I was hoping the title of “Justice League” wouldn’t be thrown onto a book just to help it sell, but that’s exactly what’s happened with Justice League Dark. This was not a very good first issue. We catch up with Zatanna, John Constantine, Deadman, and Shade the changing man, who make up the “magic team” of the JL. The characters aren’t introduced very well, and you would think the idea of this story would be introducing this chapter of the League. What we got was the actual Justice League (Superman, Wonder Woman, and Cyborg) failing to apprehend a mad witch, mixed in with really strange happenings like a rambling lost girl seeing her many clones get destroyed while crossing a freeway, and cows giving birth to saw blades. By the end of the issue all I knew was that I had just seen a lot of really weird scenes and a set up for our heroes to fight the previously mentioned mad witch. What really bothered me more than the story having very little direction was that the writing was just boring. The story is narrated by Madam Xanadu, a fortune/future teller, and almost every page has pointless exposition and commentary about what was happening in the scene. But even with all the talk from Xanadu, you’re still lost and confused throughout the issue. Thankfully, Mikel Janin’s art is very pretty to look at, even if we aren’t entirely sure why we’re looking at it. I really like the concept for Justice League Dark, and I do enjoy fantasy, but this issue was just very poorly written, and I’m still undecided if I’ll come back for issue #2. 1/5-AH
While Grant Morrison’s Superman is sporting the blue collar boots and t-shirt, Gorge Perez has his Man of Steel back in tights…or armor, or whatever the new costume is made from. Not only is Superman getting a fresh start with the reboot, so is the Daily Planet. Perry, Lois, Jimmy, and the rest of the gang are moving into a new office building thanks to new DP owner, Morgan Edge, but Clark is extremely reluctant given the new top boss’s sketchy reputation. A lot of Superman purists were worried how the reboot would affect Superman’s Boy Scout attitude, and I was one of them. Making Superman overly angsty or dark would never feel natural, but Perez pulls off a disgruntled Clark with great finesse. Superman is still Superman, but you can see he’s not a happy camper, and part of that comes from his desire for Lois’s affection. The action picks up when Superman faces off against an alien fire monster for nine pages, but it serves as merely a subplot to Clark’s aching emotional state.
Jesus Merino’s pencils do a great job delivering the story, and the highlight of his work is in the final pages where we see Clark as a defeated man. I’m very interested to see where Perez is taking Clark in this new beginning, and in a broken spirited state, I just hope we don’t have to sit through any more bad alien villain fights that have no bearing on the story. If you were never a Superman fan, this particular Superman title probably won’t change your mind, but it’s a very nice new direction for the character. 3.5/5-AH
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