Justice League Dark #5 Review

by Hussein Wasiti on November 21, 2018

Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Daniel Sampere
Inker: Juan Albarran
Colourist: Adriano Lucas
Letterer: Rob Leigh
After the month-long chaos that was THE WITCHING HOUR, it's finally time for this book to get back into its own groove and to tell its own stories rather than obviously corporate-mandated month-long event extravaganzas. Detective Chimp's friendship with the Nightmaster has come to haunt him as the Justice League Dark have need of his sword to open a portal to another reality. Hijinks ensue…
I mostly liked this issue. I miss the art team of Alvaro Martinez, Raul Fernandez, and Brad Anderson, but they'll be back in January. For now we have the relatively new (to me at least) team of Daniel Sampere and Juan Albarran, joined by colourist Adriano Lucas, who worked with James Tynion on DETECTIVE COMICS for quite a while. This issue certainly felt like it was done by the previous art team since a lot of the visual flourishes are present. The colouring in particular came off as an attempt to, for lack of a better term, mimic Anderson's colouring style. This isn't a knock against the art; it's gorgeous. There were a few too many double page spreads which is exactly what I don't want from this book. While this is a JUSTICE LEAGUE book and the threats have to be huge, I wanted this to be a focused affair. Which it mostly is. Aside from the plethora of double page spreads. I quite liked Sampere's style. His characters have a fullness and a presence that we haven't seen in this book before, and his take on Wonder Woman is pretty great.
The book peaks with its opening scene, which isn't to say that the rest of the book is crap. It's not. It was so brilliantly done and, from what I've read of Tynion, might be the best scene Tynion's ever written. His use of the nine-panel layout is good and the dialogue in particular is fantastic. For context, the Nightmaster's funeral is the opening. There are many magical guest characters that fans will probably go berserk over seeing, and the emotional (and physical) distance of the narration plays very well into Bobo's process of mourning, as he sits at the bar with a drink in his hand while the funeral takes place. It's so very well done and Tynion should be proud.
This was a fun issue with a killer opener. This new art team should be welcomed with open arms as they are simply fantastic. This is a two-part story so I'm looking forward to seeing how Tynion paces this story overall.

Our Score:


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