Review Justice League Dark #16 “The Infernal Core”

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Synopsis

The realm the supernatural branch of the Justice League find themselves in is causing horrifying affects to them.  Deadman is alive again, Madame Xanadu is aging rapidly and becoming mortal.  The search for the missing Timothy Hunter and Zatanna is not going to get any easier.  Meanwhile, Tim learns why he has been sought out by the magical beings of the realm.

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Review

The only reason I picked up the book is because it introduces The Infernal Core.  This character was created through a recent episode of the make-up competition show I watch called Face Off.  Being the winning design of a challenge to develop a super hero from scratch, it appears essentially as is in the book.  Turns out his appearance runs for only a few pages.  With the exception of Zatanna and to some extent Constantine and Tim Hunter, I really have no interest in checking out the book.  And I think I understand why as I feel as though I need to be more familiar with the cast of characters in addition to having to have been reading the book regularly.  Writers Jeff Lemire and Ray Fawkes don’t exactly allow for new readers to be able to jump in and figure out what is going on.  Granted the back-story revealed to Tim is interesting, I still feel as lost as I did when I was reading the first page.

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Which is too bad because the artwork by Mikel Janin is very good.  Each drawing is nice and clean, able to convey movement and weight.  And since he inks his own work, Mikel is able to make sure that there is definition to the lines that are shown.  The coloring by Jeromy Cox is quite magnificent.  Take the way he realizes the Infernal Core, intensifying the areas of the character’s body to best project molten lava that is moving and burning all over.  The coloring provides amazing depth to the illustrations and really brings everything to life in a beautiful way.  It’s just unfortunate that it ends up feeling wasted on a book that quite frankly does not really spark enough intrigue for me.

To read Justice League Dark, I would imagine that the reader has to be familiar with just about everything that is going on in the book.  From knowing the characters to having read the book from the start, this is not the kind of book any one could open up sixteen issues in and expect to understand what is happening.  Even with an interesting back-story to the realm the characters find themselves in for this specific story-arc and some wonderful artwork on display, I can only recommend this book to those who are already fans of the title because everyone else would surely feel as lost as I am.

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