Justice League Dark 1: In the Dark

justice league dark volume 1 in the dark cover trade paperback tpb new 52
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Art: 7/10

Fun group of characters

The story doesn't push the interesting characters enough, bit confusing

Comic Info

Comic Name: Justice League Dark (Volume 1)

Publisher: DC Comics

Writer: Peter Milligan

Artist: Mikel Janin

# of Issues: 6

Release Date:  2012

justice league dark #4 cover new 52 deadman

Justice League Dark (1) #4

Reprints Justice League Dark (1) #1-6 (November 2011-April 2012).  The Enchantress has gone mad…and Madame Xanadu might be responsible.  Now she must gather a team of heroes made up of the strangest of the strange…Deadman, Zatanna, John Constantine, Shade the Changing Man, and Mindwarp.  The madness of the Enchantress spreads across the planet as it searches for its original host June Moone.  Can this underground team of super-heroes do what the regular Justice League can’t and stop the killing, or will their own faults destroy them?

Written by Peter Milligan, Justice League Dark Volume 1:  In the Dark kicked off with DC’s New 52 after Flashpoint.  The collection features art by Mikel Janin.

Part of what I liked about Flashpoint was that DC decided to give opportunities to new characters and new concepts.  Justice League Dark was one of the comics I was looking forward to, but I also knew it had an uphill battle.

Justice League Dark was a risky book for DC.  It had some big players like John Constantine who carried his own Vertigo title for decades, but couldn’t sell a movie to save his life.  Zatanna had many unsuccessful series.  Deadman was the star character of the Brightest Day, but it didn’t really light up the charts.  Shade was realitively unknown to recent readers, and Mindwarp is a character spun out of a minor character from Milligan’s Flashpoint series Secret Seven.  It was a bit of a recipe for disaster or brilliance.

justice league dark #6 cover dc comics new 52

Justice League Dark (1) #6

Milligan was a good choice for this team.  He had written many of the characters before and has a wacky style that could really work with this series.  X-Force was a great example of how far Milligan can push it…I would have loved for him to go as far as he did on X-Force, but I don’t think DC would have approved that for this book.  The writing in this first collection isn’t bad, but it also doesn’t feel cohesive enough.  The Enchantress storyline has some nice moments, but it is a bit hard to follow at times.  The standalone issue six doesn’t feel like it has much meat to it, but it is a lead in to the big “Rise of the Vampires” storyline.

Justice League Dark was a threatened title from the get-go.  It was just too off the beaten path to really make it on its own and simply tagging it a Justice League book did not bring enough readers without more of the classic Justice League characters stopping in (which I actually endorsed in this situation).  The next volume features one of the New 52’s earliest crossovers in “Rise of the Vampires” (the crossover with I, Vampire) which brings a supernatural story to a mainstream comic book.  It was the post-modern aspect of Justice League Dark that I liked.  Justice League Dark 1:  In the Dark is followed by Justice League Dark 2:  The Books of Magic.

Related Links:

Justice League Dark 2:  The Books of Magic

Justice League Dark (2017)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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