Justice League Dark Review Trades 1-4
By Hank Van Hawkins
Well, my last review was of the TV show and DC character Constantine. Strangely enough, he has a huge part in the Justice League Dark. Of course it has only been recently that I have worked through the first 4 graphic novels and I have to say that it is not only a great concept but it is enthralling and very well executed all the way through. I saved my judgment as well as my excitement until I at least got through the most current graphic novels. Personally I was at a loss when Deadman and Frankenstein “Agent of Shade” solo titles we’re cancelled early on the New 52. I have always found these two characters enthralling for a number of reasons. After fretting awhile I realized almost immediately that Deadman also has a prominent part in The Justice League Dark! I was excited if just for his membership alone. Suddenly I was upset for not picking this title up sooner. Then as I began to collect and really get into the graphic novels soon enough low and behold Frankenstein has also become part of the Justice League Dark team. Not to mention the fact that my all time favorite Swamp Thing has now made his appearance. I also love the fact that The House of Mystery serves as The Dark League Justice’s defacto headquarters. That is yet another title I always love to see rebooted.
That all being said, and with unbridled enthusiasm, I totally dove right in and it’s getting pretty safe to say it is one of my new favorite titles now. As always, I had my doubts at first despite having so many favorite characters of mine. Also seeing how I have never really read much of the Justice League title itself because it always seemed to be so busy to me with our heroes constantly coming and going. Yet, now I understand the appeal of a title like Justice League Dark, even though it sounds like an overly busy idea. They keep the story line flowing right along with the character appearances, which are sometimes brief but, always poignant in tying together the stories. I have been introduced to characters I never knew of before as well. It is great how DC has brought together all of these darker more supernatural figures in their universe into one team. This title generates and maintains excitement from issue to issue. I guess one of the cool factors about the regular Justice League title is having so many heroes in one place on one team fighting a common foe. Now with the Justice League dark, the other characters who are not quite heroes can come together on their own as well as with their Justice League counterparts.
The art work is sharp and the covers of the comic books have been very eye pleasing, which is a large part of their appeal on the newsstand as well. The aesthetics work great and the characters not only fit with one another, they strangely relate easily since they are indeed all outcasts. The directions and liberties they take with my beloved characters is great. A part of the arc has the team getting separated for a bit from one another and the direction it takes is awesome and constantly refreshing. I am a comic reader that so often times will put the book down when it gets to a critical or exciting point to save the excitement for later. Despite having the Graphic novel, I still try to read one issue at a time. The action is lightning fast and non-stop and makes it hard to refrain from the issues because the complexity of what is about to happen next. It literally keeps me on the edge of my seat. One could read it so fast, but I choose not to, to savor these moments. I don’t think a title has covered so much ground and brought such engaging characters together like this before. The shadowy grey area between this world and the next is explored in grave detail. It is a very complex title but one that pays off in sure fire adaptions and suspense-holding arcs. I know I am going to sound like a blushing fan boy but this is a serious title that will enthrall readers for years to come. I can’t wait for the movie to hit the big screen either! I can’t wait to see that day. In the mean time I will stay up to date with the comic books. Justice League Dark is a winner.