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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything including the kitchen sink, 2 April 2014
By 
Mr. Mice Guy (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Justice League Dark Volume 2: The Books of Magic (The New 52) (Paperback)
The stories running through issues #7-13 of the `New 52' Justice League Dark are collected, along with issue #0 and Annual #1, as Justice League Dark Volume 2: The Books of Magic (The New 52). There are two main stories collected here, as well as a `secret origin' for John Constantine's trenchcoat (no, really) in issue #0, guest starring Zatanna. The first story is an `I, Vampire' crossover, for which you will need I, Vampire Volume 2: Rise of the Vampires TP (The New 52) to get the full story; followed by the three-part `Black Room', in which Steve Trevor hires John Constantine to get the team back together for a mission for the US Government -

"Around ARGUS we've even taken to nicknaming you the `Justice League Dark'."
"That is the stupidest name I've ever heard. Besides, we're no team. The band broke up."

However, the promise of a trolley dash through the Black Room - that secret US Government vault where the keep the Ark of the Covenant and related stuff - is enough to get Constantine on side, to investigate a secret South American temple where Felix Faust is up to something, which turns out to be [spoiler] in order to find the fabled Books of Magic. It all goes horribly wrong, of course, as Madame Xanadu's vision of the apocalypse turns out to be what happens when Constantine gets his hands of the Books...

The second part of the story, issues #12, #0, #13 and the Annual - issue #0 being a flashback via to introduce the secret villain of the piece - form the "War for the Books of Magic", which is an even bigger, wider screen adventure, with Houses of Mystery and Secrets flying about like TARDISes, traitors revealed, guest stars popping up in strange places, and Constantine killing Harry Potter (or whatever his name was, the chap from the original Books of Magic series) as everyone wants to get their hands on the source of all magic. Even Mordru and Merlin get a look in.

The vampire apocalypse in the first story is spectacular enough, but the writer and artists manage to surpass themselves in the second/third stories. This is epic mystic storytelling reminiscent of the heights of the old Swamp Thing series, with many of the original characters and a number of newer versions - Black Orchid, for example. This really is very, very good.

PS: So, the House of Mystery and the House of Secrets are both sentient... are they the parents of Danny the Street?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm sold, 5 Aug 2013
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Brilliant cracking read I'm hooked, forget the pansies in lycra sign me up to Justice League Dark ! ! !
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Story and Team, 23 Feb 2014
This review is from: Justice League Dark Volume 2: The Books of Magic (The New 52) (Paperback)
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
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4.0 out of 5 stars If you like the "new 52" Constantine this is a book for you!, 29 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Justice League Dark Volume 2: The Books of Magic (The New 52) (Paperback)
Some people say its a bumpy read, well I disagree but I can understand it...the story sometimes is to complex for lacking of a better word, for his own good. If you like necessity partnerships or "we are not really a team" theme this is THE book, I can say I love all the characters besides Black Orchid but she doesn't have that much of the spotlight, and what you get is a huge dose of Constantine, the leader that no one sees as the leader and its awesome!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Magic, 4 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Justice League Dark Volume 2: The Books of Magic (The New 52) (Paperback)
The first volume of Justice League Dark was a very good start it had it's flaws but it was a very promising start to the series, this volume kicks it up several gears and to put it simply is probably one of the best volumes of the new 52 so far.

The volume starts off with a cross over with I Vampire (with a little bit of Batman and Batgirl chucked in for good measure) not a lot to say about this part just normal DC cross promotion (unfortunately with no conclusion without buying I Vampire) it's the second and much larger part which is more interesting Steve Trevor approaches John Constantine with an offer, help out A.R.G.U.S rescue Doctor Mist and get to poke around in the Black Room, a secret vault full of powerful magical artefacts the only problem is that he has to get the team back together and they don't trust him at all, this part mark the start of Jeff Lemire's tenure as writer and it's a step up in quality from the start, the first plus point is the shift in focus to John Constantine as team leader, Constantine is an amoral con-man whose conscience could fit into a full matchbox but still is one hell of a character and making him the centre of attention rather then one of many works wonders and the way his and Zatanna's shared past is explored is very interesting, Lemire also brings the JLD more into the wider DC universe and more aspects of the magic side of DC which adds information without ever overloading you.

The new characters and cameos as well add to the book, a new Black Orchid adds an aspect of mystery to the team and the others (who I won't spoil for you) all bring something to the table, and also the appearance of Felix Faust is good to see, the new 52 has been guilty of trying out too many new ill conceived bad guys so to have a good old fashioned baddy is nice, but possibly the best plus is just how much is in the book (7 issues plus an annual) means there is a lot of stuff in here with the book of magic plot taking up a very large percentage of it

This is a truly great second volume, taking what has happened before removing the bits that didn't work and adding bits to make it a more complete story, and even if you havn't read the first volume (if you havn't take a look it's well worth it) the Dark Room part 1 almost feels like a reboot anyway so it's easy to pick it up from there, many parts of the new 52 have been disappointing but Justice League Dark is easily one of the best titles already and for a series which is essentially new that is some achievement.
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5.0 out of 5 stars refreshingly good, 19 Aug 2013
By 
P. Cranfield - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Justice League Dark Volume 2: The Books of Magic (The New 52) (Paperback)
The first volume was an impressive start, but this volume, under Jeff Lemire is simply exceptional.

You'd think that it wouldn't work, and there is a fairly clunky exposition of why the team got together etc, but the dynamics, the use of staples such as the Houses of Secrets and Mystery, the Books of Magic and even a thoroughly convincing Felix Faust is just great.

This has to be one of the very best of the lacklustre New 52.

More please!
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Justice League Dark Volume 2: The Books of Magic (The New 52)
Justice League Dark Volume 2: The Books of Magic (The New 52) by Jeff Lemire (Paperback - 23 July 2013)
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