Justice League Dark #14 – James Tynion IV, Writer; Alvaro Martinez Bueno, Penciller; Raul Fernandez, Inker; Adriano Lucas, Colorist
Ray – 9.5/10
Ray: Over a year in, I feel safe in saying that Justice League Dark is the most consistent book in DC’s stables. Every month, James Tynion and a top group of artists give us a masterclass in horror and supernatural spectacle – and it’s not slowing down at all. Justice League Dark #14 opens with one of the scariest segments of the run, as Wonder Woman has an odd dream that takes her to a strange flaming house – one that will be familiar to those who are fans of Night Force – where she meets a burning Zatara, who wants her of the crisis to come. Their meeting is interrupted by the Upside-Down Man, and it ends abruptly and leaves Diana with more questions than answers. But she doesn’t have time to dwell, as the rest of her team is in a pitched battle with an army of feral vampires. This is one of the best large-scale battle segments I’ve seen in a while, with a spectacular final move by Kent and Khalid, and some great one-liners from characters including Detective Chimp and Man-Bat.
Surprisingly, many of the best moments in this issue are the quieter scenes between characters. Tynion isn’t ignoring that the first year of this series has been one bloody war after another, with serious casualties.
Diana has some great scenes with a grieving Traci 13 and with an always-suspicious John Constantine – who helps point her towards Circe’s role in the plot against them. There’s also the debut of a familiar magical wild card, Klarion the Witch Boy, who seems more malevolent than normal here and is bringing his demon cat Teekl with him as he bewitches Man-Bat and puts the former rogue’s redemption in jeopardy.
I don’t know if I can go through this again after Clayface! This issue also debuts the magical version of the Legion of Doom, and they may be even more intriguing than the main one – Circe, Papa Midnite, Floronic Man (right off his seizing the power of the Parliament of Flowers), and a darker version of Solomon Grundy are an intriguing mix, and it looks like every issue of DC’s most ambitious team book brings new chills and thrills.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.