Published on November 27th, 2018 | by Andrew Bistak
Justice League Dark #5 Review
Summary: Justice League Dark #5 turns it direction back to the Otherkind with a funeral, a Lord of Order and a visit to the magical realm of Myrra
Fate is coming
After a far too early crossover with Wonder Woman in The Witching Hour, writer James Tynion IV and artist Daniel Sampere returns reader to a more grounded story that solemnly opens to the funeral of Jim Rook (aka The Nightmaster) who was a close friend to Detective Chimp and unfortunately ‘died’ in the aforementioned crossover to save the lives of others.
For fans of Detective Chimp (aka Bobo), this issue focuses on our favourite talking chimpanzee as Tynion IV brings this character’s emotions to the front and as he consumes his drink reminiscing on the life of his close friend, he receives unexpected guest at the Oblivion Bar, the Phantom Stranger. The stranger informs Bobo that he is now the owner of the bar and also the Sword of Night that now makes him one of the protectors of the magical realm known as Myrra courtesy of Nightmaster.
The next visit of the night for Bobo is from Zatanna and Wonder Woman who inform him that the Otherkind are devouring Olympus and that they could break into their world at any moment. However with a lead from John Constantine, he believes that something in Myrra could give them the power to hurt the Otherkind and they require the sword to help enter this realm.
To the protests and warnings of Bobo, Zatanna manages to invoke a spell to trick it in thinking that it is Detective Chimp as she cuts a breach between two worlds. Ignoring his warnings, Wonder Woman, Zatanna and Man-Bat walk through the breach and against his better judgement, he enters the portal to Myrra. It is also in Myrra where we learn from Bobo that he ‘broke’ this world and after a battle with the undead, he faces his former Shadow Pact member Blue Devil who has come to collect the price from Detective Chimp for breaking it.
Elsewhere, John Constantine and Swamp Thing are back at the Tree of Wonder where the magician summons Nabu, the current wielder of Doctor Fate who has his host, Kent Nelson trapped. John also unleashes a new trick from Swamp Thing against Doctor Fate, including the dark arts that this Englishman has collected over the years that results in a spectacular magical battle. As a result, it calls the attention of Phantom Stranger and he politely informs Nabu that it’s time to ‘talk’.
I really enjoyed this issue, as it returns readers to the first story arc revolving around the Otherkind and of course Doctor Fate who I believe is up to something more than just unleashing this terrible force on the world. Tynion’s dialogue was engaging and he successfully brings these characters to life. Surprisingly there was plenty happening in this single issue and now we have to wait another month to see the repercussions. Artist Daniel Sampere perfectly captures the magical world of the DCU well and his action packed, emotional and dynamic panels really helped bring this story to life… so kudos Mr Sampere!
Justice League Dark #5 was another strong issue from this creative team and is definitely a story that should be read by those fans who enjoy the darker side of the DCU.