Thursday, June 28, 2012

Pull List Review: Justice League Dark #10

Mikel Janín has been a welcome addition to this title. His artwork is grounded enough to add some realism to the story, but this doesn't prevent him from drawing the shit out of the more fantastic elements, too. And almost all of his characters are incredibly strong. Black Orchid and Dr. Mist in particular are hard to look away from, especially in action scenes. And even though she's wearing the same skimpy costume as always, Zatanna never seems overly sexualized under Janín. Xanadu, either. But his best work in the issue, I think, is with the villains. Faust and his demon pets are disturbing and disgusting in the best possible way, and have a mocking, wicked confidence about them.

It is only Janín's take on Constantine which disappoints me, but not because of any real specific weaknesses or inconsistencies. I just prefer a more rugged-looking version of the character, although I will say that as this New 52 Constantine slowly slides into the role of a possible villain, it does make his clean, dashing look seem more fitting. I like a bad guy who looks like a storybook prince. It's less expected and often more fun.

This shift in Constantine's character is a fine enough story for Jeff Lemire to be seeding, but I appreciate  that even with some of his attention on the distant future, he continues to, rather quickly, build on the present-tense story, too. The dynamics of this "team" are finally developing in such a way that I believe these people might actually work together, and the immediate threat of the maniacal Faust is kicked up a notch by the issue's conclusion. All steady forward progress, with the singular exception of Andrew Bennett's forced exit, which is easy to forgive because, honestly, I'm not sure what that character was doing in this book in the first place. Never got a strong sense of him or his role on this team, and though his return is assured, I'm not too anxious to see that happen.

The new creative team, and the new lineup of the team within the book, are now two for two on being stronger than any preceding issue. For now, it's more than enough if they can just stay the course.

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