Justice League Dark #8
Kirk Langstrom has been isolated in the headquarters of the Justice League Dark, stripped of his typewriter because the team thinks the arrival of the Otherkind is twisting his mind. Prepared as a scientist should be, Langstrom is instead recording his thoughts and stories. Deaths are continuing all around them, the Otherkind are still rising, and order needs to be restored. To that end, Langstrom is starting his forty-seventh experiment.
At a lighthouse in Maine, Diana fights with Demons Three while Zatanna tries to find a spell with which to defeat them before they eat Diana’s soul. She soon finds one that allows her to take them out...and take their powers into herself. Diana worries that about what that could do to Zatanna, but Zatanna’s not concerned – they have more pressing matters to deal with, such as Felix Faust, whose mind is a mess. Zatanna is able to get some information from him about where Mordru might be, and she goes off to New York City in search of answers, with Diana in tow.
Things are chaotic at the Oblivion Bar, and though Swamp Thing has made some swampy gremlin sporelings to help out, it’s not enough. Bobo is worried about his team and his friends, and Traci tells him that what he’s doing – harboring refugees from the magical community until they can get to Limbo – is a good thing. That is, if they could get to Limbo. Jason Blood appears at the bar and tells Bobo and Traci that Limbo is no longer an option. Neron is making a play for control in Hell, and both Heaven and Hell have closed their gates to Earth, knowledge which upsets Swamp Thing. Blood transforms into Etrigan to deal with Swamp Thing and Bobo tries to subdue their argument.
While Langstrom continues his experiment at the Hall of Justice, Diana and Zatanna arrive at a club for members of the supernatural set. There has been a great deal of carnage at the club, and Papa Midnite greets them there. He’s horrified that Zatanna’s searching for Mordru – a big deal, considering that Midnite himself is a villain – and asks her to turn back. Midnite himself decides to go his own way, but tells them that Mordru visited the bar every once in awhile. It’s not much information to go on, but it’s a start.
At the Oblivion Bar, Bobo, Swamp Thing, and Etrigan drink and try to think of the bigger picture – where they can set up camp, where they can have their final stand, if need be. While they try to figure things out, the Upside-Down Man arrives, along with the other Otherkind, scaring the patrons. Bobo opens a portal to Myrra with the Nightsword, and the patrons flee there for safety. Bobo thinks they’re safe, but Nabu greets him in Myrra and tells him that the horror has only begun.
At the same time, Langstrom frees Khalid Nassour from the urn, and Nassour tells him that they need to talk to Zatanna. Nabu has a horrible plan up his sleeve – he wants to destroy the sphere of the gods so that magic has no place to escape to, which would send everything into chaos.
Things are only getting more and more dire for the Justice League Dark! While things seemed bad enough with Hecate taking over Diana and trying to end all magic, with Nabu having joined the side of Chaos and intent on making sure that magic has no escape, things are even worse, especially as he’s able to affect other worlds made of magic, and not just earth.
Tynion, as has come to be expected, hands in another wonderfully strong issue, with the action and horror ramping up as the heroes try to do everything they can to stop the impending doom. Zatanna taking power from different supernatural beings is an interesting plot point, one which undoubtedly has her powering up for a large confrontation against the Otherkind – with Constantine dead and Nabu evil, Zatanna’s the only hero powerful enough to really stand against the heavy hitters of the magical universe. How that will play out – and how it will lead to the obvious resurrection of John Constantine – will be something that will be fun and extraordinary to witness. Tynion is very much growing Zatanna – what she can do, what she means to the magical community – and it’s about time that she received that sort of spotlight.
Also in the spotlight is Kirk Langstrom, who is mixing science with magic in interesting ways. It’s a brilliant new direction for Langstrom, and the character continues to delight with each new issue. He is, hands down, going to be the break-out star of this book, if he isn’t already, and it all has to do with the great work that Tynion is putting into the character.
Bringing Khalid Nassour – the last bearer of the Helm of Fate from the Dr. Fate series – back into the fold is another fantastic idea, and hopefully he will be able to get control of the helmet, and Nabu, back. Nassour was an interesting character, a different take on Fate than the many ones we’ve had in the past, and he’d be a welcome force for good on the team if he’s able to bring Fate back from Chaos.
Alvaro Martinez Bueno is, of course, handing in some amazing work on this title. It’s easily the book that’s going to send him shooting into the big leagues, which is well deserved, considering his detailed, expressive work. He’s asked to do a lot here, from various demons and monsters, to the Otherkind, to drawing a huge chunk of the DCU’s magical community, and he pulls it all off with grace, style, and excellent storytelling visuals. It’s not an easy task, but he really makes the book shine. Any lesser artist may have moved to drawing panels without any backgrounds, or handed in pages with little detail or focus, but Martinez Bueno makes sure that each panel is rich with detail and expression. It’s gorgeous stuff.
Another strong installment by Tynion and Martinez Bueno, this continues to be the best Justice League book out on the stands today.
Justice League Dark #8: Fate and Chaos
- Writing - 10/1010/10
- Storyline - 10/1010/10
- Art - 10/1010/10
- Color - 10/1010/10
- Cover Art - 8/108/10
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