I am a long time reader of Veritgo comics. I’m a fan of the characters, I’m a fan of the line and I’m a fan of what the line meant for creators. When I heard about the concept for Justice League Dark I was torn a little bit. On one hand I was excited about these characters being brought into the New 52 and on the other hand, I had an issue with these characters being on a team of any kind let alone a team with the word ‘Justice’ in the title. Every one of them is a solo character that has plenty of history of not getting along with others or even getting others killed. In the end, I was more than pleasantly satisfied with the outcome.
Justice League Dark: In the DarkJustice League Dark Vol 1 #1-6 Writer: Peter Milligan Artist: Mikel Jamin
Plot: Madame Xanadu is having visions of the end of the world. A dark and powerful magical entity has bested the Justice League. A few dozen clones of a woman are committing mass suicide by throwing themselves off ledges and in front of cars. Legions of demons are tearing London to the ground. Her only shot at salvation is pulling together a group of self-loathing, dark-arts, no body gives a fuck about people and making them work together. Enter the Justice League Dark.
Characters: Deadman, Shade the Changing Man, Mindwarp, Enchantress, Madame Xanadu, Zantanna and John Constintine. I have to say that for the most part, that characters are true to their roots, with the exception of Zantanna, who has been given a bit of a bad girl edge, that I think does her well (and not too far off if you consider her actions from identity crisis). The only concern which has a lot of long time faithful readers of Hellblazer a little more than irritated with Justice League Dark is John Constantine. I don’t think the book is all that un-Constantine. It sticks with the John is a bastard only out for self preservation, but even with that said, he is toned down a bit. You have to expect that when you bring him out of Vertigo and place him into DCU. I personally like the idea of the anti-hero with a heart of gold angle. It worked really well when Joe Kelly used it with Deadpool and I think it works really well here. And you never know, John could end up fucking all of them in the end.
Impression: I dig the occult, I like the characters and I like the idea of the characters coming together to take on the occult doomsday equivalent of the Justice Leagues’ Darksied invasion. Even though hardcore Vertigo fans may feel the book is toned down compared to true Vertigo style, I would say It’s still pretty dark for a DCU book. They don’t skimp on the dark occult angle. We see Madame Xanadu using hardcore narcotics to surpress her visions, Constantine gets the crap kicked out himself for a spell component, and there is enough blood, guts and gruesome death going on between the suicide clones, demons and witch spells to fill a cemetery.
I think that there is a lot of potential here for some awesome story telling. You Vertigo diehards might just have to lighten up on the fanboy sphincter to enjoy it.
Until Next Time… Has DC lost it’s edge with any of you? I have to say that the big cross-over events kind of took the steam out of it for me for the big titles like the Green Lanterns, Supermans and the Batmans of the world. Outside of those titles though, Wonder Woman is still kicking ass and I’m totally digging the Flash. I’m still excited to see what Snyder and Capullo are going to do with Batman post Death in the Family. Hit my up on Twitter or Facebook/opencbdb and let me know how you feel about the DCU.