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Review: Justice League Dark #3

Justice League Dark #3

In the Dark Part Three: Shibboleths and Alcohol

Written by Peter Milligan

Art by Mikel Janin

Review by Bobby Shortle

The shifting winds of Justice League Dark continue to confound me. Thus far this macabre tale has gotten by on solid writing encased in a confusing and twisting narrative that dangles a slew of interesting characters in front of your face. Each issue has managed to navigate its large roster with a wonderful focus. Issue #3, while still sharply crafted, lacks that same narrative focus and thus leaves the reader feeling miffed about the direction the book is headed.

My primary gripe with Justice League Dark #3 is that it feels less like a cohesive plot and more like a series of short stories. There is the Deadman vignetter, the Shade vignette, the Constantine vignette and although they at times threaten to intertwine there is never a real tangible link with any of them. This also leads to the bigger question; whose book is this? At the beginning it seemed to be Zatanna’s, at times I think it’s Constantine’s and then out of nowhere I have to consider it may be Shade’s. I don’t mind playing with character placements but without a clear leader or organizer I don’t know who to get behind.

The frustrating thing is that those story vignettes are actually very well done. They all pose god conflict for our heroes and they work towards a better understanding of this team as individuals. Enchantress is a complicated villian whose character design is wonderfully twisted and grotesque. John Constantine is one a hell of a character. I get completely sucked in by his voice over which is part  Van Helsing part Sam Spade and I love the implied history between himself and Zatanna. I also continue to dig on Boston Brand a.k.a. Deadman; who in this issue goes beyond his snarky ways to show he has a lot of heart.


Buy It- Justice League Dark# 3 is an interesting book. I find the characters fascinating but I have major issues with the muddled narrative and lack of focus. Bottom line is I’m still interested in the end game so I still say its a buy.

Bobby Shortle is founder and Editor in Chief of Talking Comics as well as the host of the weekly Talking Comics Podcast. When he's not writing about comics he's making short films which can be found at and talking…

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