Khalid Re-dons the Helm in Justice League Dark #19 (Review)
Justice League Dark #19 Review
Writer: James Tynion IV
Penciler: Alvardo Martínez Bueno
Inker: Raul Fernandez
Colorist: Brad Anderson
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Publisher: DC Comics
For those who haven’t been following this series, the current Justice League Dark title spun off of the “Justice League: No Justice” event. In Justice League Dark, Wonder Woman leads a special Justice League team tasked with dealing with magical disturbances within the DC Universe. In the previous eighteen issues, the team has investigated the decay of the Earth’s magic, fought against the Lords of Order, and driven a group of otherworldly monstrosities back to the Dark Multiverse. Currently, the JL Dark team is locked in a ‘Witching War’ against Circe. Thanks to some Year of the Villain power-ups, courtesy of Apex Lex Luthor, Circe and her assembled black magic practitioners have been wiping the floor with JL Dark team.
Issue #19 is the finale of the Witching War story arc. The JL Dark team’s headquarters is under siege by Circe and her cohorts as they try to claim the Eclipso diamond so Circe can use it to remake magic in her own image. Issue 19’s story is split between the past and present. We see the battle’s climax in flashbacks as Man-Bat interviews Wonder Woman in the present. This narrative device adds a unique aspect to this finale. The battle itself is exciting and the dialogue between Man-Bat and Diana ties in perfectly with the themes of both this arc and the series as a whole.
The artwork in this series has been phenomenal from the very first issue and Issue #19 is no exception. The battle scenes have a dynamic feel to them and the colors give life to each panel. Bueno’s artistic talents are constantly on display as from panel to panel he switches between drawing dragons, fighting sorcerers, mystical beings, and a pants wearing chimpanzee. The art team’s collaboration meshes well with Tynion’s script and compliments the action and drama of this series.
For me personally, the highlight of this issue was the return of one of my favorite characters. In this issue Khalid Nelson puts on the helmet of Nabu for the first time since Paul Levitz’s 2015 DC YOU Dr. Fate series. Khalid is a smart addition to the current JL Dark team’s roster, and not just because Dr. Fate is one of DC’s most powerful magic users. Khalid brings some much needed diversity to the team. Its awesome to see a teenage Muslim character featured prominently in a main DC title.
The Witching War story arc has been the best storyline so far in Justice League Dark. Tynion IV is a prolific comic storyteller and is finally getting a chance to hit his stride. So far this series has been hamstrung by having to tie its narrative into line-wide and special events. With the conclusion of this story arc, the series is really coming into its own. This series focus on magic also fills a niche that’s missing from most of DC’s main line and team based titles. With clear and vibrant art and compounding storylines, this series continues to build into an exciting magic user themed team book.
Justice League Dark #19 Review