Writer: J.M. DeMatteis
Artist: Mikel Janin
Published by DC Comics
The mind can play tricks on you. The mind can make you think things that aren’t real. It can cause hallucinations, visions, and manifestations that may or may not be there. So what happens when the mind is infected with a virus? A virus that is foreign to every doctor on Earth? What if the only cure was in the unknown? And what if all it took was a house to cure you?
These are the questions in Justice League Dark issue #24.
The Justice Leagues are dead, or so it has been broadcasted around the world by the Crime Syndicate, but someone has survived and his name is John Constantine. How he survived is a mystery, a House of Mystery. This issue sees John alive and almost well inside the mystical house, who based on the narrative has plans for John and does not want to see him dead just yet. Having seemingly brought him back from the fight with the Syndicate, John is taken on a tour of the mind. A tour into the darkest places a person can go and how those places and actions can cause an effect on this world that makes living and fighting seem hopeless. But what if all that is told to you was a lie? What if it was just the delusions caused by a virus transferred to you by a mystical artifact?
John was not immune to Pandora’s Box as we all were brought to believe. Even the great mystic John Constantine can be influenced by the accursed relic, though in different ways than the other members of the Leagues. So while we are treated to his subconscious and how the virus plagues him into believing that the worst of mankind will always lead to ruin, we are treated to questions that fit right into the tone of the book.
Do God and the Devil exist or are they just more manifestations of the human mind? Why fight when the evil grows like a serpent, hovering above the world delving it into darkness? What is more powerful than evil? The answer is Love.
J.M. DeMatteis has taken us on a trip of the mind, a tour of the unknown and the journey to enlightenment that could only be told through the character of John Constantine. We know John is not one to have physical relationships and seems to only ever be out for one person and that’s himself. So it is a welcomed treat to get inside his head and see that there are those he holds dear and those he would gladly fight for. Those that he would even team up with someone he normally wouldn’t just to save them.
Namely the Nightmare Nurse!
Last seen in Phantom Stranger the Nurse is back and not only healing John but helping him on his quest to rescue the rest of the JLD, and she is not alone. All I have to ask is HOW DO YOU GROW YOUR OWN SWAMP THING?
JLD has always been a book that looked into the mystical world of the DC Universe while, as John puts them, the “Capes” are out dealing with the alien and domestic. This issue played up the mystery and magical world that we find John in. Giving us a look at what makes him tick, what his relationship to the House of Mystery is, and what he is willing to do to say the woman he loves. Along the way we get classic sarcasm and surly exposition from John. We also get a scene that reminds me of the scene from Army of Darkness where Ash is attacked by the mini-Ash’s. Though the mini-Johns are a lot more demonic looking, but still fun to see they pop up in different panels.
A good book that discusses how the teams will be coming back and how far those who are still around are coming to grips with the task they have at hand. JLD is a good companion to this week’s Justice League book, as with that one it focuses on a member of the Syndicate this one we focus on a member of the Leagues. While it is still left to be seen how DC is going to come out of this whole arc and not have issues that will affect the entire universe. I can see that at least the writers of the Justice Leagues books are trying hard to keep it interesting.
However, was this a story for the JLD or should it have been in Constantine instead? Should it have focus on what was going on with the members and not just a Constantine narrative? Perhaps, but still even if it had Constantine on the cover instead of JLD it was still a pretty interesting read.
So From Spin to you I give JLD a
4 out of 5 nerds