What is this all about?
You can read Part One of Bats Out of Hell in Issue #33 of The Flash. The second part of the arc brings in the entire Justice League, giving each member a unique Dark Bat to fight. The artwork is beautiful yet gruesome with each member of the Justice League facing a unique psychological horror with their opponent. You will need a breather after this, so let’s delve into Justice League #32.
First, we see Barry Allen taking on Red Death, a super-fast version of Batman that has access to millions of micro-cells that can transform into anything he wants. Naturally, Red Death uses them to create a little car for himself. One of my favorite pieces in the whole comic book is how Red Death has a Flash bobblehead on the dashboard. There’s something really amusing to me that Red Death chose to use some of those nanobots for something so superfluous.
Aquaman takes on Bryce Wayne, who has a monstrous hammerhead shark at her disposal. At the end of their fight, Bryce reveals that the shark is actually Aquaman’s wife, Mera.
Wonder Woman has a Batman of her own to fight, and he summons the spirits of Diana’s Amazon sisters to attack her. The full spread of the Amazons, now slightly zombiefied, is really haunting, and it’s sure to give you nightmares after you see it for yourself.
Green Lantern gets the short end of the stick in this issue. We see a brief glimpse of him fighting a Dark Bat, but it quickly gets interrupted by Cyborg. The final panel shows Cyborg mutilated and taken apart. The Dark Bats are using him for some nefarious ends. To see what happens next, you’ll need to check out Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #32. Surely Hal Jordan will get his due in that book.
If you’re not reading Bats Out of Hell, then you really are missing out. It’s a punishing arc for sure, especially with an issue like this. Not only do we see that each of the Dark Bats is more than a physical match for each member of the Justice League, but their hell-bent on destroying the League psychologically, too. It’s not enough for Red Death to assault The Flash with a barrage of vehicles, it needs to use the Speed Force against The Flash to do so.
It’s not enough for Bryce to take down Aquaman. She needs to use his wife to accomplish it.
This issue is twisted as all hell. It’s a bit of a palate cleanser from the fun Justice League issues we’ve been getting with the League teaming up with their kids from the future. If you want to read a superhero comic unlike anything else out there, then pick up Bats Out of Hell.
Reviewed by: Mike Bedard
Justice League #32
Written by : Robert Venditti
Art by: Liam Sharp
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: 11/1/2017