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Justice League Dark, Vol. 4: A Costly Trick of Magic

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Welcome to the Other Place, where the Upside-Down Man rules, and where the odds are bleakly stacked in his favor. As Justice League Dark descends, Wonder Woman taps into the darkest recesses of her power, and Zatanna has more than just cards up her sleeve. With the team in turmoil, Detective Chimp, Doctor Fate, and Man-Bat will do anything to save their teammates-even turn Welcome to the Other Place, where the Upside-Down Man rules, and where the odds are bleakly stacked in his favor. As Justice League Dark descends, Wonder Woman taps into the darkest recesses of her power, and Zatanna has more than just cards up her sleeve. With the team in turmoil, Detective Chimp, Doctor Fate, and Man-Bat will do anything to save their teammates-even turn to the man they swore never to trust again: John Constantine! And while Zatanna may have a spell to ensure victory…there's always a price.


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Welcome to the Other Place, where the Upside-Down Man rules, and where the odds are bleakly stacked in his favor. As Justice League Dark descends, Wonder Woman taps into the darkest recesses of her power, and Zatanna has more than just cards up her sleeve. With the team in turmoil, Detective Chimp, Doctor Fate, and Man-Bat will do anything to save their teammates-even turn Welcome to the Other Place, where the Upside-Down Man rules, and where the odds are bleakly stacked in his favor. As Justice League Dark descends, Wonder Woman taps into the darkest recesses of her power, and Zatanna has more than just cards up her sleeve. With the team in turmoil, Detective Chimp, Doctor Fate, and Man-Bat will do anything to save their teammates-even turn to the man they swore never to trust again: John Constantine! And while Zatanna may have a spell to ensure victory…there's always a price.

30 review for Justice League Dark, Vol. 4: A Costly Trick of Magic

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chris Lemmerman

    First up, the Justice League Dark deal with the aftermath of the Witching War as the Elemental Parliaments are in turmoil thanks to the rise of the Floronic Man. Then, it's the final stand against The Otherkind as the Justice League Dark head to the Other Place for a battle that will decide the fate of magic forever. Justice League Dark's been a joy to read since it started, and these issues are no different. The Parliaments Of Life story is another testament to how much I want a Swamp Thing seri First up, the Justice League Dark deal with the aftermath of the Witching War as the Elemental Parliaments are in turmoil thanks to the rise of the Floronic Man. Then, it's the final stand against The Otherkind as the Justice League Dark head to the Other Place for a battle that will decide the fate of magic forever. Justice League Dark's been a joy to read since it started, and these issues are no different. The Parliaments Of Life story is another testament to how much I want a Swamp Thing series from these creators because they handle it all wonderfully, even roping in Animal Man, and Anton and Abby Arcane along for the ride as well. This also signals the end of James Tynion IV and Alvaro Martinez' runs on the book, as they hand over the baton to Ram V and Amancay Nahuelpan with some co-written/pencilled issues. There's also an issue with art by the inimitable Kyle Hotz which stands out as well. Ram V then takes the series home with the final battle with the Otherkind, and he doesn't miss a beat as the story comes to a massive head. He draws on all of the plot points and explanations about the villains that Tynion IV had laid out before him, and crafts a conclusion that is a perfect endcap for the journeys that these characters have been on - especially Zatanna and Constantine. Amancay Nahuelpan steps into some big shoes when Alvaro Martinez leaves, but does a grand old job. There's a solidity to his pencils that I really enjoy, and he manages to make the twisted form of the Upside Down Man something to truly fear - it wouldn't look out of place in Immortal Hulk right now, for example. This iteration of Justice League Dark is over for now, but it ends exactly the same way that it has been going for the last 20 issues - in fantastic fashion, with great story, artwork, and characters. Top marks.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Will Brown

    While Tynion leaves before he can conclude his overarching story with JLD, Ram V steps up to the plate and delivers one hell of a finale for this iteration of the team! My main criticism of the previous volume was how there was a lot of time dedicated to worldbuilding that ultimately didn't stick around and contributed nothing to the overall plot. This volume trims all the fat and the monologues without sacrificing the characters or themes Tynion established during his time with the series. This While Tynion leaves before he can conclude his overarching story with JLD, Ram V steps up to the plate and delivers one hell of a finale for this iteration of the team! My main criticism of the previous volume was how there was a lot of time dedicated to worldbuilding that ultimately didn't stick around and contributed nothing to the overall plot. This volume trims all the fat and the monologues without sacrificing the characters or themes Tynion established during his time with the series. This volume contains 2 stories with one dealing with the Parliments of Life and the other being the team's inevitable confrontation with The Upsidedown Man. Having recently read ALL of the New52's Swamp Thing run I really appreciate how Tynion and Ram V mesh Alan Moore's and Scott Snyder's interpretations of the Parliments of Life. Moore introduced the Green, the Clear, the Grey, and so many others groups as living elementals whereas Snyder reinterpreted the Green, etc as sentient ecosystems all vying for control. Snyder's take was incredibly compelling, but groups like the Clear, the White, or the Melt didn’t fit into that mold since they were just elements and forms of matter. This story addresses that, tying them all together and establishing a fascinating symbiosis with them through Khalid as the new Doctor Fate. It's honestly the most compelling JLD has been since Witching Hour. The final confrontation with The Upsidedown Man feels oddly sudden with little build up to it, but delivers in almost every way imaginable. Each member of the team gets a moment to shine and remind readers what they bring to the team (something I REALLY appreciate after reading the original JLD), the art and action is phenomenal, and the way Ram V uses Tynion's previous themes of belief in relation to magic and reality is incredibly satisfying. Every loose thread is tied up in a nice little bow and establishes Tynion and V's run as the definitive JLD series. Highly recommended for readers who've stuck with this series from the beginning. A great reward for sticking to the end.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sarospice

    This series was a jewel in the DC crown. The story and art leagues above all other titles. Loved everything about it. Would rather read more JL dark than any more JL period.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jodie

    3.5/5 Stars

  5. 5 out of 5

    Clint

    Thankfully this run ends at its best for me, after the series started strong but then gradually got worse with typical “energy blast showdown saves all existence” type plot resolutions. The first half here is my favorite: a delightfully inventive, playfully grotesque crisis of The Parliaments (apparently an old Swamp Thing conception where the natural world is broken into discrete domains of plant, animal, rot, disease,etc) where a new balance between them must be negotiated. The Cordyceps mushro Thankfully this run ends at its best for me, after the series started strong but then gradually got worse with typical “energy blast showdown saves all existence” type plot resolutions. The first half here is my favorite: a delightfully inventive, playfully grotesque crisis of The Parliaments (apparently an old Swamp Thing conception where the natural world is broken into discrete domains of plant, animal, rot, disease,etc) where a new balance between them must be negotiated. The Cordyceps mushroom zombies aren’t particularly novel, but the Kyle Hotz’s imagery of mycological rot and other intricately textured organic nastiness from the Parliaments is astounding and brilliantly colored. The conflict itself and how it’s resolved is also weird and creative, and exactly what I initially loved about this series. I especially loved an early Animal Man cameo where he takes over a flatworm in his own guts to commune with the agglomerated figurehead of the bacterial domain. The back half wraps up the series’s overarching conflict with its big bad, and while it leans more into the meaningless energy blast territory there’s still some characterful interactions with meaningful consequences required for the eventual win, reinforcing the series’s repeated mantra of “magic always has a cost.” “That is all we ever are. Dust, given shape and finite time to accomplish something with it.”

  6. 4 out of 5

    Blindzider

    Unfortunately, I read this before I read the previous volume Witching Hour. This volume serves to wrap up the entire series and is a solid finale. A few details and concepts were included which I'm not sure if I should have already known them, being in the "supernatural/magic" side of the DCU. They are explained enough to understand the story but it suggests there's a weight to what's happening and I don't think you grasp that unless you are a long-time reader of these characters. I like the lin Unfortunately, I read this before I read the previous volume Witching Hour. This volume serves to wrap up the entire series and is a solid finale. A few details and concepts were included which I'm not sure if I should have already known them, being in the "supernatural/magic" side of the DCU. They are explained enough to understand the story but it suggests there's a weight to what's happening and I don't think you grasp that unless you are a long-time reader of these characters. I like the line the series walks on, supernatural, but not too much horror. Strange, quirky ideas without being overly bloody. Probably my favorite characters in the book are John Constantine and Zatanna. Both are complex with a complex relationship between them. Flawed humans, doing the best they can to do what is right, but are hindered by their pasts. The story ends, but of course leaves itself open for more.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    There is something extra creepy about an upside-down villain!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Danielle Lucas

    Good series

  9. 4 out of 5

    A.Rae

  10. 5 out of 5

    J Gold

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jay Trask

  12. 4 out of 5

    Shaun

  13. 4 out of 5

    Devi

  14. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Miller

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tamara

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dave

  17. 5 out of 5

    Raphael

  18. 5 out of 5

    Heather

  19. 4 out of 5

    Viana

  20. 4 out of 5

    Paco Garcia

  21. 4 out of 5

    Matt

  22. 5 out of 5

    Eric

  23. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

  24. 5 out of 5

    Remy's Dad

  25. 5 out of 5

    Roman Zarichnyi

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rickey

  27. 5 out of 5

    Stuart Meldrum

  28. 5 out of 5

    David

  29. 4 out of 5

    Dimitra

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tony

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