As I read “Justice League Dark” #12, it occurred to me that any team book with “Justice League” in the title that breaks the team down into pairings with separate missions is quite alright with me. Throw in snappy dialog like, “It’s not that I don’t trust you, but I don’t trust you,” which, while cliche, merits a chuckle in this context making for a fun comic.
Jeff Lemire’s writing may not be as mind-blowing as Mikel Janin’s art, but the creative duo is perfectly suited to the bizarre cast of characters that grace these pages. Not only do they have a seriously wonderful take on John Constantine, Deadman, Black Orchid, Zatanna and Madame Xanadu, but their translation of Felix Faust is haunting and bigscreen ready. Lemire and Janin are completely unintimidated by the magical legends of the DC Universe as they show so very nicely in “Justice League Dark” #12. It’s as though someone literally had a toybox filled with almost eighty years worth of supernaturally themed DC character toys (including playsets) and just dumped them at Lemire and Janin’s feet. The fact that this book can contain such fan favorites as Constantine and Deadman right next to Doctor Mist and Blackbriar Thorn is a spectacle that simply has to be seen to be believed.
This chapter also provides Madame Xanadu a conversation with Tim Hunter and Felix Faust dividing up the Books of Magic with Dr. Mist and a mysterious benefactor. The Book of Death is promised to Dr. Mist, Faust wants the Book of Chaos, while their sponsor claims the other two as his own in addition to his personal grievance against Zatanna and Constantine.
Currently, this is my favorite of the Justice League family of books and “Justice League Dark” #12 is a stunning example of why. From Dr. Mist’s deflection of Zatanna’s spell to the promise of struggles and mysteries to come, this comic is innovative and fun, breathing new life into old concepts that needed a healthy dusting off. While this issue has a bit of a cliffhanger (or three) with a zero issue on tap, there is no shortage of mysteries and adventure to reward readers brave enough to try this series. If your Justice League itch isn’t getting scratched or you simply haven’t seen any of your favorite supernatural tinged characters in too long, “Justice League Dark” is certain to have just the potion to cure your ills.