What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Justice League Dark #25! With this month’s issue of Justice League Dark, now we prepare for things to get real again. That is what you should always expect when any mission is going to lead to a confrontation with the Upside-Down Man. This part right here is what gives me the chills, because just about anything can happen when taking on that kind of power. I mean, are they really ready for what has to be done?
Well, we didn’t have to wait too long for that answer once this issue kicked off. From the second we stepped back into that scene where Wonder Woman and Zatanna thought they were about to rescue Z’s father, quickly they let us know that this was still going to be a huge challenge. Knowing what to do, and where to go is only half the battle. The true battle is what you actually have to do in order to take down the likes of the Upside-Down Man. If there was one thing we knew from the start, it was that they would still find themselves outmatched and defeated at the hands of this entity. However, that did not take away from the excitement that came with how they approached him this time. It’s the small differences which matter, and this creative team took advantage of that. Things such as Zatanna realizing what makes her use of magic so contrasting and fitting for where they had to go.
One thing I continue to love about this run of Justice League Dark is that this creative team has played strongly into the way that magic works. When we think about magic, we always want to believe that you can do anything. Yet there is nothing more interesting than when that is not the case, because then you come to learn how there is always a cost. One which varies depending on the level of the spell, and what you intend to do with it. There was a small scene emphasizing this, but it was one worth having in this book when magic continues to sit at the core of this story.
One thing I did find interesting was seeing how there were many moving pieces in play here. One would have assumed that this confrontation Wonder Woman and Zatanna were having with the Upside-Down Man was the plan. Though not too long did they reveal to us that there was much more going on here than what we were seeing on the surface. Things involving Bobo, things involving Man-Bat, things even involving Swamp Thing who you probably would have thought might crawl back into his corner of the world to stay. As a whole, these developments were something to appreciate because everyone is being given a role to play. If there was ever any concerns about this book at first, it was always the thought that some of these characters could easily be left behind due to their lack of connection to the magic world in contrast to others. It’s good to know that this creative team had a long-term plan when putting these characters and elements together.
Now with that said, this brings us to the visual work for this issue, and that was astonishing. If there’s one thing you can never take from this book, it is the visual appeal that every artist has been able to bring to these pages. What made this issue specifically so exhilarating, is that we know the kind of fun this art team gets into when it comes to the Upside-Down Man. And it really was fun because they consistently found the most creative ways to twist, turn, distort, and even break these pages and panels down into something which elevated the way we were following this story. If this was a battle where reality was what you make it, they took those words literally to extend this to the way that these panels could break apart, and that simply be the Upside-Down Man or someone else messing with serious power to shake things up. Or you know, just do because they can. The color work was amazing as well too. There’s just something about the atmosphere of this book which is just so different from any other book you will pick up that is ongoing from DC. Always pitted in darkness, but rendered so well like an epic in motion. Yet at the same time for the magic involved, there is never a chance missed to make the colors pop either.
In the end, I was very impressed by the direction the story and plot took with the conclusion of Justice League Dark #25. If you had any concerns about where this was all leading, this issue right here was more than rewarding for holding onto that investment and patience for what has truly come full circle from the very first issue.