Review: Justice League Dark #1

Written by Peter Milligan, Art by Mikel Janin, Cover by Ryan Sook

Solicitation Info (from Previews): The witch known as The Enchantress has gone mad, unleashing forces that not even the combined powers of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Cyborg can stop. And if those heroes can’t handle the job, who will stand against this mystical madness? Shade the Changing Man, Madame Xanadu, Deadman, Zatanna and John Constantine may be our only hope – but how can we put our trust in beings whose very presence makes ordinary people break out in a cold sweat?

Bias: The other title that I’m really looking forward to. I’m a big fan of the magic characters, especially John Constantine, and as such, this looks right up my alley. Can’t wait!

What I liked: This was definitely the title I was hoping it would be. It was mystical surrealism at its best (a worthy successor, in my opinion, to Xombi). It did a wonderful job of setting up the series and introducing (most of?) the characters, and was altogether an enjoyable read with a definite Vertigo vibe.

What I disliked: This was certainly not anything that bothered me, but I felt I should address it, in case violence in comics is a problem for you: there are multiple scenes of carnage, starting with a two page spread of women in traffic being smashed into by the motor vehicles. If that’s going to disturb you, you might want to give this one a pass.

Verdict: I’m definitely collecting this title.

As always, SPOILERS in comments, including my favorite scene, thoughts on what happened, and questions about what’s to come.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Review: Justice League Dark #1

  1. I read the Flashpoint: Secret Seven mini-series, and this feels like both a continuation of that series, as well as what it should have been – which is interesting, since they’re both written by Peter Milligan. Both see Shade the Changing Man leading the team (even if he doesn’t want to). Zatanna has appeared in both titles, and Peter Milligan, in interviews, has stated that Mindwarp (a character first introduced in the Secret Seven mini-series) will be in the Justice League Dark, as well. Amusingly, Enchantress is the traitor in the Secret Seven title, whereas she’s simply the enemy at the start of Justice League Dark. I really liked her in Shadowpact, and am hopeful that the heroes will restore her mind (probably literally reincorporating June back into the Enchantress). If she’s restored, maybe she’ll even become a member of the team – although hopefully this time (if she joins) she won’t betray them…

    So we have most of the major players introduced, but far from joined together. Zatanna is on her way to face the Enchantress solo, with John Constantine assumed to be on his way to at least see what the hubbub is about. One of the June Moones has found her way to Deadman, and Shade has met up with Madame Xanadu, who’s told him to gather the rest of what we presume will be the team.

    Interestingly, Shade’s objection is that “The only people I know these days are half-insane or…or damaged goods. Most of them are a danger to themselves.” Madame Xanadu responds by saying “Exactly.” and we that she has a vision of the future in which there’s a heap of bodies, including those of the team. I got the impression that Madame Xanadu isn’t forming the team to prevent outside threats, so much as forming a group akin to Alcoholics Anonymous – to prevent these powerful, magical people from destroying themselves and the world around them (with their first mission being the Enchantress – hence, why I think she might end up on the team)…

    I did have a certain amount of fun trying to figure out who was known amongst the bodies on the last page. I recognized Shade, John Constantine, Zatanna, and June Moone (Enchantress) on the left, and Etrigan the Demon and Deadman on the right. A black-haired man in a suit similar to Constantine’s seemed to be important, but I couldn’t figure out who he was…

    As for the mysterious, hooded woman from Flashpoint #5, she appears next to the barn in the background of the top panel on page 14.

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