Subway Shorts: Justice League Dark 1

A new team coming out of the NO JUSTICE event has Wonder Woman on a quest to fix magic – but she’s having some trouble rallying the magical troops.

Justice League Dark 1
Written by James Tynion IV
Pencils by Alvaro Martinez
Inks by Raul Fernandez 
Colors by Brad Anderson 

I was a big fan of the original iteration of JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK, during the New 52 era. With talented writers like Peter Milligan and Jeff Lemire penning mystical adventures of John Constantine, Deadman, Zatanna and others, it was a different feel for a book under the Justice League banner, and it allowed for a new avenue of story in a team format. I thought it was one of the best things we got out of a pretty unimpressive era for DC Comics as a whole.

But with a new continuity comes new opportunities, and the Justice League Dark is back, on the heels of the NO JUSTICE weekly event with Wonder Woman at the helm of the team. Well, once she gets a team going. With the first issue, she’s having trouble getting anyone to take up arms with her to combat the problems caused not just by the events of NO JUSTICE, but of DARK NIGHTS METAL as well.

It gets so bad that she ends up at the Oblivion bar telling her troubles to Detective Chimp. That’s a bad night, for sure.

Diana eventually manages to pull together a team, and it’s one of the more random collections of heroes we’ve seen in a while. Along with Detective Chimp, Wonder Woman’s team consists of Zatanna, Swamp Thing and Man-Bat, who spends most of the issue in a hybrid state – mostly human, but with the head of a bat. Dr. Kirk Langstrom was the highlight of the issue for me, geeking out over both over being part of a team and being able to serve a scientific purpose again as he tries to rehabilitate his image. His appearance here harkened back to the portrayal of Starro the Conqueror during NO JUSTICE – a standout character who is used surprisingly effectively for comic relief. Hopefully, Man-Bat has a better fate than the giant space starfish did.

I don’t know what kind of half-life a book like this has, or how long the current continuity will support their mission to fix magic, but writer James Tynion IV – who most recently was at the helm of DETECTIVE COMICS for an amazing run – has set up a great concept with a eclectic collection of personalities. If he can continue to balance the mystical horrors with character moments, JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK should be an amazing read from month-to-month.