Justice League Dark #1: When you have a supernatural problem that even Superman can't punch - Who Ya Gonna Call? Since IDW now has the Ghostbusters license you can't call them. So you have to form your own supernatural fighting team and call it Justice League Dark because magic is dark and evil in contrast to the cheerful happy bunnies of punching people until their heads explode. Enchantress has hidden herself away in an envelope¹. She is playing magical shenanigans on the world and the Justice League is not amused. Superman, Wonder Woman, and Cyborg arrive to mete out Justice to the evil-doer, aka Superman will punch her till her head nearly explodes. When they arrive they are defeated by a tornado of teeth and retreat in shame. Elsewhere Zatanna tentacles Batman and summons Constantine. (That's Constan'tine' not Constan'teen' you philistine.) Madame Xanadu summons Shade the Changing Man and Deadman is contacted by June Moone. This issue does two things. It sets up a problem that the Justice League can't handle that requires the formation of a magical Justice League and it starts the process of gathering together the members of that League. The art is OK. In some places it looks quite nice and in others it looks quite weird.
Writer Peter Milligan is currently writing a solidly creative and entertaining run on Hellblazer, the Vertigo take on Constantine. One of the books that made his name in the US market was Shade, the Changing Man, so he knows these characters and the type of weirdness that they get up to. I'm hoping that DC editorial lets him get on with it and doesn't saddle him with pointless crossover BS and character directives. It sounds like DC might be trying to revert Constantine to the callous, scheming bastard that Alan Moore created. A character who is always getting other people hurt in his selfish machinations. But since then Constantine has been in almost 300 issues of his own series and the writers have matured him quite a bit. Now when people get hurt around Constantine it is generally because they brought it on themselves or they accidentally got caught up in affairs. If DC insists on reverting him to the one dimensional Alan Moore character he and the book will be the lesser for it.
1 An envelope is a paper container for sending a hard copy e-mail² via the Postal Service.
2 E³-mail is an old way of sending long tweets with a computer.
3 E is the old letter for i.
This comic is rated Teen.
All Star Western #1: Jonah Hex travels to the big city to apply his special brand of justice to those soft city slickers. DC is borrowing from Alan Moore again and doing a Jonah Hex version of From Hell. There is a Jack the Ripper rip-off killing prostitutes in Gotham and writing things on the walls in their blood. The killer is almost certainly going to end up being one of the rich snobs that these types of stories are replete with. Hex was sent for by Amadeus Arkham to help him troll the seedy underbelly for the killer. Arkham hasn't started his asylum yet but he is heading in that direction because he spends the entire issue mis-analyzing Hex in his diary using bad pop psychology long before psychology became pop. Hex spends so much time beating up citified low-lifes that he has to do it in a montage. Then Hex and Arkham go to a high-falutin' get together and Hex realizes that he has been beating up the wrong side of the class war. Palmiotti and Gray, writers of the previous Jonah Hex series, continue to do a good job of keeping the story moving and not slowing down to let you think about how unlikely it all is. Moritat's art is as always a feast for the eyes. The fight scenes are violent, the facial expressions are expressive, the hot chicks are voluptuous, and the opening Gotham-scape is just spectacular. Then there is the coloring. Now that DC is cutting back at Vertigo and stealing all of their characters, Vertigo has a superfluity of brown ink laying around. It seems that DC is trying to use it all up in this one comic. The story is set in the 1880s and everyone knows that everything back then was brown just like in those old-timey daguerreotype photos.
This comic is rated Teen Plus.
Batman: The Dark Knight #1:
[Insert bunny joke here.]
Abe Sapien: The Devil Does Not Jest #1 of 2: Abe Sapien goes to Lovecraft country. Secretive researchers, secluded houses in the Maine woods, forbidden books on demonology, chthonic lakes, crazy relatives, ax murders, aliens in the basement, and mutant offspring hidden from the eyes of those who would not understand. Abe is offered the opportunity to look through the papers of a researcher in demonology whose books he has been studying. When they reach the cabin in the Maine woods on the edge of a deep, dark lake his guide is murdered and he finds something in the basement. My guess is that next issue Abe will have to swim to the bottom of the foreboding lake to deal with the evil that has been unloosed. Once again Mignola and Arcudi provide a solid story full of equal parts action and creepiness. New Mignolaverse artist James Harren does a good job of delivering the quality of ichor and unearthliness that readers have come to expect from Guy Davis and the other Mignolaverse artists. If you want a good place to get a taste of the type and quality of comics to expect in Hellboy and BPRD, this is a good place to dip in your toe.
Abe Sapien is