Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Justice League Dark #21 Review

Written By: Ram V, James Tynion IV
Art By: Alvaro Martinez Bueno, Raul Fernandez, June Chung, Rob Leigh
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: March 25, 2020

The Parliaments of life are at war with one another now that magic has changed and they all plan on coming out the winner.  Hopefully, now that the Justice League Dark is on the case they can summon each of the avatars of the separate Parliaments and get the balance of life back on track before the world is torn apart by this chaos.  Let's jump into this issue and see if Constantine and Zatanna can track down Abigail Arcane and what the Rot will hold for them if they do.  Let's check it out.

For this issue of Justice League Dark, we have ourselves the same kind of storytelling that we had previously, but now the pseudo flashbacks have become something of the more interesting parts of this book.  As for the rest, we see our heroes are essentially just breaking off into teams so that they can continue their missions.  We have Wonder Woman, Detective Chimp and Animal Man fighting off the people who seem to be infected with The Grey in Los Angeles, while Zatanna and Constantine are traveling to the heart of the Rot to find Abigail Arcane and back at home base, Kent Nelson is keeping guard on the Floronic Man........ and we don't get any kind of resolution or answers to what happened with him from our previous issue's cliffhanger....... In fact, we don't really get anything at all happening this entire issue until the cliffhanger shows us a returning character that should prove to be a worthy adversary for our heroes, not to mention a wow moment for a lot of "Dark" fans of DC Comics.  But yeah, nothing happens in this issue and everything that does happen isn't really explained and serves no real purpose in this issue because of it.

Let me break it down a bit.  We have our Los Angeles team who has to stop a bunch of infected from reaching the top of the hotel and that means they're going to go from the room down, kicking the crap out of people, yet no one is going to talk about Animal Man being infected himself, even though it's written all over his face.  For Zatanna and Constantine, they're in the Rot and for some reason, there's a plant growing in there that give you visions...... not explained here and Constantine just goes off while Ram V does his own interpretation of backward magic (I hate that everyone does it differently) and Floronic Man has a line that seems to be talking a little trash on our heroes to Kent Nelson.  Ultimately, there's not a lot here beyond the big cliffhanger, but if you haven't been reading DC Comics for a while, I don't know if this reveal is going to be that cool for you, but I just hope that it does something for this story because this issue felt really padded out and didn't seem to accomplish much.

All in all, the art is still fine... it's not what I got used to previously from Justice League Dark, but it's not terrible by any means, I just liked what we got previously more.  As for the storytelling..... Yeah, I'm not a fan of what we're doing here with the War of the Parliaments.  I do enjoy the premise, but so far the execution has left me wanting because we're just bouncing back and forth between team members doing different things, while occasionally being given a strange flashback that wants to remain ominous for the time being.  I just want more from this book all around because we're dealing with a potentially awesome story, but right now it just kind of comes off disjointed and as far as this issue goes, it didn't really do much until our cliffhanger.

Bits and Pieces:

While I'm all about the premise of this story, I can't help but feel the execution is lacking.  Everything about our current JLD arc feels like it's a little bit less than what we were getting previously and wants to spend more time being mysterious than actually telling a cohesive and cool story.  That's not to say that things can't turn around here, but as far as this issue goes, it didn't feel like we accomplished much until the cliffhanger.


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