Justice League Dark #6: A Character-Driven Comic That Helps Develop The Team

by Olly MacNamee

Following on from the events of Justice League Dark #5, the magical land of Myrra is dealing with the continual onslaught of skeletal zombies attacking the fortified walls of the city, with the Blue Devil looking rather more regal and far more serious than he has done in years. It suits him and by the end of this issue a new status quo for Dan Cassidy, the Blue Devil, is set in motion and one he is more than happy to embrace. I do hope we get to see him again in the near future as I was hoping he’d be recruited into this darker branch of the Justice League.
But, enough about Dan, this issue is more about Bobo the Detective Chimp and his own mistakes. Mistakes that have had dire consequences for Myrra and its citizens thanks to his insistence in welding the Sword of the Night last issue. Turning to drink is never the answer, but it’s where Bobo turns to first. And has done for some time now.

Dealing with the subject of alcoholism in a world of magic and monkeys, on paper, seems to be a daft idea, yet James Tynion IV pulls it off in scenes that are sober and serious. And, while John Constantine and the Swamp Thing witness a dangerously deluded Dr Fate taking on the Phantom Stranger in a wonderfully executed set of bombastic scenes, courtesy of Daniel Sampere (pencils) and Juan Albarran (inks), its the Detective Chimp’s scenes of confusion that will grab your attention. How could everyone’s favourite chimp have such a serious disease as alcoholism? Even he’s amazed that his newfound team mates didn’t notice. Although, I’m not sure offering him mead, which is something Wonder Woman does, is the best way to deal with the problem, do you?
Issue like this, that focus on the trials and tribulations of team members, while still offering up a meaty amount of action and conflict, are always a welcome read. They go a long way in developing these characters beyond their original inception and with a comic like this one, the team is certainly made up of some of DC’s more comical characters from their rich, but often daft past, and reimagining them and developing their stories to make them more relevant and more relatable. With Bobo having seemed to turn a corner and the Blue Devil a sword and sorcery welding blue hued Conan, this is one such issue that I would not hesitate to offer to new readers to showcase how good a title this is shaping up to be. And, with this sixth issue, you won’t be waiting too long for a collected edition of these early issues, so why not look out for it in the coming months and jump on board?
The series is full of magic, but with the touch of realism that keeps this book grounded, relevant and a gripping read each issue.
Justice League Dark #6 is available now from DC Comics.

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