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Justice League Dark Annual #1

Written by Jeff Lemire

Art by Mikel Janin

Review by Travis McCollum

The Justice League Dark has been knocked out of the sky, Zatanna has been kidnapped and Nick Nero is one step closer to getting the Books of Magic. But even impending doom doesn’t seem to phase John Constantine as he summons Frankenstein, Andrew Bennett, Tony Hunter and Amethyst to join Black Orchid, Madame Xanadu and himself in taking down Nick Nero once and for all. That’s the set-up going into Justice League Dark Annual #1.

On paper the idea sounds amazing and you’ll be happy to know that it’s just as awesome watching everything unfold, especially if you’ve been reading other titles in “The Dark” (Sword of Sorcery, I, Vampire, Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E) imprint. Subtle hints or callbacks to each of the ongoing stories is nice for fans of the books and seeing them all interact by way of Jeff Lemire’s dialogue is great. Lemire is wonderful storyteller with a firm grasp on how to properly pace and plot out a story. Since he took over with issue #9 I have yet to be disappointed and JLD is one of the most brilliant team books I read every month. I’m also excited to see what the future holds for this team, especially with the potential of having Amethyst and Frankenstein be a regular part of the series (Andrew has his own issues to deal with). Needless to say, the series is in great hands with Lemire at the helm.

Speaking of great work, I would be a fool not to mention Mikel Janin’s artwork. Since the beginning, back when Peter Milligan was on as writer, Janin has done nothing but fantastic work. His unique style of fantasy mixed with realism is something that almost can’t be described and has always left me completely satisfied. His facials, even the most subtle ticks, are fantastic, the action scenes are vibrant and colorful and all the creatures look distinct and visually impressive. Mix that with some fantastic shots of the team (one shot in particular may make it onto my wall sooner rather than later) and you have a brilliantly drawn book from start to finish.

Verdict:

Justice League Dark has been a must-buy ever since Jeff Lemire took over as writer. The Books of Magic story has been a fantastic story with great build-up and seeing all the characters interact with each other has been great, especially if you’re fans of their other works. If you love action packed, magical thrill rides that will always leave you excited for what’s to come, then Justice League Dark is a no-brainer. This annual is definitely worth your five dollars and definitely worth taking a look at.

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