Title: Wonder Woman and Justice League Dark.
Story-Arc: The Witching Hour.
Writer(s): James Tynion IV.
Inker(s): Jesus Merino, Emanuela Lupacchino, Alvaro Martínez Bueno, Fernando Blanco & Miguel Mendonça.
Colourist(s): Romulo Fajardo Jr. & Brad Anderson.
Letterer(s): Dave Sharpe & Rob Leigh.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Release Date: May 1st 2019.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
My Overall Rating: ★★★★☆.
Previously on the Justice League Dark series:
Justice League Dark (Vol. 1): The Last Age of Magic by James Tynion IV
There are only several writers who are able to envision creative new ideas based on existing lore, graft those original concepts onto existing stories that currently serve as the foundation to many character’s backgrounds, and flesh out these new worlds with enough substance for readers to engage with. This applies even more to the comic book world, notably for well-established superheroes who have known multiple reboots as new eras are introduced. Writer James Tynion IV thus attempts the unimaginable with Wonder Woman as he continues to write Justice League Dark and places the legendary princess of the Amazons center-stage in this latest event. This time around, a terrible spell is cast, bringing fans an obscure and witchy origin tale that has never been done before with Wonder Woman.
What is Wonder Woman and Justice League Dark: The Witching Hour about? With magic dying in their world, the Justice League Dark find themselves up against an ultimate evil born from the Dark Multiverse looking to open a pathway to Earth. Countless years ago, the witch-goddess of magic, Hecate, had devised a plan to take back the magic she once stole from these very monsters when the time will come. She thus extracts these powers from those who were Witchmarked to finally face these creatures and punish those who have worthlessly used magic in their lives. Among those who were scarred lies an ultimate weapon and it is nonother than Wonder Woman. Collecting Wonder Woman/Justice League Dark: The Witching Hour #1-2, Wonder Woman #56-57 and Justice League Dark #4, this event raises the curtains on a brand-new and occult mythology around one of DC’s most iconic superheroes.
The most important thing about this event is to know when exactly it takes place in writer James Tynion IV’s Justice League Dark. Unlike any other series I’ve picked up, this must be one of the messiest ways to collect the various issues/story arcs. In fact, The Witching Hour begins in the middle of the first volume of Justice League Dark, after issue #3, making it extremely inappropriate and confusing for newcomers who dive into the first volume of Justice League Dark thinking that they’ll be able to follow the second half of that story. This event could’ve also been perfectly incorporated within the original Justice League Dark run by James Tynion IV without having to make a separate graphic novel. Sometimes I wish they could just think this through better for fans without screwing them over in the process.
With that being said, James Tynion IV’s direction with this Dark magic universe remains enthralling, to say the least, and it’s the potential of his ideas that make this volume such an exciting new adventure. He continues to be successful in managing a team of heroes as he gives us a dose of decent character development and excellent banter between these heroes. To think that a team composed of Wonder Woman, Zatanna, Bobo the Chimp, Man-Bat, Constantine and others could ever work so well was beyond me but I’m glad to be proven wrong.
To complement this unusual team-up of heroes bound by their deep roots in the realm of magic is also an introduction to a couple of goddesses straight from Greek mythology who make an important debut and impact in James Tynion IV’s story-telling vision. Although he’s a comic book writer who is extremely content to be overly-voluble, he utilizes this talent to focus on the world-building and ultimately help readers fully appreciate the lore he wants to bathe in. It does get slightly convoluted towards the finale as it contemplates a relatively cheesy resolution but at least sets the table for the chaos to come.
The artwork remains strong throughout the volume despite the constant change in artists as they all work cohesively to deliver a whole that isn’t too obvious in its artistic substitutions. The vibrant colours accompanying the explosive action sequences while plunged in a dark atmosphere also captures a very unique style that works well with the occult magic theme that is present in this series.
Wonder Woman and Justice League Dark: The Witching Hour is an enthralling and action-packed story of an occult and powerful goddess of magic and her otherworldly mischievousness who seeks to reclaim the magic flowing through the world.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!