JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #2 by James Tynion IV, Alvaro Martinez, Raul Fernandez, and Rob Leigh
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
In JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #2, Tynion develops the end of Magic with a huge twist to Dr. Fate. Alvaro Martinez produces art with flair and realism. Raul Fernandez uses color to give new darkness to tone.
92 %
Mystical Mayhem!
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When magic goes dark in the DC Universe, JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #2 by James Tynion IV, Alvaro Martinez Bueno, Raul Fernandez, Brad Anderson, and Rob Leigh brings the light, and the fight, to set the balance correct again. From reanimated corpses to origins revealed to betrayal, this issue has so much happened that you will need to read it more than once!

Warning, potential spoilers are below!

Art From the Start

First, let’s begin with the art. JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #2 is a great combination of style and color. From the beginning, we see his amazing talent with his dancing women around a fire (more on that in a bit) who summon an amalgamated being, which is fantastic imagery of bodies morphing.

I do have a big question on Swamp Thing’s design, however. Is it deliberate that he looks like Blackbriar Thorn, or is it just artistic freedom? What if there could be some mystical connection between the two characters? Anderson’s colors show us a dark side to magic that’s beyond our simple understanding of “watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat!” Well done on keeping the art impactful on this issue, guys.

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #2
JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #2 Variant Cover. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Let’s Dance!

When JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #2 opens, Wonder Woman flashbacks to her childhood of the dancing morphed women, which can be seen as a relevant connection as she battles reanimated corpses. As the dance becomes more intense, the bodies merge to summon one disgusting-looking (yet brilliantly drawn) woman.

When the scene changes back to the present, Wonder Woman, Detective Chimp, Zatanna, Swamp Thing, and Man-Bat battle the reanimated corpses from the previous issue. With Zatanna’s magic gone awry, she must battle the corpses with brute strength — something we’re not used to seeing. Normally, she conjures her backward spell to help her out. I don’t know if I’m entirely on board with her fighting hand-to-hand. I miss reading her backward spoken spells.

Take Me to Your Leader

Just before the team embarks on a journey to Dr. Fate’s Tower, Zatanna reveals that magic’s owners are returning. One other reveal from Zatanna tells us the magic community doesn’t welcome outside assistance. The team enters the tower only to have Swamp Thing go on a solo journey as he senses some disturbance from the Tree of Wonder.

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #2
JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #2 page 7. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Although we think that Dr. Fate’s appearance is welcoming and pleasant, the Lord of Order unveils that Zatanna is a traitor to the magic community as she has joined Wonder Woman’s team. Our heroines are assertive and demanding, as they should be, with their stated motion to see Nabu. This helps the team establish a strong bond, feminine force, and sense of determination.

The Big Reveal in JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #2

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #2 unveils one shocker after another. As previously mentioned, Zatanna reveals that magic’s owners are returning. Nabu reveals that Kent Nelson is no longer Dr. Fate. Khalid Nassour reveals that the Otherkind are coming to end magic. It seems like no one can keep a secret anymore. Yet, none of these is the big reveal.

As it turns out, Nabu isn’t here to help our heroes. He’s here to make sure they fail. So that leaves us wondering where’s Kent Nelson in all this? Why is Nabu not only allowing this to happen but orchestrating it as well? Of course, those are questions Tynion wants us to demand answers for and keep our appetite whetted enough to come back again next month.

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK: Dark Spaces, Demon Races, and Cold Cases

With this much suspense throughout JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #2, it’s difficult to get all of the events processed in one read. I highly recommend flipping through this book more than once to process everything that happens, also because it’s just that good! Zatanna taking on Nabu and reformed corpses present us with a new image of our heroine, whereas she’s usually a minor character in team books. So seeing Zatanna shine in this new group proves she belongs here, with or without her powers.

Wonder Woman’s ties to magic make us reevaluate her character from the mighty Amazon image we’ve come to know. However, it works considering her connection to Greek mythology and her own supernatural creation. James Tynion IV’s writing keeps the book moving with no lag in pacing. Every panel adds more detail to the overall story. Tynion’s writing sets a darker tone for this team book, which will keep this title interesting for readers to return monthly.

Final Thoughts

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #2 is a great combination of art and storytelling. Even though we’re in the realm of magic, the artwork is realistic and outstanding. At the same time, Tynion’s storytelling isn’t bogged down by the large cast of characters. Blending the many figures of DC’s mystic world into one book spotlights their contributions that are normally overshadowed by the Trinity and other bigger books. Zatanna fans, like myself, should be waiting for the next installment in eagerness!

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