Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Justice League Dark #9

Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Mikel Janin
Company: DC Comics

There's a lot to like about this comic. In fact, let's make a list of the reasons why its oozing with cool:

1. Right there on the cover you get two titillating, eye grabbing ideas. New Members and New Threats! They're so cool that both of them require EXCLAMATION POINTS.

2. Jeff Lemire.

3. Mikel Janin.

4. A Done in one tale that really does set the stage for a new direction for our team.

Being serious for a second though, this issue really does get a lot of things right. Lemire, who's tenure on the relaunch for the Frankenstein Agent of SHADE book rocketed it into a land of cool and swanky and other words that ultimately mean badass, gets to the point quickly. There is some time jumpy weirdness to the story, which is sometimes a mistake, but it works well enough and allows the action to be put up front while interspersing what are essentially info-dumps throughout.

It isn't boring.

His take on Constantine is about as perfect as you can imagine without it being the Hellish filled terror that he is in the Hellblazer series. He's a bastard and a con, a man who's out for numero uno more than anything else. The way he gets roped into taking a trip down to South America to confront the likes of Felix Faust works and how it ingrains everything into the DC Universe makes the scenario that much cooler.

Another thing that Lemire does so well is handle a team book. There are some writers who can't, but he allows them each to have their moment in the sun, while at the same time giving them all some meat on their bones. The way that each one is introduced, in a "Here's the Band" fashion, may be one of my favorite one page moments in quite some time.

Mikel Janin is a man after my own heart. The art that he's producing is so off the charts that it's hard to really put into words. Beyond the level of detail that he brings to the game and the way that his action moves with a determined and exciting nature, it's the way he thinks about the panel. None are boring or there for arbitrary purposes. There are simple scenes with Constantine sneering or a simple smile on his face. There are others that just jump at you with extravagant scenery. I also dig the new look for Felix Faust. He comes off as a real threat and his outfit is close enough to the original, but with a few tweaks here and there that really elevate it.

So yes, believe the hype on the cover. There is NEW here to be found. There is also a story that delivers some thrills and cleverness. Or in other words, "Lemire strikes again!"

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