JLD #18 is the most gorgeous installment

Having been taken over by the witch Circe, The Justice League Dark begins there last resorts as Diana attempts to free herself from Circe, Zatanna looks to use magical artifacts, and Dr. Fate makes a comeback.

All of this issue was spent on giving us a sliver of what each character planned on doing to achieve their goals, but Tynion IV’s biggest focus involved Diana working with Hecate’s dark side as it double crosses Circe. This turn of events would give Wonder Woman the power to seperate herself from Circe and create a turning point in weakening her hold. We also see Zatanna debating the use of powerful artifacts to help her stop a dragon that was unleashed. Finally, Tynion IV eds with a tease of Dr. Fate’s return as a final means to restore fate.

Tynion IV did a good job in this issue by giving us the debate between Diana, as she picks between two evils and weighs the consequences of her actions. The hope that she brings when she says she’ll restore Hecate’s light and dark sides showcases Diana’s personality and how she views her current situation. Diana is willing to risk the entire world, if it means saving herself and finding a way to restore Hecate.

Another great depiction we saw was the reverse from Circe. Circe uses a coin to summon a dragon to destroy the Hall of Justice. In summoning the dragon, she makes the promise that it can have Diana’s body if it helps Circe. Since Diana’s body is a conduit, Circe is willing to sacrifice it to achieve her goals. This shows that both hero and villain are using anything they can to win.

We’re also seeing the desperate situations of Zatanna and Constantine, as the two look to world ending magic artifacts as a means to an end. The two mages have been unable to beat Circe on magic alone, so they’re willing to risk using world ending magical artifacts as a means to beat Circe. We’re also seeing these heroes consider bringing Dr. Fate back.

Compared to the climax of Scott Snyder’s Justice League run, we’re seeing a stronger development for the finale. In Snyder’s run, we saw the heroes resort to a flying Hall of Justice, and then finally seeing Jean Jonzz son saving him. In Tom King’s Batman, the conflict was resolved by Batman beating up his father in a small room. As an author, Tynion IV has showcased his ability to construct a strong finale, as he focuses on the heroes resorting to things they’ll all regret, that can also impact the stories going forward. Though each author has their own way of handling their long, drawn out stories, Tynion IV’s last few issues have tied back to the first issue and given us both full circle and a look at the lengths the characters are willing to go, without feeling lackluster or campy at times.

Another great aspect of this issue was the panels drawn by Raul Fernandez. Fernandez does some fun work with full page spreads of Circe summoning the dragon. We also see Diana sinking in the magic realm as she is struggling to stay above the surface. In this image, we see her bound and struggling to stay afloat.

After the focus on people working to survive, we see Diana lose someone in a panel that breaks the fourth wall, as the panels get crinkled and broken. This shows the power of Hecate’s dark side in a fun way that impacts the story more than a 2-D drawing.

Compared to previous issues, this was by far my favorite, in terms of art, for the Justice League Dark series. As for story, Tynion IV did a large focus on Diana escaping, and a few things dealing with the other cast of characters. The larger focus on Diana moved the story, but not as quickly, due to us awaiting to see if she does become freed. Instead, the focus on Diana delivered what might come, but not an end result. Each character who is struggling with their tough decisions was left on a cliffhanger moment; something will have to await the next issue to see what comes next.

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