Justice League Dark: Jeff Lemire, Mikel Janin, Ulises Arreola, Rob Leigh, Ryan Sook
Fantastic. The mayhem continues as Faust and Dr. Mist reveal their team-up and betrayal of the JLD, and steal the map to the Books of Magic. The rest of the JLD arrives to discover the double-cross before the evil alliance escapes. Deadman returns from the land of the afterlife, and Trevor rounds on Constantine for being foolish.
I love how this book is still maintaining that haphazard quality with its team. These people don’t work well together at all…and the dysfunctional nature of it should always be causing trouble. Constantine taking on Faust alone, Dr. Mist’s betrayal, Zatanna’s ineffective magic, Deadman’s banishment…they had their asses handed to them by the empowered Faust! It’ll be fun to see these guys overcome this defeat and get back in the game.
We learn a bit about Dr. Mist in this issue, what he’s fighting for. I like that we start out that way, so any Mist fans are put at ease to discover that Mist’s betrayal was because of the promise to master death a la Anakin Skywalker. Dr. Mist lost his wife, who meant everything to him, and so he seeks the Book of Death, one of the four Books of Magic, so that he may resurrect her. Yeah, I can already see that going horribly wrong.
We also see Xanadu talking to Timothy Hunter about how Tim was able to expel all of the magic from his body and create with it a physical form that could then exist in the world. He wants nothing to do with magic anymore, and therefore cannot become the powerful mage Xanadu needs. This is…well, it’s depressing. I was really hoping to see Hunter back in action. Kid’s gone soft. Xanadu, now, has no idea what to do. She has no clue who the most powerful mage in the world is to be. It’s not the first time I’ve felt she’s pretty useless. But magic is complicated, so I should give her a break.
Speaking of magic, we get to see a lot of really cool stuff in this ish. There’s a panel where Zatanna’s backwards magic is reflected back at her, and the actual words she spoke appear in the air, forwards, to her. That was pretty neat, never seen that before. Constantine’s cigarette divining rod was awesome. I love that there’s these little things the characters do…it’s not explained, it’s not completely bogus-sounding either (okay, it’s slightly bogus-sounding, but that’s why it works)! It’s nice to see magic done, in my opinion, properly.
Another really cool panel is when we see Zatara! Yes, Zatara!! He sits at a table with Zatanna, Constantine, a guy whom I believe is the villain in this arc, Baron Winters (from Night Force), and two others I don’t recognize. I love things like this because it helps to build the world as a whole. It also shows us how large the magical community really is.
Speaking of this arc’s villain…. There’s this mystery guy that Faust and Dr. Mist are working for, who is getting two of the Books of Magic when they’re found. Throughout the issue, his face is kept from us, even as he attacks Dr. Occult. Don’t know who he is, but I’m excited to find out. I hope it’s someone I know from preboot, otherwise this whole “keeping him hidden” thing is gonna feel empty to me.
Justice League Dark #12, the verdict: Another fantastic issue that continues this really awesome story. It’s going to hurt, in the heart, if Lemire leaves the title after this arc. Because DANG he’s doing an outstanding job, and delivering what I had always hoped from the JLD title since it was announced. He’s capturing the very essence of what I wanted out of a magic book. We’re given so much in this issue that I can’t help but think that there’s a LOT still to come, especially with the teasing of all these other characters. Mikel Janin and Ulises Arreola are still on art duties, and they’re slaying every issue. I love the style, and I love the coloring - especially on Dr. Mist and the general magic spells and abilities we see. I could stare at this book all day.
(Photo Source: Newsarama)