Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Emanuela Lupacchino
Inks by Ray McCarthy
Colors by Romulo Fajardo Jr.
If you have not read Wonder Woman And Justice League Dark: The Witching Hour #1 Special then you may be a little lost when you pick up this issue as James Tynion IV takes over the writing duties on Wonder Woman for two issues for the 5 part Witching Hour DC mini-event. To summarize briefly, Hecate, the witch-goddess of magic, activated the Witchmarked – humans within whom she secreted vast stores of power for her long predicted future battle against the Otherkind, which is now coming to pass. It was confirmed in that first issue that the most powerful of all the witchmarked was Diana, who has now successfully repelled the Upside Down Man and Hecate herself, thanks to these imbued magical abilities.
In this issue the Justice League Dark team travel to Aeaea to beg Circe for help in thwarting the threat of the Otherkind and Hecate, if necessary. They debate how far she might take things in eradicating the Otherkind as their encroachment on the DC Multiverse threatens to eradicate life as we know it. Overall, the issue is thoroughly enjoyable as both the writing and art are of a very high standard that builds on the great story that Tynion began in his main series, Justice League Dark.
There is plenty of narration and dialogue that make this issue quite a long read, but that is not a negative as you get plenty of required background information and exposition to ensure that you are not turned off of the issue itself if you have not been reading any JLD up to this point. A crucial part of the story is also revealed as we learned that there are 5 people that have been witchmarked by Hecate, with the second revealed to be Manitou Dawn, one of the first of the Apache tribe and past member of the Justice League Elite.
The art in this issue is stellar as Emanuela Lupacchino, Ray McCarthy and Romulo Fajardo Jr. once again come together to collaborate magnificently on a Wonder Woman issue. They last worked together during the Amazons Attack arc, when absolutely gorgeous art regularly saved some James Robinson tame stories that left many readers disillusioned with his ability to deliver content anywhere close to the Greg Rucka arcs that had come before that.
There is a lot of activity and landscape required in this issue, and the tight deadlines on this weekly event would have put major pressure on the art team, but Lupacchino especially has coped so well as all the characters look so great up close in detail. Diana and Zatanna are also distinguished enough from each other that you are not straining to confirm which gorgeous, blue eyed brunette is which in tight panels where you can only see them from the neck up.
McCarthy’s inks are bold but not overpowering, which could have been the temptation given the subject material, and complement Lupacchino’s pencils exceptionally well ensuring minimal pencil detail is washed out. Fajardo Jr.’s coloring is up to his usual brilliant best as he has work cut out for him this issue with so many different settings and tones to establish across the Greek Isles, Aeaea, and New Mexico.
This weekly event is coming along quite nicely, and it is so good only having to wait 7 days between issues allowing all the magical and mythological information to stay fresh in the mind that as we explore this new world Tynion is building.
While this issue was not as exciting as the Witching Hour special from last week, it is still of such a high standard that it will leave you craving part 3 immediately after you finish reading this issue.
8.5 out of 10
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