Justice League Dark 14

Alternating Currents: Justice League Dark 14, Drew and TaylorToday, Drew and Taylor are discussing Justice League Dark 14, originally released November 28th, 2012.

Drew: Chekhov’s gun — the principle that a writer should not introduce a story element in the first act unless it comes into play by the third — is meant to keep stories simple and efficient. Details that don’t matter can clutter a story needlessly, making for a flabby, muddy narrative. On the other hand, when handled obviously, knowing that every element introduced must come into play can ruin an otherwise good surprise. In Justice League Dark 14, we find Jeff Lemire applying Chekhov’s principle to the House of Mysteries, delivering a kind of comedic interlude in the midst of Zatana and Tim Hunter’s disappearance. Continue reading

Justice League Dark Annual 1

Alternating Currents: Justice League Dark Annual, Taylor and Drew Today, Taylor and Drew are discussing Justice League Dark Annual 1, originally released October 31st, 2012.

Taylor: Go big or go home. I don’t really know where this phrase came from or even what it really means. I suppose it probably means a person should come prepared to give everything they have to whatever situation they are about to encounter. I guess that’s “going big.” There is perhaps some virtue in that; I can admire anyone who can totally devote themselves to a cause or an idea. But with the election finally (finally) winding down, I also have to question if perhaps there is more merit in playing your cards close to the chest. I question how anyone can fully support one candidate or the other when eventually they will do something to piss you off, or almost certainly break a promise they blatantly made on the campaign trail. The ability to hold back, reserve judgment and always keep a little something extra for yourself, whether in politics or comic books, is a trait that should be applauded. John Constantine has this virtue (if he really can be said to have any such thing) and normally Justice League Dark does as well. But in the first annual edition of this title the creators do just the opposite, they go big and it pays off.

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Justice League Dark 13

Today, Mikyzptlk and Shelby are discussing Justice League Dark 13, originally released October 24th, 2012.

Mikyzptlk: In my 9 to 5 work life I find that it’s important to remember to have a little fun from time to time in order to get through the day. If you neglect to reward yourself with a little fun in your work life, you might not be able to handle the stress that the average work day may present you. Issue 13 of Justice League Dark could have felt like just another stressful day of work, but because series writer Jeff Lemire made sure to infuse the issue with a sense of fun, he made it more than what is essentially just a lead up to the big conclusion taking place in the upcoming Annual. Continue reading

Justice League Dark 0

Today, Shelby and (guest writer) Dave Werner are discussing Justice League Dark 0, originally released September 26th, 2012. Justice League Dark 0 is part of the line-wide Zero Month.

Shelby: John Constantine is an enigma. He can wander in and out of any magic-based title with no problem. He has a power-set which basically consists of “do whatever you need to do at the time you need to do it.” He’s a perpetual loner, mostly because everyone close to him tends to die, but also because he likes to be a loner. He has the loosest morals of any “hero” I’m reading, which is what I find most intriguing about him. I’ve always just assumed he’s your standard “bastard with a heart of gold;” he does what he wants, when he wants to, but deep down he’s a good guy, and will do the right thing in a pinch. The zero issue for Justice League Dark, however, focuses on a part of Constantine’s past that makes me think he’s ultimately not such a good guy after all.

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Justice League Dark 12

Today, Peter and Shelby are discussing Justice League Dark 12, originally released August 22nd, 2012.

Peter: Justice League Dark is an interesting book. In a DC universe that is really finicky about magic, it takes it all in. It is full of small context clues, as well as small parts of mystical DC history. It may be lost on some, but with a little time and commitment, it is a fantastic book filled with relatable characters and interesting plotting. The team dynamic may seem like a stretch at first, but when a team of miscreants, dead people, con men, vampires, stage magicians, and government agents come together, it just somehow works.

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Justice League Dark 9-11

Today, Shelby and Patrick are discussing Justice League Dark 9-11, originally released May 23rd, June, 27th and July 25th, 2012.

Shelby: We’re doing something a little unusual here with Justice League Dark: we are not reviewing issues 1-8. I’ve read all those issues, and there is really no need to do so. Peter Milligan wrote 1-8, and they are not awesome. The story was all over the place and confusing. Even though we’re dealing with magic, the story still needs to be grounded in some sort of established reality, and this story was not. With issue 9, Jeff Lemire has taken over the writing, and there has been a marked improvement. The arc is completely new, even some of the team members have changed. I call it the “reverse Deathstroke” effect, in that a new creative team has made big changes, but for the better instead of for the worst.

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