Justice League Dark #15 – James Tynion IV, Writer; Alvaro Martinez Bueno, Penciller; Raul Fernandez, Inker; Brad Anderson, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: James Tynion IV has just been promoted to the new Batman writer, and it’s not hard to see why – he’s been one of DC’s most valuable players for years with an extended Detective Comics run and Justice League Dark, a hard-boiled supernatural thriller. And with Justice League Dark #14, he once again proves there’s no one better at plumbing the nightmarish side of the DCU than him. The last issue revealed that Circe – one of the unlikely allies the JLD found during the Witching Hour crossover – had been playing the long game and now controlled the power of the Witchmark. A dark alliance of evil magic has formed, and piece by piece it’s taking control of the world’s magic. But this issue takes that invasion from the background to the foreground and strikes major blows against the remaining magical heroes. It’s also the darkest issue of the run, with several brilliant visuals by Alvaro Martinez Bueno that will burn their way into your memory – whether you want them to or not.
You’d think the League would know splitting up never works in a horror movie, and that’s really what it is. Every hero in this book heads into danger and often meets horrific fates. Swamp Thing decides to return to the Parliament, only to find that Jason Woodrue got there first – and is now in control of the Parliament of Flowers, infecting Swamp Thing with blight. Wonder Woman and Zatanna, with the help of the former Doctors Fate, enters the secret vault of magical artifacts to form a pact with Eclipso to track down Circe.
Kirk Langstrom’s many mental issues come to a head as the Upside-Down Man pushes him to make a lethal decision with horrific consequences. And Klarion the Witch Boy forms a deal with the devil. Every few pages comes with a new twist or scare, and the series never lets up. It’s mostly disconnected from the Year of the Villain events so far, but few books better capture the feel of the bad guys winning and the heroes fighting a losing war.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.