Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Justice League Dark #32 Review

Live together…die together.

Nightmare Nurse’s arc comes to a close as sacrifices are made and new alliances are made.

Asa has been one of the less explored figures in the Dark line-up, and this served as a good platform to delve into her backstory and motivations.

And as it turned out, things were complicated.

The artwork by Guinaldo is very good, and he captures the expressions very well.


Asa has taken control of Zatanna’s body in an aborted attempt at returning to her original host April Winter.

John manages to get an upper hand but back off when he can’t bring himself to kill Zatanna to get rid of Asa.

Despite the efforts of the Dark team, she can’t be separated from her host – leaving John with no other option that to force Asa’s consciousness back to the Between.

Sadly the spell backfires as it sweeps the entire House into the Between, leaving the team fending for their lives from the dimensional manifestation.

Asa manages to exit Zatanna and confesses that the potential power in her body intoxicated her beyond sanity.

While Zatanna attempts to get them out of there, the rest try distracting the manifestation. But sadly, only Constantine is able to fend it off, with Deadman and Swamp Thing almost dying in the process (though it seems Deadman and Asa had a nice moment).

Returning, they find Zatanna is attempting to use her psychic link with the House to send them back, but needs more time. Constantine uses his broken link in support, while Asa decides to sacrifice herself to give them more time.

Asa and Zatanna share one last kiss (oh, John and co, the look on your faces!).

Using her staff of healing, Asa attempts a futile fight that ends with her being consumed but she manages to fend it off long enough for a malfunctioning spell that leaves the House in upstate New York.

In a twist ending, it is revealed that Zatanna used a very dangerous and near fatal spell to preserve a portion of Asa’s consiousness with the kiss.

Reviving her, Asa enters a dying Alice’s body with her permission as the Dark team is reunited.


One of the highlights of this series is that you never know which side anyone would take.

You get the more heroic Swamp Things and Deadmans, but Constantine and the Nightmare Nurse are of ambiguous orientation – changing sides as it suits them.

Asa’s arc provided a lot of backstory to New 52 starting readers and helped humanize and relate her to us.

So, I give it 8.5 out of 10.

+Some great emotional beats
+Asa proves to be a compelling character
+Good artwork
+Some amazing spellwork!

-Most of the Dark team were sidelined to be made negligible


  1. Gud review. I was thinking of reading justice league dark can u plz suggest a gud starting point?

    1. Well, 1-21 of the New 52 series is streamlined and almost without any tie-ins to other books, so you can enter at the start of any story arc.
      Justice League Dark Vol. 1: In the Dark (Justice League Dark #1–6)
      Justice League Dark Vol. 2: The Books of Magic (Justice League Dark #0, #7-13, Annual #1)
      Justice League Dark Vol. 3: The Death of Magic (Justice League Dark #14-21)

      22-29 is Forever Evil event time, with multiple tie-ins. Basically, if you're reading Constantine, Pandora and Phantom Stranger, you will be able to follow quite easily during this period. I recommend the Trinity War HC and Forever Evil Blight SC, which collects everything you will need during this period without splurging on individual books.

      After that, it's become multiple storylines focusing on a particular cast member (30-32 had Nightmare Nurse and 33 onwards has Deadman in focus).

      Basically though, if you like the cast, you will like delving into their stories. It's very thinly connected to the rest of the New 52 so you won't need to navigate through other books too much. On the other hand, I think the quality has dipped a little after Forever Evil, so check out reviews of more recent issues before entering this realm!

      Anyway, thanks for reading!

  2. Thanx! I guess I will start at issue 30. Not a big fan of crossovers:(

  3. Out if interest- is there more than one kiss? What lead to it? Just being trapped in her body?

    1. It's only one kiss but there have been hints that both Asa and Zatanna are possibly bisexual.

      Despite her betrayal, Zatanna still attempted to save Asa and Zee used that to store a portion of Asa's essence inside herself.

      This issue is a little in my background so I may need a retread. Just saying what I remember.

  4. Just wondered if there was more than 'one kiss' and what actually caused it? Was it just being in her body?