Review – Justice League Dark #9 (DC)

Publisher: DC
Writer: James Tynion IV
Pencils: Alvaro Martinez Bueno (pencils), Raul Fernandez (inks)
Colours: Brad Anderson
Lettering: Rob Leigh
Release Date: 13th March 2019 2019

It’s out of the frying pan and into… well… a burning volcano full of explosives in the latest issue of DC’s Justice League Dark.

One minute our heroes are legging it from the demonic and otherworldly Otherkind, the next they find themselves facing the brothers and sisters of Dr Fate. We’ve seen all along that Fate has had his own agenda when it comes to the magical purification of the world, but now we get to see just how far back his plan goes.

We also discover that this agenda doesn’t just apply to him, but also to the other chosen Lords of Order, possessed pieces of clothing only a select few powerful beings can wield. They’re usually loyal to those who help fight evil and maintain some form of order, but that phrase order looks like it’s been taken to a rather large extreme here, and not even a being as powerful as the demon Etrigan can fight back against it.

On the other side of the tale, Zatanna and Wonder Woman return to Cerse, having not seen her since her nefarious plots in the Witching Hour, to ask her help in finding Mordru, the Lord of Chaos . It turns out that Modru is the only thing even remotely capably actually fighting back against both the Otherkind and the Lords of Order, but his title along shows just how desperate our rag-tag heroes of become.

Tynion IV is unrelenting in his punishment of the JLD, but this is still very much an action-packed tale to behold. Reading this is the literary equivalent of legging it from a hockey mask wearing nutter out for your blood. You simply can’t rest for even a second! The pace of the tale is so fast that you can’t describe anything here as “filler”, and just as one event seems to be resolved another five sprout up like the unedited heads of a hydra.

However, at the same as all the unpleasantness, Tynion always takes time to look closely at these characters he clearly loves (and loves to punish!) Each one, no matter how small a cameo or appearance, is given their own time to grow in this rapidly ending world.

Martinez Bueno and Mendonça deliver this same sense of urgency and appreciation to the visual side of the story, putting the time into the huge cast of characters, each instantly recognisable in the scenes of dread-filled action. The contrast of worlds is shown through not only the inks, but the choice of otherworldly shades of green and blue, lit by the foreboding yellow fires of the Lords of Order. Seeing this and then seeing the darker tones of grey and black in the real world show just how much the known world of the DCU has gone to pot.

This is yet another solid issue which continues to further the palpatation-inducing tale of excitement.

Rating: 4/5.


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

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