Review: Justice League Dark #16

“The Witching War” – Part Three
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artists: Álvaro Martínez Bueno and Raül Fernandez
Color Artist: Brad Anderson
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Review by Steve J. Ray

Justice League Dark #16 continues the excellence and quality laid down by issues #1-#15 and the annual. Circe is at the height of her powers and not even Wonder Woman can keep her at bay. The team has been scattered; Swamp Thing’s been reduced to a clump of dirt, Kent Nelson and Khalid Nassour are still powerful magicians, but no longer hold the power of Doctor Fate. Man-Bat has devolved into a creature of nightmare, thanks to the Upside Down Man and the Otherkind, and Bobo’s crawled into a bottle.

Things aren’t just dark… they’re Justice League Dark.

The Year Of The Villain, Justice/Doom War and Event Leviathan, have shaken the DC Universe to its very foundations. Every DC book ends in similar fashion this month, and the way that the writers and artists working on the entire range of DC titles have handled this is astonishing. James Tynion IV continues to write some of the most thought-provoking, action packed and horrific comics since Vertigo’s glory days. The way he’s married his own JL Dark storyline to the company-wide crossover is nothing short of remarkable. This doesn’t feel like a tale that’s been shoehorned into an event, it’s more like what’s happening everywhere else is down to the action taking place in this fantastic series.

The End Of The World As We Know It

If this is Armageddon, at least it looks good! Álvaro Martínez Bueno, Raül Fernandez and Brad Anderson are delivering some of the finest work of their careers on these pages. From a fragmented Wonder Woman, to a mean-drunk Detective Chimp, and an OMGWTF Man-Bat, the visuals on this title are absolutely first rate. Look at the samples provided above – pages three and four for starters – then run, don’t walk, to your closest comic book store for the rest of the story. Pages 6-7, and 12-15, featuring the battle between Bobo with Khalid against what’s become of Man-Bat, are pure magic. Oh, and John Constantine’s reaction to Swamp Thing’s current state is priceless. This series has always presented the finest creative team pencil/ink/color symbiosis of any book on the market, and Rob Leigh’s lettering is the chocolate sprinkles.

DC Comics are producing some truly great titles right now, and Justice League Dark, in my opinion, ranks in the upper echelons. The plotting, script and dialogue never cease to impress, the visuals give us action, thrills and scares, as well as deep and heartfelt emotion… all in equal measure. This is one series that has never, ever let me down, and is one I look forward to every single month. I read my digital review copy first, then pick up my physical copy five days later, then read it all over again. Oh… and I’m buying the trade paperback collections too!

Conclusion

Justice League Dark #16 is fantastic. If you’ve come in late and this isn’t a book you pick up, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Grab the collections and I’m sure you’ll agree. This is truly an example of comics at their very best.

Detective Comics #1009

Images Courtesy Of DC Entertainment


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Steve J Ray

Dad/husband, writer/artist, amateur chef and Bat-Fan Extraordinaire. Animal lover and fan of all things comic-book and sci-fi related. His wife thinks that he owns too many comics, books, and movies. He thinks this is an oxymoron.