Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Justice League Dark #14 Review and **SPOILERS**

Take it Back to the Start

Writer: James Tynion IV
Penciller: Alvarez Martínez Bueno
 Inker: Raul Fernandez
Colorist: Adriano Lucas
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Cover: Guillem March and Arif Prianto
Variant Cover: Clayton Crain
Editor: Brittany Holzherr
Group Editor: Brian Cunningham
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: August 28, 2019 


It’s been a little while, huh? I was away, in some other magical dimension for a while. But I have returned, and just in time to review Justice League Dark #14!

Explain It!

As mentioned in the introduction, I haven’t read this series’ last three issues. I am glad to announce that I was able to jump right back in on the proceedings with very little information lost. I’m also a bit depressed to announce it, since it seems like this book continues to jog in place, waiting for something interesting to happen, which is how I left it. Perhaps I should say that it walks in place, because that’s what Wonder Woman does: walk through various magical realms, and even an extended dream where she chats with Zatara, for the entire issue. Didn’t we already read a couple like this? One member of the Justice League Dark or another just waltzing through portals, surveying magical realms before committing some blunder that causes an entire populace to suffer boils or some such malady. It is in this dream with Zatara that Wonder Woman learns that the Upside-Down Man—yeah, this guy is still hanging around—is in league with Circe and is ready to kick off some internal event known as the Witching War, which I’m sure will be expertly-rendered and will have no long-term ramifications at all. 
But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself, despite Wonder Woman’s dream date with Zatara happening at the very beginning of the book. First, they have to battle vampires that have beset…some church or something, from the looks of it. Is this supposed to be the JLD’s lair? The one that’s under the Hall of Justice? Anyway, the team gets together to battle vampires, each performing their own bit to make sure we know they’re all relevant. Constantine and Traci 13 appear in this issue to perform in the same capacity. Indeed, most of this issue seems relegated to taking inventory on who’s who and what’s what, in preparation for this Witching War. And on the visiting team’s side? Circe, the Floronic Man, The Upside Down Man, Papa Midnite, and Klarion the fucking Witch Boy. You couldn’t make a comic book less tailored to Jim’s interests in a million years.
This series continues to look gorgeous, a maelstrom of sinew and plant fiber and explosive colors that definitely lend to its ethereal feel. But it’s a bit disappointing to come back after missing three months of issues, only to find we’re getting served more of the exact same story. I’d say that this book continues to be a slog, more interested in the travel than in reaching any destination. After a year-plus of story, I’d have hoped to have zipped through at least a couple of story arcs, but regrettably it seems we’re still fumbling around with the first.

Bits and Pieces:

After a year-plus of issues, we’re still dealing with mistakes made during the first story arc. Which isn’t a singular crime, but barely anything has happened in the interim. This is a beautiful book that feels unmemorable because nothing of significance ever happens.


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