I was once going to buy the House of Mystery. It was reasonable priced because of its chequered history. But the electrics were crap. Even worse that metallic scrap. Which started to go terribly blistery. Well, that is what these chaps told me! Writer: Jeff Lemire; Artist: Mikel Janin; and Publisher: DC Comics in May 2012. I rent now.

So what’s the STORY morning glory?
If you have ever eaten cheese just before you've gone to sleep, then the dream you may have had could be something like this second part of 'The Black Room'. Mysterious - surreal - and slightly aloof to the touch.

  • Picture the scene if you will; all the members of 'Justice League Dark' have gone to 'The House of Mystery' so that they can discus what they should to do next with the map they swiped from Felix Faust last issue.
  • It relates to the location of the books of magic you see.
  • Now Andrew Bennett could not give a toss about any map - so he p*sses off.
  • Deadman and Zatanna on the other hand are none to pleased with how John Constantine is handling this situation - and tell him to p*ss off.
  • Whilst Doctor Mist and Black Orchard doesn't p*ss anywhere - in fact, they are unsure what they should do with themselves really.
  • Unlike Felix Faust - the git - who hatches a plan so cunning and conniving, that it will most probably win the award for the most cunning and conniving plan for 2012.

To be continued when the Demon Three step into the fray.

What is the most memorable SENTENCE OR CONVERSATION spoken in this issue?
As you may well know, I am a right sucker for colloquialisms. In this issue three stuck out for me like a sore thumb...

* 'Sunshine' - as uttered by that w*nker John Constantine.
* 'Limey bastard' - as uttered by that foxy mage, Zatanna.
* Plus my personal favourite - 'Tea is now begrudgingly served' - as uttered by N'aall and my Mum, ha!

What was the BEST thing about this issue?
I loved seeing 'The House Of Mystery' in this issue; as it brought me right back to my days as a 'back issue hunter', trying to track-down the now classic 'Batman / Caine' team-up in 'The Brave and the Bold'.  Moreover, I enjoyed the fact that this concept has been expanded upon within modern DCnU folklore -- giving this legendary domicile a classy yet alternate feel to it.

What was the WORST thing about this issue?
Just like last issue, I am afraid to say that this one also felt slightly top-heavy where the exposition was concerned. OK, so maybe this is Jeff's writing style -- which is fine by me. I just find it a little bit too crammed within the pace of the overall narrative at times -- restricting the tale to talking heads rather than character and scope.

Please note; this is not a bad-bad thing. At best it is a slight gripe.

What was the most CREATIVE thing about this issue?
STORY: There is a very clean and definitive foreboding flavor to this yarn that I really do dig. In many ways the conceptual narrative plays out like Rashomon - with many eyes looking at the same outcome from different points of view. Madam Xanadu. The Team. The Villains. The Government. Now who is correct and who isn't? Not sure at the moment. And that's what I enjoy about it the most.

ART: Honest to God, I do not normally like the sight of blaze designs on character costumes. However, when I saw that panel where Doctor Mist strutted his stuff! Wow! That was both dynamic and bold in a way that I've never seen before in my life. Bravo Mikel Janin. You've converted me to 'neon chic'.

If you had to CAST TWO CHARACTERS in this comic book, who would they be and why?
ABVEGAZER: Steve Pemberton from 'The League of Gentlemen' is always good at playing grotesques. Plus I am sure that he could add come additional personality to this ugly looking demon as well.

RATH: Although he may not be as ugly-looking as his 'League' cohort, Steve, I am sure that Mark Gatiss could match him on the grotesque stakes no problem.

If this issue had a MOVIE TAG LINE, what would it be?
Welcome To The House Of Mystery. The Only House Not Affected By The Recession Because It's Not On Earth.

If this issue were a MOVIE, an OBJECT, or a piece of MUSIC, what would that be and why? 
Now I really enjoyed the surrealist and rustic vibe to this adventure; because in many ways it reminded me of the theme tune of 'The Twilight Zone'. Too many words. Nice and pithy. Plus has a bold pluck to it too.

FINAL thoughts...
I know that I may have sounded a tad too harsh on this issue, but in very real terms I did I enjoy reading it an awful lot.

For a start, I thought that the inclusion of 'The House of Mystery' was a blast -- because it would be a very appropriate headquarters for these 'heroes'. Secondly, the way that John acted like 'Captain W*nker' was just sublime -- he almost appears as an inverted leader now. And thirdly, the conceit that if the heroes win the Earth losses is a great conceit to be expanded upon.

Heck, with just a dash more character and a little less exposition, this book will be perfect.

MARKS out of 10? 8.5