This just in: if you like horror comics and superhero comics, Justice League Dark is your ticket. Ram V and Amancay Nahuelpan deliver the perfect blend of scary and action-packed superhero frenzy in the latest issue out this week, which features the Upside-Down Man and plenty of team-based action. The preview of Justice League Dark shows off the team preparing to take on the ultimate magical villain, and after putting this book down you’ll have new kinds of body horror imagery to mull over for the next issue.
In the latest issue, things start off with John Constantine down for the count. The team is facing tough odds, but if they work together they can do anything, right? Ram V has the property set this confrontation up with some magical clues for Zatanna, as well as stakes for nearly every character that makes the battle feel personal. This includes Dr. Fate, Wonder Woman, and Swamp Thing too. By the end of the issue, this story comes off as quite smart, distancing itself from the usual fight-comic fare since real change feels permanent for much of these characters.
Props must go to Nahuelpan, who makes the Upside-Down Man even creepier with a new design element. So far he’s been a slimy and creepy sort of character, but we get to see what kind of blows he can deliver here. Swamp Thing is another standout character who gets to show off his powers and Nahuelpan doesn’t disappoint there either. There are interesting touches with the backgrounds that enhance the fact that these characters are fighting in another realm. You won’t immediately notice them, but the stars and cloud-like forms appear in backgrounds add volume and texture that contribute a lot to the scenes.
June Chung further enhances the Swamp Thing moments with a lot of colors, adding a good deal of hope and positive energy to a darker toned book. Swamp Thing is a good guy after all, and it’s cool to see it visually represented. There are some interesting glow-effects at work too, from Wonder Woman’s white magical form to the glow of power blasts.
Possibly one of the most powerful elements resides in the cliffhanger full-page splash. I won’t spoil it, but to see Upside-Down Man possibly move on to a different form is quite exciting. The character was electric and interesting from the start, but it has been a long while since we’ve seen the character possibly going in a new direction.
If you need a superhero horror fix, you’re going to need to read Justice League Dark #27. This issue has a good balance of each character, furthers their personal journeys, and sets in motion a major cliffhanger that could change one of the more interesting supervillains introduced in the last few years.
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