Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Justice League Dark #28 Review

Getting Right-Side Up

Written By: Ram V
Art By: Amancay Nahuelpan, June Chung, Rob Leigh
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 24, 2020

Let's get back to our big battle between our Justice League Dark team and the nemesis that's plagued this series since the beginning, the Upside-Down Man. In our previous issue we saw Swamp Thing sacrifice himself to bring the Green into the Otherkind's realm, Khalid falters in using the powers of Doctor Fate, forcing Nabu to bring Kent Nelson in to finish the job, Wonder Woman using the power of Hecate and Zatanna merging with their foe for one final standoff. Let's jump into this issue and see if Zatanna has a plan or if she just wanted to emulate a monster from The Thing. Let's check it out.

While this is the final battle for our team and the Upside-Down Man, where Zatanna leads the charge with the concept of introducing the idea that magic has a cost to this being that magic was stolen from, I can't help but feel that it was a little underwhelming, even though Ram V wanted to give everyone on our team a chance to try and get some shots in because we're essentially just using some ideas that he brought into the book and leaving everything that's been built up over the last two years on the table with no reference because while yes we are getting the demise of the Upside Down Man and giving Bobo some closure to being the protector of Myrra, everything about the Otherkind is sort of just forgotten about and this whole world just becomes the domain of the Upside-Down Man and once he's gone, this other world is just a cool place to hang out.  

I mean, we had beings that were so powerful previously that they were able to destroy hell and have all of magic on the run but now they're just kind of absent so that Zatanna can have a callback to what her father taught her about the cost of magic, not to mention giving her some closure with the search for her father, which too felt a bit lackluster, even if I didn't expect much to come from the end of her quest. Ultimately, this issue just wants to wrap up the Upside-Down Man and leave us with a few mysteries about where our heroes will go from here and also give us some hope that we'll be able to see them return to form sometime down the line. Since this is the end of the culmination of everything that came before it though, I just expected something that felt bigger and not quickly swept away and returned things to a sort of status quo.

All in all, the art in this issue is as good as it always is, but the story just felt a bit weak. Yeah, Ram V attempted to bring some concepts to the way that magic is used here, which are pretty cool overall, but it just utilized these ideas and little else as a way to bring this titan of terror down and after all the build-up of our enemy, he just kind of went down a little too easily in my mind when it felt like our heroes still had little understanding about him. I don't know what the fate of this book is after Future State is over, but since we've just been meandering about for so long I'm kind of okay with this just fading off into the sunset because it hasn't really done much to live up to what this title could be.

Bits and Pieces:

While the art continues to be really good and fun throughout, the conclusion to our Upside-Down Man story kind of falls short in my opinion. This magical monster and the world he encompasses is just kind of thrown aside and makes this threat feel way smaller than he ever should have for all the build-up we've had over the last two years.  



  1. I agree, this whole arc was just rushed and did the Upside-Down Man dirty. Ram V REALLY wanted to wrap this up so badly he overlooks the fact that the team doesn't really "bring balance" to Magic. All they did was repeat Hecate's mistake and seal away the Upside-Down Man again. Apparently, he's not dead just sealed away somewhere and Ram V calls that a win. And like you said, he just ignores the sheer power of the Upside-Down Man and the Otherkind so he can give the team a "win" that's far from earned. And surprisingly, there's no genuine cost to their victory beyond a few sendoffs. This book its just a shadow of what it could've been.

  2. I dropped out of this series after 5 issues, but I have to jump in and say that I dig totally torqued Wonder Woman on the cover of this one!