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Justice League Dark, Volume 2: The Books of Magic

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New York Times best selling author Jeff Lemire takes over Justice League Dark and just when you thought it couldn't get darker... Vampires across the world have gone berserk, attacking anything with a pulse. Fearing her apocalyptic vision of the future has come to pass, Madame Xanadu mobilizes the team to intervene. But everything the Justice League Dark members know about New York Times best selling author Jeff Lemire takes over Justice League Dark and just when you thought it couldn't get darker... Vampires across the world have gone berserk, attacking anything with a pulse. Fearing her apocalyptic vision of the future has come to pass, Madame Xanadu mobilizes the team to intervene. But everything the Justice League Dark members know about how to slay a vampire is useless, for the world has changed. Collecting: Justice League Dark 7-13, 0, Annual 1


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New York Times best selling author Jeff Lemire takes over Justice League Dark and just when you thought it couldn't get darker... Vampires across the world have gone berserk, attacking anything with a pulse. Fearing her apocalyptic vision of the future has come to pass, Madame Xanadu mobilizes the team to intervene. But everything the Justice League Dark members know about New York Times best selling author Jeff Lemire takes over Justice League Dark and just when you thought it couldn't get darker... Vampires across the world have gone berserk, attacking anything with a pulse. Fearing her apocalyptic vision of the future has come to pass, Madame Xanadu mobilizes the team to intervene. But everything the Justice League Dark members know about how to slay a vampire is useless, for the world has changed. Collecting: Justice League Dark 7-13, 0, Annual 1

30 review for Justice League Dark, Volume 2: The Books of Magic

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    Ah Justice League Dorks, the Paul Daniels version of the Justice League. However, unlike Paul’s catchphrase “You’ll like this… not a lot, but you’ll like it”, you won’t like this, not even a little! In Peter Milligan’s portion of the book, the JLD fight an army of vampires while trying to recruit a special vampire just cos. Things move laterally from terrible to terrible as Jeff Lemire takes over writing and the JLD try to get The Books of Magic before some evil magicians do. Boring doesn’t begi Ah Justice League Dorks, the Paul Daniels version of the Justice League. However, unlike Paul’s catchphrase “You’ll like this… not a lot, but you’ll like it”, you won’t like this, not even a little! In Peter Milligan’s portion of the book, the JLD fight an army of vampires while trying to recruit a special vampire just cos. Things move laterally from terrible to terrible as Jeff Lemire takes over writing and the JLD try to get The Books of Magic before some evil magicians do. Boring doesn’t begin to express the experience of reading either of these stories. All the action is tedious as characters hurl colourful beams of light at one another with no sense of scale, limitation, magnitude of power – this is why magic in general is a load of old bollocks, because you’ve no idea what’s happening and there’s zero tension as a result. Anything can happen and therefore nothing that does is interesting. The characters are a naff bunch – “Nick Necro”? Ugh! They’re not at all a convincing team and nothing they do is remotely compelling. We desperately have to add this person to team because they’re magic too even though once we do our collective strength remains the same! Let’s quest for a MacGuffin because we gotta do something! Yawners. Neil Gaiman fans will recognise some of his more obscure Vertigo characters here. Tim Hunter from The Books of Magic (hence the subtitle) and Black Orchid. Neither were good characters in Gaiman’s hands and aren’t improved by Lemire/Milligan. Black Orchid looks like a purple female Midnighter for some reason, Lord Faust(!) looks like a Richard Corben castoff and Zatanna looks like a Goth stripper more than usual. I can’t imagine there are many people with the same bad idea as me to revisit old New 52 titles but, if you’re contemplating it, I’d steer clear of Justice League Dark – it’s abradacrapra!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Calista

    I am enjoying this series. There are tie-ins to SHADE and Frankenstein shows up. He's quite the character. I had fun seeing him. He's elegant and battle hungry, interesting. The character I really enjoy in this series is Madame Xanadu. She is not with the gang much in this one, but she is trying to figure out what is going on and to fix it all. She is powerful in her own way. She does end up at the climax of the story with everyone else taking on the big bad - Felix Faustis and company. I'm growi I am enjoying this series. There are tie-ins to SHADE and Frankenstein shows up. He's quite the character. I had fun seeing him. He's elegant and battle hungry, interesting. The character I really enjoy in this series is Madame Xanadu. She is not with the gang much in this one, but she is trying to figure out what is going on and to fix it all. She is powerful in her own way. She does end up at the climax of the story with everyone else taking on the big bad - Felix Faustis and company. I'm growing to enjoy these characters. I'm missing the guy with the psychedelic jacket as he is missing from this story. We do get another new character - Black Orchid - who works for ARGUS. Zantana and Deadmen are great characters and I like getting to know them. I thought John Constantine was better in this volume than the first one. He wasn't so horrible. He is unpredictable and a really big jerk, but he is slowly, very slowly growing on me. Batgirl shows up during the opening Vampire number. I wasn't too crazy about the vampires. I like the story of the Search for the books of Magic. It was a nice story arc. It left us on one hell of a cliff hanger. I mean, really, did it need to do that. I guess I need to go ahead and order the next one up. This series keeps getting better for me. I look forward to reading more.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    I'm bucking the tide people! What the hell does that even mean? How do you buck a tide? Anyway, I loved this! I'm not seeing a ton of glowing reviews for JLD, but it hit the spot for me. Constantine is such a bent character that you never know what side he's on, and that theme plays highly into the plot of volume 2. The Books of Magic are the prize that everyone from A.R.G.U.S to the bad guys want to get hold of, and it seems that JLD might be the only thing standing in everyone's way. If you're no I'm bucking the tide people! What the hell does that even mean? How do you buck a tide? Anyway, I loved this! I'm not seeing a ton of glowing reviews for JLD, but it hit the spot for me. Constantine is such a bent character that you never know what side he's on, and that theme plays highly into the plot of volume 2. The Books of Magic are the prize that everyone from A.R.G.U.S to the bad guys want to get hold of, and it seems that JLD might be the only thing standing in everyone's way. If you're not into magicky stuff, then stay away from this one. The entire thing is nothing but a bunch of bad-ass magic users throwing spells at each other. The blurb makes it seem like this is about vampire hunting or something, but I don't remember that playing into the story very much. I mean there were vampires running around Gotham sucking the life out of people, but the majority of this focuses on the Books of Magic. Personally, I thought the whole thing was fun from start to finish, but judging from some of the other reviews, it may not be everyone's cuppa.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Meh. 2 1/2 stars. I really wanted to like Justice League Dark, but the irony is that it just wasn't as, well, dark as I wanted it to be. Maybe that was an unfair expectation on my part, but with John Constantine in the lead I was really hoping for a more mature plotline and something a little grittier. In the end, it's a fairly conventional storyline that kind of plods along without gaining any real momentum. The keys to the legendary Books of Magic have been discovered, bad guys want them, good Meh. 2 1/2 stars. I really wanted to like Justice League Dark, but the irony is that it just wasn't as, well, dark as I wanted it to be. Maybe that was an unfair expectation on my part, but with John Constantine in the lead I was really hoping for a more mature plotline and something a little grittier. In the end, it's a fairly conventional storyline that kind of plods along without gaining any real momentum. The keys to the legendary Books of Magic have been discovered, bad guys want them, good guys want to stop them, John Constantine may or may not be a good guy as he might just covet the books for himself . . . yawn. Also, so many characters weave in and out of the narrative in a completely transparent attempt to lure readers into other series that none of them are actually there long enough to be fully developed or fully utilized. I was initially drawn to the series because Andrew Bennett was being introduced to the team, but he pops in and out with such underwhelming results that I could go for an issue or two and completely forget of his existence until I saw an asterisk with "Check out issue # of I, Vampire for this exciting storyline!" When Amethyst from Sword of Sorcery* checks in, I decided I was ready to check out of this series. *(I've never read Sword of Sorcery and so maybe that's unfair, but the covers smack a little too much of She-Ra, Princess of Power, to pique my curiosity. Way too much pink and purple happening there.) Cross posted at This Insignificant Cinder

  5. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    There's a lot building up in this series that holds promise so we'll see if it keeps. Magic over super powers is a very nice change. I know some of the characters but you don't need to know the back stories of everyone to enjoy the series. It comes out in pieces anyway. OVERALL GRADE: B to B plus. There's a lot building up in this series that holds promise so we'll see if it keeps. Magic over super powers is a very nice change. I know some of the characters but you don't need to know the back stories of everyone to enjoy the series. It comes out in pieces anyway. OVERALL GRADE: B to B plus.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    "Get your game faces on, kids. IT'S TIME TO SAVE THE WORLD." -- John Constantine Although the main story is a basic (and slightly long-winded) 'retrieve the MacGuffin' type of plot, The Books of Magic entertainingly continues the adventures of this newly-formed special-ops spell-casting team. Things get underway with the violent combating of a sudden vampire invasion in Gotham City - Batman and Batgirl have cameos, naturally - before settling into the quest for those titular objects. There is als "Get your game faces on, kids. IT'S TIME TO SAVE THE WORLD." -- John Constantine Although the main story is a basic (and slightly long-winded) 'retrieve the MacGuffin' type of plot, The Books of Magic entertainingly continues the adventures of this newly-formed special-ops spell-casting team. Things get underway with the violent combating of a sudden vampire invasion in Gotham City - Batman and Batgirl have cameos, naturally - before settling into the quest for those titular objects. There is also some nice backstory finally provided for Zatanna and Constantine. The team line-up is even more fluid this time - one member is largely absent from the action until the climax, while another drops out early on; also, Black Orchid is brought on per U.S. government request - but a couple of unexpected special additions in the final two chapters are most welcome. 3.5 stars

  7. 4 out of 5

    Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)

    I liked this a lot more than the first volume, thus the higher rating. The storyline makes more sense to me, and it's quite menacing with a series of stories where the team is forced to give their 100% in working together to save the world, and a team of people who don't want to work together having to do so. I also liked the look back when Zatanna and Constantine meet, since it ties into the story as an old enemy from their past becomes an issue again. Also, I liked the way the story leads into I liked this a lot more than the first volume, thus the higher rating. The storyline makes more sense to me, and it's quite menacing with a series of stories where the team is forced to give their 100% in working together to save the world, and a team of people who don't want to work together having to do so. I also liked the look back when Zatanna and Constantine meet, since it ties into the story as an old enemy from their past becomes an issue again. Also, I liked the way the story leads into a huge arc that promises to provide plenty of fuel over this series. They have a special kid to protect, for specific reasons. Constantine, who is not quite a hero, has to man up and be heroic to save the world. But never fear, he's still up to his shifty tricks. Also, there were some cool cameos that sent me running to the DC Wikia page to do some research. This story was fun but scary and has plenty of cool magical and action moments. There are plenty of twists and turns and the story feels more developed, cohesive and layered. It's definitely convinced me to keep reading this series. I would have done so half-heartedly before (just because of Constantine and Zatanna), but now I'm invested. My advice is if you didn't like the first volume, don't give up. This one is much better. I enjoyed the heck out of it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    Ehhhhh.....not really that great. Not really a lot else to say about this one unfortunately. Oh yeah, did find out why the Hell Constantine brought Amaya over from her gem-a-riffic dimension. Also, Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E. seems kind of interesting. Other than that, BORING and unremarkable.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alex Sarll

    I like some of Jeff Lemire's stuff, but as this story neared the end I was thinking...this just isn't working. Yes, it may have John Constantine, but this is not the Constantine I know. I'm going to drop it, because I can always get my dose of John over in Hellblazer. The very next day, news came through that Hellblazer was cancelled, and mainstream DC Universe Constantine is the only Constantine we get from next year. Oh, DC. You have the best characters in comics, but you really don't know what I like some of Jeff Lemire's stuff, but as this story neared the end I was thinking...this just isn't working. Yes, it may have John Constantine, but this is not the Constantine I know. I'm going to drop it, because I can always get my dose of John over in Hellblazer. The very next day, news came through that Hellblazer was cancelled, and mainstream DC Universe Constantine is the only Constantine we get from next year. Oh, DC. You have the best characters in comics, but you really don't know what to do with them, do you?

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    For personal enjoyment, this was probably a two, maybe a two-and-one-half star read. Objectively, it was 'better' -- a good story-line threaded through the nine issues making up this collection, and the art was well-executed. I just happened to dislike several things about the book. -- One story-line chops off, so that it can be picked up in another comic book. Dead end story. -- Exposition. Exposition, exposition, exposition. And when you've have enough - exposition. -- No character gets adequate For personal enjoyment, this was probably a two, maybe a two-and-one-half star read. Objectively, it was 'better' -- a good story-line threaded through the nine issues making up this collection, and the art was well-executed. I just happened to dislike several things about the book. -- One story-line chops off, so that it can be picked up in another comic book. Dead end story. -- Exposition. Exposition, exposition, exposition. And when you've have enough - exposition. -- No character gets adequate 'screen' time to develop actual personality, except three: 'Villain Prime' (view spoiler)[some callback to a mystic hero or villain I had never heard of, Nick Necro (hide spoiler)] , the rogue ass-hat Constantine, and the damsel-in-distress dressed like Zatanna (OK, I guess it is Zatanna, but not like any characterization of Zee I've seen before. -- Neil Gaiman / Vertigo creation Timothy Hunter, and with him, "The Books of Magic". Lame, lame, lame -- he is, and should always be, a stand-alone comic. Yet here he is, without even a footnote to his real origins. -- Same for the lame appropriation of The House of Mystery and The House of Secrets. This is the down-side of living in a Multiverse, I suppose. -- so much deus ex machina. So... much....

  11. 4 out of 5

    John Yelverton

    Beautiful artwork, but you have to admit that there are several moments when you find yourself completely lost. Mostly because they tried to wrap up this story in one graphic novel instead of an epic series.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    So far I have been thoroughly underwhelmed by Jeff Lemire's contributions to the New 52, and this book is no exception. What I will say about it, though, is Lemire is a massive step up from the nonstop stream of incomprehensible put forth by Peter Milligan. In a strange move, DC collected the final 2 issues of Milligan's run here (rather than just collecting the whole thing in volume 1), and it makes for a pretty strange transition. Clearly Lemire had no desire to continue the plot Milligan had So far I have been thoroughly underwhelmed by Jeff Lemire's contributions to the New 52, and this book is no exception. What I will say about it, though, is Lemire is a massive step up from the nonstop stream of incomprehensible put forth by Peter Milligan. In a strange move, DC collected the final 2 issues of Milligan's run here (rather than just collecting the whole thing in volume 1), and it makes for a pretty strange transition. Clearly Lemire had no desire to continue the plot Milligan had been constructing, and basically abandons it immediately. Milligan's final issue even ends on a cliffhanger that Lemire just straight-up does not resolve. He just cuts forward several weeks or months, has Constantine say "we avoided that crisis," and then moves on to his own thing. Which, bravo, honestly. Milligan's work was so bad that I felt like a weight had been lifted when Lemire's storyline picked up. Unfortunately, though, a fresh voice wasn't enough to sustain this. Lemire's writing is much cleaner and far less confusing, but sometimes he goes too far in the other direction. This volume features lots of on the nose, overly direct exposition, way too much narration, and a pretty big tendency to tell instead of show. Also, the plot is super predictable and very "done." We've heard it all before. There's a big magical Macguffin everyone's trying to get their hands on, and it's a race against time to be the first to do so or the world will end, blah blah blah. Mix in a mysterious, unseen villain whose identity is purposefully withheld, only to be revealed as someone we've ever seen before, and a subplot that involves treating Zatanna as nothing more than a girl for men to squabble over, and you've got a big loser of a storyline. There's also a weird dissonance that happens reading this after Milligan's run. Sure, Milligan's run wasn't great, but he did set up several apocalyptic visions that we just never see a resolution to. They're just gone. So the whole time I was reading this, I kept wondering "when is Lemire going to address this?" Annnd... he basically doesn't. Oh well. Overall, JLD is looking to be a pretty forgettable series. Which stinks, because the collection of magical characters could lend for some fantastic storylines. I'm gonna give Lemire a chance to pull this up out of the swamp, but I don't have my hopes up.

  13. 5 out of 5

    sixthreezy

    So what can you add to Justice League Dark that could make it any better than it was the first time? Apparently the answer is Jeff Lemire, writer for DC Comics' New 52 Animal Man. Lemire comes in after Peter Milligan opened up the series with a pretty big bang, and there's no one better suited for this world that Jeff Lemire. I was so happy to see his name on the cover of the book, and boy was I right about the chemistry he has with this book. Where the first volume finds the characters and puts So what can you add to Justice League Dark that could make it any better than it was the first time? Apparently the answer is Jeff Lemire, writer for DC Comics' New 52 Animal Man. Lemire comes in after Peter Milligan opened up the series with a pretty big bang, and there's no one better suited for this world that Jeff Lemire. I was so happy to see his name on the cover of the book, and boy was I right about the chemistry he has with this book. Where the first volume finds the characters and puts them together as a loose team, this one utilizes all of that and starts to create the world that our dark Justice League will battle. One of the things I love is that in this book, John Constantine sort of becomes the unofficial leader of this squad and his character is just so perfectly written for it, I was surprised. With my recent journey into Hellblazer, I wasn't really that sold on Constantine but this book is by far the best John Constantine story I've ever read. The title of this volume also has some relevance in the universe as Neil Gaiman's The Books of Magic child protagonist makes a return to the page. I recently read that book and so seeing this character come out of obscurity for me and tie up again with Constantine and some new heroes was pretty cool. The art again was superb in this second volume, but the writing is so much better here. It's no wonder Jeff Lemire is one of the greater writers currently writing for New 52, and now I simply cannot wait for the conclusion of this current storyline that he has woven. Also, John Constantine bears an uncanny resemblance to the Doctor of Doctor Who in this volume of Justice League Dark, which I found cool as a recently converted Whovian but also slightly odd. Originally posted at sixthreezy at the movies & more!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Charles

    I'll start off by saying that this was just alright. I'd hoped for more, but there's two strikes against it that made it slightly inaccessible and a little unenjoyable. First, I thought I could dive right into this having read volume 1. Was a bit wrong there and several times reading the first pages, I had to check if I really was reading volume 2. Thanks to some help from a DC wiki, this volume would make more sense if you read I, Vampire volume 1 prior to this. Seriously, it almost feels like I'll start off by saying that this was just alright. I'd hoped for more, but there's two strikes against it that made it slightly inaccessible and a little unenjoyable. First, I thought I could dive right into this having read volume 1. Was a bit wrong there and several times reading the first pages, I had to check if I really was reading volume 2. Thanks to some help from a DC wiki, this volume would make more sense if you read I, Vampire volume 1 prior to this. Seriously, it almost feels like a standalone compared to something linked to volume 1. The other black mark is how Zatana is portrayed in this. First, why do they feel compelled to go with the giant boobs? Ugh, the hetero male gaze strikes again. Doesn't add anything to the story. Now, in terms of taking things away, cripes they make her so useless throughout the entire volume. On multiple occasions her spells are completely useless or powerless. That really sucks for a more than capable character. Her only purpose seems to be rescued in the end. That straight up sucks. They took a great character and made her powerless, useless, hapless, and pretty much pointless.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Blindzider

    First, to clear up some deception: Despite what it says on the cover, Lemire didn't write this entire volume. The first two issues are still written by Milligan and continue the story from volume 1. Note that the word was "continue" and not "conclude". This initial story ending is never shown. From one issue to the next you leave the climax of the first arc and immediately are dropped into the second arc, the beginning of Lemire's run. Talk about lack of closure. The reader only knows that the " First, to clear up some deception: Despite what it says on the cover, Lemire didn't write this entire volume. The first two issues are still written by Milligan and continue the story from volume 1. Note that the word was "continue" and not "conclude". This initial story ending is never shown. From one issue to the next you leave the climax of the first arc and immediately are dropped into the second arc, the beginning of Lemire's run. Talk about lack of closure. The reader only knows that the "good guys" one and that's it. Having said all that, Lemire's run is much, much better. He gives the plot a focus, clearly explaining why the bad guy is bad instead of vague prophecies about the end of the world. Lemire also gives a little more background on a few of the characters. The art is basically the same. It can be repetitious in the design of some of the spells/special effects though. Some of it looks wonderful and some of it seems lacking. All in all, it was enjoyable, definitely better than volume 1. The story doesn't quite finish here so on to volume 3.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Hakim

    That was something else. The first volume was very lackluster. The idea of a justice league comprised only of mystics was very appealing on paper, but Peter Miligan screwed the pooch and offered us a festival of missed opportunities. Enter Jeff Lemire - who clearly plays in the big leagues. He transformed this book, gave it a soul, made it more engaging and more thrilling. Thanks to him, the characters interactions and storylines make actual sense. The first storyline of the book (Rise of The Vam That was something else. The first volume was very lackluster. The idea of a justice league comprised only of mystics was very appealing on paper, but Peter Miligan screwed the pooch and offered us a festival of missed opportunities. Enter Jeff Lemire - who clearly plays in the big leagues. He transformed this book, gave it a soul, made it more engaging and more thrilling. Thanks to him, the characters interactions and storylines make actual sense. The first storyline of the book (Rise of The Vampires), written by Peter Miligan, was horrendous. No character development, no interesting antagonists, terrible plot. The Black Room and The Books of Magic, however, were so fun and captivating that I skipped a conference call to carry on reading. Finally, what looked good on paper translated into greatness. Thank you J. Lemire.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Devann

    I feel like I could really love this series if it would just ...figure out what it wants to be. Like, just solidify your line up and have YOUR OWN story line instead of basically using this book as a vehicle to try to sell me 10 other new titles and characters I don't care about. Seriously I feel like I'm watching an infomercial half the time. I mean there still are fun parts and I'll continue to read it for Constantine and Zatanna alone, but it could be so much better than it is currently. Mayb I feel like I could really love this series if it would just ...figure out what it wants to be. Like, just solidify your line up and have YOUR OWN story line instead of basically using this book as a vehicle to try to sell me 10 other new titles and characters I don't care about. Seriously I feel like I'm watching an infomercial half the time. I mean there still are fun parts and I'll continue to read it for Constantine and Zatanna alone, but it could be so much better than it is currently. Maybe it will get better after the point where I, Vampire is cancelled? [crosses fingers] lol [edit: I also just want to say that the whole Nick/Zatanna/John thing is like ...the most soap opera bullshit thing ever BUT I AM SO INTO IT lmao *shrugs* Although I'm thoroughly ignoring that John apparently got the coat from Nick]

  18. 5 out of 5

    Malum

    This volume starts out with the crossover issues that involves the (terrible) "I, Vampire" book. Once we get that out of the way and Lemire takes over writing duties (and does a bit of a soft reboot), it gets really good. We also get a bunch of neat cameos that people who know their B and C list DC characters will get a kick out of such as Frankenstein, Amethyst, and Dr. Occult. As a side note, I think this is the only comic I have ever seen that involves a speeding house chase... This volume starts out with the crossover issues that involves the (terrible) "I, Vampire" book. Once we get that out of the way and Lemire takes over writing duties (and does a bit of a soft reboot), it gets really good. We also get a bunch of neat cameos that people who know their B and C list DC characters will get a kick out of such as Frankenstein, Amethyst, and Dr. Occult. As a side note, I think this is the only comic I have ever seen that involves a speeding house chase...

  19. 4 out of 5

    Stefan Fergus

    4.5* - I like this series, and Lemire's writing is very strong. Not that Milligan's is/was bad, but I think Lemire's going to do something very cool with his run on the series. I've already bought the next volume's issues (#0,13-20), and will be reading them very soon. If you like comics, magic, dark-and-weird stuff, then I highly recommend this series. 4.5* - I like this series, and Lemire's writing is very strong. Not that Milligan's is/was bad, but I think Lemire's going to do something very cool with his run on the series. I've already bought the next volume's issues (#0,13-20), and will be reading them very soon. If you like comics, magic, dark-and-weird stuff, then I highly recommend this series.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Koen

    Amaaazing story! the Darkness, the twists.. didn't see that coming.. at.. all! I'll be going for the next volume right away ;) Amaaazing story! the Darkness, the twists.. didn't see that coming.. at.. all! I'll be going for the next volume right away ;)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ronny Trøjborg

    The 2 first issues by Milligan was nothing special and pretty forgettable.. but when Lemire takes over things get a lot (!) more interesting and it was hard for me to put the books down.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rick Hunter

    I'm not sure why this series isn't getting better ratings because this book is great. I only read the first volume of this because I love Zatanna. I read this volume because I love Zatanna AND because the first book was fantastic in both art and story. Peter Milligan picks up the story in this volume right where volume 1 left off. Vampires are taking over because of events that happened in I, Vampire, Vol. 1: Tainted Love. The first 2 issues of this book crossover with that series. I would like t I'm not sure why this series isn't getting better ratings because this book is great. I only read the first volume of this because I love Zatanna. I read this volume because I love Zatanna AND because the first book was fantastic in both art and story. Peter Milligan picks up the story in this volume right where volume 1 left off. Vampires are taking over because of events that happened in I, Vampire, Vol. 1: Tainted Love. The first 2 issues of this book crossover with that series. I would like to get my hands on those books so that I can read the rest of that story. Shade the Changing Man leaves the team and the main character of I' Vampire joins the team during this event. Can't say that I'm sorry to see Shade go. Didn't really feel him in the first volume, and he was becoming even more useless here. Don't know enough about vampire guy to make a judgement of him yet. Milligan's story was good and all seemed right with the characterizations. His writing gets 5 stars. Jeff Lemire takes over the writing duties on the series after the first 2 issues. It is only in the last year or so that I've come into contact with his work. I'm becoming a fan. He handles weird very well. Since none of the people in this superhero team are really superheroes, I think he was the perfect person to take over the series. Lemire stays true to Milligan' portrayal of the characters. The book doesn't skip a beat once he takes over. His arc is about finding the books of magic. A.R.G.U.S. representative Steve Trevor shows up and adds Black Orchid to the team. Don't know anything about her yet, but I like what I've seen so far. Seems to be a better fit to the team than Shade. This has become a surprise favorite in the New 52. It along with Aquaman and Red Hood and the Outlaws all shocked me by how good they are. I knew that I'd like Flash and Batgirl because of those characters, but this is refreshingly different. Writing gets 5 stars. The first 2 issues are drawn by 3 different artists. None of their work can touch the art produced by series regular Mikel Janin. Thankfully, Mikel returns for the rest of the book. I'm becoming more and more impressed by his work. Zatanna is still the highlight character for me, but his Madame Xanadu is equally gorgeous. I would love to have a piece of his art featuring one or both of those characters hanging on my wall. His Blackbriar Thorn was pretty friggin' badass. There is also an awesome looking fire troll in there. I still need to check out some of his other work. Art gets 5 stars. The overall score for this was easy. 5 Stars all around. If you like books or movies or whatever about magical creatures and magic users, you need to check this book out. It is one of the best mainstream comics out today.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nicola Mansfield

    I really enjoyed Vol. 1 and was pretty excited to see the writer change to Canadian Jeff Lemire starting with this volume. This is a doozy of a story with tons of plot points, character, and a huge cast of characters. As I said for Vol. 1, all these guys were new to me so I'm just starting to get a feel for them with this book which was a nice long one that involved some serious writing. I really like this team. Deadman is by far my favourite and I've ordered DC Presents Vol. 1 which tells his N I really enjoyed Vol. 1 and was pretty excited to see the writer change to Canadian Jeff Lemire starting with this volume. This is a doozy of a story with tons of plot points, character, and a huge cast of characters. As I said for Vol. 1, all these guys were new to me so I'm just starting to get a feel for them with this book which was a nice long one that involved some serious writing. I really like this team. Deadman is by far my favourite and I've ordered DC Presents Vol. 1 which tells his New 52 backstory. Xanadu doesn't get a lot of page time in this volume but I've figured her out since Vol. 1. I love Shade, though he disappears half way through. Mindwarp is not present though mentioned so who knows what's up with him. Andrew Bennett doesn't get much page time here either but I like him, he's not nice but I'm getting an Angel vibe from him anyway. The two original members I don't like are Constantine (an obnoxious, arrogant jerk) and Zatanna (how lame is backwards spell magic and it never works!). New people are introduced in this book and popping out of the woodwork wherever you turn. My favourite new member is Black Orchid, very cool! It was even nice for me to see some familiar faces make an appearance: Batgirl, Amethyst, Felix Faust and there are even more. So if you like books with tons of heroes and villains this is sure to please. Great story though too. I won't say much but very intricate as the various people, groups and allegiances search for the books of magic. Not everyone ends up to be trustworthy and the ending is quite a shocking cliffhanger. When I first started JLD, I wasn't sure I'd like the superhero/paranormal mix, but this one has me hooked and I like getting to know a whole new-to-me cast without any preconceived notions. Really looking forward to Vol. 3

  24. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    Our 'heroes' battle vampires and search for the Books of Magic. Good thing: I'm still enjoying the idea of magic and subtlety versus power and smashing to read some more. Bad thing: There's so much blatant 'go read this other series so you can see what actually happens here' that it ruins the storyline. We're going full bore vampires and then the next issue, nothing (I assume the storyline continued in 'I, Vampire'). Characters that were barely touched on in the first volume are now gone (Shade an Our 'heroes' battle vampires and search for the Books of Magic. Good thing: I'm still enjoying the idea of magic and subtlety versus power and smashing to read some more. Bad thing: There's so much blatant 'go read this other series so you can see what actually happens here' that it ruins the storyline. We're going full bore vampires and then the next issue, nothing (I assume the storyline continued in 'I, Vampire'). Characters that were barely touched on in the first volume are now gone (Shade and Mindwarp) so really they were never needed. I'm going to try the third volume but I'm not really impressed.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kaique

    3.5 Slow start but it definitely picked up after the first half. An improvement over the first volume. I really liked the way the story developed. The flashbacks involving the villains were very interesting too.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nancy O'Toole

    The Books of Magic is the second volume in the Justice League Dark Series. It contains two issues of a crossover event called Rise of the Vampires, and The Books of Magic arcs written by Jeff Lemire. Interestingly, I had complete opposite reactions to each of the story lines. Now I'm not hugely fond of crossover events. They can be a lot of fun if you happen to be reading all of the comics anyway, but when you're not, it can feel like you're only getting part of the story. Rise of the Vampires su The Books of Magic is the second volume in the Justice League Dark Series. It contains two issues of a crossover event called Rise of the Vampires, and The Books of Magic arcs written by Jeff Lemire. Interestingly, I had complete opposite reactions to each of the story lines. Now I'm not hugely fond of crossover events. They can be a lot of fun if you happen to be reading all of the comics anyway, but when you're not, it can feel like you're only getting part of the story. Rise of the Vampires suffers from this dramatically. It's filled with big action sequences that we get no background information on, and characters who randomly appear just because (although the interactions with Batgirl are amusing). To be honest, I feel like the only reasons these two issues are even included here because they feature the exit of a member of the team, which is also really sloppily handled and doesn't have the emotional impact that the writers were clearly going for. I was really tempted just to put this collection down by the time I was done with both issues. But boy am I glad that I didn't. The Books of Magic, written by Jeff Lemire, is the strongest arc in the series yet. While In the Dark struggled to balance the large cast of characters and the overall plot, The Books of Magic sidesteps this by focusing on the character of Constantine, and an enemy from his past. Each member of the team still makes an appearance and plays a role, but the comic is clearly stronger for it's decision to tell a more focused story. The Books of Magic borrows elements from the Vertigo series of the same name, but you don't have to be familiar with it to understand what's going on (I wasn't, and I did just fine). I also quite enjoyed the artwork in these chapters. If you enjoyed the first volume of Justice League Dark, In the Dark, I would recommend moving forward with The Books of Magic. Yes, you need to wade through two messy issues to get to the good stuff, but it's worth it once it gets going. I know I will be reading Vol 3, The Death of Magic, once I'm able to get my hands on it.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Michael (Mai)

    I went into Justice League Dark volume two with reservations. Volume one was hit or miss and mainly had a cool gross out factor (remember the witch?) and awesome lines from Constantine. Volume 2 has a much better story. The characters are a lot more developed and I enjoy their interactions. It was like volume one was the pilot, with a bunch of forced characterizations, and volume two is onto the main series. I was really happy to see the main cast of characters thinned a bit. I enjoy the characte I went into Justice League Dark volume two with reservations. Volume one was hit or miss and mainly had a cool gross out factor (remember the witch?) and awesome lines from Constantine. Volume 2 has a much better story. The characters are a lot more developed and I enjoy their interactions. It was like volume one was the pilot, with a bunch of forced characterizations, and volume two is onto the main series. I was really happy to see the main cast of characters thinned a bit. I enjoy the characters for the most part but some of the minor characters get a little annoying so it’s nice for them to pop out and in from time to time (except Deadman, I thoroughly enjoy him for some reason). Shade is pretty much annoying all the time and Andrew is too broody. So I enjoy my breaks from them. Another highlight is the story, for the most part, seemed more put together. I could figure out what was going on the whole time. I knew who people are because every new character has a little bit of an introduction or story to go along with them. I think my favorite part wasn’t actually part of the main story. It was John Constantine and Zatanna Zatara background story. It made their love/hate relationship that much more understandable and made Constantine seem a little bit more like a regular person and a little less like a selfish jerk. The art was great. There were several art styles and each one is impressive. I have no complaints on the art department. The main reason why I was disappointed in this story was because at the end of Rise of the Vampires The Leaving there was no clear cut ending. It just stopped at Andrew Bennet charging into battle and then you flip to the next page and it’s a new story. I would have liked a little more conclusion on that one. But all in all it’s a decent read. I think it’s better than volume one. Read it yourself and tell me what you think.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Shamus

    I've seen people complain that they are not happy with the book not being dark enough. I agree that this book is a little light and happy with more of a regular comic book feel then what many people, such as myself, became used to because of the Vertigo line of books started in the 90's. That being said, I'm really happy with this new comic series based around teaming up some of the more popular magic characters of the DC Universe with lesser knowns. One of the things that seems to be the point I've seen people complain that they are not happy with the book not being dark enough. I agree that this book is a little light and happy with more of a regular comic book feel then what many people, such as myself, became used to because of the Vertigo line of books started in the 90's. That being said, I'm really happy with this new comic series based around teaming up some of the more popular magic characters of the DC Universe with lesser knowns. One of the things that seems to be the point of this series is to introduce us to characters that may have been forgotten previously. I really enjoyed their take on Constantine, as well as how this creates an opportunity for new Magic comic series to branch off. My main problem with this collection, is their failure to lay out what is going on with the first two issues. Having read the first volume of 'I, Vampire', I understood what was going on. However, even with that it was confusing when after the first two issues a new storyline was suddenly starting. There should have been some panel or extra page explaining that we needed to go in read volumes 1&2 of 'I, Vampire' to understand what was going on. After that I felt it was a good, solid story of characters that are known as loners being thrown together and forced to work as a team. The darkness that was introduced in the first six or seven issues of the series was definitely lost, however, the storyline and character development was strong enough so this didn't bother me. Overall I'm really looking forward to the continuation of this series and all the comics that will shoot off from it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Cale

    What a difference an author makes. I hated the first volume of this series - it was like Emo Keystone cops, disorganized rabble running in circles and complaining about everything. Some of that carries over into the first two collected issues (because the First volume didn't even finish its plot - leaving it for the opening here), which removes Shade the changing man and 'resolves' its story. Then Lemire's issues start. And wow, the difference is astonishing. Suddenly you have the DC Universe's What a difference an author makes. I hated the first volume of this series - it was like Emo Keystone cops, disorganized rabble running in circles and complaining about everything. Some of that carries over into the first two collected issues (because the First volume didn't even finish its plot - leaving it for the opening here), which removes Shade the changing man and 'resolves' its story. Then Lemire's issues start. And wow, the difference is astonishing. Suddenly you have the DC Universe's most powerful magic users actually acting powerful and using magic. The Books of Magic are the McGuffin, and Constantine is playing the long game, conning (or being conned) by a newly introduced villain, who actually works really well. The action is intense, the characterizations are spot-on (this is Constantine; still a little neutered from Vertigo, but much closer to the character), the twists are nonstop but they work, and the new characters (Black Orchid and Dr. Mist) actually hold their own. DC/Vertigo Magic history is pulled in (specifically the Original Books of Magic miniseries), and even Shadowpact's Oblivion Bar plays a part (and reminds me how much fun that series was) The final issue is huge, with fun cameos and moments you won't believe. The whole book is practically a prestige in itself. For anyone that was turned off by the first volume, grit your teeth and pick this up. After a slow opening, it gets better. Much better. It fulfills the promise of the concept in spades, and will leave you wanting more.

  30. 4 out of 5

    J.M. Hushour

    This series has spiralled into the mundane pretty quick. Part and parcel of the series of the New 52 are sprawling, immense, apocalyptic storylines that are humdrum, interchangeable and shockingly uninspiring. You'd think that a superhero team of troubled, damaged magical people and creatures could only but be entertaining. It's not. JLD falls into a familiar pattern: apocalyptic crisis + shallow villain-within-a-villain + befuddling crossovers + female character cleavage + every character reall This series has spiralled into the mundane pretty quick. Part and parcel of the series of the New 52 are sprawling, immense, apocalyptic storylines that are humdrum, interchangeable and shockingly uninspiring. You'd think that a superhero team of troubled, damaged magical people and creatures could only but be entertaining. It's not. JLD falls into a familiar pattern: apocalyptic crisis + shallow villain-within-a-villain + befuddling crossovers + female character cleavage + every character really being worthless and powerless save for one = New 52 storyline. For all their bluster and supposed power, most of the characters in JLD are worthless idiots. The worst casualty here is probably Zatanna who has a rich character history and background as well as being very kick-ass but who here is reduced to being a pointless love-doll tossed between villain and hero. This is indicative of the lot here as a whole. Deadman is a cool character but he's mostly impotent, also. This is because the level of the crisis/problem the characters have to solve is so immense from the get-go and we care so little about them because they're all so shallow that by the end of the thing we're exhausted from cavorting from battle to battle and bad witticism to bad witticism. There are a number of plotholes and inconsistencies here, too. The poor quality of this title is striking even more when you consider that Lemire also writes the superb Animal Man series, but maybe that just drained him creatively.

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