“Justice League Dark”: DC’s Dark Delinquents

The DC universe has a good many superhero teams. There’s the Justice League comprising of Batman, the Green Lantern, Superman, and Wonder Woman who take on universal, even galactic conflicts. There’s also the Justice League International comprising of B-list superheroes who take on world conflicts. Both comics are fun and entertaining, but missing something. Those books are missing the “magic”, and to counter this problem DC Comics released the Justice League Dark comprising of a group (they’re not a superhero team) of occult individuals and delinquents. They don’t play well with one another and they’re each suffering from their own set of emotional problems, so one must handle them with delicate fingers, but when the going gets strange or unexplained, they’re the ones you want to call upon.

The original line-up of the Justice League Dark

So far, there have been 14 issues of the Justice League Dark, spread between three story arcs and told by two talented writers. Peter Milligan, the writer prominently known amongst DC/Vertigo comic book fans as the writer who developed and reshaped Shade, the Changing Man and is now working on the misadventures of John Constantine, a.k.a. Hellblazer, is responsible for launching the JLD. Madame Xanadu describes the band of misfits with theses words, penned by Milligan:

You don’t have the power these people have without paying a heavy price. You know what it’s like to destroy anything innocent that enters your life? To destroy love? You know what that does to you? A kind of darkness envelopes you. These are the people I’m talking about. People like Shade, the Changing Man. John Constantine. Zatanna. Deadman.

A double page spread from JLD #12. The art is a combination of horror and fantasy by artist Mikel Janin.

The characters are already established through years of comic book storytelling by the start of the series, so some research is required to understand each character’s unique traits and backstory. But don’t let this dissuade you from reading some exciting magical comic book material. You’ll laugh and cry with the characters of the Justice League Dark as they battle and bicker. But whatever you do, don’t ever call them a team of superheroes.

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