Artist: Mikel Janin
After all the nice things said about this series, as well as the release of the new Constantine series I finally decided to try this series, and I'm very glad that I did, as the Books of Magic storyline was phenomenal, and this series as a whole as been one of the most unique series I've read from the New 52, and I look forward to seeing what comes next.
John Constantine, and the rest of the Justice League Dark continue to work with A.R.G.U.S. expert Johnny Peril on finding a way to find Zatanna and Tim Hunter, whilst Zatanna and Tim wake up in a mysterious place called the Wild Area.
The start of a new story, and Jeff Lemire who's been doing a phenomenal job on this series now has a co-writer in the form of Ray Fawkes (who also co-writer the new Constantine series with Lemire). Although I've enjoyed Fawkes' work on Constantine and Batgirl, I've not read enough of his work to know what type of writer he is, let alone how good he is, so I wasn't sure what to expect on this. He has however made a brilliant contribution, and although I think Lemire's still doing most of the writing (with Fawkes doing most of the writing on Constantine) it's still brilliant, and from this issue, and the first issue of Constantine they appear to be a good team. Anyway, after a nice fun filler issue the series is back on track with the next big story, which follows straight from the previous. Lemire and Fawkes have managed to produce something that is once again dark, mysterious and overall interesting, and although I'm not quite as gripped with this story as I was with the Books of Magic story, I am still very excited to see how this story's developed. Lemire and Fawkes also did a brilliant job of adding new elements to this series, and it overall makes it more unique, and interesting.
Mikel Janin returns to do the artwork on this series again, and I'm very happy he has. Although Graham Nolan and Victor Drujiniu did a decent job on the artwork last issue, it's nowhere near as good as Janin's and I'm glad he's back. Everything about Janin's art is brilliant, but the thing I've loved the most about it is that the lines are so neat, and crisp, making for a very smooth image. Don't get me wrong there are artists that have a rough style that produce amazing art, but I still think that it's this unique, neat style that suits this series more. The detail in Janin's art has also been phenomenal, as no matter what he draws, whether scenery, characters, whether in the distance, or in the foreground, as everything is highly detailed, looking immaculate. Janin's layouts are also fabulous, and they continue to help with the mysterious nature of the series. I was however not as fond of the colouring this time, as although I liked it, and think that Jeromy Cox did a fantastic job, I much preferred the edgier colours from Ulises Arreola, which I felt suited this series much more, but Cox's was still brilliant.
This issue doesn't waste any time, and it finally shows us what has happened to Zatanna and Tim, and they appear to have been transported to a mysterious land called the Wild Area. There was a Wild Area that featured in DC comics a while ago, and although I don't know much about it I wonder if it has any connection to this, but either way it was one of the more mysterious settings in this series to date. We've seen magic feature a lot through this series, but although it appeared that the Books of Magic were more science than magic, this land appears to be a mixture of the two. Following that I found it very interesting that this area appears to change people, as it gave Zatanna much more power than she usually has, making for more curiosity, and mystery.
The inhabitants of this land are also very mysterious, and magic, as there's characters you only see in fantasy and fairy tales, and also characters that are very technological looking, which continues to show that this land clearly has a mixture of both science and magic. I also found it interesting how Zatanna and Tim reacted to these creatures/people, as they were very shocked by what they were, but due to all the weird stuff they've seen Zatanna quickly got used to it. There was one character from this place that particularly interested me, and that was a very technological looking character named Vikar, who appeared to be an officer that enforced law against people using magic. I won't go into much more detail, as to avoid spoilers, but I found this Vikar a very interesting character, and look forward to seeing more of him in this story.
Whilst this is all happening the JLD and Peril continue to work on a way of to find Zatanna and Tim, and they believe using the DNA from Tim's father, as well as Doctor Mist possessed by Deadman would help with this, and make the preparations. Due to most of this happening in the later half of the issue I'll avoid going into detail, as to once again avoid spoilers, but I will say about how I felt with the sequence. I really enjoyed it, and although the sequence with Zatanna and Tim in it was overall much more mysterious, and exciting, I still found this part of the issue to be more interesting, and that although we found out where Zatanna and Tim where, as well as what's there, I still thought that this sequence helped more with the overall development.
A new story, and a new co-writer, Lemire, now with Fawkes as his co-writer have put together a brilliant opening chapter to the next part of this mysterious series that's called Justice League Dark, and it continues to be interesting, as well as exciting, and much more mysterious. I would highly recommend this issue as it was a very entertaining read, and I'd also recommend the series as a whole, as it's been very unique, and very dynamic.