Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Justice League Dark #1

Series: Justice League Dark
Words: Peter Milligan
Images: Mikel Janin
Issue Number: 1
Release Date: In reality September but our cover reads November 2011
Format: Comic

Now this was one my additions to our pull box. I was curious. I like Zatanna. I wanted to read more with her in. That was pretty much my total motivation. I have not read much else by Milligan (though I have been meaning to read Tank Girl since the mid 90s) and Janin was not ringing any bells.

From page one it is pretty melodramatic. The comic opens with “My name is Madame Xanadu I have looked into the future. The future looked right back at me and told me to mind my own business. But I saw enough, enough to know that we are entering time of terrible danger....” And really that does set something of a tone through out the rest of the comic. It is a big giant dramatic magical feature.

We are introduced to each team member via their representation in her deck again on the very first page.

The first team member we actually meet is Shade. I'm not very familiar with Shade but so far my impression of him is he's vaguely creeptastic. Though my research into the back ground of the character shows that he's been used (sometimes even by this author) to explore some really interesting topics. Essentially this incarnation of Shade uses his Madness Vest (a magical vest that will warp reality to his will) to create a woman who will actually love him. Creepy. Of course when she threatens to leave him his magical vests sucks her back out of existence. Extra creepy.

We only get a small peek at Enchantress. Currently withered and haggard and more mad then well Shade.

We do get to see some of the generic Justice League trying to go up against magic of Enchantress and failing. It was sorta fantastic to see the Justice League not be good at something for a change.

Even better was seeing Zatana stand up to Batman and inform him he was out of his league. I like that she stood up to Batman. I like that she restrained him. I like that she told him off. I'm not overly sure I like that she views herself as expendable and he's not.

Instead of dragging Batman along she brings along John Constitine. Squee! Totally missed that addition and I'm very excited to read more with him.

The final team member to show up is Deadman though he barely gets a nod. Just a page and no witty banter.

As a whole I enjoyed it. The comic started strong. It sorta fell into a bit of a lull and then picked back up. I have high hopes though that Justice League Dark will hit it's stride and continue to get better and better.

I wouldn't suggest this for someone who is heavy into super heroes exclusively. However, if you like urban fantasy. If you enjoyed things from Vertigo or Wildstorm that verged on the supernatural. Then this might just be the comic for you.

Hell my heavy superhero mister who apparently doesn't enjoy fantasy (I had to lie about the dragons to get him to watch Game of Thrones) even says it was “pretty good”.

What I didn't like? The art is mediocre but has potential for improvement. There were a few panels that were good but over all it was very... okay-ish. I dislike Zatanna's costume. Though the entire internet has already exploded about that. If you missed that geeky internet explosion she now wears leather pants, a PVC bodice and fish nets on her arms instead of some variation of a magician costume. I know, I know the magician costume Zatanna was usually hyper sexualized so I should be happy. I'm not. The arm fishnets just look stupid. The corset isn't all that great either. And her shiny pants don't translate well into drawn format.

And so far in terms of physical character design it's leaned heavily towards big giant absurd beef cakes for males and pouty lipped big breasted women in low cuts for women. I actually stopped reading to count Superman's abs because they seemed inhuman. Batman, Wonderwoman and Superman didn't fit with any of the reboot incarnation's that I have read so far. The lack of consistency is starting to well... annoy me. What is the point in rebooting the universe if you are just going to set up the need for another reboot in 10 years?

I will be pulling the next one. Though unless the story improves drastically I wont be buying the trades when they come out.

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