Review: Justice League Dark #20
[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writers: Ram V & James Tynion IV
Artist: Kyle Hotz
Colorist: Fco Plascencia
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Reviewed by: Sean Blumenshine
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!
Guillem March’s cover is fantastic. Plants consuming the heroes is an evocative image. Nature has turned against them. It looks great.
I love that the scene with Abigail features a drastically different artistic style from the rest of the book. I love the look of this scene and how it contrasts.
My favorite element of the story is that the heroes have to deal with the consequences of their actions. Typically in superhero stories, villains control the narrative to a degree. The heroes can only be heroes when thwarting a villain. Heroes often end up being reactionary. Here, the threat is a result of the heroes’ choices which is much more compelling.
I like this take on the zombie idea. The plants suggest decomposition but it’s in a new visual way. I love when classic ideas are reinvented and it’s cool to see that done so in the DC Universe.
The conflict between Constantine and Zatanna is great. I like Zatanna’s objections to Constantine’s methods. He always jumps straight to making a deal with the devil. Constantine always chooses the quick and easy way then deals with the consequences later or never. What Zatanna wants is harder but morally sound. It’s a fun dynamic.
Outside of Abigail’s scene, I don’t love the art. I appreciate that it’s a little stylized and there is some great work done with shadows. But the characters look odd to me. Everything is nicely detailed but in a style that doesn’t appeal to me.
This is a great issue. It’s a solid jumping on point that deals with the previous issues but it is very easy to understand quickly what is happening. It’s a really cool take on zombies which I enjoyed a lot. The character dynamics are instantly compelling and provide good conflict for the story. This is an excellent script. I don’t love the art but it doesn’t detract from an otherwise excellent issue.