Once I had discovered that there was a comic series called "Justice League Dark" - I new that one day I'd read it and will probably like it. Well - call me MR.Xanadu 'cause I was damn right! I loved it!
It's a story that starts with members of the normal Justice League (Superman/Wonder Woman/Cyborg + Batman) having their butts kicked by magic forces, created by the out-of-control witch called Enchantress. And this story is told by Madame Xanadu - a person with a gift of seeing the future, and sadly not the brightest one. But as she says herself - future is not definite, and it can be appealed to by bringing together the right components. And so along the story with the Enchantress we are introduced to the members of a real rag-tag to-be-team consisting of Zatanna, Shade and his Meta Vest (M-vest!), John Constantine, Deadman and, for some reason not mentioned in any other introductory sources - Mindwarp. And I say - that's one Hell of a "team"!
Why I really liked this volume was the way it was presented to the reader - it could have been so-so team gather up story like it was NEW 52's Justice League volume 1 - where there was no real story development, just a bunch of heroes gathering up, and the cause was there just for the sake of it. Not here - this volume felt whole - from the story regarding Enchantress and her split personality June Moone and how it all came to the end, to the introductions to the characters - all of them had their something, something dark or faulty in them that makes no heroes of them whatsoever, and to the reason why they all became the "team" and what future darkness upholds for them.
Prior to reading this I just new about Zatanna, as I had seen her in few Batman related comics, and John Constantine from that not so bad Hollywood movie. Other members of the to-be motley crew were a mystery to me - and oddly enough - after reading through the volume one, I still have questions regarding only Zatanna, 'cause she isn't exactly explained to the reader, and it seems that you are supposed to know of her and don't ask question 'cause she is Zatanna (you know, like - he is Batman - get on with it!). Otherwise - after this I wish to see more of these characters in action 'cause everyone of them can show something different from the usual super-heroes and how they deal with everything.
The other great thing was the fact that it really was dark - all the occult and mystical stuff, scenes that would fit great in some Stephen King's stories, and other important thing - depictions of gore and death - it's not that teenage excitement over seeing a head blasted of the shoulders, no - it's just it belongs here. Not over the top, but the right amount of gore for all to be believable that a witch has gone crazy and her spells do kill and make people go insane. The Mood was DARK, and and not only due to the witch's doings, but also to the emotions shown by main characters. I think it really lives up to the name DARK (of course it is not REAL DARK, but Hollywood dark, as it has its fare share of funny moments - this being after all - an entertainment, not philosophical reading ).
And to enlarge the joy of reading this comic even more - the art was great! Mikel Janin and Ulises Arreola definitely know what they are doing and what is required for this story and characters! And those spreads or single page panels were superb! Would love to have them as wall posters! Would love to see more of their work!
One again I had written a lot, but feeling that I didn't tell enough about how good it was! Trying to sum it all up in one sentence - a great occult stand alone story about the gathering of dark heroes that turns out to be also a good build up for future installments! (and I am definitely getting the next volume!)
And to give you a mood of the "team" - words by John Constantine :
"This so-called team...we don't actually have to like each other, do we?"show more
by Maris Redins