By Hunter T. Patrick
A dark, beautiful, way too verbose introduction. James Tynion IV, just coming out of his nearly 50 issue Detective Comics run returns, spinning out of No Justice, which he co-wrote with Snyder and Williamson. Justice League Dark directly spins out of No Justice, with magic failing. Wonder Woman is given a task by the League to create a magic based Justice League. She begins the task, and the issue revolves around the five members of the team, either present or future. Wonder Woman, Zatanna, Swamp Thing, Man-Bat, and Detective Chimp all have their own struggles and their team up is only beginning in this first issue. If fans are looking for a more magical, more horror-based Justice League team, they are in luck.
The best word to describe the issue is verbose. It is luckily not the verbose comic on stands, but in 2018 a comic usually has far fewer words, at least in a mainstream DC comic. This does not necessarily mean it is bad, as there is truly so much to be said, but still a bit much for readers not wanting a comic that requires more time spent by a few minutes. The story is straightforward, featuring some mentions of what is to come. Overall the pacing is not as strong as it can be with a weird turn from having some lengthy conversations too much more artistic scenes. The issues strongest part is the art and it is a shame to see so many dialogue bubbles covering it.
This issue features one of the most beautiful comics on stands today. The coloring is dark enough to give a magically dark comic but keeps light enough for hope and to show characters better. One page with Swamp Thing looks extra gorgeous. This is also some of the most beautiful Wonder Woman art shown today. If the book was just an art book it would be extremely recommended. Sadly, the book is not perfect enough for that and spends so much time trying to say everything it wants to in as many panels as possible it does not let the art get the central spotlight. Luckily for the readers, there is no stopping that from shining like it has always meant to.
Justice League Dark is not the perfect start to a series and already stopped the series from being perfect in terms of writing. Luckily it is the art that makes for all the faults worth it, at least until everything builds up to what could be a long-awaited peak for the series. It is surely going to be a series that DC will push strongly for the future and will make previous Justice League Dark fans happy of its return. If you like pretty things buy this book, if you do not get comics for the art, or for Wonder Woman, Justice League teams, or any magical based character then this book is a skip. The art, however, is a must to look at.
Justice League Dark #1