Writer: James Tynion IV
Pencils: Alvaro Martinez Bueno
Inks: Raul Fernandez
Colors: Brad Anderson
In the last issue, the team met a creepy new entity. This week, we get to see it in its full form: The Upside-Down Man. I’m guessing they wanted to copyright that name before the next season of Stranger Things.
The Upside-Down Man may not move much, but he exhibits his power nicely in a few key moments drawn to perfection. From Bobo’s liquification to Constantine’s blood draw, this is a gruesome new foe, but the most disturbing part of the story has nothing to do with visual body horror.
The issue opens with Zatanna thinking back on her father teaching her how to use magic. Although we haven’t heard much from her dad in this arc, we finally learn where he’s been. The Upside-Down Man says him and his comrades have control of him. They’ve pulled him apart and put him back together in what seems like a continuous cycle of torture. The look in Zatanna’s eyes is heartbreaking.
While the team manages to defeat The Upside-Down Man, there are still many questions that require answers. What is Wonder Woman’s true power? What is Doctor Fate’s master plan?
One thing I really have to hand it to the creative team is the panel layout. It wasn’t until re-reading the issue that I realized how intricate everything truly was. But even with so much information to convey on the page, nothing ever feels crowded or rushed. It adds to the story in a really cool way.
It’s clear this is just the beginning, so if you aren’t currently caught up on Justice League Dark, this is a great time to get started. Wonder Woman has a far larger role in this than I was anticipating, so even if you’re only a fan of hers, this storyline is right up your alley, provided you have the stomach for it.
Overall Score: 10/10