The Shadow Pact Part One
This book is the first issue in the second arc of Justice League Dark. The magic focused Justice League team has an unorthodox membership, which also makes for some great character interaction. I honestly wish I’d grabbed an issue of this series earlier!
Nicola Scott and Romulo Fajardo Jr put together a very awesome cover! Detective Chimp appears front and center, wielding a sword in both hands and facing off against a dragon. The rest of the team is slowly getting up from whatever may have knocked them to the ground, making it seem like Detective Chimp is the teams only hope. They appear to be in a bit of a wasteland, with lightning flashing in the background. It’s a really cool looking cover, and the image of a chimp in a suit fighting a dragon with a sword grabbed me. It has the potential to just be silly, but Scott and Fajardo made it look amazing. It’s literally the reason I grabbed the book.
Daniel Sampere draws this issue, with Adriano Lucas handling the colouring duties. I enjoyed the art in this book. The first half takes place at a funeral and though not overly dark, has a really sombre feel. The scenes with Constantine and then in the land of Myrra have a very magical feel to them, which fits great with the book. All of the characters are well realized, from Man-Bat to Swamp Thing to Detective Chimp to the human characters, they all look great. I enjoyed the range of emotion visible on the faces of all the team, and the way the settings were drawn and coloured. The artistic team made everything just look like it fit. Beautiful book.
The Nightmaster is dead. Detective Chimp has taken over both his bar and his sword, but seems more interested in drinking away his sorrows than living up to what his friend saw in him. The story does a great job of showing the Nightmaster’s funeral, and then transitions smoothly into the bulk of the team coming to Bobo and imploring him to get them to the land of Myrra to find a weapon to defeat the Otherkind. We then see a quick transition to Constantine and Swamp Thing set to face off against Doctor Fate. The battle appears to be a ruse to lure out the Phantom Stranger, and Constantine looks way better here than he did in the Hellblazer series.
The issue ends in Myrra, with the team facing off against hordes of the undead, with Detective Chimp saying this is all his fault. They defeat the undead, but then encounter one of the guests from the funeral, and they are not happy to see Bobo returning to Myrra.
James Tynion IV wrote a hell of an issue, with the opening at the funeral being particularly good. Overall this is a really good issue, and if the rest of the series is anything like this, it’s worth getting every month.