Four Colour Thoughts – Justice League Dark #1

The Creators – James Tynion IV – Writer, Alvaro Martinez Bueno – Artist, Raul Fernandez – Inker, Brad Anderson – Colours, Rob Leigh – Letters

The Players – Zatanna, Wonder Woman, Constantine, Detective Chimp, Jason Blood (The Demon), Swamp Thing, Man-Bat, Zatara, Zauriel, Morgaine, Klarion the Witch-boy

The Story – Magic has become dangerous after recent events and Wonder Woman is assembling a team to fix it.

The Take – From Metal to Justice League: No Justice, things have been changing in the DC Universe and now with magic becoming highly unreliable, Wonder Woman has decided to take a crack at fixing it and to do so, she will need a team of the world’s best magic users. The only problem that lies in her way is that none of them are willing to join her. Justice League Dark is the second Justice League title to debut out of those aforementioned series and helming it is James Tynion IV along with a crack creative team including Alvaro Martinez Bueno on pencils. It all begins with a bang and it finds Zatanna performing a show in her father’s theatre when things go haywire – a simple trick turned nightmare. Wonder Woman shows up to save the day and that is when things get a little weird and not because of the magic. Tynion IV paints Zatanna almost disinterested in helping out a former comrade and it baffles Diana to no end. It seems that no matter who Diana approaches, they all turn her down for reasons that are personal to them and it is only with a bit of revelation from Swamp Thing and her dead father Zatara, that Zatanna eventually comes around. The book definitely lives up to its name as the creators take the audience on a trip through DC’s darker underside, giving readers scenes of grotesque horror, a bit of wonder and a glimpse of those that populate and make up the realm of magic. From Zauriel to Klarion, from the Oblivion Bar to Wintersgate Manor, there are cameos aplenty and is a great bit of eye candy for the readers. What should make this book a lot of fun going forward and what makes this first issue so enjoyable is its cast which includes Kirk Langstrom and Detective Chimp among them. The only thing that kind of sticks in one’s craw is the appearance of John Constantine – DC’s magical Wolverine who has to be in every book that even slightly features a bit of the abnormal. It is not a bad cameo per se, it was just unneeded and hopefully Tynion IV keeps him away from the title for a good long while until it finds its legs and retains its audience. The artwork by Martinez Bueno and company which accompanies this story of magic wild and dangerous is stunning to say the least and is reminiscent of Mikel Janin’s time on the previous volume. It is slick, polished, bright and bold and stands out as one of the best looking books to hit the stands in some time. Altogether, Tynion IV and the rest of the team deliver a very solid and exciting first issue, one that should please both long-time and new readers with the latest iteration of this book.

Worth It? – Yes.

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