Sunday, October 26, 2014

Justice League Dark #35 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: J.M. DeMatteis
Art By: Tom Derenick, Scott Hanna
Cover Price: $3.99

Release Date: October 22, 2014

Zatanna In Wonderland

In our last issue of JLD, we saw our team head to the dimension that Nanda Parbat disappeared to after the events of Forever Evil: Blight.  You see Boston Brand was duped to believe that he needed to go back to the mystical city that made him the ghost with the most, but instead of being it's savior, he unknowingly brought it's destroyer with him.  Well after being brought back to life and then killed again..... Poor Deadman, that's twice that's happened in this series, we saw the rest of the JLD show up to help and Deadman and Brahma Dass possessed the beast and killed it with happy thoughts.  No seriously.  In the end of the issue the JLD were safe, Nanda Parbat was safe and then we jumped to Five Years From Now where no one was safe.  So let's check out this new story arc and see what's going down in the world of the Justice League Dark.  Let's check it out.

Explain It!:

Our story begins by telling us that if we want to know what's up with the full story, we're going to have to wait and get Justice League Dark Annual #2 next week, because for some reason that's the first part of this story.  As much as I hate that, it doesn't really do anything to hinder this issue since it's a new story and we have no background with it anyway, so we'll go with it.  Anyway Zatanna's caught in a tornado of time and no matter how she tries to reach out and contact the rest of the team, who's apparently caught in the chrono cyclone as well, she can't manage to get a response.  When Zatanna is finally released from the storm, she finds herself in a land of the lost scenario, where she's almost eaten by a dinosaur that seems to be a fanboy of Etrigan the way it rhymes everything it says.  Yeah if Etrigan's speech patterns weren't annoying enough, now we've got dinosaurs going for it.  Don't worry all you Zatanna fans, our heroin is saved by................ Her father?

While Zatanna believes that she's hallucinating, because her father couldn't be her savior in this strange place, after she awakens back at his home the next morning, she now see's that her father, mother and even her younger self seem to have made a life here.  Well that's a little too much to handle and Zatara takes the hint and explains where Zatanna is and how they got there.  It seems that Zatara was trying to find a time of pure magic before the world became corrupted and after he found the doorway to the beginning of time, he took his family and has been trying to find the doorway back ever since.

But it's not all bad because since this is the era of pure magic, all you have to do is think of what you want and it appears, no incantation necessary.  Even though Zatanna has no memory of this ever happening and really wants to trust her long dead father, she still can't let herself believe that this isn't some sort of trick.  Zatanna flies off in search of her team and after a day of searching and no leads she's about to give up when out of nowhere they just appear.  While at first it seems like a blessing, she soon realizes what Zatara told her about pure magic and getting what you want with just a thought.  After this realization, her team simply turns to dust and Zatanna realizes the truth of Zatara.  She heads back to his house and we see that his family never made the trip with him and he's been creating them in order to have some semblance of the life he knew.  But after the rhyming dinosaurs come back and Zatanna realizes that they are called the Moan Raths, she realizes that this whole scenario is something she dreamed of as a child.  Listening to her father reading Alice in Wonderland to her as a child, little Zatanna used to draw pictures of what she thought they looked like and of her father and her battling against them together.  This isn't Zatara's thoughts, they're hers.

In the end Zatanna gets to say goodbye to her father before she becomes the eye of a storm that sweeps this fantasy clean and we see at some other part of this strange land the JLD are searching for their leader, but realize that the searching can't continue because they've actually come to a pure blackness which appears to be the literal end of the world.

That's it for this month's JLD, make sure you're back next week when we look at what started this story in Justice League Dark Annual #2.  What a story this was, even though it was all in the mind of our favorite stage magician, it still spoke volumes of the loneliness that Zatanna feels on a day to day basis and shows the strength of the character by actually destroying this Nirvana so that she can continue the good fight and find the rest of her team.  I really want to know how we came to this point, so you know I'm dying to read next week's Annual.  What I really want to know is why Zatanna would think that Black Orchid and Madam Xanadu are a part of the team when at the end we see that the only teammates that made the trip with her are Nightmare Nurse, Frankenstein, Swamp Thing and Andrew Bennett?............ Oooo I hate Andrew Bennett, but even with my disdain for the character I'd like to know how he became involved with the JLD again.

Bits and Pieces:

This month's issue was a really compelling story about the loss that Zatanna feels on a day to day basis about her father and it was very well constructed even adding elements of Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz to enhance the enjoyment factor.  While I miss Andres Guinaldo on the book this month, the guest penciler Tom Derenick did a damn fine job in creating our heroes and the strange world that they find themselves in, in this Zatanna heavy issue.  What's real and what isn't? find out in this issue and have a great time doing it.


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