Title: Justice League Dark.
Story arc: The Last Age of Magic.
Writer(s): James Tynion IV.
Penciller(s): Alvaro Martínez Bueno & Daniel Sampere.
Inker(s): Raul Fernandez & Juan Albarran.
Colourist(s): Brad Anderson & Adriano Lucas.
Letterer(s): Rob Leigh.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Release Date: March 12th 2019.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
My Overall Rating: ★★★★☆.
What happens when magic is on the brink of extinction? Fear takes over among those who wield its powers and embrace its existence, death surges from realms that none has ever thought existed and war settles in to test everyone’s fate and determination. Following the aftermath of DC’s latest cosmic event Dark Nights: Metal, Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV teamed up to deliver Justice League: No Justice to introduce the latest ramifications of the new multiverse and the unknown threats that have crawled their way into the reality of our beloved heroes. Splitting ways, Scott Snyder now writes the ongoing Justice League series while James Tynion IV takes on the mantle of writing its dark and magical counterpart, Justice League Dark. Originally a series that ventures in the realm of magic and horror, James Tynion IV brings his story-telling talents into new territory and delivers one of the most tantalizing and enchanting series in the market today.
What is Justice League Dark: The Last Age of Magic about? This first volume collects issues #1-3 (The Last Age of Magic) and #5-7 (The Shadow Pact). This brand-new team is composed of Wonder Woman, Swamp Thing, Zatanna, Man-Bat and Detective Chimp, and brings them to explore a brand new supernatural foe who has been unleashed into their world ever since the status quo was ruptured in Dark Nights: Metal. This new threat looks to take back the magic that was once Earth’s possession and will stop at nothing to get what they desire. In a search for answers, the team seeks help to those who are known to be a source of great magic but the realization that their magic is ineffective against what they’re up against, their worries grow exponentially. With Wonder Woman’s leadership, this new team of misfits looks to save Earth from losing its grasp on magic indefinitely.
Similar to his accomplishments in Batman: Detective Comics (Vol. 1): Rise of the Batmen, James Tynion IV continues to strive in handling a squad of heroes and in brilliantly developing each of its members’ story arcs through meticulous and subtle attention to their characterization and in tossing at them personal challenges that lead them to think beyond their selves. His ability to create an authentic dynamic with a wonderful mix of comical banter with serious introspection with these heroes is staggering as he successfully gives this quest its undeniable gravity and shows how much this team has a mission of capital importance within their hands while still keeping each character’s personality intact.
The artwork is also what helps in selling this story so perfectly thanks to Alvaro Martínez Bueno’s and Daniel Sampere’s artistic vision. Their character designs and world-building are incredible, coupled with Raul Fernandez’, Juan Albarran’s, Brad Anderson’s and Adriano Lucas’ inking and colouring, the whole volume shows consistency and doesn’t struggle with multiple artistic personality disorder. The absence of conflict in style, as well as their ability to darken and to add weight to the story through the art, helps in portraying the much more depressed, gloomy and dark atmosphere of this story. It’s even more impressive when they introduce a brand-new villain who easily sends chills down everyone’s spines at the mere sight of him.
It is very unfortunate, however, that this volume excludes Justice League Dark #4 and forces fans to pick up the upcoming volume of Wonder Woman & Justice League Dark: The Witching Hour if they are to know what happens to Diana Prince. It doesn’t help either when the second story arc within this volume takes place after The Witching Hour and multiple characters have been affected by the events in that story. If they had just included that story within this volume, this could’ve easily turned out to be one of the best Justice League Dark story arcs to have ever been written so far. Despite this flaw, the story still remains captivating and introduces us to a darker, gorier and much more mystical facet of DC.
Justice League Dark: The Last Age of Magic is a bewitching and atmospheric expedition with a cast of misfit heroes who endeavor to save magic from its impending obsolescence.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!