Justice League Dark 25
J. M. DeMatteis, Mikel Janin
Forever Evil Crossover
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
For the first time since its debut, I am enjoying this title. Adding J. M. DeMatteis to the writing slot was a stroke of brilliance for fans of the old DC Universe (remember his legendary Justice League run with Keith Giffen?) as well as fans of the new DC Universe (the guy is rocking it with The Phantom Stranger right now). And, as per usual, Mikel Janin’s artwork is phenomenal. Add to this great creative team the concept of a crossover-within-a-crossover, featuring solely magic and supernatural-based characters, and you have a recipe for automatic success. Now that the story has truly officially begun, Forever Evil: Blight is looking like it’s going to be just as much fun as the main Forever Evil event.
Though not a whole lot of new events unfold in this issue in particular, it was nice to see that the various prologues leading up to the first part were not in vain. That being said, this issue is mostly a recapping of past plots, just in case there is a new audience picking it up out of curiosity. There is absolutely nothing wrong with gaining and acknowledging the potential of a new readership, especially when the high profile writer comes on board a sinking ship. And though this issue is essentially just going through the motions of taking us from point A to point B, it does a great job of incorporating not only all of the key players in their mission to “kill evil,” but also writing them in a convincing and never uncharacteristic way. Swamp Thing, Nightmare Nurse, Pandora, the Question, the Phantom Stranger, John Constantine, and countless others are all in for a bumpy ride. And the fact that it will be (for the most part) written and plotted by DeMatteis is a good sign. Part of me hopes this is the end of the larger magical universe in terms of having multiple titles (wouldn’t it make more sense to just be one awesome one instead of a few good ones and some less than great ones?).
The biggest highlight in terms of well-done scenes in this issue for me was the very end, where John Constantine walks out of a room where he has summoned the Trinity of Sin. It was so dark and disturbing that most people probably overlooked the pain and torment that was probably necessary for this feat to succeed. But I’m sure we’ll see more about that in issues to come. I, for one, cannot wait to see more about John’s battle to convince everyone (himself included) that he’s not a bad guy. He’s not very likable. He’s pretty self-serving most of the time. But when it comes right down to it, I’m under the impression that he secretly wants to do the right thing. Calling him a hero might be a stretch, but he might end up being the one to save them all. Or worse (or better?), he might be the biggest threat they’ll ever face. Either way, count me in.
My Rating: 4/5