Justice League Dark #5 Review
With my review of "The Witching Over" storyline finally ending, the series gets back to normal, whatever is normal for Justice League Dark.
The comic shines the spotlight on Detective Chimp as he mourns the death of his friend and mentor, Nightmaster. After Nightmaster dies Detective Chimp is left with the bar, The Sword of Night and given responsibility to protect the Realm of Myrra. He drowns his pain in liquor before being interrupted by Wonder Woman and Zatanna. They bring a new mission and requires his assistance. The sword is needed to travel to the realm of Myrra. A realm that the Chimp wants nothing to do with.
As this plot is going there is also a B-Plot in which Swamp Thing and John Constantine have a brief fight with Dr. Fate and to be honest I read the issue twice and I still don't know why they are fighting.
The book isn't the most "High T" comic, and is actually kind of a downer. It's also not the most accessible issue. If you've been reading the series to this issue you'll have some familiarity with the characters you won't be completely lost but if you're casual to the greater DC Universe the events here may still be kinda confusing. There is a lot going on in the comic and sets the table for the next story-arc.
The highlight of the issue is the Detective Chimp segments. He's quickly becoming one of my favorite DC characters. The writing for these segments of the comic is extremely strong, exploring the grief of a guarded individual touched me because I'm also an introverted individual and don't share my feelings easily.
The other moment that stood out to me was the the fight between Dr. Fate and our heroes. I don't know these characters well but its cool to establish power level tiers amongst characters. I now see Dr. Fate as a step above Constantine and Swamp Thing. The Phantom Stranger also makes an appearance and I'd wager he's a step above the rest.
The art provided by Daniel Sampere is excellent but is sort of let down by the downcast script. Even the scenes that you'd guess would be exciting, feel meh. It's not the art direction that is letting the issue down. It's the lack of energy in the plot. Aside from these observations, the issue is okay and a solid start to the current storyline though I wish the comic was a bit more fun.