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review 2014-07-10 06:58
Okay, I'll keep reading
Justice League Dark, Vol. 1: In the Dark - Peter Milligan,Mikel Janin,Ryan Sook

The short of it: This is weird!

For a supernatural fiction-attracted person like myself, the idea of a Justice League sub-group with members who are all gifted in the magical/supernatural arena was too awesome to resist. It has some pretty weighty DC magical members, such as John Constantine, Zatanna (one of my new favorites), Madame Xanadu, and Deadman. Add some new to me character like Shade The Changing Man and Mindwarp, and you have an interesting cast of characters. Madame Xanadu is a powerful seer who foretells the end of the world, unless this specific group of people can work together long enough to set things right. That is much more difficult than it seems, with differing agendas and levels of commitment on offer. Not to mention a very powerful, very dangerous adversary, Enchantress, who has lost her human host and is going on a rampage.

Yeah, this was weird. I think the thing I liked the most was the ensemble cast. The storyline didn't really capture my interest. It was pretty gruesome and just plain kooky. Overall, made the book hard to follow. Also, some characters had stronger roles than others. I think that lacking backstory on some of the characters left a few question marks for me. I consulted the DC Comics Wikia and that definitely helped.

Of course, I'm not done reading this series. It's sort of a mediocre start, but I can see some promise. Plus, I just love Zatanna and I do have a sort of thing for that rogue John Constantine.

It's a three star rating for me.

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review 2014-07-05 02:20
Confused and Disgusted???
House of Mystery, Vol. 4: The Beauty of Decay - Matthew Sturges,Luca Rossi,Werther Dell'Edera,José Marzán Jr.,Bill Willingham,Richard Corben,Michael W. Kaluta

Still not in love with this series. I think I will continue to read it, but it might be too dark and twisted and it's definitely somewhat incomprehensible to me.

I really like the idea of stories within stories, which is a prominent feature of this book. I just wasn't that fond of the stories, except I did kind of like the one written by Bill Willingham about a man trapped in a castle with the last surviving servant and the creatures who are stalking them. I despise cockroaches and I found the tale from the viewpoint of a cockroach utterly disgusting. Your mileage may vary. The Constantine story was interesting but sad. The poet, Eduard's backstory, not sure how I feel about it.

I'm not loving the overlying thread of the Conception and Cain. I guess there is some dark humor in the fact that Cain continually kills Abel (who then resurrects), but I am not a huge fan of that plot device. It's just kind of mean, honestly.

I do like some of the characters, like Fig and Harry and Pirate Mary, but this is one of those series where you never know if someone is going to get killed off soon, so better not to get too attached to anyone.

I'm trying to figure out what is inhibiting my enjoyment of this series. I really do think I have an issue with a lack of clarity in the concept. I feel that things are getting even more difficult to understand (instead of the opposite) and the subject matter is really quite unpalatable.

I would like to hold out and see where things go with this series, especially with the Constantine connection. And I hate the fact that I am so clueless about what's going on here. I'm stubborn. Always have been. I won't throw in the towel just yet.

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