Justice League Dark #26
This is it, the moment you've been waiting for! The entire Justice League Dark team storms the Other Place, with a little help from their friend/enemy John Constantine. And at what price his aid? With the Upside-Down Man in their sights, the team witnesses the true manifestation of his power, and the agonizing cost of his anger.
The Justice League Dark team is finally ready to storm the Other Place and bring down the Upside-Down Man in this issue…or are they? While the official solicitation isn’t wrong in describing the moment we’ve all been waiting for, it’s not quite climactic in the way you might think.
That doesn’t mean it won’t shock you though!
Justice League Dark #26 is an awesome continuation of a particularly strong series at DC, there is no denying that. It coalesces many of the driving forces behind the arcs that have been building up to this fight in the Other Place. With an exceptionally clever commonality found between all of the struggles of the team so far, we see every member of Justice League Dark take crucial steps, however intricate, to bring this story closer to its conclusion.
But don’t look for any epic ending here, despite delivering on the exciting fight we’ve all been waiting on, JLD #26 also brings with it a gut wrenching cliffhanger. This creative team has shown an uncanny ability to tell a complex story in a cohesive way all while keeping reader’s hooked until the last page. In this issue, just when you think things are finally going in the team’s way, everything changes with a potentially lethal blow to none other than Constantine. The return of Madame Xanadu led us to believe something dangerous was bound to happen, but this creative team pulls off the foreshadowing in a really thrilling way.
There are some things about JLD #26 that don’t land as well. While the artwork has been outstanding, we have started to see a bit too much of an emphasis on the more chaotic layouts that hinder the pacing of such a far reaching story like this. It’s sometimes difficult to keep track of which doesn’t help the many different threads unraveling. It’s not every page, but the visuals seem to just not pack as much of a punch as what we’ve seen before. Even then, when Swamp Thing makes his grand appearance in the Other Place, it’s difficult not to be impressed! While Leigh continues to do everything possible to keep the reading experience easy to navigate, Chung does exceptional work on the coloring to bring a fresh feel to the series. As all of the different characters find their way to the Other Place, we start to see some consistency take shape and that is a good thing.
The most memorable aspect of JLD #26 (arguably aside from that final panel of John!) is the foundation of belief as a source of magic in the DC universe. It’s tied into just about every revelation in this series so far and has potential to really shift the way magic operates as we know it in the greater universe. It’s an exciting prospect to think about considering all this team has gone through since the No Justice and Witching Hour events and sets the stage for some incredible stories to come. This is a sign of great world building and understanding of narrative elements that can extend beyond the limits of just this one arc or even series.
The entire creative team behind Justice League Dark continues to impress with issue #26, and while it delivers plenty of spectacle in a fight we’ve all been waiting on, I would be lying if I said I didn’t believe the story has been stretched just a little too long. Here’s to hoping we can keep this momentum and even build more going into the conclusion of this arc!
The entire creative team behind Justice League Dark continues to impress with issue #26, and while it delivers plenty of spectacle in a fight we've all been waiting on, hopefully it can keep up the momentum to nail the ending.
Justice League Dark #26: A Fundamental Truth of Magic
Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
Storyline - 8/108/10
Art - 8.5/108.5/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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