Justice League Dark #1
Writer: James T. Tynion IV
Artist: Alvaro Martinez Bueno
I have always enjoyed Justice League Dark more than the more common Justice League. The cape superheroes are fine, but I’ve always enjoyed the mystic arts part of the Dark League. So I was more than happy to grab this Issue #1. The groundwork for this issue was laid in Justice League: No Justice that was released earlier this year. In No Justice, while Wonder Woman was teamed up with Zatanna, she tapped into her deep-seeded magic ability. At the end of No Justice, Earth was left with four trees that were beacons for planet-devouring Omega Titans. No Justice was a breezy four issue arc and jam-packed hero and villain fest that sets up the New Justice, so I do highly recommend it.
In Justice League Dark #1 we are setting up the story and meeting the new team. Tynion has done an excellent job choosing the characters for this Dark team. The central conflict that starts this issue is that the magic is not working correctly. That goes for any character that uses magic in the DC Universe. Though Wonder Woman leads the team; Detective Chimp and Man-Bat seem like they might steal the show. Zatanna and Swamp Thing round out our new squad, but by the end of this issue had few lines and page time. Zatanna’s scene with her father does give us the juiciest foretelling of how rough this road will be for the heroes. We also get to meet some previous Dark League members including the Hellblazer himself, John Constantine who will be a regular here.
James T. Tynion IV is a cemented name in comics even though he only started in 2012. He decides to open the book with a rather strong scene featuring Zatanna and a magic show gone wrong. Some of the dialogue in this issue doesn’t work, but most of it still does. Man-Bat seems like a fun character to write for, and Tynion should be able to crank up the silliness with this oddball figure. This run of Justice League Dark will only be as strong as the story, and I think Tynion has the chops to carry us on an enjoyable journey.
We do need to talk about Alvaro Martinez Bueno. This is not the first time Alvaro and Tynion have teamed up for DC and Tynion has expressed his excitement of having Alvaro on the team. I’m also excited because Alvaro can draw heroes and hideousness alike. His work in this book alone is good. He has a handle on all the character models, and he can sketch some vicious looking creatures. We know that Justice League Dark will only get darker and hopefully expose the horror of the DC underbelly and this book has the artist who can pull it off.
We are only one issue in, so we can’t get beside ourselves over this comic book, yet. I suspect by the time this arc is over we will have some substance and a solid foundation for this series. I recommend this to readers unless you strictly like your superheroes in capes and cowls. This series is about the magic and while this issue wasn’t “magic,” it was nice to see the beginning of a new Dark team.
Justice League Dark #1
An intriguing premier issue with an eccentric cast of characters to follow. Also, the art is top-notch and worth your time.