Justice League Dark #15: The Hand of Epoch

Justice League Dark #15

You know, I don't think I've ever seen a character in a comic book overact before, but if the above image from Mikel Janin in Justice League Dark #15 isn't overacting, I don't know how else to describe it. You can almost here the exaggerated Tim Allen question-grunt coming out of Zatanna's mouth as she looks around at all these magic creatures asking for her young companion, Timothy Hunter.

Last time out, the Books of Magic launched Hunter and Zee into another dimension, one where apparently wild magic abounds, woodland creatures want Hunter to save them, and there are hard-line magic police with the motto of "Strength and Precision" who are trying to arrest them on sight on behalf of somebody or something named Epoch. Back home, the rest of the JLD have to concoct a way to follow them, and when they get there, the place affects them in crazy ways. Only Frankenstein has yet to seem affected. Black Orchid turns into some kind of purple Swamp Thing, Deadman is alive, Madame Xanadu rapidly ages and, horror of horrors, John Constantine can no longer lie. Thus, he gushes genuine self-deprecating emotion about his conflict between looking out for himself and actually giving a damn about his team.

Folks lamenting the loss of the Vertigo version of Constantine probably won't much enjoy that.

Jeff Lemire and Ray Fawkes have certainly put us in an interesting place – wild magic, naked giants, wood nymphs – and it promises to be a fairly engaging Harry Potter 'chosen one' story for Hunter. Janin's artwork is generally pretty solid, although as much as I campaign for greater expressiveness in comic book art, here, he goes overboard at times. It's not a good sign if you can mentally hear Goofy noises coming out of Zatanna's mouth.

Justice League Dark #15 is a pretty fun book, though, as it has complete license to get really, really weird out of nowhere. That's magic, folks.