“Justice League Dark” #19 focuses on setting up the next big story arc, while creative team Jeff Lemire, Ray Fawkes and Mikel Janin tighten the cast down to Deadman, John Constantine, Frankenstein and Madame Xanadu. Those four aren’t the only characters present, however, as Flash makes an appearance both on the cover and late in the book, while Swamp Thing shows up to help the team locate the House of Mystery. The cliffhanger revelation of who stole the House of Mystery ties this title tighter into Justice League mythology, but puts a definitive new spin on the character.
Ray Fawkes and Jeff Lemire fill this issue with spotlight vignettes for each of the team members. Those individual scenes are stocked with character definition, specific dialog and even some humor. These wonderful little snippets go a long way towards giving these characters a chance to reconnect with one another and readers. One scene between Xanadu and Deadman shows the two of them taking a chance to unwind before the next bout of turmoil rises up to challenge them.
While Swamp Thing’s appearance is quickly transformed into plot device, Lemire and Fawkes make it pretty obvious that forwarding the story isn’t the only reason Alec Holland is drawn into “Justice League Dark” #19. The recent events of “Rotworld” in Swamp Thing’s title are used to bolster relationships here, establishing some subplots to be investigated later. In addition to Swamp Thing and Flash, Steve Trevor (why does he even wear kneepads in his office?) also makes an appearance in this story. He reaches out to Deadman and plants the seedling that could very well blossom into “Trinity War.”
As is the case with almost everything Mikel Janin draws, Flash’s costume looks remarkable on the cover of “Justice League Dark” #19. Janin handles it solo on the cover, but inside this comic book, he gets a finishing assist from Vicente Cifuentes and a goose in coloring from Jeromy Cox. Some of the Janin-Cifuentes characters are chunkier or clunkier than they normally are from Janin, but the overall appearance is still solid and all of the characters are recognizable and distinguishable from one another. Cox’s colors are vibrant and lively, giving emotion and temperature to the story, adding distinction from the rest of the Justice League family while remaining true to the collection of characters in this issue.
“Justice League Dark” #19 is yet another solid issue in a very solid series. While the addition of Ivan Reis, Joe Prado and Rod Reis makes a strong case for “Justice League” to ascend to a new level, “Justice League Dark” has remained consistently enjoyable and entertaining with Lemire, Fawkes and Janin guiding it.