No Justice and Dark Nights: Metal really messed up the multiverse. In Justice League Dark # 1, we begin to see that magic is broken. It’s not broken in an “Oops, I was going to transmogrify this dove into a bunch of butterflies and got snowflakes instead” way. Tynion and Martinez Bueno make it clear from the start that magic is broken in an “I just released the horrifying Lovecraftian Elder Gods designed by H.R. Giger!” way.
This first issue really hits on all cylinders. It’s not just the standard magical heroes and villains pitted in a power struggle. Tynion smoothly connects aspects of the No Justice storyline into a messy problem that no one knows how to fix. Wonder Woman, however, knows her connection to the magical underbelly of the multiverse makes it her responsibility to figure out what is threatening life itself. No one from the magical world wants to be involved with one of the world’s most renowned superheroes or a Justice League sanctioned magical team.
Tynion does an excellent job of making Wonder Woman’s transition into the magical aspect of the DC Universe feel natural. With her connection to the Gods, it seems only right that Diana would feel a connection to magic. No one else thinks so, however. Therein lies one of the multiple plot threads Tynion begins to tie into this issue.
Another great aspect of the issue is that Tynion doesn’t spend a lot of time rehashing events or flashing back through multiple scenes of Wonder Woman asking for help and being rejected. Wonder Woman asks Zatanna, helps defend against a horrific tentacle monster, and continues on her quest relatively alone. We are then provided multiple plot threads that either show how messed up the world is or foreshadows a frightening future. It is quite an accomplishment that Tynion can tie so many strands together at the beginning of a series without clouding the direction or main conflict.
Martinez Bueno’s pencils bring life to Tynion’s darkly twisted wordcraft. The horrific images of the grotesque deformities add to the gigantic presence of the Tree of Wonder lends a visual representation to just how vast and unknown the world Wonder Woman has entered is. Fernandez’s inks and Anderson’s colors all add to the visual representation that this isn’t going to be a fantasy or science fiction run.
It’s very clear that Tynion has plans for Wonder Woman and her team that will be terrifying and multiverse altering. Justice League Dark #1 is clear and convincing beginning to a horror story that the mainstream DC Universe has never seen. This series is going to be one hell of a crazy ride.