Thursday, July 14, 2016

Reader's Diary #1341- Peter Milligan (writer) and Mikel Janin (artist): Justice League Dark Vol. 1 In the Dark

Recently I embarrassed myself for advising the folks at DC Comics (not that they read this blog anyway!) to embrace their darker characters, not realizing, of course, that they have done just that with the Justice League Dark series. So, it was time for a crash course that begins here with Peter Milligan's Justice League Dark Volume 1: In the Dark.

I'm generally more of a Marvel guy than DC, but I have to say, this could give them a run for their money. Easily my favourite corner of the DC universe. Characters here are generally along the occult spectrum: witches, magicians, ghosts, and that sort of thing. Most were unfamiliar to me, Madame Xanadu, Shade, Zatanna. I'd recently read a John Constantine title, Enchantress has made an appearance or two in other DC comics I've read, and then there was Deadman. I was aware of Deadman but had little knowledge of him beyond that he looked cool and sounded intriguing. So far, he's turned out to be disappointing-- a bit chauvinistic and bro-ish, which I certainly wasn't expecting. I'm also told that Swamp Thing, Martian Manhunter, and Animal Man storylines might intersect with this world, which would be great, but honestly I think the best fit, and notably missing, is Sandman. That definitely needs to happen.

In any case, the cast this time (even with my disappointment in Deadman) were interesting enough and the story was thoroughly bizarre (without being too difficult to follow) and entertaining. Enchantress, the witch, has basically gone insane and the world must suffer the consequences unless the Justice League Dark can intervene. When I say insane, this is not super-villain insane, but flying teeth insane.

Mikel Janin has a field day with it and his monsters are a delight, especially well-contrasted with the realistic backdrops. Everything gets warped from time to time; panels are askew an so on, but he shows just enough restraint to keep it balanced.

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