Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Justice League Dark #17 Review

Writers: Jeff Lemire & Ray Fawkes
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.


The Justice League Dark have been captured by Vikar, and are being kept captive. Meanwhile Tim Hunter needs to live up to his destiny, and Johnny Peril has to find a way to stop the crisis that's facing both dimensions.


Again a very good issue, but at the same time still not as good as the Books of Magic issues. Although not as good as Books of Magic, this is still a very unique and interesting story, and in many ways more interesting than Books of Magic, but unfortunately it's also not as exciting. Jeff Lemire and Ray Fawkes do however continue to create a story that is mysterious and suspenseful, and they've done a brilliant job at setting up the conclusion in the next issue. What I've really liked about this series is that it's taken the magic element and produced some phenomenal concepts, and all the different unique ideas that have been shown throughout is what I love about the series. However like this issue, I didn't feel a great deal of excitement, and it mainly felt like a set-up issue, setting up the finale, but the excitement that was in this issue was brilliant. I did however like that Lemire and Fawkes managed to make this a very serious, and dark issue, whilst also adding humor, and keeping it dynamic, and overall this was still a very good issue.

As I've said throughout my reviews, the thing that I love each and every issue, no matter whether the issues as good as the previous is the art, and Mikel Janin continues to amaze me. Although Lemire has been producing fabulous stories since he joined the series, I still don't think it would be the same without Janin's art, and it was a big difference when he didn't do the art, even though Lee Garbett's suited issue 0. Anyway, I also feel that Janin's best work has came out of this story, as the fantasy feel, added to the mysterious magic tone, has really made for some epic artwork, and his art throughout has been phenomenal. The thing I like most about Janin's art is that it's very smooth, and realistic, and also very well detailed. I've also loved how he's drawn the characters over the series, but more so in this story, as we've seen physical changes in some, giving for a different look, which Janin's handled brilliantly. The colours from Jeromy Cox are also amazing, and although I didn't love them to start with I feel that they really suit this story as a whole, as it really suits the new fantasy, and techno elements.

The JLD were captured by Vikar, and are now prisoners of the science community. Although this sequence was mostly dull, it did have it's upsides as we get some brilliant dialogue from John Constantine, Madame Xanadu, and Deadman, but it's the dialogue from Constantine and Xanadu that interested me the most. As I said in my previous review they've all changed with Constantine admitting his feelings, and Xanadu getting real old, and appearing to be near deaths door, so you can understand why the things they say are interesting, as Xanadu wants to get a vision she had off her chest whilst she still can, and due to his true feelings Constantine wants to comfort her, telling her that they'll be alright. Black Orchid doesn't really do much, but she doesn't need to, and Deadman adds the odd humorous line every now and then as usual. Frankenstein however was kept in a different place, were scientists were trying to examine him, and the reaction Frankenstein showed was brilliant. I'm happy that Frankenstein is still with the JLD as since seeing him in this series I've started to notice that he's a much deeper character than he appears, and also a very interesting one.

Whilst this is happening Tim has to accept his fate as the King of the magical creatures, and along with Zatanna they decide to go and rescue their friends the JLD. I really felt a lot of emotion in these sequences, as it starts with Zatanna trying to warn Tim, saying that this may be a trap, but once they discover that their friends are in danger Tim decides to trust them, and Zatanna just wants to find Constantine. This also continued to show that there's still feelings between Zatanna and Constantine, and I see it as only a matter of time before they do anything about it. The scientists, and more so Vikar's response to all this was also very interesting, and I look forward to seeing the fight between magic and science in the next issue.

Last issue also ended with a major imbalance in both dimensions, and this issue shows Johnny Peril, and A.R.G.U.S. continuing to find a way to fix everything, and save the JLD. Like last issue this part of the story didn't take up much time, but at the same time it didn't need to, and if it was longer it would have spoiled the development of the story as a whole. At the same time if it was shorter it would have done the exact same thing, so it was essential. Like last issue I won't go into detail about this sequence as to avoid spoilers, but it really set the final element of the story up nicely, and with everything else that happened in this issue I'm expecting a phenomenal conclusion.

Final Verdict

This was a very good issue, but like the last issue it wasn't as good as the Book of Magic story, and it was a bit slow at times. Besides that it was still a very unique and interesting issue, and Lemire and Fawkes have done a brilliant job. I'd still highly recommend both this issue as well as the series, and hope that next issues conclusion is as good as expect.

Rating: 4/5