I’m not a regular reader of Justice League Dark. It’s not that I don’t like John Constantine or any of the other characters involved in the monthly title. Frankly, I just don’t have time to spare to pick up another book to read on a regular basis. DC Comics once again found a way to lure me in. As I flipped through “Justice League Dark Volume 3: The Death of Magic,” I was bombarded with pages full of Swamp Thing and other creatures in his form.
“Justice League Dark Volume 3: The Death of Magic” compiles issues 14 through 21 of the monthly series. The graphic novel is split up into two story arcs entitled “The Death of Magic” and “Horror City.” An introduction chapter entitled “Enter the House of Mystery” sets everything in motion.
“The Death of Magic” takes Tim Hunter and Zatanna into another dimension through the Books of Magic. They’re transported to a world full of magical creatures who once ruled before being cast out by mad scientists. The Justice League Dark gang enters the mystical world in order to rescue the two banished souls from an eternity of torment.
“Horror City” pits the Justice League Dark against Doctor Destiny. The mysterious villain causes our heroes to experience horrific events which emotionally cripple and keep them from being able to do battle. Can the members of this motley supernatural bunch keep it together long enough to save the world from Doctor Destiny and his cataclysmic black arts?
Writers Jeff Lemire and Ray Fawkes pen “Justice League Dark Volume 3: The Death of Magic.” They keep a steady pace of action always moving forward through each issue. Combined with elements of horror, fantasy, and drama, the reader wins through the enjoyment of taking in a complex and entertaining tale.
Several different talented artists illustrate “Justice League Dark Volume 3: The Death of Magic.” Mikel Janin, Graham Nolan, Victor Drujiniu, and Vincente Cifuentes all lend a hand in bringing Lemire and Fawkes’ words to life. Although it isn’t too much of a distraction, the changing of drawing styles is definitely felt throughout the book.
“Justice League Dark Volume 3: The Death of Magic” is rated T for “Teens.” Some of the violent and graphic imagery leads me to believe it might need to be changed to T+. If you’re not one who likes too much magic in their entertainment, this book is not for you. Each story is deeply rooted in the world of mysticism and spells. I would venture to say most religious parents wouldn’t want their children reading the adventures of John Constantine and his comrades.
Eleven pages of bonus material are included with “Justice League Dark Volume 3: The Death of Magic.” There are cover sketches, character designs and studies, and the full cover of issue 19. The most interesting special feature is the comic artist’s realization of the winner’s character from SyFy’s “Face Off.” Contestants were asked to design a new DC character and the winner’s work was used in an issue of Justice League Dark. The actual pictures of someone made up as Infernal Core are shown. We’re also presented what his character looks like in the actual comic book.
“Justice League Dark Volume 3: The Death of Magic” will please fans of the horror genre who enjoy a monstrous dose of the supernatural with their gore and violence. However, these elements don’t compromise or stand in the way of good storytelling. If you’re a fan of any of the characters within the pages of this graphic novel, you’ll want to pick it up as soon as possible.
“Justice League Dark Volume 3: The Death of Magic” is available now in paperback and Kindle editions.
For more articles by Eric Shirey, check out:
“Swamp Thing Volume 2: Family Tree” Graphic Novel Review
“Swamp Thing Volume 1: Raise Them Bones” Graphic Novel Review
Interview with Swamp Thing Creator and Comic Book Artist Bernie Wrightson