Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Justice League Dark Annual #2 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: J.M. DeMatteis
Art By: Klaus Janson, John Stanisci
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: October 29, 2014


Houses Are Terrible People


In Justice League Dark #35, we saw Zatanna in a sort of Wonderland after her and the JLD were transported after some sort of epic adventure that we didn't get to see yet.  Well I hope you're a fan of prequels because we've got one here.  In this Annual we'll see what led to Zatanna's adventures in Wonderland and how a whole mess of present and past Justice League Dark members got themselves all messed up in space and time......... and possibly dimensions.  Magic's weird.  Okay let's check out this Annual and see if this story breaks our preconceived notions about prequels.  Let's check it out.

Explain It!:

Our story begins in Paris, the city of lights where Constantine has asked Zatanna to meet up with him.  Now Zatanna seems to think that John is simply trying to "Woo" her, you know with Paris and all to get leadership of the Justice League Dark back and even accuses him of using a seduction spell on her...... I guess it's a form of mystical roofies, but after Z storms off back to her hotel room, John follows and swears that he didn't use any spell and I guess the "Woo" worked a bit because the two end up kissing.  Only problem here is.... you know with the exception of morning clarity, when John opens his eyes from the smooch, he's been transported to a nightmare from the mind of M.C. Escher.  


John focuses himself and rights the world he's been transported to and finds that he's in the company of the human personification to the House of Secrets.  You know...... right?  The sister house to the House of Mystery.  Anyway the House of Secrets lays down what it's sibling is up to - it's the age old story about when a big house wants to become all houses in the world in order to leech off of people's emotional imprints they leave in the walls around them to ultimately make the world into one big....... House.  Now while all this exposition is being laid down, Zatanna finds herself transported from the smooch to the House of Mystery where we also find Swamp Thing, Nightmare Nurse and Deadman.  There the House of Mystery has also taken up human form and warns Zatanna that his sister is planning on destroying the world.  Are you following so far?  So the House of Mystery is raising an army of Justice League Darkers and The House of Secrets is raising it's own army against the House of Mystery in the form of Constantine, Madam Xanadu, Frankenstein, Andrew Bennett and Black Orchid.  It all boils down to each group believing their respective houses and trying to stop the other.

During the fighting between the Justice League Dark it seems that Constantine gets a little confused and forgets who he's rooting for because while trying to explain to Zatanna, he says that the House of Secrets has lied to her........ But.... But... She's working with the House of Mystery.  Anyway, eventually all of the Dark characters begin feeling weak the the ground opens up beneath them and they are all powerless to stop themselves from falling.  See this battle between the two Houses was all a ruse to get our heroes to fight.  The two Houses used the mixture of magic and emotion to conjure up their own spell to merge together and become... Dun. Dun Dun...  The House of Wonders....... Wasn't this the plot to House Party 5, or am I remembering it wrong?  

The House of Wonders begins merging with every home in the world and eventually would of completely taken over if Zatanna hadn't realized that these viruses that affected the Houses were originally using the love that Constantine felt for Zatanna to get their spell running.  Constantine decides that the spell should be the Kam'Deva Curse that erases all traces of love from the individual's mind forever so that it never existed.  Constantine takes on the curse, while Swamp Thing and Deadman begin attacking the House of Wonders from the inside and eventually Constantine is burned up when Zatanna magically rips out his heart.



In the end the House of Wonders tears apart and our heroes are sucked into...... Well I guess Wonderland, where they were last issue and Constantine was blown back to Earth from the spell and tells us that nobody will remember the House of Wonders attack on Earth.  Before the comic closes Constantine begins crying and has no idea why and we really feel for him when he says that Zatanna is definitely better at running the Justice League Dark than him and is surprised that they never got together.  He eventually brushes it off and ends things by saying that she's just not his type.


That's it for this Annual and for as much as I liked issue 35, I can't say that I was too impressed with this JLD outing.  Prequels I guess will always let me down and I was a sucker to think that this would be any different.  Don't get me wrong it's a great looking issue, but I might be jaded in thinking that with over sized Annuals we have a lot more story to let the reader down than a lot more to entice us.  See you for Justice League #36 where we hopefully continue the fun of the last issue.  See you then.

Bits and Pieces:

For the size of this story there wasn't really a lot going on....... Well I'm wrong, there was a hell of a lot of exposition going on because man did this story need to convey to the reader it's purpose.  Sadly it didn't really do a good job and we're left not really knowing who the bad guys truly were and it was just a way to get our characters on point for their last adventure in Justice League Dark #35.  I guess the lesson here is that prequels will always let us down.  Even though I was mostly confused for the majority of the story, all the characters and backgrounds looked great during that confusion, so top notch work there all the way through.  It seems like it's an important story, so you'll probably want to get this one, but you won't be happy with yourself afterwards.

6.5/10

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