Justice League Dark: Peter Milligan, Daniel Sampere, Admira Wijaya, Dave Sharpe, Ryan Sook
Rise of the Vampires Part 3 starts with Constantine and Deadman going into the afterlife to search for Andrew Bennett. Andrew’s not that willing to come back, not at least until Xanadu has the Power Master shift the magic Cain is siphoning away from the evil vampire king. Some crazy stuff starts happening with Shade, and I’m really confused about that. That’s the problem with writing a world in where everyone understands the rules of magic: nobody talks about it! Nobody explains it! So us readers are left with half phrases and cryptic sentences about magic affects the world and how people use it and tap into it. Writers may think it makes it sound mysterious and romantic, but it doesn’t. It actually kind of makes me think the writers don’t know how the magic works themselves, so they’re skating by with all this rhetoric that has no substance. Shade’s vest goes nuts and takes him away, Zatanna “runs out” of magic, and Xanadu is more full of riddles than ever before. She also says that phrase that’s been the “logline” for this book: they’re a as much a danger to themselves as they are to others. What the HELL does that mean?! So far, they haven’t done any harm to themselves. And how would bringing them together solve that? Pretty confusing. I felt like some of the layouts were poorly done, and the action of the book is shoved into tiny panels and a very short amount of pages in the issue…much like several other issues of this series. They spend so much time talking about what’s going on, and about the dangers of the magical world, that there’s never any space to show them fighting back, USING their magic. That’s mostly why I wanted to read this book…to see Constantine and Zatanna kicking ass with arcane magic! But so far, it’s just been one panel of them setting up, or starting to use their magic, and then the next panel is always “Oh no, it’s not working!” and we’re never shown why or what happened. It’s a bit annoying, really.
Justice League Dark #8, the verdict: I was really excited for this series. Constantine, Zatanna, and Deadman all together? That sounded like a BLAST. And it should’ve been. But so far, every issue, the team has been so inadequate to face their foes and their magic has failed at practically every turn. And why? Because some unseen force wills it so. There’s never any visible, direct influence on the characters that causes them to falter. You want to know who the real star of this issue is? Admira Wijaya. The colors on this issue are STUNNING and beautiful. Very well done. Every single page has something really interesting to look at in terms of the color choices. Excellent.
(Photo Source: Player Affinity)