Setting aside that DC pretty much slaps Batman in to their newest film, “Justice League Dark” is actually a fun celebration of the supernatural element from DC Comics. Taking a much needed peek in to the darker universe from DC, “Justice League Dark” is an adaptation of the acclaimed graphic novel, involving supernatural characters from DC who team up to take on a threat beyond the capabilities of Superman and Wonder Woman. “Justice League Dark” is a fairly well realized horror take on the DC universe that suffers, sadly, from a short run time. With a group of characters filled with such immense, and complex back stories and amazing powers, it’s sad “Justice League Dark” is only allotted a scant eighty minute run time. John Constantine alone deserves a thirty minute introduction.
Thankfully, while Batman is given the focus in the ads and box art, John Constantine is arguably the star of “Justice League Dark,” as he’s an inadvertent anti-hero fighting pure evil, who is thrust in to leading a group of powerful demons and wizards that have to fight for a common goal. Across the world a bunch of civilians are murdering one another and attempting to murder their families, convinced that they have been taken over by demons. Despite their best efforts to ease the situation, the Justice League are at a loss on how to remedy this situation before it turns in to a massive apocalyptic scenario. Batman is sent to call upon John Constantine aka Hellblazer, who is a formidable foe for all evil including monsters, demons and ghosts.
Deciding to get down to the situation before the current hysteria destroys the world, Hellblazer and Batman begin forming a team of supernatural beings, all of whom include Zatanna the powerful sorceress, Deadman, and Etrigan the Demon, a wicked monster who possesses the enigmatic Jason Blood. “Justice League Dark” is a fine departure from fans that want a break from tights and capes. While the movie is rated R, it is a solid film with a lot of focus on the interesting personalities that occupy “Justice League Dark.” In particular if you’ve never been exposed to the charm and badassery of John Constantine and his will to battle evil before, “Justice League Dark” just may transform you in to a fan. With DC testing the waters with this concept lately, I hope we get another “Justice League Dark” down the road that explores these characters more. They bear a surprisingly good dynamic and the animation and tone allows for a different kind of DC animated movie that realizes these characters quite well.
The Limited Edition Gift set comes packed with a Constantine collectible figurine. There’s an eleven minute Sneak Peek at the upcoming “Teen Titans: The Judas Contract,” and the eighteen minute “The Story of Swamp Thing” with co-creator Len Wein. “Did You Know?” is a three minute look at the origin of Constantine, the color scheme for “Dark’s” magic, Black Orhid’s origina, and how Nicholas Turturro was cast as Deadman. “Justice League Dark at New York Comic Con 2016” is a twenty six minute panel with director Jay Oliva, and most of the cast, as moderated by Gary Miereanu, featuring an audience Q&A. There are two now outdated looks at “Justice League: Doom,” and “Justice League: Gods and Monsters.” There re two classic animated episodes from the DC Comics Vault of “Batman: The Brave and the Bold.” Both installments places heavy focus on Dead Man, and Etrigan the Demon.