Filed under: Comic Reviews, DC Comics | Tags: constantine, dc comics, enchantress, halloween, horror, JLDark, Justice League, Mikel Janin, Peter Milligan, shade, Xanadu, zatanna
Justice League Dark #1 was despite being the book I was most looking forward to reading therefore likely to be jinxed and awful, my definite top book of the DC Reboot. I was dreading and looking forward to Wednesday this week in equal measure, just in case the success of issue 1 was a fluke and I’d be left with another tepid title I’d foolishly pre-ordered.
My initial impression of issue #2, borne from another Ryan Sook cover, was initially one of disappointment. Although Sook has captured a lot of Janin’s Zatanna, Enchantress looks like a cheap Halloween witch caricature. I’m not sure if this is intentional what with the book’s Halloween week release and Enchantress being, well, y’know a witch…
Sook’s rapidly becoming hit or miss covers only strengthen my desire to see more book’s interior artists doing their own covers. Whilst I appreciate the workloads many individuals are under I really think the potential is there to add so much more to the book. The best covers are a showcase for both the artists and writers, with exceptional craftsmanship on display alongside subtle hints at plot and things to come.
Milligan really does have a hard task ahead of him as he tries to bring several highly original characters with bags and bags of history together into a team book that actually has a storyline people want to read. I knew when I read #1 that he wouldn’t please ‘everyone’, particularly with respect to the panel count per character and I doubt that ‘everyone’ will be pleased by issue #2 either.
Milligan isn’t just making enemies though his lack of Constantine, and with respect to this I think its only appropriate that he keeps the ‘big guns’ in the back until such times as everything else is established. No, Milligan is ruffling feathers over his apparently ‘sleazy’ portrayal of Deadman as it would appear some fans don’t like to see Superhero’s with a sex drive or them trying to deal with it. These days it seems like I can’t go online without seeing something about sexism in comics and how this writer/ artist is a sexist. For my money Milligan gives us a ‘real’ comic book hero who is trying to deal with real emotions and problems. Milligan explores Boston’s relationship with Dove in a tactful and humorous way. In JLDark Boston is a real guy, in fact, I think I used to go out with a guy just like him. People need to lighten up when reading comic books and accept that just as the best people are not saints, neither are the best comic book characters.
Once again the art in this book is exceptional. The partnership of Janin and Arreola is producing the best art in any book currently being published by DC Comics, although I am missing Arreola on Journey Into Mystery. I particularly love Janin’s Zatanna. She is so feminine and yet completely ready to kick arse. Issue #2 lacks the huge artistic wow factor of #1, mainly due to their being fewer set pieces and splash pages. This is understandable as Janin is new to DC and would have to do a little showing off in #1 to discount any naysayers or big name lovers. There is however, an excellent Constantine panel which I hope is a taste of things to come.
As the story with Enchantress progresses Milligan gives us one of those literary love taps disguised as a punch in the stomach in the form of Madame Xanadu. Justice League Dark is anything but your stereotypical team book and if Peter Milligan is about to start giving us simple linear story lines I’m going to stop reading comic books. This book is a definite buy and scores as my top DC book for the 2nd month in a row.
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