Writer: James Tynion IV
Penciller: Alvaro Martinez Bueno
Inker: Raul Fernandez
Colors: Brad Anderson
Justice League Dark meets Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark in the newest issue. Man-Bat is hard at work writing down the League’s encounters with otherkind, and he breaks the fourth wall to bring the audience closer into the action. It’s a different type of framing device, but I dig it. Normally, I expect fourth wall breaking from Harley Quinn, but it flows naturally in this story. Man-Bat does a classic, “Oh hey, didn’t expect to see you here.” And I love the way they symbolize the fourth wall breaking with the literal breaking of the panel. This is the kind of thing that can make or break an issue, and the team pulled it off with flying colors.
The stories themselves are all unique, terrifying, and weird in their own special ways. I love how the team isn’t resting on their laurels and continues to put together new, interesting monsters that will terrify your nightmares. My favorite is in The Conjoined story when we actually see the conjoined. They spend a full page building it up, and it does not disappoint. The panel I’m talking about looks like a Renaissance painting made by Slender Man. It’s horrific and fantastic.
This could have easily just been a Tales from the Crypt episode of Justice League Dark, but it actually sets up future issues. Man-Bat discovers the stories he is telling were no longer written by him. Also, a mysterious ruby appears on his desk. And when he leaves his office, a dangerous visitor appears, leading to a final panel that will send shivers down your spine. The creative team behind this issue really went all in. It’s an incredible work of art you need to check out.
Overall Score: 10/10