• Baraka

Justice League Dark #3 Review - The Best Comics Have Terrifying Villains (Spoilers)

Updated: Sep 18, 2020

James Tynion IV (Writer) • Alvaro Martinez Bueno (Pencils)

Brad Anderson (Colorist) • Raul Fernandez (Inks)

• Martinez Bueno, Fernandez, Anderson (Cover Artists)

DC Comics (Publisher) • Get it Now from Comixology

I wasn't a fan of DC Comics until DC Rebirth launched in 2016. I liked Batman and Flash but in my 30 years of reading comics, I'd never been an avid DC reader. One of the unexpected consequences of that distinction is that everything released by the publisher feels new to me. I haven't really run into a character, story arc, or perspective character that didn't feel fresh.

I make the statement above to preface the fact that this may be the best single issue I've read since I started following DC Comics regularly.

In this issue, the team is confronted by a powerful entity from another dimension known as the Upside Down Man. He quickly makes short work of the team's heavy hitters including Swamp Thing and John Constantine.

All seems lost until the villain confronts Wonder Woman. He inadvertently unlocks some previously unknown magic within her. With Zatanna's guidance, Wonder Woman is able to channel the Magic and push The Upside Man back to his home Dimension as he vows to return.

What sets this issue heads and shoulders above most comics on the shelves is the Villain and art direction. Even with the colors being dark the panels are still vibrant and contrast nicely. I've been complaining a lot about bland colors in horror-based comics but in this instance, it works nicely.

In most comics that I read the villain is just an obstacle and not an actual threat. The Upside Down Man has a truly unsettling design that goes a long way in crafting a unique reading experience. Comics books have always been a visual medium with limitless possibilities. Designs like the Upside Down man take full advantage of one of the core strengths of the hobby.

We see our heroes going all out to beat The Upside Down man and still failing. We also get some very disturbing visuals as one of our Detective Chimp gets melted. Even with the eventual victory the Villain brushes it off as a minor setback and vows to return. This is great stuff.

There is some interesting character progression within the book especially with Zatanna and her father. We also get the revelation that Wonder Woman is somehow to tap into magical forces. I also got a chuckle out of John Constantine. JL Dark has it all and is a great barometer of what DC comics can be when it's firing on all cylinders. If this is the shape of what's to come Justice League Dark may eventually wind up being the premier DC team Book.


Justice League Dark #3 Variant Cover by Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion & FCO Plascencia