In Review: Justice League Dark #16

The cover: Madame Xanadu is having a really bad day. She either needs a reversal spell or the talents of Mike Kaluta to return her to her normal self. Cool, creepy old hag cover by Mikel Janin. I like it, but Xanadu is the least focused upon character in this issue. Overall grade: A-

The story: “Night of the Hunter” by Jeff Lemire & Ray Fawkes opens on Epoch, a land where magic has been beaten back by technology. Our supernatural heroes are facing off against Vikar, who just shot the recently returned to life Boston Brand. Working his way out of the afterlife, Deadman encounters Infernal Core, the winning design of a make-up artist on the SyFy Channel’s Face Off. Don’t blink, or you’ll miss this character. While this is going on, Tim Hunter and Zatanna get some history on Epoch, Tim’s possible ancestor, the Books of Magic, and Tim’s destiny. I enjoyed this plotline more than the J.L.D.’s since all they had was a drawn out battle whose ending was never in doubt. The conclusion of the issue did put a spin on things that makes me want to know where this is all heading. Overall grade: B+

The art: As with the story, I enjoyed the art in the Wild Underground more than the battle above ground. It was difficult to get a handle on Vikar’s suit, especially on Pages 12 and 13. Helping this would have been if artist Mikel Janin had some establishment shots where this character was clearly seen. The coloring on Vikar didn’t help. Now in the W.U., Janin is superb, channeling The Books of Magic covers by Charles Vess. DC, if you’d like to bring this series back for part of your New 52 I’d be more than willing to give it a try! Back to the art: I became disappointed when we left Tim’s story to return to what was essentially a Marvel slugfest. Overall grade: B-

The colors: Jeromy Cox is really talented! The afterlife sequences, though short, are absolutely gorgeous. Every lightning effect is also great, as is the last page. Though, the work on Vikar was too glossy, adding to my confusion with the design of the character. Overall grade: B

The letters: Winning work in every way from Rob Leigh with his dialogue and many sound effects. Overall grade: A+

The final line: Not bad, but I’m only enjoying half of the issue, and tolerating the other to see where the story is going. Overall grade: B

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