Review: Justice League Dark #19

“The Witching War" - Conclusion
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artists: Álvaro Martínez Bueno and Raül Fernandez
Color Artist: Brad Anderson
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Review by Steve J. Ray
Diana and Circe have their final battle, as Justice League Dark #19 brings with it the end of “The Witching War.” There are also some great surprises which, due to the nature of the subject material, perhaps shouldn’t have been surprises at all.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; James Tynion can sure write one heckuva story. The pressure has been building, leading up to this climax right from issue #1. Wonder Woman’s encounter with Amazonian witches as a child, the mark of Hecate and the astonishing “Witching Hour” crossover were just the beginning. Anyone who reads my reviews knows that I’m not big on spoilers, but the cover attached here will already give readers an inkling as to how Diana and the rest of JLD tackle Circe in this issue. If that doesn’t give the game away, then page six definitely will.
Throughout history, myth and legend, Witches have always tended to have three aspects, and James Tynion has always been the kind of writer to ground his work with in-depth research… that’s one of the many reasons I love his writing so much. While I’m very sad that this is his last issue, after reading the brilliant JLD Annual and the solicits for issues #20 and #21, I know that this book is in safe hands with Ram V.

Witches Aren’t The Only Things That Work Best In Threes

Is there a better penciller/inker/colorist combo working in comics than Álvaro Martínez Bueno, Raül Fernandez and Brad Anderson? I’ve raved about this, the slightly less well known DC Trinity, since their Detective Comics days (with some writer called Tiny Onion… or something like that) and they’re just getting better and better. Compare the dark shadows and cold blues of the deeply atmospheric page three, with the explosion of heat, light and magic of page six. As comics fans we often hear phrases like “leap off the page” or “eye-popping”… when these guys get together tropes and hyperbole just become fact.
Rob Leigh’s letters, and his beautiful titles and sound effects, also give this series an identity and look that set it apart. From day one Justice League Dark has shown us how a great creative team works, and how each and every person makes their colleagues’ efforts look even better.

Conclusion

Times change, the look and feel of titles grows and develops… that’s the nature of the comic-book industry. Ram V has big shoes to fill next month, but having read his independent books, and the aforementioned JLD annual, I’m not worried in the slightest. The fact that the next instalment involves Swamp Thing and will be drawn by the amazing Kyle Hotz inspires great confidence, as does Ram’s Tweet concerning Álvaro Martínez Bueno and issue #21.
Justice League Dark #19 may well be the end of an era, but it’s a fantastic comic that delivers the perfect ending to an incredible story.
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment

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