Not too long ago, DC had a very strict rule about letting characters from the Vertigo universe interact with the regular DCU. But now that there is no distinction between the two universes, certain books are taking advantage of the new freedom to mingle. Case in point — Justice League Dark is quickly turning into fanboy heaven for anyone who adores DC’s various horror and magically tinged properties.
Jeff Lemire continues his exploration of Tim Hunter in this issue as Books of Magic becomes the latest Vertigo inductee. The twist is that Tim Hunter has neither the books nor the magical ability any longer. Lemire reveals more about that situation while playing up the mystery of just what role Hunter will play in the series and who will wind up possessing the books.
Elsewhere, our heroes are divided into two camps, as some head to Slaughter Swamp and others to Felix Faust’s Peruvian temple. There’s some entertaining character interaction to be had now that the focus is more intimate. Perhaps the juiciest scene is the one where Constantine reveals what dark secret ties him to Zatanna. Their relationship, always an entertaining one in any continuity, looks to be taking on a new dimension in the New 52. Coupled with a bit of back-story for the troubled Dr. Mist and more scenes involving the mysterious foe guiding the conflict, and Lemire’s character work drives this issue forward.
Mikel Janin’s work remains pretty strong even after a year. Issue #11 suffered because the CG elements were often too obvious and the characters too stiffly posed, but issue #12 rebounds to an extent. And regardless, the ethereal mood and vivid colors are always present to provide the series with its signature style.
Unfortunately, Lemire doesn’t end this issue on the resounding, definitive note I was hoping for given the Zero Month gap that’s coming up. Still, there’s no reason not to be excited for the continuation of this ongoing story in October.
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