Justice League Dark Annual #1 Review: A Spooky Tale That Fails to Live up to Expectations

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(Photo: DC Comics)

Throughout Tynion's entire run on Justice League Dark, things have been pretty hot and cold. On one month, it's jaw-dropping work that leaves you craving for more and on another it's, well...not so much. So it's only fitting the series' first annual is the perfect summation of everything in the run to date. It moves from flat-out horror to household drama and by the time it finds a good rhythm, the back cover has already started to close. The horror beats are something Tynion excels at—but it's apparent he's handed the reins off in this issue as the spookiness often misses the mark.

At long last, the story finally digs into why Swamp Thing has been acting all kinds of wack throughout the run so far this volume and even then, it only feels like we've only started scratching the surface. That said, the interpersonal adventure Swamp Thing goes on this issue is certainly the book's strongest point. With an existential crisis looming overhead, there's certainly a story to be told about growing up, moving on, and settling in a place you're not used to—and that hit the nail on the head with many of those topics.

Despite having a few villains throughout, Alec ends up being his own biggest villain when all is said and done. Quite frankly, we did not even need the group of baddies they plugged in here. While there will certainly be books on the shelf less desirable than Justice League Dark #1 this week, there will also be plenty of books that may end up as better reads. It misses a few too many marks to be the great oversized issue is was hyped up to be.

It's certainly not my favorite issue of Justice League Dark so far but at the very least, it's something that should whet the appetite of Swamp Thing fans as they cross their fingers hoping for more answers at one point or another. There's so much more to be had from this particular story and while future issues may help stress the importance of this, it stumbled with execution by its lonesome.

Published by DC Comics

On July 31, 2019

Written by James Tynion IV and Ram V

Art by Guillem March

Colors by Arif Prianto

Letters by Rob Leigh

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Cover by Riley Rossmo and Ivan Plascencia