WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Justice League #34 by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Bruno Redondo, and Howard Porter, in stores now.
Everything seems to be happening at once as DC's Year of the Villain escalates, the effects of which reach every part of the DC Universe. And things get really hot in Justice League #34, with the Justice/Doom War bringing the best of the Multiverse together in a team-up of Crisis on Infinite Earths proportions. But is that enough to take down villains of such galactic scope? This is the Year of the Villain after all.
It's taken a while to get to this point. From various DC Crises to Dark Nights: Metal, it's all beginning to culminate with the Justice League and their own accumulated army from many times and many worlds coming together to face-off against Brainiac, the new-look Lex Luthor's Legion of Doom, and Perpetua.
This is not an issue that would be good for new readers to jump on board with. To completely grasp the magnitude and scope of Justice League #34, you'll need to go back and read the likes of Crisis on Infinite Earths, Infinite Crisis, Final Crisis, Dark Nights: Metal, and even a few classic DC Comics Elseworlds tales. But if that sounds a little too much, you'll at least need to go back to Justice League #25 to get the gist of it.
All is not lost for Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, who are trapped in Brainiac's iron grip. Bruno Redondo's epic splash page brings in an optimistic Who's Who of the DC Multiverse to free them, with two of Mark Waid and Alex Ross's Kingdom Come heroes -- Green Lantern and Superman -- front and center; Terry McGinnis bringing up the rear; Red Son Superman casually flying in behind Future's End Wonder Woman, and even Watchmen's Nite Owl sneaking in a headshot right at the back.
There's a very clear homage to the Justice League: Unlimited intro going on here as Kamandi's war cry, "RHAAAOOR" (translated as "Kick some ass!") calls the Multiverse to arms. The pages that follow are action-packed, with Alan Scott and Sinestro bumping power rings; Cheetah clawing at Wildcat; Doctor Fate confronting Poseidon, and the Starmen of different generations powering up.
As Howard Porter takes over the artistic duties in the later pages, Hawkgirl goes in swinging against Lex Luthor and the Ultra Monitor confronts Perpetua, led by an empowered Starman. But this is far from over. Perpetua is determined to "shape a whole new Multiverse" in her image. And the return of Crisis on Infinite Earths' Anti-Monitor could spell multiversal disaster for the Justice League and the Justice Society in the next issue.
James Tynion and Scott Snyder have pulled out all the stops in this issue. It's a lot to take in and you may even have to read it twice. The writers have been building up to the events of the Justice/Doom War for a long time, and Perpetua is shaping up to be an even more terrifying villain than her son, the Anti-Monitor.
War has many faces in the Justice/Doom conflict. And just when you think it's looking good for the League, the tide turns in Perpetua's favor at the end of the issue as she declares, "The hearts of the Multiverse have sided with Doom." It's possible this is one fight even the combined might of heroes from across space and time may not be able to stop.