Ray Fawkes, Beni Lobel
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
Ray Fawkes has slowly-but-surely been proving to the world that he is well on his way to becoming a heavy-hitter both in the comic book industry and in DC Comics’ New 52 universe. John Constantine is one of the best characters in all of DC Comics history, but he is also one of the most difficult to actually write well. And let me just say that Fawkes has not only mastered his craft of good old comic book storytelling, but he’s also figured out a way to make Constantine one of the best books on the stands. And despite the less-than-stellar sales, it continues to be a great read each and every month. Beni Lobel’s artwork is excellent in this issue. And the cover by Howard Porter and Brad Anderson is nothing short of amazing. Now if only DC was smart enough to put a giant Forever Evil banner on this Forever Evil: Blight crossover that is not only good, but important to the story.
Taking place right where last week’s crossover left off, we see John and Necro continuing their abusive friendship-turned-hatred shenanigans while Felix Faust holds the rest of the Justice League Dark as hostages and pawns for his evil magic machine. Nick’s dialogue about the true meaning of Hell is some of the best villain monologuing I’ve seen in years. And the interspersed John/Nick/Zee flashbacks walk the fine line between disturbing and poignant. So when the “big reveal” that Nick actually loved John and Zatanna hits, it’s not so much a shock as it is a well-done plot point. Watching him take over the bodies of the Sea King, Deadman, and then even Swamp Thing was a nice romp and a fun way to highligh Lobel’s unique artistic style. But the true power of this issue is the cliffhanger ending (as is necessary for all comics, especially within epic events). It’ll be fun to see what happens next in the pages of Pandora, and then when things finally wrap up in the upcoming finale.
It sure has been a great ride. And writers J. M. DeMatteis and Fawkes are surely paving the way for something excellent with the ending. The artwork has been pretty great throughout the entire event-within-an-event thus far, and though it has seemed to be dragging a little here and there, just when I start to get bored or lose interest, we get a perfect issue like this one to bring me back in. Well done, DC. Maybe there is still a place for the “dark” titles in the New 52. Hopefully they don’t all die in the conclusion of this story.
My Rating: 5/5