A Funeral For A Friend In Justice League Dark #5

by Olly MacNamee

After all the recent excitement of the Witching Hour mini-crossover event, Justice League Dark #5 strikes a more somber note as the body of the Nightmaster, who died during Dark Nights: Metal, is finally laid to rest and Detective Chimp is left to mourn his friend’s loss.
Its a very well written issue by James Tynion IV, striking the right tone at the start of the issue, as we witness Bobo’s sadness at having to bury his friend, but rightly not allowing Bob or anyone else to fester in their own grief for too long. Opening with the funeral of the Nightmaster also allows Tynion IV to once again take the opportunity to litter the comic with familiar faces from DC’s more magically charged super powered beings, such as the Blue Devil, who I can never get enough of and who I’ve always had a soft spot for as one of DC’s more hokey characters. But in Tynion IV’s hands, maybe the Blue Devil will become something more than just that. He has the potential to be so much more, and one only need to look towards Mike Mignola’s Hellboy to see what this much maligned character could have been. Maybe now is Blue’s time to shine? Or, will Tynion take old Bluey in another direction altogether?

But, even at a sobering event such as a funeral, our hero can never rest in peace for long and soon this new Justice League Dark team are soon on the road to further adventures in search of ‘something in Myrra’ that could help them against the growing threat of the Otherkind who are currently happily devouring Olympus.
Meanwhile Constantine and the more hirsute Swamp Thing are having it out with Doctor Fate, giving guest artists Daniel Sampere (pencils) and Juan Albarran (inks) plenty to keep them busy and the reader entertained.
The big scale action sequences, with plenty of explosive double page spreads and one gnarly dragon, are a spectacle to behold on a comic book that month after month delivers on the widescreen action front as well as those more personal moments that see our gang of oddballs develop as characters and begin to bond as a team through shared loss as well as shared dangers.

This may not be a Justice League that’s familiar to many, but as one of the few DC books exploring the supernatural side of the DCU, I’m all for it. Besides, the roll call is an interesting mix, so that I’m curious enough to want to see how they grow as individuals and as a group. Man-Bat has already got me intrigued, but with the inclusion of Swamp Thing and John Constantine, I’m keen to see where they head next. After all, DC Comics have plenty of nooks and crannies these guys have yet to explore. And I’m happy to go along on this ride for as long as it lasts.
Justice League Dark #5 is currently available from DC Comics.

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