Comic Book Review: Justice League Dark #8


As a buffer between story arcs, Justice League Dark #7 gave us one heck of a self-contained story. One thing I always love is when issues are somewhat one and done. This may be an ongoing story, but it never hurts to have one or two issues that are really out there in design to shake things up. Following the perspective of Man-Bat was a brilliant move since this is a guy who is so new to the world of magic. It made sense that only he could suffer from some backlash due to the exposure. With that said, wise at the same time that we could begin to see what the world of magic could look like when the Otherkind have already made their presence known.

Transitioning into this new issue, I admired the way we continued pushing forward with Man-Bat’s part in this story. I will always say that he was the best addition to this iteration of Justice League Dar for everything wondrous from his point of view. That’s not also pointing out how well his dialogue is written from someone easily influenced by a horror atmosphere. His words are almost poetic despite being able to see the clear effects that this adventure has had on his mind. It also goes without saying that it was great to see that he could find some time to get back to his own investigations which give him relevance outside of solving the big mystery.

The urgency could now be felt as well through the tag teaming of Wonder Woman and Zatanna in their race against time as the Otherkind close in on the rest of the magical community. This time around it just so happened to be Zatanna who happens to steal your attention for the kind of mindset she has slipped into in this stage. This is exactly where she needs to be as someone who up to this point has struggled being take charge. Normally that was Wonder Woman spring into action and taking all of the risks. This time it just so happened to be Zatanna which is a great look for her when most magical users would be way too scared to use their own magic to fight back. What this will lead to is unknown, but for now this new development changes up a dynamic which so far has provided some interesting results.

Connection to the rest of the magic community didn’t hurt either. For as involved as this team could be, it is not just them fighting for the future of magic on Earth. Giving us scenes where everyone could be on the same page to stay together, where true tensions can rise, and we can see genuine fear says a lot about how against the wall these magicians and magical beings are. Realizing the danger that they are all in by the end of this issue was an excellent way of cranking the intensity to this plot. One really does have to wonder how bad things can get if for all of this concentrated magic in one place they cannot accomplish something greater than the JLD team on their own.

One thing I admired most about this new story arc is that the team is split, but each of them fit exactly where they need to be at a time like this. For any other story I would say we are being pulled in too many directions for the stage we are in, but this creative team made it work perfectly.

Here we have another big accomplishment from this art team that hasn’t failed to make every scene refreshing for new ways to marvel at this supernatural horror. Man-Bat in particular was a big focus for the way that he has dived into the world of magic. He consistently has that look of intrigue, fear towards the unknown, but at the same time determination. All of which was only matched by our first display of traditional magic. It’s something to appreciate when you see someone dabbling in magic that involves sigils and objects rather than waving your fingers. The changed demeanor of Zatanna also stood out in the presence she is drawn with. The change in dynamic between Zatanna and WW was only believable for the way that they carried themselves at a time where you might be more cautious. I should also give credit for the transformation that Swamp Thing takes on. This is one of his most unique forms we have seen so far. The spiked look really tells you that he is taking things seriously. What stood out a lot this issue was the extra effort put into the layout design. That really added the engagement of this story since presentation and display is what keeps every flip of the page a new experience.

It may not have been till the very end of the issue that we actually see these Lords of Order, but this week’s issue of Justice League Dark served as an exciting build-up to that introduction. With every passing scene you could feel this story revving up towards a big revelation, and the execution was successful because of everything that has made this situation more dire than it could ever be.

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