he’s going to “take a few weeks” makes it simple enough to piece together how things went down.
Still, before Bruce leaves for his hiatus, he has one last item of business to attend to. “As per our charter, I have the right to select our new interim chairman,” he tells his teammates, with his duffle bag in tow. Then, reaching out his arm, Bruce points to Cyborg and declares, “I choose him.”
This move is of particular interest, largely because of the fact that DC has seemingly been dropping subtle clues alluding to Martian Manhunter reclaiming his pre-New 52 status as a founding member of the Justice League. However, in this very issue, Cyborg makes it a point to bring up his own founding member status to Simon, so perhaps we’re not in the midst of witnessing a major paradigm shift for the history of the Justice League after all.
In any case, one thing remains certain: Until further notice, the rest of the League now answers to Cyborg.
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