Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Justice League Dark #18 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.


This is it, the battle between magic and science... so who will win? Plus how will the Justice League Dark fair in all this?


I have to admit this story overall hasn't been as good as I'd hoped it would, but it has been better than a lot of other stories out at the moment, and it has ended phenomenally. After the events of last issue I was expecting a lot from this one, and I wasn't disappointed. Jeff Lemire has done a fantastic job throughout his entire run on the series, and although it's not been quite as good since Ray Fawkes became the co-writer, it's nothing to do with his abilities, as the story still had a fabulous start, and end, with the middle taking too much time in developing the story, but it's been worth it as it really helps this issue, as with everything all explained, and set-up we get this epic battle. Lemire and Fawkes do however continue to keep it very interesting, whilst keeping this excitement in full gear, and although the mysterious nature of this series has been put to the side for this issue, there are still some shocks (all be it minor ones), and things to question.

As ever the art from Mikel Janin is outstanding, and this issue is no different, and in a lot of ways even better than most of his art. What I've loved about Janin's art has been how smooth and realistic it looks, and how all the lines are very crisp, with not much roughness to it. The best thing about Janin's art this time however had to be the way he handled the action, as everything was phenomenal on epic proportions, and it was easily some of his best work on the series to date. I also loved how he drew the characters as despite still having the physical changes from entering Epoch, he's also done a marevllous job of showing the scars of battle, and mainly in the likes of the more mortal John Constantine. The detail in Janin's art is also brilliant, and he also does a fabulous job of showing the character's emotions, which also helps make the series more realistic, as well as making the art overall better. Jeromy Cox also continues to do a brilliant job on the colouring of this series, and I've really enjoyed it on this story, and although I wasn't fond of the colouring to start with, I've started to like it more, and more throughout, feeling that it really helps set the tone of this story.

I'll say now that this review may be a bit shorter than my others on this series as with most of the issue focusing on the battle, and the few bits that don't contain spoilers, and although I will mention them, I won't specify details as to avoid spoilers. Anyway what a battle it was in this issue, and it was as good if not better than the final battle in the Books of Magic story, although with all the build up it'd need to be. The main battle has Tim Hunter's army of magical creatures battling the science enforcers. What I liked most about the fight that despite being epic, and exciting, it also had lots of emotion, as you had the likes of Vikar torn between saving the civilians, and fighting the magical creatures, whilst at the same time Tim, and Zatanna question if they're doing the right thing, and overall it made for a much deeper fight than just the excitement.

Now although the fight focused on Tim's magical army and the science enforcers for the better part, the rest of the JLD still had their fair share of trouble, also having to fight members of the science enforcers that followed them. There was two things that I liked most about the JLD's involvement, and that was the determination, and war experience of Frankenstein, and that the story in general was narrated by Constantine. I also liked that we see more humility from Constantine, as due to being changed so that he can't lie he says what he truly feels, which I'm sure will help the series' future, leading for some interesting possibilities. Besides this the JLD didn't really do much, but it was never really their battle, and that also is one of the reasons that this story wasn't as good as Books of Magic on the whole, even though this issue was brilliant.

Last issue also saw a decision maid by Johnny Peril, Steve Trevor, and more so Tim's dad Jack Hunter when Jack decides to go to the alternate dimension and try and save the JLD, Zatanna and his son. Now I won't go into any details about this sequence as it's full of spoilers, but I will say how I felt about it. Although I kind of saw the events that transpired from this happening I was still a little surprised with what actually happened, and how it effected the story as a whole. I also liked how it had a few extra surprises that although I realise now, I hadn't thought of previously, which made the story more interesting, and over all suspenseful.

The events at the end of the issue also have me really looking forward to the next issue, and more so with the guest appearances from the Flash (Barry Allen), and especially Swamp Thing.

Final Verdict

This was a phenomenal conclusion to the Death of Magic storyline, and although the story has a whole hasn't been quite as good as Books of Magic, it has still been brilliant, and couldn't have ended any better. I'd highly recommend this issue, as well as the series, and can't wait for the next issue, and the appearance of Swamp Thing.

Rating: 5/5