REVIEW: ‘Justice League Dark,’ Issue #29

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Justice League Dark #29

Justice League Dark #29 is published by DC Comics. It is written by Andy Lanning and Ron Marz. Art by Amancay Nahuelpan. Colors by June Chung and letters by Rob Leigh. The flashback sequence has art by Marco Santucci, Arif Prianto, and Troy Peteri. This is Part 7 of Endless Winter.

The world is under threat from The Frost King, freed from his captivity in the Arctic, while Stagg Industries digs in the crater left behind by the Fortress of Solitude. The Frost King plunged the entire planet into a sub-zero blizzard, with an army of icy creatures attacking every corner of the now-frozen globe. The Justice League has been spread thin trying to protect as many people as possible, but they are desperate for allies.

In the flashbacks, we have learned that the Frost King was a man named Edwald Olafsson, who had cryogenic abilities. Frightened of his capabilities, the Viking community he was a part of burned his house down and killed his son. This unleashed his full power. Four ancient characters, Black Adam, the Viking Prince, Hippolyta, and Swamp Thing, allied to battle this new threat. Black Adam brought the rest of the Frost King’s family to the battlefield to try and slow him down. The ground opened up in the ensuing fight, taking the last parts of Edwald’s humanity away from him…

In this issue, the battle in the 10th century ends with sacrifice. In the present day, The Justice League Dark and the Flash speak to Hippolyta, learning about how their enemy was defeated. Physically exhausted, the team turns to magic entities for assistance, but even they are struggling with the cold. The Green require an avatar, the position vacant since Swamp Thing’s sacrifice in a previous issue. Wonder Woman and Zatanna return to the realm of New Myrrah, where Swamp Thing was last seen alive, for answers. At the same time. Hippolyta and the rest of the heroes make contact with another character, one who died hundreds of years ago…

The plot brilliantly combines the past and present, using methods possible within the confines of these characters. The heroes need a trump card, and magic is always an option. The issue may feel exposition-heavy at times, but it is distributed well throughout the comic. Justice League Dark #29 effectively combines its own lore with that of the crossover. It shows respect from Marz and Lanning to the creators involved in the title they have borrowed. It is interesting to see how the Frost King’s power affects every aspect of the DC Universe, with even the cosmic entities starting to shut down. The parts of the issue where Wonder Woman and Zatanna search for Swamp Thing is grandiose in their stakes but intimate at the same time. Life on Earth is in serious peril.

Some huge revelations are made during this issue, and none of them are expected. Both of them appear to have lasting consequences beyond just Endless Winter. 

The characters have been the driving force throughout this event, and this part is no different. What is a deviation from the other titles is that most of the Justice League Dark take a backseat in the story. Wonder Woman and Swamp Thing are most crucial to the wider plot, but Hippolyta and those central to the crossover take priority. It is interesting to see Hippolyta and Wonder Woman in different realms for much of the issue, working brilliantly as two team leaders. Lanning and Marz have fantastically written Hippolyta within the flashback sequences. The compassion that her daughter is known for radiates from her as well, as does the queen’s devotion to the protection of innocents. 

One of the events within this issue signals the potential end of one character and another’s reemergence. This transition is epic in how it unfolds, but there is a deep twinge of sadness. And yet, it entirely fits for that particular character.

The art is tremendous in both the flashback sequence and the main story. For many issues now, Santucci has drawn an intense and brutal battle. The panels have shown how truly inhospitable and violent the storm is around the ancient characters. All of the combatants are etched in glorious details.

This is the same with the line art by Nahuelpan, providing intricate lines to every figure in the comic. The writers made the personalities of both Hippolyta and Wonder Woman similar, their likeness as mother and daughter are also obvious. Their jet black hair is identical, but so is their muscle definition, their jawlines, their eyes. Both of them have an immense presence on the page due to their size. The other characters are also remarkable in their designs, from Doctor Fate and Man-Bat to the Flash.

Within Justice League Dark #29, the realm of New Myrrah has been transformed into a utopia. It is not just the line art that makes it look gorgeous, but the colors as well. A blissful aura is created by Chung when Wonder Woman and Zatanna enter, a pink glow to the sky. On the ground is a kaleidoscope of colors, blues, greens, pinks. Considering much of the crossover has been mostly white and blue due to the ice, this is the most colorful book of the crossover so far. Even on Earth, there is a feeling of warmth as the heroes huddle inside a bar.

The letters are easy to read and exciting and dynamic. Leigh utilizes a variety of fonts, styles, and custom word balloons. This helps give each character a voice.

Justice League Dark #29 combines the past and present to create a united future. The story wraps a lot of the flashback sequence up while propelling the current story forward. And from this, the future is unclear. All of the characters are well written by Lanning and Marz, and the art team is spectacular. With another ally on board, the Justice League may finally be able to melt Endless Winter.

Justice League Dark #29 is available now wherever comics are sold. 

 

 


Justice League Dark #29
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TL;DR

Justice League Dark #29 combines the past and present to create a united future. The story wraps a lot of the flashback sequence up while propelling the current story forward. And from this, the future is unclear. And from this, the future is unclear. All of the characters are well written by Lanning and Marz, and the art team is spectacular. With another ally on board, the Justice League may finally be able to melt Endless Winter.