Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Justice League Dark #3 Review and **SPOILERS**


The Downside of Upside-Down

Writer: James Tynion IV 
Pencils: Alvaro Martínez Bueno 
Inks: Raul Fernandez 
Colors: Brad Anderson 
Letters: Rob Leigh 
Cover: Martinez Bueno, Fernandez, Anderson 
Variant Cover: Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, Fco Plascencia 
Assistant Editor: Andrew Marino 
Editor: Rebecca Taylor 
Group Editor: Marie Javins 
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: September 26, 2018

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

I don’t get spooked by horror comics normally, but I have to admit that the final page of the last issue gave me the willies. And I liked it! At my age, willies is sometimes as good as it gets. Here’s hoping for more boogums and haints in the third issue of Justice League Dark, which I’ve reviewed right here!


Explain It!

For as long as I’ve read and loved horror comics, there haven’t been any that have truly “scared” me. Many stories have given me the creeps, some have given me the willies, but none have actually made me gasp in fright, or resulted in my having recurring nightmares about the subject. The creature shown on the last page of the previous issue came pretty close. We know him now as the Upside-Down Man, and he lives in a topsy-turvy Clive Barker-type world of endless tortures and misery for the unlucky folks that wander into his territory. And today, those unlucky folks are Wonder Woman and Zatanna.
Not by their choice, mind you. And not for long, either, since Detective Chimp and Man-Bat, clutching the urn that holds Khalid Nassour, come bursting out of the Upside-Down Man somehow. This serves only to corral the group for the slaughter, and it doesn’t seem to bother the Upside-Down fella too much. Even Swamp Thing proves no match for this eyeless creep, as the Upside-Down guy turns him into a gigantic, greyed husk with a touch, and then knocks out the Tree of Wonder besides. John Constantine: also a dud. In fact, the Upside-Down Man makes him bleed from every orifice before killing him. So that certainly seems final.
Just when the creepy factor gets ratcheted up to 8, the Upside-Down Man decides to touch Wonder Woman’s tiara, and upon doing so unleashes a new power—perhaps a new Diana, entirely—that wields some seriously powerful magic. Under the guidance of Zatanna’s backwards magic, Wonder Woman sends the Upside-Down Man back to…well, the Upside-Down Realm, I suppose, and everything ruined is righted…except that Khalid looks to still be trapped in his vase, so I guess he’s on his own. The rest of them regard a newly-kindled Tree of Wonder, and prepare for the next adventure!
This is exactly what I want to see in a book from the Dark line: some magic, some boogums, a little bit of hokum and then for everything to be wrapped up with an artifact or newly-found spell or something. I love the implication of Diana’s new power, which seems bound to the moon (fitting, considering her name.) I also love the idea of a force so great that it can take down Swamp Thing, who is normally a “endgame” character that needs to be taken off the playing board periodically so actual stakes can be raised. Here, he was just another attempt to stave off a nightmare. The visuals are pitch perfect, it’s pretty simple to read (for this kind of fare), and I am really looking forward to more hijinks with this team. I hope Khalid gets involved some more somehow, but it’s not really a deal-breaker if he doesn’t.

Bits and Pieces:

Hold on to your teddy bears, this issue might give you the heebie-jeebies. Everything fans of DC's line of "dark" characters is on full display here, and there is even a moment of uncertainty. I hadn't felt that while reading a comic for some time! If you're curious about the seedy magic side of the DC Universe, then here's the book you can use to bone up.

8.5/10
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5 comments:

Unknown said...

The Upside Down Man is like the magic pissed off joke and WonderWoman being a magic user is perfect for her character and as part of the Trinity i loved it.

Ruben said...

Tynion is killing it with this book. It keeps getting better and feels very high stakes.

Jim Werner said...

loved it!!!! Makes sense and I loved the buildup to show just how powerful she is

Jim Werner said...

one of my favorites right now

Reggie Hemingway said...

Very much agreed!