It must be very difficult picking up the pieces. It must be like swimming through garbage and faeces. Smelly at first. Then you feel cursed. When your vocabulary drastically decreases. Oh! That reminds me to contact the spooky creative team of Writer: Jeff Lemire; Artists: Graham Nolan and Victor Drujiniu; and Publisher: DC Comics in December 2012. Not sure why though.

So what’s the STORY morning glory?
Whilst Deadman, John Constantine, Madam Xanadu, and some twat called Doctor Peril, all try to figure out how to retrieve Timothy Hunter and Zatanna from the pages of the 'Books of Magic', can you guess what the rest of the team do in this adventure entitled, 'Enter the House of Mystery'?

  • Yes. That is correct, dear reader. Black Orchid, Frankenstein, and Amethyst, enter the House of Mystery.
  • Granted, they didn't know that this simple task would turn out in the way it did for them.
  • Skeletons strike. Martians molest. And I won't even tell you what Black Orchid sees when she peeks into one of the many-many evolving rooms within.
  • However, what I will say; is that after this event, she's as shocked as a sudden appearance made by the Phantom Stranger, whom tells the team to 'choose sides' in an impending battle ahead. 

Damn right to be continued...

What is the most memorable SENTENCE OR CONVERSATION spoken in this issue?
Quite a few pithy phases made me chuckle out loud when I read them in this issue. For example:

1) 'I told you that we should have never come into this cursed place' -- because it basically sums-up one part of the story.
2) 'You don't know John Constantine very well, do you?' -- because this is starting to sound like a catchphrase for this title.
3) 'Bingo Bango' -- because this is the type of cr*p I come up with in my everyday life.

What was the BEST thing about this issue?
Without a shadow of a doubt, there were two scenes that stood out from the crowd for me amidst this adventure. The first one was the scene where Black Orchid discovers a secret room with all the information pertaining to the DC heroes in it -- that was very 'Booster Gold chalkboard', right? And the second one was the final scene where the Phantom Stranger told John and company to 'choose sides', whilst Pandora was hovering in the distance -- oohhhh! Very ominous indeed.

What was the WORST thing about this issue?
Now, without sounding like a complete plumb -- ops! Too late -- one of the things I wasn't very keen on, was how this particular tale felt like a 'stop gap' in between two bigger story-lines.

Admittedly, this is only a minor flaw within the scheme of things. But one worth mentioning, nonetheless.

What was the most CREATIVE thing about this issue?
STORY: To me, adventure is the key to this particular issue; by highlighting both the 'old guard' and maybe the 'new guard', by given each party a story-strand to explore. Granted, the 'old guard' story-stand did feel more relevant in hindsight. But the possible 'new guard' story-stand was much more enjoyable to follow.

ART: Now it's pretty safe to say that Graham Nolan or Victor Drujiniu aren't bad artists. They're no Mikel Janin. Granted. But that does not necessarily mean they are unable to draw a mean looking set of characters, all of which stay true to form with their obvious character traits.

That's good.  Very good for a guest-pencillers.

On a side note, regular series artist, Mikel Janin, has kindly informed me that Graham did most of the layouts, whilst Victor's work is about 85% of the lineart. Thanks Mikel.

If you had to CAST TWO CHARACTERS in this comic book, who would they be and why?
FRANKENSTEIN: Still sticking with this month's comedy casting-call theme, I'd pick 'Mock the Week' host, Dara Ó Briain, to do this un-dead brute, with a heart of gold, some justice.

JOHN: Back in the day when queer meant ill, and fagot was something you'd eat, Jim Davidson would have been a perfect match for this magician of dubious intent. Just a little less politically correct is all.

If this issue had a MOVIE TAG LINE, what would it be?
Enter The House Of Mystery At Your Own Peril -- $5 Per Person -- Or $10 For A Party Of Three.

If this issue were a MOVIE, an OBJECT, or a piece of MUSIC, what would that be and why? 
Whilst reading the part of the story where Black Orchard and company were looking for a secret 'trigger switch' in the library, my mind suddenly flashed back to the Mel Brook's movie 'Young Frankenstein'. Conceptually, it reminded me of the scene where Gene Wilder's character accidentally discovers a secret passageway to his Great Grandfathers secret library, situated behind a giant bookcase.

Now I'm afraid to say that I can not show you what I mean by this, dear reader. (Damn you YouTube). So instead, how about a related trailer?

FINAL thoughts...
Dear People Who Are In Charge Of Magic at DC Comics,

Greetings my friends, it's nice to see the spiritual side of this company having some time in the spotlight for a change. Moreover, I'm very happy that there a number of new spooky title appearing in the ether as well; conjured up by whim of fate and editorial edict.

However, if it is OK with you, I would like to impart some much needed advice at this juncture.

'Sometimes too much is too much' -- and -- 'Rome wasn't built in a day'.

OK, I know that was two pieces of advice. Nonetheless, they both need to be taken into consideration, if we don't want to see the concept of magic dwindle away at DC, as it has done so in the past.

Doctor Fate. The Spectre. The Shadowpact. Ragman. Plus quite a few other books I care not to mention, have all come and gone over the years. Each of them had their merits (except for The Shadowpact). Each of them had their faults (except for The Spectre). But ultimately, it was the manner in which DC tried to flood the market with this genre of series that sunk it into the abyss.

Please don't do it again. I don't want to see Justice League Dark go the same way. It's a good book.  A great book. With a smashing cast of characters that should last from here to eternity.

May your Lord go with you.

Love, Light, and Peace -- The Reviewer.

MARKS out of 10? 9

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #14 JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #14 Reviewed by David Andrews on December 17, 2012 Rating: 5
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