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"Justice League Dark #3" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by DC Comics

Justice League Dark 3 00

Written by James Tynion IV
Illustrated by Alvaro Martinez Bueno
Inked by Raul Fernandez
Colored by Brad Anderson
Lettered by Rob Leigh
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on September 26th, 2018

Review:

Wonder Woman and one of the strangest Justice Leagues ever assembled gets a glimpse at what was lurking beyond the veil. We've learned where magic has come from and it's pretty horrifying. Get ready for the Upside-Down Man, who's ready to tear this world apart to get back what is rightfully his.

I'm going to spend some time talking about the Upside-Down Man because he is one of the creepiest monsters / villains I've ever seen. Everything about this guy is terrifying. Artist Alvaro Martinez Bueno gives him an unsettling quality from the jump, not just because he's hanging from the ceiling. It's his face...or lack of one. See, he doesn't have any eyes, nose, or hair. He has this large, gaping maw at the center of where his face should be. It coils in just a bit, almost like he's just swallowed a lemon.

Add to this his eerily pale complexion from colorist Brad Anderson. The Upside-Down Man practically glows in a disturbing white pallor, like the skin of maggots. The only other color on him is around his mouth, which has a stark red where his lips would be if he had any. I can easily imagine that red as coming from blood after he just ate a puppy or some other innocent creature. This is the kind of evil we're talking about here.

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Click images to enlarge

Finally, to round everything out is Rob Leigh's letters. The Upside-Down Man's speech comes out in this violent font. You can imagine the guttural screams he must be letting out as he taunts the Justice League Dark, toying with each one of them as he intends to destroy everything in his way. The word balloons themselves are jagged and irregular.

OK. Now that you have an idea of the bad guy, how do the heroes stack up? Well, they're definitely not used to fighting as a team, so they're unorganized and more than a little rattled. They only just figured out what they were up against, so we'll cut them some slack. At the bare minimum, the Upside-Down Man serves as the catalyst to get the team together. This odd assortment of characters is all that can stand against this monstrosity.

Writer James Tynion IV has a talent for team books, as we recently saw with his run on Detective Comics. He juggles the various personalities of all of the characters, giving them each some time to shine and often in unexpected ways. Every single member of the team gets some character development and some pretty awesome moments. This is only the third issue of Justice League Dark and the creative team is already pulling out all the stops in a big, bold supernatural battle.

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Click images to enlarge

John Constantine has popped up in here for obvious reasons and it's a pretty strong performance. I haven't quite found my way into this character yet, despite his storied history and how perfectly he aligns with my interests. His rendition here is a nice mix and he's less of a complete jerk as he's usually painted. Sure, he's got an attitude, but he would probably still be welcome at a party.

DC Comics has been creating this solid corner of horror within its universe and I could not be happier. Justice League Dark is a fantastic addition to it and it's just getting started. The Upside-Down Man alone is worth the price of admission for this first brief arc. Seriously, that guy is going to be haunting my dreams for a while. It's like if a tongue had teeth. Ugh. Anyway, Justice League Dark is diving into the supernatural with an awesome mix of characters, solid action, and jaw-dropping artwork.

Grades:

Story: Fivestars Justice League Dark 3 Cover
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Justice League Dark 3 Cover
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Art: Fivestars
Overall: Fivestars

About The Author
Spez Bio 2
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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