Wonder Woman leading the Justice League Dark is just a concept that makes sense. Her mythological roots are seeped in magic. In The Witching Hour: Wonder Woman/Justice League Dark #1 we see how she’s the perfect horror character as well.
James Tynion IV, Jesus Merino, Romulo Fajardo Jr., and Dave Sharpe kick off this spooky crossover in style in this one-shot issue. The issue kicks off a month-long weekly crossover event that clearly will have ramifications for the darker side of the DCU going forward.
In flashback, we see that the witch-gad Hecate has branded Diana and claimed her as her own. In the present day, Wonder Woman asks the main League for help to fight back against the Otherkind. The League appreciates the warning, but has more pressing matters. Unfortunately, the more pressing matters are due to Hecate obscuring their minds, just as she strikes, transforming those she’s branded into living magical weapons, sending the JLD on the run to stop her.
Tynion showed his talent for writing large groups with his much loved Detective Comics run. This issue is no different. He’s able to up the stakes by makes us care about the characters. Hecate is a huge threat, but even more so because Zatanna, Detective Chimp and Swamp Thing are so interesting.
He also creates a threat that balances the magic and horror worlds perfectly. Hecate is grotesque and horrifying. However, she’s also clearly immensely powerful, and that makes he just as frightening as any evil god in Diana’s rogues’ gallery.
Merino’s work has long blended perfectly in the DC house style. Here though, he switches up his style a bit. Those his lines remain clean, he adds a little grit and leans into the grotesque. His brief work with Man-Bat is probably my favorite part of the issue, filling Kurt Langstrom with personality but keeping him scary.
Farjado steps in great with his collaborator. He casts a dark tone over the art, adding shadow and a bit of grime. He never muddies a page or complicates, only compliments. His magic effects also are superb.
After this issue, I’m thrilled to be checking out the crossover. I have a feeling it’s going to be scary good (sorry, not sorry).
The Witching Hour: Wonder Woman/Justice League Dark #1 is available now from DC Comics.