Review – Justice League Dark #3 (DC Comics)

Justice League Dark #3 Cover by Alvaro Eduardo Martinez Bueno, Raul Fernandez A
Justice League Dark #3 Cover by Alvaro Eduardo Martinez Bueno, Raul Fernandez
Justice League Dark #3
  • Writing - 7.5/10
  • Art - 8/10
  • Overall - 7.5/10
User Review
5 (1 vote)


Writer: James Tynion IV

Pencils: Alvaro Martinez Bueno

Inker: Raul Fernandez

Colorist: Brad Anderson

Letterer: Rob Leigh

Publisher: DC Comics

Maturity Rating: Teen

Release Date: September 26, 2018

In this issue of Justice League Dark, The Upside Down shows his ugly face and we discover the magic that’s been inside Wonder Woman. 


Justice League Dark #3


Justice League Dark #3 has the team do battle with new villain, The Upside-Down Man. Not a Stranger Things tie-in as one would hope, but we do see why this villain is going to be a formidable foe, at the expense of some characters. As well as Wonder Woman discovers a new power within her that the team is going to need to learn to control.


Justice League Dark #3 Variant Cover by Greg Capullo and Jonathan Glapion
Justice League Dark #3 Variant Cover by Greg Capullo and Jonathan Glapion

James Tynion IV opens this issue with a Zatanna flash back. We glimpse into her early years and how Zatara would train her to channel the forces of magic. He explains to her the intricacies of using magic before jumping to the present. The present where Zatanna and Wonder Woman have come face to face with the Upside-Down Man. This is of course after Doctor Fate sold out humanity to this celestial force.  

Justice League Dark #3 serves as the conclusion for the Last Age of Magic arc, but it doesn’t feel like a wrap up. The story only really focuses on just two-team members. Zatanna and Wonder Woman. Which is not a bad thing these character’s are more than capable of holding a story by themselves. But for a League book the team is used as canon fodder this issue. Which unfortunately means no quips from Bobo and Man-Bat. Demonstrating his power the Upside-Down Man makes quick examples of the team. From melting Bobo, disintegrating Swamp-Thing and removing Constantine’s blood. It works to show the serious threat that Diana and Z are facing but removes any opportunity for other characters to showcase how they would face this force.

The deus ex machina in this issue, comes because of the actual demi-god on the team. Sensing something deep and ancient inside of Diana the Upside-Down man unlocks a power that we haven’t seen yet. The symbols on her forehead, which first appeared in Justice League Dark #1, reappear as energy pulsates from her body. With this new found power Zatanna coaches her into using it effectively. Setting up possible new teacher student roles in the issues to come. Most things are left open-ended by the last page, which is why this issue sets up more than it concludes.


The work Alvaro Martinez Bueno is doing on these characters is still a treat. From the expression of sorrow on Zantanna’s face to intricacies of the goblets of blood leaving John’s body. It all adds to a chilling experience while reading this book. Especially with all the exposure we’ve been given to the Upside-Down Man this book. His all white body and somewhat passable human features make a haunting adversary. Somewhat reminiscent of Greg Capullo’s Joker in Death of the Family.

The only issue I take with this book is the Art focuses on the character’s still. I touched on this a little in my last review. All the action takes place in the foreground of the panel leaving the background bland and dull. For these magical set pieces they don’t seem to create a sense of wonder.


Justice League Dark #3 is a good book. Despite this issue not making full use of its cast of characters is does a fantastic job of setting up what’s to come. Which I can only hope is more adventures while putting the team in the forefront.  

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About the author

Edgar O'Neill-Figueroa

Edgar loves to be entertained. From movies and comic books, to television and video games he endures it all so that he may give you an unsolicited and fairly biased opinion.

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