Justice League Dark No. 9 review: The Lords of Order reign


The Lords of Order have invaded Myrra, so with Zatanna and Wonder Woman on a mission of their own, the rest of the Justice League Dark must simply try to survive.

Justice League Dark has been great from the start, and with this issue, it almost feels like the series is building to its climax, or least the climax of the first big arc of the series. There’s a lot of necessary information provided in this issue while also making some pretty interesting plot developments as well, despite this really not being an action-heavy issue. Even without the action or horror that previous issues have been given, this is still an entertaining and important issue.

One of the biggest revelations in this issue regards the reveal of who the Lords of Order are and how they have come back to be. It’s also really the first time the Lords of Order, at least in incarnations similar to Nabu, have been presented in such prominent ways. This series has consistently changed the fabric of the supernatural side of the DC Universe in interesting ways, and it continues to do so with the introduction of these new, terrifying Lords of Order.

This issue is also very solid with its subtext and the shades of grey nature that life almost always has. By nature, you hear the names “Lords of Order” and “Lords of Chaos,” it’s only natural to think this is a black-and-white conflict. Good vs evil. With this issue of Justice League Dark, that is shown to definitely not be the case, with the Lords of Order becoming world-destroying villains.

Image by DC Comics/Art by Alvaro Martinez Bueno

This is also incredible subtext in the fact that it takes the idea of “order,” something that is almost universally viewed as a good thing, and shows that when used by those who simply want control, it can lead to destruction. Nabu and his compatriots want control of the universe out of fear and a lust for power, thus their “order” is simply destructive in nature. It’s incredibly subtle subtext that James Tynion IV does an excellent job presenting in this issue.

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What helps with that subtext in this issue though is Alvaro Martinez Bueno’s art, especially when depicting the Lords of Order. His designs of the Lords of Order are magnificent in propelling the subtext presented by Tynion’s script forward. Whether it be the use of masks to hide any true face of those who are in the throes of possession to his redesign of Nabu’s helmet to look like it’s melting, it pushes the subtext forward in excellent ways.

Martinez Bueno has shown time and time again as well, on this series and Detective Comics, that even when an issue is light on specific elements that can make a story feel large, he can still make it feel like that, which he does in this issue. His use of two-page spreads and figures overlapping into other panels creates this epic and fantastical feel that really helps to make an enjoyable read.

Justice League Dark No. 8 review: Evil finds a way. dark. Next


While there isn’t much in the way of action or horror, there’s fantastic subtext and revelations that make this another enjoyable chapter of Justice League Dark.