If you’re into Swamp Thing, The Rot, or really any of the drama around the Parliament dictating the lives of those monsters, you gotta read Justice League Dark #22. This story arc goes deep on Swamp Thing lore while also building up Animal Man and other key characters on this team. After putting this down you’ll either want to reread Swamp Thing stories or go and read them for the first time.
This issue jumps around a bit with all the stories converging onto the cliffhanger quite well. It takes a bit of pulling these things together to see what Ram V and James Tynion IV are doing, but once you understand how things are converging, it’s fulfilling stuff.
To say this book swings wildly is an understatement. It opens with Doctor Fate meeting with gods, features Animal Man using his powers to make a political move, has John Constantine gain an upper hand, and shows off Wonder Woman truly pissed off. The jumping between plots can get a little annoying — the book doesn’t stay on one character for too long — but serves to get multiple characters in multiple locations back together for a triumphant conclusion. It’s a wonder the creative team has pulled it off, to be quite honest.
The art by Alvaro Martinez Bueno, Amancay Nahuelpan (inks by Raul Fernadez and Nahuelpan) and colors by June Chung continues to dazzle when they need to. There’s a beautifully framed montage of moments early on as Doctor Fate pleads for help that does a good job recapping how we got here. Monsters look gross as ever and iconic Swamp Thing characters look sharp and as they should based on past stories. You can see where Nahuelpan takes over here and there, but it’s a subtle shift and not too distracting.
The lettering by Rob Leigh is exceptional with a key scene utilizing a blue-lined note page effect working wonderfully. After seeing this unique look I had to go back and reread the book to see what Leigh was up to. It doesn’t disappoint.
A good issue that may bounce around a bit too much, but hammers home incredible moments some of which could have been climaxes to entire story arcs. Justice League Dark continues to deliver in the most unnervingly delightful ways.
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