“Justice League Dark” continues to be the title of the new DCU that I desperately want to like more than I do. It’s a good book, but with so many fantastic characters crowded together, largely unused, too much of the book is falling flat.
In this issue of “Justice League Dark,” Deadman is trying to keep the real June Moone safe from Enchantress, who is destroying everything in her search for Moone. Constantine is trying to find Deadman and has run into Dove, instead (which seems entirely pointless). Constantine next finds Madame Xanadu, who is going a bit mad as she oversees things and falls in and out of horrific prophetic visions. Zatanna tries to stop Enchantress on her own and is immediately overpowered and ends up in Shade The Changing Man’s lap. The good news is that some of these characters are finally coming together, which gives hope about where we’re headed.
For the most part, what Peter Milligan is doing with “Justice League Dark” is good but something is just not quite clicking. While I’m excited about every single character on the board, Milligan hasn’t been able to do enough with anyone. The result is a story that still feels disjointed and a bit lost. I yearn for the team to be fighting together at this point, but they continue to flail on their own. Perhaps that will make their eventual coming together all the more powerful and intriguing, but right now it feels like we’re treading water.
Mikel Janin’s art gets better with every issue. The attention to detail is wonderful, and Janin’s character work is surprisingly strong. Initially the female characters had an unfortunate case of ‘same face’. However, in this issue June Moone, Enchantress, Madame Xanadu, Dove, and Zatanna all have real personality and soul pouring out of them. Zatanna in particular is a gorgeous leather clad badass under Janin’s pen and it suits her surprisingly well. Deadman, Shade and Constantine are working nicely under Janin’s pen as well, but their portrayals have felt pretty solid since the beginning. Janin manages to tell his story both clearly and beautifully even though it easily could have been confusing with so many characters and lots of insane magic shenanigans going on.
This series still isn’t doing everything it should be, in large part because there are just so many characters on the board, but the story is interesting, the characters compelling, and the art improving by leaps and bounds with every issue.