Artist: Mikel Janin
With all the nice things getting said about this series since Jeff Lemire took over writing duties at issue 9, combined with the release of the new Constantine series, I decided to get the back issues of this, and boy am I happy I have. It's been phenomenal, and one of the most unique series I've seen in the New 52, and I'm glad I've given it a try.
John Constantine takes the Justice League Dark to his home away from home, The House of Mystery. Meanwhile Madame Xanadu has a nasty vision.
Yet another fantastic issue, and I'm really starting to get won over with this series, and so far this story's been one of the most exciting in the New 52 so far. Lemire continues to amaze me, and I'm starting to notice that he's one of the better writers working at DC at the moment, as although I've not read mass amount of issues from any of his series, what I have read of this, Green Arrow, Animal Man, and Constantine (although co-writer Ray Fawkes does the majority of the writing on that, with Lemire helping with the plot) has been amazing, and it shows that he is a very talented writer. Another thing I've noticed that the dark edgy DC series, like this, Swamp Thing, and Animal Man are much more interesting than the rest of the DC titles, and although I'd still much rather get Batman, this is much more unique. Anyway Lemire continues to develop this series even more, showing that he has big plans for the series, but what I love about his writing is that you can virtually pick up this issue without reading the previous, and although it's better to read issue 9, and that it does continue from there, you can still jump right into the story from here and be able to catch up quickly. Lemire has also given us a very fun issue, and I love that he manages to keep the dark edgy tone, whilst also adding some mild humour, lightning up the story from time to time.
Mikel Janin continues to produce some of the best art I've ever seen, and I'm very glad that he works on this series. Although there are better artists, there aren't many that are as unique as Janin, as although not seeing his art prior to last issue, I've already fallen in love with it. The detail in his art is fantastic, and I love that the lines are so crisp, making the whole thing look brilliant. Doing his own inks would also help this, but his crisp style is really brilliant, and makes the series look great. The colours from Ulises Arreola do however set the tone of the series, and although Janin's art is outstanding without the colours, it's Arrelola's colours that gives the final touch, which that make the story, and series look phenomenal. Janin is also brilliant at drawing scenery, as the House of Mystery look brilliant, and the inside looks even better, with brilliant details, and a lovely style. Janin's also draws people fantastically, as everyone looks brilliant, and there isn't one facial expression drawn that looks awkward.
The House of Mystery was probably the thing I liked the most about this issue. The building itself looked amazing, and I loved how it looked all worn, with a broken front gate, and planks of wood over windows. The interior however was brilliant, and I loved the mystique of the building and it's history. I also liked how Constantine as the owner of the house saw nothing wrong with it, having explored it previous, but I also liked how Zatanna was skeptical about the house. I also liked that the history of the house was told, and that there was another one similar called The House of Secrets. It was also interesting that the house had a caretaker named N'aall, who happens to be a demon. I also found the way Constantine treated him to be interesting.
Last issue the JLD came into possession of The Eight-Dimensional Map when defeating Felix Faust. I didn't mention this in my review for the last issue, as saying that the JLD defeating Faust is a big enough spoiler to avoid, let alone the map. The map is the key to finding the Books of Magic, and Constantine goes onto explain the history of the map which was created by Merlin, and Mordru. I found this entire sequence very interesting, and although it neither progressed the story, nor entertain, it was nice to get some back story, and it was also nice that Merlin was involved (I'm a big fan of the Arthurian Legend). I also liked that despite all the history lesson, and Constantine's apparent confidence that the map was still a mystery, and more mysterious that I'd original anticipated.
Xanadu's vision was also a very interesting event in the issue, and although I won't go into details as to avoid spoilers, I will say what I can. The thing I liked most about the vision was what surprisingly happened in it, and that it caused Xanadu to have a revelation. It was also interesting as cause of it being a vision of the future that the events may happen in the series, or be prevented, and not happen at all, and it's this mystery that will keep me looking out during the Xanadu sequences. Another thing that I liked was that I got to see more of Xanadu as a character, as having not read the series before, or known about the character prior to the New 52, I know nothing about the character, and I enjoyed seeing her characteristics shown.
Although there wasn't a great deal of action in this issue, when there was it was very entertaining. Again I won't go into details as to avoid spoilers, but the JLD landed up getting into a fight, and the best thing about it was that it was slightly comical. Lemire wrote this action/fight sequence brilliantly, and it was very interesting, as well as being surprising, and humorous. I also liked the way the team handled themselves as they'd all just recently had a big disagreement over the map, and to have any form of conflict, let alone the type in this issue would be a hindrance.
The JLD also saved Doctor Mist from Faust last issue, ans this issue we got to see more of him. I actually found Mist was an unnecessary character, but I did like that he added a neutral entity, as although everyone didn't trust Constantine, and Black Orchid wanted to report back to A.R.G.U.S., Mist persuaded against, having a impartial opinion. Althjough I felt his presence unnecessary, I do however think that Mist will prove to have a vital role in the story in the long run.
Yet another brilliant issue, and although not as much action, or excitement, it was still a very interesting, and mysterious issue, that dealt with a lot of the background of the story. I also liked that Lemire managed to keep the story fun, whilst also keeping it dark, dynamic, and overall brilliant. I'd recommend both this issue, and the previous, as they're are a brilliant, and very unique read, and I'm glad I tried them.