A Magical Beginning Occurs In JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #1

When a mysterious darkness threatens to destroy sorcerers, it’s up to Wonder Woman to form a team of the magically inclined heroes of the DC Universe. Written by James Tynion IV, JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #1 is a wonderful start to a new story, full of mystery and magic. With incredible visuals by Raúl Fernández and Alvaro Martinez, this issue is a must read.

The Story

This magic show begins with an actual magic show. Zatanna is center stage when she pulls a bloody rabbit out of her top hat. Not a good sign. Suddenly, a nightmarish creature with tentacles appears from her hat. When the monster deflects Zatanna’s powers, Wonder Woman swoops in to help defeat the creature. Wonder Woman warns her that “magic is broken.” However, Zatanna refuses to help her fix it.

Later on, in JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #1, Zatanna meets John Constantine, another notable man of magic from the DC universe. He tells her that other magicians have had their magic go haywire recently. She believes this isn’t a Justice League problem, but a sorcerer problem. Which is why she goes to the Wintersgate Manor, where all these magic users are meeting. While this is happening, Wonder Woman is at a bar with Detective Chimp. Couldn’t make this up even if I wanted to. Anyway, he agrees to help her protect the magical community.

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #1 Page 7. Courtesy of DC Entertainment.

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #1 page 7. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Beneath the Hall of Justice is a space for a possible magic Justice League. Wonder Woman and Detective Chimp go there to analyze the grotesquely distorted corpses. Suddenly, the dead bodies come alive, like zombies, and attack. JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #1 concludes with Zatanna receiving a message from her deceased father, warning her that the ‘Otherkind,’ the original owners of magic, are coming. Showing her a vision of a team of heroes fighting against the evil, he alludes to her joining up with Wonder Woman.

Wondrous Artwork

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #1 is a real visual spectacle. Seriously, the imagery is absolutely phenomenal. The tentacle monster and distorted bodies of dead magicians are gruesome. Those images gave me goosebumps. Also, when Zatanna and Constantine meet, that scene reminds me of a film noir movie, with the contrast between light and dark.

In the last few pages of this comic, Zatanna receives a message from her deceased father. Zatara appears as a flaming apparition, warning his daughter of the evil that is coming. That image struck me. This vision in flames is simply stunning. Raúl Fernández and Alvaro Martinez have truly made magic with their amazing artwork.

The Power Of Magic

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #1 Page 6. Courtesy of DC Entertainment.

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #1 page 6. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

What I love about JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #1 is the importance of magic for each of these characters and to the overall plot. Magic is a part of them, and it connects them together. There is this monologue that runs through this issue, talking about magic itself. Although magic can be dangerous and create horrifying things, there is also something beautiful about magic. All these characters in JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #1 respect that magic is an accumulation of joy and horror. Especially for Zatanna, she is fulfilling her father’s legacy by using her gifts.

Final Thoughts on JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #1

My one concern for this issue is the inclusion of characters like Detective Chimp and Swamp Thing. They don’t exactly fit in with the rest of the group. Right now, I’m not sure how those two characters fit in with a story like this. I’m worried they could bog down the other characters, and the overall plot, in the long run.

However, this is only the first issue. Maybe things will fall into place in the next installment. This issue set the stage for a story full of wonder and mystery. I’m interested to see how this story unfolds. The artwork had me completely spellbound. Visually, every scene was stunning.

From the distorted corpses to the Zatara’s flaming image, magic was showcased in JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #1. The plot is just as fantastic as the artwork. This issue hooked my attention right from the start and never lost it once. If you are interested in the magical side of the DC universe, then JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #1 is right up your alley.

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