Justice League Dark, Volume Three: The Death of Magic

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Spoiler Free Review

Graphic Novels | DC Comics

Justice League Dark #3.0

My Rating: ★★★

From the three stars I’m sure you can gather I really enjoyed this graphic novel. And I can confirm I definitely did. I don’t think I liked it as much as Justice League Dark, Volume 2: The Books of Magic, as I did have some slight problems with it.

My first criticism is the very random and out of the blue romance between Deadman and Madame Xanadu. There was absolutely zero foreshadowing for this romance, in fact, I can barely remember a time they had a substantial conversation. In hindsight, I can see this is just a minor flaw but up until this point I was really enjoying the story-telling. Although had it been handled better, I can really see Deadman and Madame Xanadu becoming an item.

My second criticism is the biggest gripe I have with this graphic novel and it’s that Zatanna was barely in it. Was she in another graphic novel at this point in time and that’s why she wasn’t able to be in JLD? I’m not sure. However it would’ve been nice to have a more ‘human’ character on the team as well as another female character.

Apart from those slight gripes, I found the story really compelling. My favourite thing about Justice League Dark is that the basis of these stories are rooted and magic and I love it. Also, unlike a few graphic novels I’ve read this one felt really consistent with the story through-out and each issue intertwined with one another really well. The dialogue between the characters is typical very witty and I love the platonic chemistry they share. Although each character is great, Constantine provides the most comic relief and it’s fantastic.

There are also some guest appearances from the Flash and Swamp Thing! I’ve yet to read a graphic novel with Swamp Thing, and it’s always great to meet a new character in the DC Universe. I’m a huge fan of the Flash, courtesy of the CW’s show, as well as Geoff John’s Justice League, Volume 1: Origin series. Also I think guest appearances are really great as it livens up the story a little more and sometimes makes it a little more exciting when you add a new dynamic into the team.

I’m highly anticipating the next volume in this series (which will be whenever my library decides to get it!) and I have my fingers crossed for the return of Zatanna!

Birds of Prey, Volume One: Trouble in Mind

13532148I was really looking forward to Birds of Prey, Volume 1: Trouble in Mind. Perhaps I hyped myself up for it a little too much, because ultimately I’m feeling a tad disappointed.

As a relatively new comic reader, I was convinced that it would be great to get into these worlds through The New 52 titles. But I’m starting to notice a pattern with these titles and that is, they feel less like ‘new’ stories. I think it’s really misleading to attach ‘new’ to something, because I personally would anticipate reading about an origin story. Unfortunately Birds of Prey didn’t feel like an origin story, and I was more or less thrown into the deep end with this one.

This criticism doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the story. I think it has a lot of potential. But unfortunately because there was very little set up to the story and the characters, consequently I didn’t feel hugely connected to either. Black Canary and Starling (whom I’ve never even heard of before this comic, so she must be new to the DC world) are essentially already in a team before the story starts. I would’ve liked to see their formation as a team, seeing as this graphic is about said team.

I also thought the story-telling was quite weak. It felt very plain and that came off as quite juvenile to me. (But I will say that as of late, I’ve been on a huge fantasy bender, and so I could just used to more intricate writing styles.) Also at times I felt that I was experiencing over exposition. The story would be told through inner-monologue, and it was like having the plot spelled out to me. Instead, why not have the characters engage in dialogue?

Something I really enjoyed was the character designs and their costumes, I really liked how they reflected the character and who they are. Poison Ivy in particular looked really cool and I hadn’t seen her stylised that way before. I’m still unsure if she was wearing a suit, but she had these really cool black tendrils that would change on her face. Although the art was mainly consistent through-out the volume, I did notice a character had gone from having tan skin to whiter skin. I literally thought he was a whole other person. I understand they employ different artists sometimes from issue to issue, but if some things could just remain to avoid confusion on this idiots behalf (I’m talking about me here btw) that’d be great.

Despite not liking the first installment, I will definitely give this series a chance. The writer was clever and left this volume on a good cliffhanger that makes me really want to pick up the next volume!