Justice League Dark 28
J. M. DeMatteis, Vicente Cifuentes
Forever Evil Crossover
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
DC’s event-within-an-event continues to rage on and (surprisingly) doesn’t miss a beat from the last part, penned not by J. M. DeMatteis, but Ray Fawkes (who is starting to really impress me as a young up-and-comer). And although DeMatteis is not joined by series regular artist Mikel Janin, he does provide an excellent cover for the newest part of Forever Evil: Blight and fill-in artist Vicente Cifuentes does a good job telling a complex and interesting story. But don’t be fooled by the action-packed cover… This issue is very much one of character-driven drama, rather than all-out chaos and war.
Pandora, the Phantom Stranger, and Cassandra Craft are stranded in the middle of nowhere, leaving Constantine and the rest of the Justice League Dark members (past, present, and hopefully future) still trapped (with Zatanna) by the combined forces of Felix Faust and Necro. And Faust shows he truly is evil (and terrifying) by ripping Zauriel’s wings off. Because, you know, that’s what you do to angels when you’re pretty much evil incarnate. But that’s really it in terms of action for the issue. The rest of the comic deals with (and does so quite well, I must admit) John and Zee’s relationship. In the astral plane, he admits to her that he doesn’t care about anyone (duh) but her (aww…) and that he was willing to let the world destroy itself but wanted to find her and tell her he loved her. But she (not being a narcissistic sociopath) doesn’t buy it. She wants more. She brings the rest of the team into the conversation in this limbo-like state, which backfires and attract’s Necro. He then tries to trick them into thinking he actually cared about them once, but only to distract them from his true goal: to put them in a magical torture device that kills and resurrects them at his will. Which he does over and over and over (to the point where the scene actually loses its power, in my opinion, due to lazy repeated artwork within several frames). But Faust, because it’s in his nature, stops him and makes a snarky little comment about how he must really have cared about them a great deal at one time to hate them so much now. Which, of course, is probably true. But before we can see more of the evil plan of Faust’s, we are transported to the new Trinity of Sin and their mission to confront Blight’s host, only to be stopped by the Spectre.
I’m not sure if it was the occasionally inconsistent artwork or the fact that the story is starting to sort of repeat itself, but this one was not as great as it could have been. Don’t get me wrong. It’s still an excellent comic in almost all ways. The pictures portray a well-crafted script that is, even though filled to the brim with magic, very human. Constantine’s never been more interesting in the New 52 than he is in the pages of Forever Evil: Blight. And the fact that he’s finally reunited with Zatanna is just too good to not enjoy. But the true strength of this break-off of the main Forever Evil event is the recent spotlight on the villainy of Felix Faust, one of the greatest villains of the DC Universe. I can’t wait to see him kill and/or maim more of this team. And, inevitably, get his butt handed to him by the forces of good before all is said and done.
My Rating: 4/5