Monday, March 3, 2014
Justice League Dark #24
J.M. DeMatteis Writer
Mikel Janin Artist
Jeromy Cox Colors
Rob Leigh Letters
Kate Stewart Assistant Editor
Brian Cunningham Senior Editor
The cover is by Mikel Janin, which is great because not only did he draw the inside pages, but he also is one of my favorite artists currently. And to make this a truly great cover, it depicts an actual event in the issue that also symbolizes the general tone and feel of the comic. John Constantine is attacked by nightmare versions of the Justice League Dark, and it all relates back to the Crime Syndicate in the end.
By the way, I know last time I said I'd do Justice League of America #8, and that it's been a while since I've updated this blog. Basically, I've been trying to let this Forever Evil story play out a little more to figure out a more correct reading order. In my research, I came across a nice website called readingorders.com, and I will mostly be following their suggested order.
So anyway, this story opens with a beat-up John Constantine waking up in the House of Mystery, surrounded by a bunch of tiny demon versions of himself.
After getting scratched and bitten quite a bit, Constantine manages to get rid of the demons, and tries to figure out how he got back to the House of Mystery. He remembers Pandora's box, the Crime Syndicate arriving, and the Justice League being attacked.
Constantine tried to teleport the team to safety, but he was too weak. He then realizes that the House of Mystery itself saved him. The House then shows Constantine the growing threat of Blight, which is fed by every negative emotion and small sin anyone in the world has.
Nightmare Nurse then shows up and helps Constantine exorcise the residual negative effects from holding Pandora's box. She also offers to help him find his teammates, and since she knows Constantine's not on friendly terms with Swamp Thing, she decided to grow her own instead.
The art. I'm kind of surprised at how much I'm enjoying Janin's art. It isn't particularly innovative or unique. But it is very clean and consistent, which makes it a breath of fresh air for me. If you're not going to be as eye-popping as someone like Francis Manapul, then at least make sure your execution is at a high level, and Janin certainly does that. So even if you don't care about Justice League Dark, you should still give the series a try just to see a well-drawn comic book.
Lingering affects from Pandora's box. One of my many complaints with Trinity War was the great ease with which Constantine grabbed the box. Everybody else who touched it instantly began attacking everybody and everything in sight. But then Constantine picked it up like it was no big deal. And the justification — that he was thoroughly corrupt — was not consistent with previous issues of Justice League Dark. Thankfully this issue came along to explain that the box's effects didn't hit him immediately, but they did start to hurt him later on. It almost feels like J.M. DeMatteis stepped up to cover a Geoff Johns lapse. But regardless of who's idea it was, I was happy it happened.
Little to no Flash. We only get a partial image of him in one flashback panel. I understand this isn't a regular Flash book, and they needed to start setting up things for the big Blight crossover, but for the purposes of this blog, I need to see more Flash. But overall, this was a nice issue focusing on John Constantine and the effects of the Trinity War. I also don't know anything about Nightmare Nurse, but a handy editor's note gave me some issues I can read to learn more about her. This issue really had all the elements I look for in a good comic book — just not enough Flash.
Final score: 6 out of 10
Next time: Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion #2