Justice League Dark #4 Is A Graphic Tour De Force

by Oliver MacNamee

Crossovers can be tricky events if you aren’t reading any of the tie-ins, so thankfully the current crossover playing out in Justice League Dark (The Witching Hour) is only running to 5 parts and only involves this team book and Diana’s own book. So, having skipped the opening salvo, The Witching Hour #1, I was glad to see I hadn’t missed too much. And, what I had missed was easily caught up with after just the first page.

Wonder Woman now possesses a modicum of Hecate’s – goddess of witches – powers and Circe seems to behind it all. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman and company magically transport themselves to the fabled mystical and spiritual city of Nanda Parbat deep in the Himalayan mountains (beautifully and meticulously depicted by series’ artist Alvaro Martinez Beuno once again proving he can render either the gothic or the beautiful expertly) to confront Manitou Dawn, a person possessed and slicing through Nanda Parbat like a lightsaber through butter all the time trying to fight against her possession as she threatens to burn the damn place down.

With so much magical energy being wielded about the place, I have to tip my hat to Beuno, who goes all out on page layouts to try and capture the weirdness in his drawing and style with hints of Ditko, Sterenko and the summer of ’68 rolled into a coherent, creative comic. A graphic tour de force. Hats off, also, to colourist Brad Anderson in keeping up with bruno and producing a colourful, vibrate comic that is far from ‘dark’, as this rendition of the JL would suggest.

In all the commotion we also get a hint of Deadman’s links to this place and his ‘boss’, Rama Kushna. It’s an interesting development in the enigmatic (after) life of Boston Brand and one I hope Tynion IV returns to one day soon. Indeed, this whole issue seems to be a good excuse to resurrect some of the older notions of magic and magical characters DC have in their stable and there is a welcome surprised guest we haven’t seen in a DC book for some time now, even if she does seem to want the destruction of the Parliament of Trees, it would seem.

It’s a well choreographed comic book, given the size of the cast and additional players too, and continue to be a worth addition to the Justice League family of books that we’re seeing at the moment. Action, archaic magic and adventure all in one comic. What more does one need?

Justice League Dark #4 is out now form DC Comics.

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