Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Justice League Dark #22 Review

Who Runs The Rot?

Written By: Ram V, James Tynion IV
Art By: Alvaro Martinez Bueno, Amancay Nahuelpan, Raul Fernandez, June Chung, Rob Leigh
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 2, 2020

It's back to the War of the Parliaments, as our Justice League Dark tries to take on as many aspects of the forces of life that they can.  Previously, we saw Wonder Woman, Detective Chimp, and our special guest star, Animal Man fighting against The Grey, while Zatanna and Constantine made their way to the realm of The Rot to try and find Abigail Arcane.  Hopefully, with Doctor Fate going to check in on the other, less-known Parliaments this issue, we'll finally start seeing some resolution to this big ol' war, but with that, I hope that the excitement level is boosted too because while this should be a huge story, with giant ramifications, what we've gotten up to this point has been a bit subdued while hinging on the convoluted in the way the story has progressed.  Let's jump into this issue and see if things have become more clear and if our Justice League Dark team can overcome the forces of life itself.  Let's check it out.

In this issue we see the threats that our heroes have been facing kind of go away in strange, over-written at times ways.  Our war with The Grey is overcome with a strange look at the insides of Buddy Baker, who has somehow taken control of a flatworm and communes with The Divided, the bacteria of the world, and convinces this Parliament to help them in their battle.  It's strange, but not as strange as Doctor Fate's talk with the Parliaments of Stone, Waves, Flame and Vapors because while we obviously have different Parliaments represented in different ways, these ones just happen to look like giant people and are depicted as if being more Gods than Parliaments.  It feels like our story, at least for this section seems to have turned into a more American Gods feel than what we were previously dealing with and because of this, this turn our story has taken feels kind of out of place.  Yeah, it's kind of interesting, but when the main focus of what we have been dealing with switches to the perspective of a shaman-like figure, who met Doctor Fate at the front of the cave that led him to these different Parliaments, it feels like we lost the true focus of our story and the writers wanted to tell something different that didn't involve our heroes.

So yeah, this is an odd chapter to our War of the Parliaments story, but it's been odd this whole time with the weird interludes of Abby Arcane's dreams of the past, but at least that bit is explained here as Constantine and Zatanna battle Anton Aracne, who has tried to take over The Rot by keeping Abigail in a sort of forced sleep, but now that that is all over and the rest of our JLD team have dealt with their own aspects of this story, we're all moving towards a convergence on The Rot that at least seems really interesting as we move into the next issue.

All in all, the art is decent in this book, but the way the story is being told in not only the way that things just kind of are wrapped up for the rest of our heroes to get us to our finale, to the switching narrative to this new figure for Doctor Fate to realize what he has to do to get the ear of the different Parliaments, which also come off odd here, the story feels like it's kind of lost its focus and now just has to wrap up with a battle against The Rot......... Thankfully though, this battle does seem really interesting, but the bits that led us to this point feel like they should have been fleshed out more and also meant more to the overall DC Universe.  Hopefully, that will come by the end, but I was a little let down by what we got this issue because it felt like it wanted to be fancier in the way that the story was being told instead of just telling a good story.  

Bits and Pieces:

By the end of this issue, I was really intrigued by what we'll get next, but the majority of what we got here just seemed like it needed to wrap things up really quick and felt out of place with what we've seen of the different Parliaments before.  The art was decent, but by the end of this issue I just felt like this story should have been bigger than what we got, but I hope that things come together for the end and give the story the scope that it should have in how it affects the entire DC Universe. 


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