Justice League Dark #24
At last, Justice League Dark’s mission reaches the moment fans have been waiting for: their descent into the Other Place, as a reborn Swamp Thing, Wonder Woman, and Zatanna sharpen their swords and spells to battle the Upside Down Man. But Zatanna has more than just cards up her sleeve. The team discovers her burning secret, while Detective Chimp must come to terms with his own role within Team Dark.
Following the dramatic conclusion of the “Parliament of Life” arc that left a dangling thread from the Upside Down Man, we find direction from Zatanna in a search for her long last Father. It carries the emotional momentum building up in prior issues remarkably well, but just comes up short in narrative weight as we transition to the grander story.
Justice League Dark has taken on new levels of horror with Ram V at the helm, utilizing the Upside Down Man as a catalyst for upheaval in the magical corners of the DC Universe. After everything, from the Witching Hour to the Parliament of Life, there is just his presence remaining. The devastation his schemes have caused on the team are explored more in-depth in Justice League Dark #24, especially in the dynamics between Wonder Woman and Bobo as well as Zatanna’s struggles with loss.
The most interesting development comes in the form of a path forward for the team, offering direction and a new wave of momentum to push the series into a fight with the Upside Down Man. Wonder Woman has held the team together through thick and thin, and her guidance is a more than welcome presence. This issue plays out like the calm before the storm, but in gathering the forces to storm the Upside Down Man we lose some of the weight of impending consequence. The result is an issue that isn’t quite as important as what we’ve come to expect from the series.
As we bounce from one perspective to the next, the artwork continues to excel. The character work steals the show with emotional expressions and detailed locations. Everything from the background to the concise lettering shows that this book is still executing at a very high level. The pacing helps to build tension and drama, with unique layouts that adds depth to the issue rather than distracting.
While it’s not the most critical issue to date, there is a strong sense of strategy happening that positions the team for a thrilling continuation. But all of that exciting stuff to come isn’t quite here yet and the issue feels like it. For those who have followed along through the whole series, it’s likely you will want to see the inner workings of the team here, but the best is surely yet to come!
Justice League Dark #24 utilizes the emotional underpinnings of the team's dynamics as they attempt to gather their forces, but it loses some of the narrative momentum in the process. Still, with consistently spectacular artwork it proves worth the read.
Justice League Dark #24: Still Just a Lost Child
Writing - 8/108/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 9.5/109.5/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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