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Customer Review

on 4 March 2014
The stories running through issues #14-21 of the `New 52' Justice League Dark are collected as Justice League Dark Volume 3: The Death of Magic TP (The New 52). There are two main stories collected here, with a bridging issue from the previous collection/storyline leading off, as two people are missing from the previous adventure involving the Books of Magic (which I haven't read), and various newcomers from ARGUS are milling about trying to help; along with the Phantom Stranger who pops in to warn of an impending major war - which will be a big crossover event with all the Justice Leagues, collected as Justice League Trinity War HC (The New 52).

However, the stories collected here are very entertaining, with excellent scripting and high-definition artwork. The writer manages to provide excellent characterisation and interaction for the cast, something they didn't always get as `guest artists' in other people's series.

Issues #15-18: "The Death of Magic" opens with Zatanna and Tim Hunter appearing in another dimension, sent there by the Books of Magic in the previous volume. Zatanna discovers that her magic powers are phenomenally increased in this dimension, which is dominated by a super-scientific high tech culture, which has outlawed magic and magic users, and has a very intolerant attitude to mythical beings and creatures, as our heroes discover, when they are rescued from the high-tech police sent to apprehend them by the surviving giants, sprites and the like. It turns out that many of their kind emigrated across a dimensional bridge long ago to Earth, along with their leader the Hunter, and they now see young Tim as their saviour retuned to them, who will lead them in a war against the oppressive humans. Meanwhile, the rest of the team have been struggling to find a way to reopen the bridge from Earth, and eventually recruit Tim's father to act as a catalyst to open the way. However, when they cross over, some very strange effects occur - Constantine is unable to tell a lie, Madame Xanadu starts to age rapidly, and Deadman finds that Boston Brand is alive again. There is also a huge bleed of magical energy from the high-tech world caused by the lack of magicians using it, and it is causing a dangerous overload that will have devastating results if not stopped quickly. Someone has to volunteer to cross over to warn the others...

Issues #19-21: "Horror City" sees an assassination attempt on John Constantine by the Cult of the Cold Flame, and while he is busy dodging it, someone steals the House of Mystery... and uses it to unleash nightmares on the inhabitants of New York. Fortunately, the Flash is on hand to lend a hand (and a scientific brain) to the team, as they struggle to face their own nightmares and help their teammates to overcome theirs, and eventually discover the figure who has taken control of the House - the son of one of the team. There are also several foretellings and prophecies thrown about, as you'd expect in this book, some of which may be truer than others.

These are excellent stories, ranging from the `epic' of the first to the more personal, but still large-scale in the appropriate places, of the second. As I said above, there is excellent scripting and high-definition artwork, with great characterisation and interaction among the cast and guests.
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