Justice League Dark #1 Review

Writer: James Tynion IV
Pencils: Alvaro Martinez Bueno
Inks: Raul Fernandez
Colors: Brad Anderson

Spoilers ahead!

Justice League Dark #1 kicks off an exciting new story with a great group of characters. I’ve seen a lot of JLD properties lately focus a little too heavily on Constantine, but he takes more of a backseat in this new adventure. He shows up for a moment, sure, but the focus is on Wonder Woman attempting to recruit Zatanna to fight against an unruly, dark type of magic that threatens to destroy humanity.

As Wonder Woman tries to put together a magic-based Justice League, all the magic users on Earth meet together to discuss possible solutions. Jason Blood gets a few moments to shine although we don’t get a chance to see Etrigan the Demon this issue. And while we get a peek of Deadman, his role is also confined to a cameo. This all works great as it prevents the issue from feeling too crowded.

By far, my favorite appearance in the issue belongs to Dr. Langstrom a.k.a. Man-Bat, who seems to have more control over his bat form than in other iterations. He takes the role of the ever-so-slightly annoying scientist who assists Wonder Woman with trying to figure out what exactly is going on.

The art in general is superb, but I really loved the designs of the cadavers of people who died from the dark magic. There were definitely some Cronenberg inspirations, and the panels during that scene are positively chilling.

The first issue of Justice League Dark definitely lives up to its name by being darker and more disturbing than a lot of other comics on the shelves now. Wonder Woman serves as a nice surrogate for the audience, and I’m looking forward to seeing a lot more messed up magic in the future. For now, I’ll think I’ll watch the DC animated film Justice League Dark, which is probably better than any live action version of the film we could ever hope to see.

Overall Score: 9/10

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Mike Bedard is a Los Angeles-based writer. He has written for Cracked, Robot Butt, and many other websites. You can keep up with everything Mike does by following him on Twitter @TheMikeBedard