All Associated Cover/Issue Images
- Madame Xanadu
- What you’ve been experiencing… are not, strictly speaking, nightmares… They are glimpses of the future that would have come to be had… I not brought you all together to fight Enchantress. They are also a hint of what new futures might transpire… if you go your separate ways… this might be hard to accept… but our greatest enemy… them most dangerous adversary we will face… is ourselves.
Synopsis "In The Dark Post-Mortem: The Bloody Reunion" (20-pages)
Dreams plague the magicians that faced down the Enchantress. John Constantine sees London destroyed when a fake demon summoning spell really works, Zatanna is pursued by corpses that are immune to her magic, and Rac Shade is hunted by a monster created by his attempts to recreate his dead lover. Even the ghostly Deadman has a waking nightmare of his ex-lover Dawn being killed due to his actions. However, he recognises his dream for what it is and blames his attempt to possess John Constantine’s filthy body.
Deadman seeks out Constantine to demand answers and finds him outside of Madame Xanadu’s parlour. John is in his normal charismatic mood. He baits Deadman and then walks straight through him. They find that Zatanna and Rac Shade are already in Madame Xanadu’s Parlour seeking answers to their own nightmares. Constantine goads Shade about his “blubbering about this dead bird, Kathy” and gets knocked to the ground. Mindwarp is still missing, so Xanadu begins to explain that they are all suffering something more than nightmares.
Madame Xanadu’s explanation is cut short when Shade’s M-Vest pulls the Kathy monster into the waking world from his nightmare. Deadman and Shade collaborate to destroy it. Xanadu comments that this shows they can work together when pressed. The nightmares that they have all experienced are glimpses of a future — that she has already foreseen — where they have not worked together or have gone their separate ways. The magicians are then forced to resign themselves to being a group of sorts.
Madame Xanadu is interrupted for a second time when she clutches her head and screams – she has felt the death of Andrew Bennett and the rise of the primal vampire Cain.
The previous five issues showed the origin of Justice League Dark and finished with a cracking conclusion that implied that the Team had gone their separate ways. This issue does the hard part — convincing the individuals that they still need to stay together as some sort of group. That leads to a confrontation in Madame Xanadu’s Parlour and a confrontation with something drawn from Shade’s unconscious by his M-Vest. That fight feels forced. Yes it demonstrates that the magicians can work together, but it doesn’t quite feel right. These people are damaged, not stupid. They shouldn’t need this level of coercion to remain a group.
Visually this issue is stunning. The opening panel of Constantine running from the flames may be the best the character has ever looked. I also really glad that Mikel Janin has been allowed to supply this comic’s cover. That isn’t meant to be a complaint about Ryan Sook who is indeed a great artist, but I’m note entirely sure why that have him as cover artists when his and Janin’s photo-realistic styles are so similar.
Surveying the Internets
Ryan K. Lindsay (CBR) writing about this issue says that:
As a jumping on point, “Justice League Dark” #6 by Peter Milligan is effective at outlining the characters and yet, fails to majorly capitalize on using them to form a narrative. This issue hints at a story, it teases possibilities, it makes you mildly start to wonder — and then it sends you off to another title completely.
Pierce Lydon (Newsarama) observes that:
Milligan sues these scenes [the nightmares] to show that in some ways these characters are not that different. They are all afraid of something. They have regrets. They have wants and needs. The cover claims they are bound by destiny but Milligan goes deeper to show that they are not bound by destiny alone.
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Page 6. Rac Shade rips his t-shirt and coat away to reveal the M-Vest beneath. Its been mentioned before, but I think this is the first time that we’ve seen the vest in this series. He had “successfully” recreated Kathy in Justice League Dark #1 (Nov 2011), but disolved her when duty called him elsewhere. Since then the vest has been wrestling with him, creating perversions and mutations of Kathy.
Page 7. Deadman: I shouldn’t have broken up with you. As mentioned in last issues annotations (Justice League Dark #5 (March 2012)), Hawk and Dove and Justice League Dark have diverged on Deadman and Dove’s breakup. Deadman states her that he broke up with Dove, but it was actually her who broke up with him — ostensibly to protect him from the threats that she was facing.
Page 11. John Constantine disappeared from Zatanna’s hotel room in Justice League Dark #3 (Jan 2012).
Page 20. Andrew Bennett is an old DC Comics character, a classic/gothic style vampire who fought his own kind. The New 52 relaunched his adventures as I, Vampire. More about his in the next issue review.