Justice League Dark #31 (Comics Review)

With last month’s Justice League Dark #30 dealing with the fallout of Forever Evil: Blight and also getting back to the series’ own scope of short arcs and what not, it was a really good time for fans of the series. J. M. DeMatteis was pretty excellent with all the Forever Evil: Blight issues that he wrote and with Justice League Dark #30 he seemed to be going into some really interesting territory. What was great was that he showed us the entire cross-section of the Justice League Dark tea, and that was really good fun and something also much-needed.

In Justice League Dark #31, we see Asa’s past come back to bite her and in a really disturbing and even horrific way, the sense of loss of oneself and impending death. All the build-up in the previous issue was extremely good, and now we get to see some answers to the big mystery that is going on. If there is any weak moment in the issue, it is the conversation between Constantine and Asa, which is quite cliched at times, and the artwork wasn’t up the usual level of quality either, and that was really disappointing.

Justice League Dark 31The previous issue had a lot to do with J. M. DeMatteis rebuilding the Justice League Dark following the end of the Forever Evil: Blight arc. The team that we saw form during this event is quite different to what we’d seen in the lead-up, and now DeMatteis is concerned with mixing elements of the two further and building a new status quo, which is what I loved about the last issue. Of course, he didn’t stop there, and went further as he introduced a new subplot that is a consequence of what happened during the event and serves to explain Nightmare Nurse aka Asa’s origins to a degree and what kind of a character she is like. That idea germinated in Justice League Dark #30 and it blooms up in this past week’s Justice League Dark #31 for some really well-written horror moments that had me on the edge of my seat, so to speak.

The Justice League Dark series is concerned with the fringe element of the superhero universe, the true misfits and anti-heroes who don’t necessarily have a place in the Justice League or the Justice League of America, now the Justice League United. Magicians of all kinds, ghosts, apparent monsters, these are the characters who make up the Justice League Dark and DeMatteis has a field day with all of them as he deepens the character conflicts even as he deepens the mystery of Alice Winter and her connection to Asa, which is quite a chilling tale, if it did play out as Alice Winter said it did.

Most of all though, the best element is getting to see the inner workings of Asa’s mind, and she is truly a different character than anyone else on the team. There were some moments where I was less than convinced by her dialogue or her actions, especially once Constantine is thrown into the mix, but on the whole I found all the insights into her psyche to be well-written and interesting at the same time. Constantine though, it just felt as if he was there for the hell of it because he’s been a part of the team since the beginning, although Zatanna kicked him out because of what he did at the end of Blight. Now he keeps popping in and it seems that it is always the same thing with him, the same accusations and rebuttals. Need something more… fresh!

As with last time, we have Andres Guinaldo on the pencils with the ever-awesome Brad Anderson as colourist, Taylor Esposito as the letterer and Mark Irwin, Walden Wong and Allen Martinez as the inkers on this issue. The cover is done by Mikel Janin as usual. Andres Guinaldo is a recent entrant on the series, and while his work is decent, at times I do miss Mikel’s own pencils, since he handled the majority of the series until he was eventually replaced in the tail-end of Blight. Guinaldo’s Constantine looks rather weird this time around, and so do Asa and Zatanna in a few panels but by and large he keeps things consistent, both within this issue and with respect to the previous issue.

The cliffhanger in this issue is pretty damn WTF, but in a good way, so I’m definitely interested in seeing where the story goes.

Rating: 8.5/10

More Justice League DarkVolume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, #22-23, #24, #25, #26, #27, #30.

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Posted on June 3, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

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