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‘Justice League Dark #19’ (review)

Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Alvaro Eduardo Martinez Bueno
and Raul Fernandez
Published by DC Comics

 

“Hear me Eclipso… I am coming for you. I will set you free from the Diamond. I will let you raze this earth to the ground.”

Magic is possibility. Magic is power. Magic is confidence.

And when we lose that confidence, we falter.

Thankfully, James Tynion shows no sign of faltering.

His latest issue of Justice League Dark is a masterful feat of storytelling that pulls elements from throughout his entire run, to bring to conclusion one of the worst crises the worlds of Magic have ever faced in the DCU.

At least, so far.

Circe has always had ambition.

Ambition born of spite and selfishness. She is the perfect expression of Lex Luthor’s apex ideology, but she’s hardly needed Luthor’s help – and apparently, none of Perpetua’s at all – to nearly pull off the greatest coup of magical power in the history of the world.

With Wonder Woman’s magical Justice League almost completely at her mercy, Circe stands poised to claim all the magical power of the goddess Hecate unto herself, with power-crazed appetites and a thirst for vengeance driving a bleak vision of the future indeed.

Thankfully for us all, the untapped potential of Hecate’s power in Princess Diana is given full expression through the curious intervention of the Otherkind. And in this issue, we see exactly what that means.

When Wonder Woman strides onto the scene from the Collective Unconscious, we find her the purest expression of Hecate’s power we’ve yet to encounter. And with the excellent artistic sensibilities of Alvaro Martinez Bueno on hand for the moment, it’s appropriately glorious.

Princess Diana is Magic embodied. Unfettered. Unruled. Pure creative impulse and instinct.

It’s a splendid take on the feminine aspect fully empowered, one that we’ve deserved for some time.

Too bad Eclipso has something to say about that.

But there’s another side to Magic – and Tynion has been thoughtful enough to balance those scales by engineering the return to these pages of Dr. Fate through the noble (if dangerous) choice that apprentice Khalid Nassour makes to assume the burden of the mantle. With all the power and… unpredictability that entails.

For Wonder Woman however, the support is exactly the sort of clarity she needs right now to find a resolution to the problem of Circe and an ending to her Witching War. And this is perhaps the best part of the tale, for it is clever, and it is elegant, and it is in keeping with all the very best of what has always been Wonder Woman’s true power – all while paving the way for a great deal more tale-telling yet to come.

Bravo to everyone involved for pulling off such a multi-faceted effort. It gives me confidence that whatever is yet in store from the threat of the Otherkind, Mr. Tynion – and a certain long-missing Golden Age magician – have things well in hand.

Nothing up their sleeve.

Next Issue: The fate of Alec Holland.

 

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