Review – Justice League Dark #4 (DC Comics)

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artwork: Alvaro Martinez Bueno (pencils), Raul Fernandez (inks)
Colours: Brad Anderson
Lettering: Rob Leigh
Release Date: 17th October 2018

It has certainly been one hell of a ride since the last issue. Spanning across both Wonder Woman and Justice League Dark, things have been going from bad to worse in the DC magic world. In fact, it turns out that the darkness unleashed in the first few issues of JLD were just the tip of the iceberg for our band of magic misfits.

The witch mark branded on Wonder Woman’s head came courtesy of from the evil witch goddess Hecate, a being whose existence spans far beyond the first humans to dabble in magic.  As an insurance policy of sorts, Hecate placed some of her power in human vessels, each chosen at the beginning of their life and each not knowing they had been “chosen” until the power was released.

And now the time is upon us. Ticked off by the abuse magic has suffered at the hands of humans, Hecate has activated the dormant power in the vessels – including Wonder Woman – and is using it to wipe Earth’s slate clean and start again, a plan which kicks off this issue in the home of our old friend Deadman, Nanda Parbat.

I’ve liked this arc a hell of a lot more than I thought I would. When I first saw that it was a cross-title arc dipping into Wonder Woman I was worried that it was all going to be about her and the rest of the team would take a back seat. However, this has turned out to be far from the truth.  The last few issues have been about building up the tension as more of the schemes of Hecate are shown to the reader, whispering into the ears of their allies and completely isolating our heroes.

What started as an almost completely new JLD crew has now become a dirty dozen (well, more like Inglorious Basterds) made up of new and old members, all once again forced together to fight against threats that just seem to grow more impossible as the story progresses.

This issue is the real start of the Witching Hour, showing us the different parts of Hecate quickly coming together in an explosion of utter destruction. The art from Alvaro Martinez Bueno, Raul Fernandez and Brad Anderson does a great job of showing the huge scale of destruction, with literal gods clashing on the page and our heroes tapping away trying their best to save whoever they can.

My only real gripe with this series so far is Zatanna. While I get that she’s the natural born leader of the crew, and that her knowledge of magic and words of wisdom are helping the team come together, she hasn’t really been much use when the action has gone down. Left without her magic she has been resigned to the background. However, given the nature of the story and her foreboding visions a few issues back I’m confident that’ll be rectified soon. Especially with that ending!

Make sure you get up to date with Wonder Woman and the Wonder Woman/Justice League Dark issues before picking this one up. Things are truly kicking off, and it’s starting to looking like our heroes are going to have to pull a bloody big rabbit out of the hat to get out of this one!

Rating: 3.5/5.


The writer of this piece was: Indiana “Indy” Marlow
Indy Tweets from @smokingpunkindy

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