Following the defeat of June Moon/The Enchantress, the “members” of unofficial team Justice League Dark are all grappling with horrifying nightmares, even Deadman who doesn’t really sleep. This is all possibly the fault of John Constantine, whose dream involves the destruction of London. In Zatanna’s nightmare, she is assaulted by horrific magical creatures. Shade attempts to resurrect his dead girlfriend, to terrifying results. Deadman finds the corpse of his ex-girlfriend Dove.
The disturbed heroes converge at the home of psychic Madame Xanadu, who wants to wait until their final member, the villainous Mindwarp arrives, but Shade states that Mindwarp is refusing all aid. Their meeting is crashed (literally) by Shade’s demon. They are almost unable to stop its assault, until Deadman possesses Shade and forces the creature to self-destruct.
Xanadu informs the heroes that they have no choice but to remain together as a team. If they don’t, all the horrific nightmares they have been having will come true and worse! “This might be hard to accept,” she states, “but our greatest enemy… the most dangerous adversary we will face… is ourselves.” She wants to locate Mindwarp, but is seized by a psychic vision of the rise of vampires, as seen in ‘I, Vampire.’ The scene is reflected in ‘I, Vampire’ #6, also out this week, depicting the fall of vampire hero Andrew Bennett and the rise of Cain, the apparent sire of all vampires, leading into next month’s crossover between the two books.
The art on this book is always lovely. Mikel Janin does a great job, with his nightmare sequences looking appropriately dream-like. The first page of Constantine encircled in flames is fantastic! Of all the supernatural books, this one has the cleanest art style, but it works. The one thing I could critique is Zatanna’s costumes. I think Janin was hampered by DC’s edict that she not wear her old magician’s costume. In the first storyline, she wore a leather corset and pants, with a fishnet arm band, a style that many fans disliked. In this issue, she inches her closer to her classic look, in a low-cut white top that at least recalls the magician look, with black leather jacket, skirt and boots and of course her trademark fishnets.
I know this title is being tweaked once the ‘I, Vampire’ crossover ends. That’s not a good sign. It’s a good book, that’s just starting to jell. Maybe the crossover will drum up some additional interest.
This issue sets up the status quo of the title, revealing the reason they must act as a team, despite the fact that they dislike one another. It seems the dysfunctional super teams are the really entertaining ones. It sets the book’s direction and the crossover, so it’s the perfect jumping on point!
Written by Peter Milligan
Art and Cover by Mikel Janin