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Justice League Dark 23 Main

"Justice League Dark #23" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by DC Comics


Story by Ram V & James Tynion IV
Written by Ram V
Illustrated by Kyle Hotz
Colored by June Chung
Lettered by Rob Leigh
2020, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on June 23rd, 2020


The Guardians of the Rot, the Red, and the Green gather in the Mountain of God to restore the balance in the world. Wonder Woman, John Constantine, Animal Man, and Dr. Fate are arranging this ceremony, but of course, nothing goes as planned. Also, is anyone surprised that Constantine is a bastard?

Justice League Dark #23 serves as a conclusion not just to “The Parliament of Life” storyline, but the end of a chapter of sorts. It ties up a few loose ends that have been popping around the series for some time while also setting the stage for the next phase of the series. This is a long game begun by James Tynion IV that Ram V has picked up and run with. It's big and terrifying with a tremendous amount of potential not just for these characters, but for the DC Universe at large.

I have never really “got” Constantine. I've tried a few times and I just can't get into the character...except for this series. I see how he fits in here and why he's such a fascinating character. Justice League Dark has helped me appreciate this lovable bastard for his place in the world and the necessary evil he brings to the table.

Click images to enlarge

The Hellblazer plays a unique role in that he's personified chaos. You never know what he's going to do, which makes him pretty fun to read. He may have the best interests of the world in mine, but he's always going to save his own skin first and foremost. This adventure is no different, as he keeps his plans secret from the rest of the team even though it leads to the return of a great character and a pretty exciting finish.

While the story itself is filled with exciting moments and great characters beats, it would be nothing without Kyle Hotz's artwork. It is a perfect fit for Justice League Dark and the horror it contains. His characters are twisted and shrouded in darkness, even if they're someone heroic like Wonder Woman. There are just a bit too many details which make for an eerie tone.

And the monsters! They are horrifying in the truest sense of the word. These creatures are twisted and deformed, particularly Anton Arcane and Woodrue. The former is like a walking cancer, shuffling towards its prey ready to engulf it with its lumpy flesh while the latter is a sickly skeleton held together with beautiful flowers.

Click images to enlarge

Colorist June Chung creates the perfect tone for this series. This is not where the bright sun of Metropolis shines. This isn't even the dark shadowy caverns of Gotham City. Instead, this is something far more sinister. You understand when you see it that this is a book full of horrors and it delivers on that mood in spades.

There are a number of different entities at work in Justice League Dark #23 and letterer Rob Leigh differentiates them well. The unique word balloons for each one are used sparingly, giving us a sense of their raw power while not overdoing it.

Justice League Dark aims for the rafters and delivers. I absolutely love the idea that in world where Superman is whizzing around saving cats from trees, there are these powerful dark forces at work with the ability to destroy the entire planet. This rag-tag group of magicians, misfits, and bastards is all that stands against them. That's equal parts intriguing and terrifying on its own, but the horror comes through in waves, setting the stage for even more atrocities in the near future. I cannot wait to see where this story goes next.


Story: fourandahalfstars Cover
Buy from Amazon US
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Art: fivestars
Overall: 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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