Justice League Dark 2: The Books of Magic

justice league dark volume 2 the books of magic cover trade paperback
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 7/10

Fun characters

I, Vampire storyline is mishandled in collection, drags at points

Comic Info

Comic Name: Justice League Dark (Volume 1)

Publisher: DC Comics

Writer:  Jeff Lemire/Peter Milligan

Artist:  Mikel Janin/Lee Garbett/Daniel Sampere/Cam Smith/Admira Wijaya

# of Issues: 9

Release Date: 2013

justice league dark #10 cover house of mystery john constantine

Justice League Dark (1) #10

Reprints Justice League Dark (1) #0, 7-13, and Annual #1 (May 2012-December 2012).  Justice League Dark must first deal with a potential vampire invasion, but discover that the team’s true origin might be revealed.  With A.R.G.U.S. revealing that the maps to the Books of Magic have been discovered, Justice League Dark is in a race against time to retrieve the Books of Magic before they fall into the hands of an enemy that they never expected.  With the threat growing, the world’s only hope may be a boy named Tim Hunter.

Written by Jeff Lemire and Peter Milligan, Justice League Dark Volume 2:  The Books of Magic is a DC Comics New 52 collection.  Following Justice League Dark Volume 1:  In the Dark, the collection features art by Mikel Janin, Lee Garbett, Daniel Sampere, Cam Smith, and Admira Wijaya.  Issues in the volume were also collected as part of New 52 Zero Omnibus, and I, Vampire Volume 2:  Rise of the Vampires.

Justice League Dark was one of the titles I was excited about when the New 52 rolled out.  I liked the blending of DC “proper” and DC Vertigo, and Justice League Dark was one of the bigger titles to do this.  This volume continues the blending, but I don’t particularly like the story.

The collection is split into two parts.  It has the Justice League Dark issues of the “Rise of the Vampires” that primarily ran in I, Vampire and it has the Books of Magic storyline.  The I, Vampire story doesn’t seemed very well presented, and when this collection was released, I know that DC was probably debating what to do about crossovers in regards to collections.  It feels like a bit of a missed opportunity to highlight I, Vampire which was already struggling.

justice league dark annual #1 cover nick necro

Justice League Dark (1) Annual #1

The second part of the collection is the meat of the volume.  The Books of Magic was an interesting Vertigo series with its own fans and followers.  The return of Tim Hunter is kind of exciting and it is interesting to see how he might blend in to the DC Universe.  I didn’t particularly like how the storyline is set-up however.  The Nick Necro character and the whole Cult of the Cold Flame stuff feels very Hellblazer, and I wish Justice League Dark worked harder to incorporate John Constantine into the DCU and not the DCU into Hellblazer since the tone and scope of Hellblazer comics really don’t mesh with this title.

Justice League Dark is at least a title that tries to do something different.  The New 52 relaunch was hit or miss, but it did attempt to change up some of the basic ideas of the DC Universe and try to tell them in a better way…to some success.  I found a lot more of the New 52 titles interesting off the get-go than the DC titles that were running before Flashpoint…so in that sense it worked (at least for me).  Justice League Dark 2:  The Books of Magic is followed by Justice League Dark 3:  The Death of Magic.

Related Links:

Justice League Dark 1:  In the Dark

I, Vampire 2:  Rise of the Vampires

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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