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‘Justice League Dark #5’ (review)

Written by James T Tynion IV
Illustrated by. Daniel Sampere,
and Juan Albarran

Published by DC Comics


“That must be terrible Dan.”

Yeah, kind of.

This issue of Justice League Dark just didn’t do it for me.

In part, that’s because the depiction of Bobo isn’t flattering at all.

Which, yeah, we’ve been getting hints of that throughout. And clearly whatever that something was, wasn’t something good. And yeah, I do still have at least a little sympathy for our favorite detective chimp after all we find out about what’s gone down in Myrra.

But still and all, the lack of responsibility Bobo’s shown in this whole affair, turns out to be pretty darn pathetic.

Particularly when he actually does figure out how to fix it.

Particularly when it sounds as if there’s been another solution all along for Bobo, one that seems particularly well suited to a chimp of his skills.

C’mon Bobo.

So, there’s that. Also, though, there’s decidedly less Fantasy-World Dungeons & Dragons action going on in this issue than really, we could have had. And that seems a missed opportunity. I mean, maybe that wasn’t avoidable. We’ve got things to get to I guess. And it’s not like things don’t happen in Myrra. But so much else happens, much of it involving a lot of story explication and character crisis against the relatively ho-hum backdrop of the inside of a medieval castle. Ok, yes, there’s a little undead sword and sorcery…

I guess I just wanted more. Like an extra issue would’ve been good. An extra issue of the sort of Rivendel/ Shannara/Two Rivers/Midkemia action, that Myrra seems so well designed to afford us. After all.

Maybe next time.

As for the fight between Dr. Fate and the Phantom Stranger…. There is certainly an appropriate amount of high-level juju being thrown around, I suppose.

But man, I really do not understand what’s going on with Nabu. Nothing I’ve heard so far comes close to explaining his behavior, or his seriously, suddenly, over-the-top, campaign against the presence of magic in our world.

The one and only Tree of Wonder shows up on our planet’s dimension and suddenly one of the original and ancient High Mages of the DC Universe, thinks this would be the ideal time and the perfect conduit to invite the Otherkind into our world to strip it completely of its magical capacity? The same power that Nabu has trafficked in for millenia himself, yet which is somehow now a taint that must be scoured from the earth? And all those who oppose him are agents of chaos, in direct contrast somehow to his entirely righteous agenda as an agent of… Order?

What strange madness is afoot here? Because if it ain’t madness, it remains very confusing. And I just don’t believe that a writer of James Tynion’s talents, is incapable of giving us the clues we need to cut through that confusion and that crazy, without giving away the show at the same time. Something other than vague references to destabilizing reality (like, ages ago) and the red skies of crisis, both of which, I admit, are more than a little evocative…

Maybe next time. Maybe I’m missing something.

No missing the fireworks from this battle though. Except no one else seems to be aware of it, other than Swamp Thing and John Constantine that is. Where is the rest of the magical world anyway?

Well maybe next issue we’ll find out. Because the team is off to get assistance from a rather unlikely source.

Or maybe, he’s not.

After all, what better way to fight a Dark Wizard… than with another Dark Wizard?

Next Issue: Order and Chaos are so relative…


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