9.28.11 Reviews (Part 2)

Justice League Dark #1 (DC): Peter Milligan. Mikel Janin. You can do a lot worse than a cover by Ryan Sook! I like the way the book opens, full of swagger and attitude, and a lush dark palette that sets the tone immediately. It degenerates from there; the water-colored washes of Madame Xanadu, Shade, Enchantress, Zatanna, Deadman, and Constantine (am I missing anyone?) kind of give way to stiff poses and awkward visuals. The art actually reminds me of the dynamic in Stormwatch; it seems apparent that some sort of widescreen high gloss finish is the intended commodity, but it never quite settles into one discernible style that services the story, jumping all over the place. The Zatanna and Constantine bits are nice, but everything in between feels a little rushed and unsettled, as if nobody could figure out the tone we were trying to strike during the convergence of magic and superheroes. It seems that Chaos is ensuing, so I probably wasn’t the only one who missed Dr. Fate. It was nice to see Zatanna get one over on Batman. Superman and Wonder Woman discussing the “reek of skinned babies and sliced eyeballs” is a little jarring, but does reveal their susceptibility to magic. This isn’t really a Justice League team of course, just a nice branding trick, but I think there’s heaps of potential here, and you can see the seed being planted necessitating a team-up of this type of “hero” to take on an even greater foe than any could individually manage. If the art would settle a bit more, this probably could have gotten the “+” but as is my last of the New 52 sampler platter clocks in with a strong Grade B.

Voodoo #1 (DC): Ron Marz. Sami Basri. Voodoo is a stripper. There are aliens on Earth. The former comprises 92% of the story, while the latter makes up the balance. Marz writes like Scott Lobdell having a good day, with tired hoary stereotypes and in your face obvious exposition, but nothing quite as bad as hyper-sexualized Starfire. Basri wants to be Phil Noto, and it might actually work if he wasn’t forced to draw soft core porn. There might be the kernel of an interesting story in here about aliens on Earth involving our half-alien (Daemonite? How long until this crosses over with Grifter?) protagonist, but it’s buried in boobs. This probably deserves a minus, but contextually I can’t possibly score it lower than Red Hood & The Outlaws, so it’s a very weak Grade C.


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