Felix Faust is loose and has his sights set on The Black Room, the storage unit where the U.S. government stores every magical artifact it finds. Luckily, Justice League Dark arrives to stop him. The two forces face off, with Faust employing the Demons Three, Abnagazar, Rath and Ghast– looking far scarier here than in the old continuity. Things kick off with a bang as Doctor Mist (LOVING that another Global Guardian is getting some action in the New 52!) absorbs Fausts magical bolts. The two page splash is absolutely stunning as Deadman possesses Steve Trevor and does a dazzling backflip over the entire battle. The heroes put up a good fight, but Faust is too powerful and Constantine needs to get into the Black Room to gather some artifacts with which to battle this foe. But no one trusts Constantine, so that means everyone but Zatanna and Deadman must retreat, leaving those two to hold the fort. It doesn’t go great. Eventually, it comes down to Constantine versus Faust, but something goes awry. There’s one double-cross, then seemingly another.
There is also a side story about Madame Xanadu locating Timothy Hunter, a young, bespetacled British boy who was at one point, destined to be the most powerful magic user in the world. Some may call him a Harry Potter knock-off but he actually debuted in 1990 in the ‘Books of Magic’ series. Since many criticize DC for scrapping so much history in the New 52, it was great seeing Xanadu reference this existing tale here.
This series has a lot of quieter moments, but when the action kicks in, it really explodes! This was one of the best action sequences I’ve read recently. Just check out the amazing double-page spread to the right. The whole book looks that good! I love the glow-y magical bolts! I mean they’re practically glowing off the page! It gets a little chaotic at points, but I think that was intentional, as the characters are having the huge mystical throw-down in the hallways of a government building. It should feel a little claustrophobic, right?
The art is so amazingly detailed! I absolutely can’t believe that this book comes out on time every month. Mikel Janin must be the world’s fastest illustrator.
And the story is solid as well. It’s basically one big fight, but the excellent dialogue by Jeff Lemire (who is amazing in every book I read by him… he’s quickly becoming one of my favorite writers in comics) adds character and humor. Constantine is the book’s real star, so he gets the lion’s share here, but there are nice bits to go around, even to guest star Steve Trevor. The Xanadu parts are intriguing and break up the action a bit to give the reader a chance to catch their breath.
This is a solid and entertaining series that I think if much better than the flagship ‘Justice League’ book. And the art is just incredible!
JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #11
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Mikel Janin
Cover by Ryan Sook