Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Emanuela Lupacchino
Inks by Ray McCarthy
Colors by Romulo Fajardo Jr.
This Witching Hour event continues in issue #57 as Hecate takes control of Diana’s body while her mind is stuck on a metaphorical moon trying to fight her way out with Witchfire’s assistance.
Tynion IV’s story is entertaining enough as a middle of the road issue, but it does lack the punch of the earlier issues of this event. In his defense there is a lot of ground to cover when you are world building, and perhaps it will accelerate to a satisfying conclusion after the penultimate issue of Justice League Dark next week.
With such dark content being explored in this event, it’s nice to see Tynion write some funny scenes where Zatanna and John Constantine trade barbs as John casually laments the end of the world situations he keeps finding himself in. Tynion is, of course, using moments like this to tee up Constantine later on to once again be the apathetic hero, and rest assured it works well enough in this issue.
The best part of the issue though is the art, with Emanuela Lupacchino coming to the party with lots of tricks and treats. Her pencils are amazing, and you can only hope that DC knows what a gem she is. While Joelle Jones rightfully gets lots of plaudits for the way she depicts women in titles like Batman and Catwoman, there is no doubt in my mind that Lupacchino is the superior artist and deserves to be working on the highest profile titles all the time.
Lupacchino is ably supported yet again this issue by Ray McCarthy on inks and Romulo Fajardo Jr. on colors. McCarthy’s inks are purposeful and strong to match the tone of the issue and how dark the settings need to be as our heroes struggle to work their way out of their current plight. Fajardo Jr. predictably does a great job this issue, especially in the panels where Wonder Woman and Witchfire are deep in discussion on the Witch’s moon. His decision to depict Wonder Woman in technicolor against a backdrop of whites, greys and blacks looks fantastic and it really helps to bring Diana into focus to convey all of her emotions.
This issue doesn’t hit it out of the park, but it’s still very good despite being mainly exposition. Counting the previous issue of Justice League Dark though, that makes for two issues in a row in the same sort of mold. If part five, Justice League Dark #5 is much the same next week then the event would have unfortunately trailed off significantly, which would be a massive disappointment given the event’s wonderful start. Fingers crossed it’s not.
7 out of 10