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‘Justice League Dark #5’ (review)

Written by James T Tynion IV
Illustrated by Daniel Sampere, Juan Albarran
Published by DC Comics

 

“I’m just going to put it out there. I think we should run.”

OK. October is over. And Ding-Dong the Witch is… Dead?

Maybe?

Well, Hecate’s gone at any rate. Devoured by the Otherkind in a rather tidy, if slightly unpleasant, completion of the Justice League Dark’s harrowing Witching Hour crisis.

So! Good! Time to get back to business. And time to shift focus to Myrra, the magical realm under the protection of the Nightmaster, a mantle bequeathed to Bobo the Detective Chimp by his longtime friend, and once noble knight, the now deceased Jim Rook.

Now, finally, we learn just what’s up with Myrra, and why Bobo always looks so uncomfortable when the magical realm under his charge comes up.

Or…. Maybe not.

But wait, maybe we’ll get to it here, just a bit later on. Or…. Ok, yeah maybe not.

Oh wait, here it comes, here we’ll get to it. …Yeah, no, OK not there either.

Here? No? Or here? Now? This maybe? Maybe now?

Hm.

Talk about putting the tease on. Seriously, James Tynion spends this entire issue doing his very damnedest not to tell us what the heck is going on between Bobo and Myrra.

Except that something definitely is going on. Something definitely happened. Something that Bobo is ashamed of. Something not good. Something… Yep, something bad.

Fire-breathing dragon and zombie knights-of-the-realm bad.

Look, here Bobo is telling everyone that something is up, here he is telling them they should not go to Myrra, and here they are going anyway, despite Bobo’s admonitions not to, without ever taking the cue and pinning their team mate down on the exact reason why.

Because that’s worked out so well for them so far.

But hey it’s important. There is urgency. Something about Myrra may be a help to their quest against the Otherkind. Something… well, OK, they’re not sure just what exactly. But something.

I’m poking fun, in part because it feels like Tynion is having fun himself, but in fact all this moving of the goal posts isn’t really all that annoying.

On the contrary, it’s a fairly enjoyable bit of smoke and mirrors, and it says a lot about Tynions storytelling skills that he manages to keep things going all the way to the point where it dawns on everyone that maybe… it’s time to run.

Along the way we get certain pieces of the puzzle.

There’s Bobo’s state of mind. (Well, Bobo’s inebriation actually.) There’s Dan Cassidy, the Blue Devil, another dear friend of Jim Rook’s with an important connection to Myrra, who definitely isn’t very happy with Bobo.

And there’s Myrra itself. Magical Myrra, mysterious Myrra, a unique spiritual dimension of wizards and faeries and sword-fighting and magical monsters, that is also somehow a reality composed of living metaphor and meaning, a conceptual narrative framework that permeates the very fabric of the realm and all its inhabitants, almost as if it were a living, responsive consciousness…

Well whatever’s going on, they’re all in it now. Or some of the team is anyway. Constantine and Swamp Thing are back at the Tree of Mystery with… something else in mind.

Something I’m pretty sure the rest of the team wouldn’t approve of. At all. Good thing they were in such a hot hurry to get outta dodge. Heck, it’s almost like Constantine put a compulsion on them to get to Myrra as fast as possible. Certainly wouldn’t put it past him.

I’ll say this – Tynion does a great Constantine. He really has a feel for the character, he seems to get how the man thinks. All of which makes for a pretty sly plot twist in this issue, one with repercussions for a certain Lord of Order.

Joining James Tynion for the fun this month is artist Daniel Sampere who does a pretty good job with dragons, magical hexes and blue-skinned devils.

Alvaro Martinez is a tough act to follow, and I won’t lie, I’m sorry to see him go. But maybe it’s not forever, and Sampere is certainly capable. He’ll be back with us, and James Tynion next week for more caching up and more consequences.

Maybe a little carnage, too.

Next Issue: Necromancer’s Folly

 

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