Title: Justice League Dark and Wonder Woman: The Witching Hour (2018-) #1
Writer: James Tynion IV
Pencils/Inks: Fernando Blanco, Miguel Mendonca, Jesus Merino
Color: Romulo Fajardo, Jr.
Cover: Jesus Merino, David Yardin
Publication Date: October 31, 2018
Publisher’s Summary: Just in time for Halloween, it’s “The Witching Hour,” a five-part weekly event that will rewrite the future of DC’s magical heroes! Hecate, the witch-goddess of magic, always knew a day would come when the monsters she stole her magic from would return. Now she must activate the Witchmarked, humans within whom she secreted vast stores of power. And the most powerful of the Witchmarked? Wonder Woman!
As Hecate’s magic reaches its pinnacle, there is only once opportunity to save the world, but can they save Wonder Woman too? Meanwhile, inside the Collective Unconscious we learn Wonder Woman is not dead, but separated from her body. Determined to stop Hecate, Wonder Woman makes a last ditch effort and plunges deep into the Collective Unconscious in search for Hecate herself. What Wonder Woman discovers may be the key to saving the world, or it could all be for nothing. Meanwhile, the team regroups with Circe for a final battle plan, but can they stop Hecate in time?
The Witching Hour has proved to be Wonder Woman’s, and James Tynion IV’s, finest hour. Tynion draws on mythology and classic symbols to bring the story arch to a close. The script both creates and adapts mythology in this issue to recreate the story of the gods, writing a new history of magic. This issue focused on Hecate’s true backstory, the explanation for why The Witching Hour has come. As the goddess rewrites the magical framework, we learn all the events that lead to this moment: the betrayal and corruption of a pure power. Tynion explores mythology and religion, depicting Hecate as a trinity, maiden, mother, and crone, the three sides of woman each powerful in her own right. Ultimately posing the question, is Hecate is truly evil? More importantly, Tynion shows the seductiveness of power, and that Hecate is not the only force in the universe drawn to it. Because power is the both corruptor and motivator.
Fernando Blanco, Miguel Mendonca, and Jesus Merino craft a visually complex issue. The three conjure images of Greek gods, fallen kingdoms, and Hecate’s three personas. Tynion packs his script with dense information. Blanco, Mendonca, and Merino demystify the complexities of Tynion’s script with detailed panels. The issue moves quickly, and the artwork helps keep a steady pace as panels overflow into each other, emphasizing the passage of time in this issue.
The Bottom Line:
James Tynion IV’s script is extraordinary humanizing. As The Witch Hour draws to a close, Tynion asks his readers who the true villain is, Hecate or a corrupt society seeking to tame rather than embrace? Blanco, Mendonca, and Merino enhance Tynion’s script with intense artwork, depicting every second of this heart-pounding conclusion.