Justice League Dark #25 – Ram V, Writer; Amancay Nahuelpan, Artist; June Chung, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Following up on James Tynion IV’s run was always going to be a tough task, but Ram V is quickly looking to establish his own voice on this title as he goes solo – complete with the same level of high-intensity cosmic horror. It helps that he has Amancay Nahuelpan, one of DC’s fastest-rising artists, bringing his visuals to life. This issue kicks off with a great prologue, as a young Zatanna experiments with her magic to bring a small animal back to life, only to learn the hard way that every spell has a cost. This title has often delved a little more into Giovanni Zatara’s character, instead of keeping him as the generic sainted dad figure he’s usually portrayed as. As Zatanna and Diana descend into the magical underworld to try to rescue him, they’re quickly confronted by the Upside-Down Man, who has long been waiting for a shot for revenge after the way their initial confrontation ended.
Zatanna and Wonder Woman get the bulk of this issue’s page time, with an epic high-stakes magical duel against the ancient monster from the Dark Multiverse. But they’re far from the only heroes here, and Swamp Thing and Man-Bat are on an adventure of their own. As Swamp Thing, newly returned from something resembling death, investigates the presence of the Green in worlds other than their own, Detective Chimp is off to track down John Constantine – who has gotten himself into some serious magical trouble. This issue is packed with great visuals and horror-style tension, but it wouldn’t work nearly as well if we hadn’t been given reasons to care about these heroes. Tynion IV and Ram V have given almost every one of these misfit heroes a unique mission and a personal reason why they’re up against the forces of magic, and that’s how you take a bunch of cult heroes and turn them into a team.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.