Justice League Dark EclipsoEclipso has popped up in numerous series already.  He may be the most prolific villain in the New 52, despite his every encounter with sundry do-gooders resulting in him seemingly being vanquished forever.  Clearly someone at DC has a soft spot for the shadowy villain.  Oh wait, who wrote this one-shot?  Publisher Dan DiDio?  Oh well, I guess that explains that.

After popping up in ‘Sword of Sorcery,’ ‘Demon Knights,’ ‘Team 7’ and ‘Catwoman,’ it appears that the villain has found a new host for the modern age, taking possession of Gordon Jacobs, a disgraced scientist who attempted to build an entire metropolis called Solar City which would have been fully sun-powered, until the burg went up in flames.  Somehow, Jacobs comes to posses the legendary black diamond and allows the power of Eclipso to overcome him.  He takes out revenge on the one person he feels has wronged him, but is horrified by his actions.  But Eclipso has sunk in his claws and the poor slob is a lost cause at this point.

You definitely get hints at Eclipso’s sadism.  He makes Jacobs essentially mutilate himself with the black diamond when a simple prick on the finger would have sufficed in order to allow the power to flow into him.  The entire issue is dark and moody, which is fitting.  Jacobs is definitely a poor, misguided slob that you can feel sorry for, but I’m not sure he has enough character to really sympathize with.

The art by Philip Tan is overall simply gorgeous!  The opening few pages are stunning and the art in other places is equally amazing, but it’s not consistent.  I don’t know if time constraints factored in, but a few pages, while not bad by any means, lacked the lushness of his better work here.  But a few rougher pages isn’t going to sour me on the entire issue.  Overall, it’s beautiful.

This issue doesn’t really tie into ‘Forever Evil’ at all, but it’s also not yet another origin story.  It’s just kind of its own free standing story which presumably will lead into later comics.  I’ve kind of gotten the impression that Eclipso will eventually play a larger part in the DC Universe and this will certainly factor in as an essential issue.  All in all, it’s definitely above average.

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JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #23.2/ECLIPSO #1
Written by Dan DiDio
Pencils by Philip Tan
Cover by Mikel Janin