Justice League Dark #20
The Floronic Man's unintended rise to power has thrown The Parliaments of Life into chaos. Even though the villain lies deep in the cells of the Hall of Justice, life itself is being warped by his reach! With Swamp Thing gone, the Justice League Dark must join forces with some of the most powerful avatars, like Animal Man, to help set things right. But the magical team's troubles are just beginning, as an old evil from a familiar swamp casts its shadow over them all, waiting for the perfect time to strike!
The Parliaments of Life begins in Justice League Dark #20, an issue that builds on the conclusion of “The Witching War” with pure brilliance, emphasizing the heartfelt relationships of the team contrasted against a truly grim gothic horror story, all packed in an epic superhero tale.
As far as superhero stories with a horror edge go, it’s tough to outdo what is accomplished in Justice League Dark #20. The inclusion of Ram V on the script brings out a new poetic, yet immensely terrifying element that helps this issue to stand out in an already remarkable series. Fans will certainly be excited to see Buddy Baker’s Animal Man return, but there isn’t much time for a joyful reunion given the circumstance. With the Cordyceps Infection turning people into hideous fungus monsters, the Parliaments of Life essentially at war in a territorial style conflict free from order and the Floronic Man casting the team further into chaos, things have certainly become quite complicated for the JLD.
While the story is a powerful start to a thrilling new arc, the artwork from Kyle Hotz and FCO Plascencia reaches new levels of awesome in Justice League Dark #20. It’s just panel after panel of beautiful character moments and horrific developments that both make you squeamish and excited for more all at once. From the rampant fungus infection to the Dreaming of Decay featuring a young Abigail Arcane, this issue captures an iconic look for the Justice League Dark that shows why this team has such enduring appreciation.
While there are a lot of moving pieces in this book that follow up on the conclusion of the last arc, it’s important to consider this is the first truly standalone arc to occur since Wonder Woman and the Justice League Dark: The Witching Hour. So much of the team’s conflict has been rooted in the fight against Hecate that its now time to look at the consequences of what has been left in their wake, and its certainly scary to behold. This series so far is touching on the narrative success found in such acclaimed runs as Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern because of both it’s fundamental understanding of the characters as well as what it brings to the overall lore. The Parliaments of Life simply ooze storytelling potential just like the Emotional Spectrum following the War of the Green Lanterns. This creative team is onto something great here, that much is for sure.
Ultimately, this is what you want out of a Justice League Dark comic. You don’t have to read nineteen issues of JLD culminating to “The Witching War” to understand what is happening here, but it does provide context to show that this is an important run from a much larger perspective for the team. If the incredible word-of-mouth surrounding the series for the last nineteen issues hasn’t been enough to get you to jump in, let Justice League Dark #20 be the reason you finally did.
Trust me, it’s worth it.
Justice League Dark #20 is beautifully horrific and simply brilliant in its approach, emphasizing the heartfelt relationships of the team contrasted against a truly grim gothic horror story, all packed in an epic superhero tale.
Justice League Dark #20: Written in Blood
Writing - 10/1010/10
Storyline - 10/1010/10
Art - 10/1010/10
Color - 10/1010/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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