JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #25 hits comic book stores Tuesday, August 25th, diving further into the mysterious Other Place. Zatanna and Wonder Woman are looking for the former’s father, whose spirit lies within the realm’s grasp. In a brilliant feat of storytelling, Ram V brings readers along on a journey that teaches everyone a hard lesson about the true costs of life.
Readers initially find themselves in a self-narrated memory from Zatanna’s childhood. The young girl finds a deceased rabbit and is brought to tears at the sight. Her innocence is clear as day, making us feel for the girl who’s yet to experience the horrors of reality.
Out of desperation, Zatanna uses magic to revive the animal. But, sensing a threat, her father Zatara rushes to her side and casts a spell that transfers the cost of her magic to his own body.
With this sacrificial act, the older magician teaches his daughter a valuable lesson: there’s always a price that must be paid.
After navigating the Other Place, Zatanna and Wonder Woman find themselves face-to-face with Zatara, the magician’s now deceased father. The two have a heartbreaking exchange reminiscent of the memory from earlier. This narrative choice allows readers to bridge the gap between Zatanna’s childhood and adulthood.
Unfortunately, Zatara is tethered to the nefarious Upside-Down Man. And so, on the outskirts of reality, our heroes must wage war against the powers of death itself.
Amancay Nahuelpan’s penciling and ink work, June Chung’s coloring, and Rob Leigh’s lettering framed this issue beautifully. The gloomy illustrations of the hellscape in the Other Place are staggering, combining harsh yellows, reds, and oranges for Zatara’s burning soul, dark shades of the jagged rocks surrounding them, and the off-putting white tint of the Upside-Down Man. What’s more, the lettering balloons are modified to show the eery speech of the villain, adding to our feelings of dread as our heroes navigate the bowels of the underworld.
JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #25 scared us, surprised us, and flat out enticed us with its heart-wrenching storyline.
What part in all of this does Zatanna and her father have to play? Let us know what you think in the comments below!