Something Wicked This Way Comes In Justice League Dark #2

by Olly MacNamee

Justice League Dark #2 by James Tynion IV (writer), Alvaro Martinez Bueno (artist), Raul Fernandez (inker), Brad Anderson (colours) and Rob Leigh (lettering) is another strong issue, with a reminder of Wonder Woman’s own links to magic through her mythological roots, and a desperate visit to Doctor Fate for help. This darker, magically charged League is fast coming together even as the world’s magical forces are under threat.

This issue covers a lot of ground in giving us an untold story from Diana’s childhood, where she witnesses a horrific conjuring of Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft, offering us a recap of magic’s rise alongside the Lords of Order, of which Doctor Fate’s mentor, Nabu, is one, and the revelation of a truly frightening-looking antagonist. Along the way we get character motivations, a secret revelation about Swamp Thing that comes from another welcome guest to this book, who you may be able to work out from the promos for this series, and the aforementioned vignettes that fill out this book and keep it entertaining and dramatic.
Bueno and Fernandez do a stunning job of laying out Tynion IV’s script, with a polish to the art not always associated with horror themed comics. It’s a style that allows for crisp, clean, defined characters and architecture – an important element in this particular issue with Fate’s Escher-esque Tower of Fate commanding the reader’s attention – but does not detect from the more horrific moments in the book, such as the reanimated cadavers that Wonder Woman, Zatanna and friends are battling in the opening pages. Add to this well-balanced artwork Anderson’s colours balancing all that darkness well with moments of lightness, and you’ve got another enthralling issue. Leigh, on letters, must really have had his work cut out for him on this issue, but his work is never intrusive on the page.

Yes, Wonder Woman adds an A Lister to the ranks, but it’ll be the developing relationships better the team members that will keep you coming back for more. There’s already the hints of a Booster Gold/Blue Beetle type of friendship between Detective Chimp and Kirk Langstrom that I do hope we see more of in future issues, as well as Zatanna’s uneasiness around Princess Diana even being on this working party in the first place. Like I said, a lot happens in this issue. And then there’s Swamp Thing too.
A book of secrets, magic and mystery that ramps up the threat by the end of the book and offers a glimpse at a truly foul-looking bad guy. That’s more than enough for me to pick this book up again next month. And the month after that, given the seeds Tynion IV lays out for later fruition.
Justice League Dark #2 is currently available from DC Comics.

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