Written by Nicholas Levin –
Thank you, Jeff Lemire. For a few months, it seemed like Justice League Dark was starting to fail miserably. What started as one of the strongest books of the New 52 peaked early and immediately dropped. However, with Lemire entering as some fresh blood, the book got a renewed life, and what a life it is. Lemire has made the series fun and exotic, and made everything seem as dark and as dangerous as it did when the series debuted. Faust has one over on the team, and now they find themselves in a truly terrible position. What they don’t know is that Faust has a boss.
I cannot be happier with Lemire on this book. He, Snyder and Azzarello are probably the three biggest stars of the new universe, and those three names encompass the writers of all but two of the books that most excite me every month from DC. As mentioned, the JLD feels dark again, it feels dangerous. I adore the shifting team, with Madam Zanadu and Andrew Bennett having both already joined and left, and Doctor Mist on his way out, with Frankenstein and Amethyst ready to step up. It feels like the book that can have a regular cast and rotating cameos, much like the old Justice League Unlimited series. However, after a while I can see this formula getting a bit stale. I wouldn’t necessarily mind Franky and Amethyst sticking by Constantine, Zatanna, and Deadman for a while.
Mikel Janin’s art is, as always, a lot like perfectly cooked pork; it simply melts off the page and into your living room (Or wherever you’re reading). It’s haunting and beautiful, toying with your ideas of layout and design. He never repeats himself, and always keeps a little surreal. He even toned it down wonderfully for a sequence in suburbia, making a very clear distinction between the world of magic and everything else. The colors are stark and beautiful, and the dark shading makes you worry about what’s behind every buffer. I would also like to give him credit for making Faust look creepy again. By the end of 52, he felt like a throwaway to me and never really recovered until the reboot made me take notice. I love this man’s design work, and cannot imagine anyone else doing as good a job for this title.
DC’s Dark line has been one of the surprise standouts of the New 52. Frankenstein, Swamp Thing, Animal Man, Demon Knights, and Justice League Dark have all been brilliant for a full year and show no signs of stopping. As Marvel goes more cosmic, DC’s focus seems to bring things back to an older age of magic and horror, areas not always given due time in comics. Traditionally, these characters don’t get ongoings, but this has worked incredibly well for DC thus far.
Story by: Jeff Lemire
Art by: Mikel Janin
Colors by: Ulises Arreola
Letters by: Rob Leigh
Cover by: Ryan Sook
Publisher: DC Comics