Review: Justice League Dark #5

“The Shadow Pact” – Part One
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artists: Daniel Sampere, Juan Albarran & Adriano Lucas
Review by Steve J. Ray

Hecate has been defeated, but Circe has absorbed her power. The members of Justice League Dark are completely unaware of this, but they have their own issues to deal with. Yes, “The Witching Hour” is over, but “The Shadow Pact” has been broken, and Detective Chimp is left feeling Blue, as the Devil comes to take payment. Oh, Bobo… we are in trouble!
I don’t know if anyone’s noticed, but I love this series. Dark magic, terrific characters, Earth shattering action and drama. What’s not to love?
Little threads left dangling from issues 1-4, dealing with Doctor Fate and John Constantine, are picked up in this new storyline, and repercussions are felt by the whole team. Throw in some terrific guest appearances from old friends, and other Strangers, and this series continues to be on a roll.

Shadow Boxing

Without the demon blood keeping his terminal cancer at bay, is John Constantine dying? Has the Parliament Of Trees been wiped out forever? Has Doctor Fate really gone over to the dark side? Writer James Tynion keeps the pressure mounting, the questions coming, and the tension levels high. This series has me gripped.
The other constant with this title is the quality of the art. What really impressed me with the terrific “Witching Hour” crossover is the level of consistency. Frequently when titles cross over with each other something is lost in translation… not so in this case. Even though art teams changed, the quality remained super high, and styles were similar enough so that we still felt that we were reading one story.
I have to say that, as crossovers go, “Witching Hour” was one of most superbly written, brilliantly drawn, and expertly handled that I’ve ever read.
So we arrive at “The Shadow Pact” and to yet another art team. Yep… I’m still impressed. Granted, for me the trio of Álvaro Martínez Bueno, Raül Fernandez and Brad Anderson are the best of the best, but everyone who’s worked on this series – including the crossover – have proven themselves forces to be reckoned with. The work by penciller Daniel Sampere, inker Juan Albarran and the always awesome Adriano Lucas this month is lovely. It totally meshes with everything that’s gone before, while still giving us a refreshing new perspective.
Lovely.

Conclusion

I’m really looking forward to the rest of this arc, especially if the quality of writing, art and surprises continues. Look out for screeching dragons, (thanks Rob Leigh… GREAT SCREECH) – not a spoiler, thanks to the cover – and more special guests than you can shake a magic wand at! This book is at the top of my monthly pull-list, and I don’t see that changing.
Images Courtesy Of DC Entertainment
(This review was originally published on the Dark Knight News website on November 21st 2018)

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