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Justice League Dark 16 Main

"Justice League Dark #16" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by DC Comics

article-cover

Written by James Tynion IV
Illustrated by Alvaro Martinez Bueno & Fernando Blanco
Inked by Raul Fernandez & Fernando Blanco
Colored by Brad Anderson
Letttered by Rob Leigh
2019, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on October 24th, 2019

Review:

The bad guys have made their move, taking down heroes all around the world and that includes the Justice League Dark. Wonder Woman is fighting Circe in the Collective Unconscious while Fate and Zatanna struggle to keep the portal open for her return. Meanwhile, Detective Chimp, Khalid, and what’s left of Swamp Thing are running from a deformed Man-Bat.

Let’s spend some time talking about Man-Bat because it’s one of the scariest things I’ve seen all year. He was already a creepy character because he’s a man…that’s a bat. He’s taken his experiments to the extreme, creating a frightening mass of pulsating flesh, teeth, and screams. It’s deeply disturbing body horror and it’s pretty awesome. As a quick reminder, this is happening in the same book as Wonder Woman.

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Click images to enlarge

Just in case Man-Bat’s horrifying appearance isn’t scary enough, letterer Rob Leigh puts it over the edge with unsettling word balloons. The creature’s speech seems to float in the air like a taunt. It reminds me of Pennywise in how it appears on the page.

I’m not sure whether Alvaro Martinez Bueno or Fernando Blanco handles this. It looks like the artwork is split between the settings, with one artist handling the scenes with Diana and the other handling those with Detective Chimp. I’m not usually a fan of splitting up art duties, as it can create a jarring reading experience, however we’re dealing with different realities here, so it works out ok.

Speaking of the other reality, Wonder Woman is literally broken up in the Collective Unconscious. It’s like she’s stuck in three different times, so you see her body in different moments all on top of each other. Pieces of her float in the air in a haunting fashion.

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Click images to enlarge

This book lurks in the shadows. I mean, it has the word “Dark” in its title, so that’s not too much of a surprise. Colorist Brad Anderson plays with the mysterious quality of the setting and these characters to create an ominous tone. This is broken up by the bright light of fire, which instantly draws the eye in a shocking manner. When flames hit the page, something dangerous has arrived.

Justice League Dark has bounced between a few events and now it’s square in the Year of the Villain. This could prevent further development of an overall narrative in some cases, but that’s definitely not true here. Writer James Tynion IV manages to push through character development of the current team while also touching about the greater details of the event. Basically, we get our tie-in without derailing the main storyline. It’s a nice way to weave all of this together. This puts a horror spin on the latest DCU event.

Grades:

Story: fourandahalfstars Cover
Buy from Amazon US
Art: fourandahalfstars
Overall: 4.5 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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