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Imagination Centre Reviews: @DCComics Justice League, JL Dark, JLA @JohnMcCubbin3

Here are today's Guest Reviews by John McCubbin from Imagination Centre. Included are DC Comics'; Justice League #20, Justice League Dark #20, and Justice League of America #4. I have also added my rating after each review. If you have any questions about my rating or want to discuss anything just leave me a comment.

See the Review Rating Overview page for more information on how I rate each comic.

Justice League #20 - Prologue to Trinity War, Chapter Two: Secrets; Shazam! Chapter 12

The PROLOGUE TO TRINITY WAR continues as a revelation about Batman could destroy Wonder Woman and Superman’s relationship! Plus, in the backup story, the penultimate chapter of the tale of Shazam finds Billy Batson learning the shocking secret of Black Adam!


Will the Recruits Stop Despero?

Since this series started the New 52 it's been nothing short of amazing, and although it may have had the odd blip along the way, it's always been fun, and unique, and well worth the purchase. With Trinity War creeping ever so closer I really look forward to seeing what's in store for the Justice League, and what causes them to clash with the Justice League of America, and Justice League Dark.


After getting food for the Justice League, Element Woman returns to the Justice League Watchtower to find the rest of the new recruits being attacked by Despero.

Shazam! Chapter 12

Now captured by Black Adam, Billy Batson finally learns the truth about Black Adam.


This was yet another brilliant issue, and although the series is still not quite to the highest level that it's been in the past, it's still much better than it was a couple of issues ago. Geoff Johns has been doing an excellent job with the Justice League over the last couple of years, and although it's not always been perfect, most issues have been very enjoyable. I loved how in this issue Johns was able to make it fun, and lighthearted in places, whilst also making it very dramatic, and suspenseful in others, and he found the right consistency in this issue. I also liked how Johns managed to add some mystery throughout this issue, as there were things that left you speculating as to what's actually going on, which was nice, and really added another layer of drama to this issue. I did however find it slightly disappointing that the Justice League didn't feature as much as I'd have liked in this issue, as although I know that Johns is currently trying to focus more on the new recruits to the Justice League, which is nice, I'd still like to see more of the Justice League that I've enjoyed reading over the last two years. Johns did however also do an amazing job with the action in this issue, and overall he did a great job on the issue, and I'm sure it will get even better with Trinity War.

I wasn't entirely sure what to think of the art in this issue, as although I was upset that Ivan Reis once again was missing an issue, it wasn't the worst art that I've seen, as Gene Ha, Andres Guinaldo, and Joe Prado's pencils were decent, as was Zander Cannon's layouts. Having not seen much art from any of these artists I'm not entirely sure about who did what in the issue, so I'll refrain from naming anyone when talking about a specific piece of art, and most of my comments will be about the collective in general. The art that I probably liked most in this issue was during the fight against Despero, as although it wasn't excellent, it was very dynamic, and dramatic, and really helped to make the sequence feel more alive. I also felt that along with this, Cannon's layouts were the next best thing about the artwork in this issue, as it really made the whole story flow smoothly, and yet again added more drama to the story. I did however notice that due to having multiple artists working on the same issue that the artwork was a little inconsistent, as there were parts that were very smooth, and others that were much rougher, and although none of these were bad, it would have been nicer if the art was more consistent.

Read the rest of John McCubin's Review on Imagination Centre

My Rating

Cover & Solicit - 3/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 3/5
Verdict - 3.1 - 
(Buy Justice League #20) SAVE 20%

Justice League Dark #20 - Horror City, Part 2: The Nightmare Gospel

The Flash and Swamp Thing guest-star as the team struggles to recover the stolen House of Mystery from Dr. Destiny!



Although I only caught up with this series recently, I have really enjoyed it, and it's been one of my favorite series in the New 52, and it's stuff like this, and Swamp Thing that show why the Dark series' are just as good, if not better than the more well known series like Superman, and Green Lantern.


With the help of the Flash (Barry Allen), Frankenstein is able to save the rest of the Justice League Dark from their nightmare's, whilst Doctor Destiny keeps torturing Swamp Thing (Alec Holland) in The House of Mystery.


This was a brilliant issue, and it continued to show me why this has become one of my favorite series' out at the moment. Jeff Lemire, and Ray Fawkes continue to amaze me with their weird, and wonderful stories, and although this would appear to be just a filler story in the build-up to Trinity War, it's as good as many stories that have been out recently, and although this issue, along with last issue haven't been the best in the series, they're far from being the worst. The way that Lemire, and Fawkes handle the magic in this series has been phenomenal, and very clever, and that doesn't change in this issue, as although we're seeing the continuation of the House of Mystery's nightmare's, like we saw in issue 14, Lemire, and Fawkes have made it much more exciting, and unique. Lemire, and Fawkes have also did an excellent job with the dialogue in this issue, and I especially loved whenever Flash interacted with people, especially with Frankenstein, and John Constantine, but I'll talk more on that later on in my review. The action in this issue has also been handled perfectly, and Lemire, and Fawkes really know how to add as much drama as they can to this series, which is brilliant, and I hope they can continue this in Trinity War.

The art in this issue was also brilliant, and Mikel Janin once again did an excellent job, this time only doing the layouts, and Vicente Cifuentes did a brilliant job of the finishes. Now I still don't exactly know the difference between the layouts, and the finishes, as I always thought that the layout artist would give a very rough sketch of what he wants, whereas the finishes artist would re-draw that in full detail. I'm not entirely sure however if this is the case, as like when Janin only did layouts before, it looks very similar to his normal artwork, which makes me think that finishes here really means inker (but I may be wrong). Anyway onto the art itself. The layout was as usual phenomenal, and the thought put into it, as well as the drama that comes out of it is amazing, and really makes the issue that much better. The detail is also brilliant, and I especially love how the Flash's speed has been handled in this artwork, as it looks just like you'd expect the Flash to look which is nice. The facial expressions were also handled perfectly, with the character's emotions easily showing through, which really helps the reader to understand what the character is feeling. I also really liked how both the action, and nightmare's were handled, as they both looked outstandingly phenomenal, and added yet more excitement, and drama to the issue.

Read the rest of John McCubin's Review on Imagination Centre

My Rating

Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 5/5
Story - 5/5

Verdict - 4.6 - (Buy Justice League Dark #20) SAVE 10%

Justice League of America #4 - World's Most Dangerous, Chapter Four: The Good, the Bad, and The Shaggy; Trial By Fire

The League uncovers the leader of The Secret Society of Super-Villains—but can such a diverse group of heroes defeat the collective might of the Society? And in the backup story, Manhunter goes behind the scenes to learn more about the Secret Society!


Finally Something Worth Fighting

I have been loving this series, and it is quick becoming my favourite Justice League series, as although both Justice League, and Justice League Dark have phenomenal over the last couple of years, this series in it's short time has been going from strength to strength.


Catwoman has infiltrated the Secret Society of Super Villains' hideout, and is letting her curiosity get the better of her. Amanda Waller enlists the help of Dr. Light, and the Justice League of America follow his finding to the Secret Society's hideout.

Martian Manhunter Back-up

The Martian Manhunter explains why he's vulnerable to fire, and how his planet was destroyed.


This was an amazing issue, and probably the best in the series so far. When Geoff Johns is good he's phenomenal, and although we don't always see this, it's brilliant when we do. I loved how he managed to make this issue everything that I hope for in a comic, as it was dramatic, interesting, mysterious, and entertaining, all at the same time, which was brilliant. The way Johns has continued to develop the character's in this series has probably been what I've loved the most, as he's taken a couple of character's who have had poor outings in their solo series (Catwoman, and Hawkman), and made them amazing again, which I can't thank him for enough. The way Johns has handled the action in this issue was also superb, as although not a lot of it was as exciting as we've seen in the past, it did help with the pacing of the issue perfectly, and there was one action sequence that was really exciting, and entertaining. I've also loved how Johns has handled the dialogue in this issue, as it was perfect, felling very natural, and realistic. I also really liked how he handled the character's emotions, in this issue, as although that's something that the artist mainly shows, Johns dialogue also showed this perfectly.

This issue was the first in the series not to have been drawn by David Finch, with Brett Booth taking over art duties for this issue, and the next, with Doug Mahnke then taking over during Trinity War. Now I have to say that although I really liked Finch's art on this series, I'm so glad that Booth has taken over, and am just upset that it's only for two issues. To be honest I'd never thought of Booth working on a Justice League book, expecting his run on Nightwing to be much longer than it is (it will end after issue 21), but after seeing his art on this issue I'm very happy that he's on the series, even if it is only two issues. The detail in Booth's art is just outstanding, and he really makes everything look amazing, which I've always admired about his artwork. The thing that probably stood out the most for me with Booth's art was the way he drew the character's, as he managed to make them all look phenomenal, especially Catwoman, and Shaggy Man. I also loved Booth's layout's, as they really added more drama, and suspense to the issue, making it that much more exciting. As I said earlier Johns did a brilliant job showing the character emotion through his dialogue, but as is usually the case the artist still shows the most emotion, and this is no different with Booth. Booth did an amazing job of this, as you could see the curious, and charm in Catwoman's expressions, and you could also see both the determination on Stargirl, and the frustration, and anger on Waller, all of which was amazing.

Read the rest of John McCubin's Review on Imagination Centre

My Rating

Cover & Solicit - 3/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 3/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 3.4
 - (Buy Justice League of America #4) SAVE 10%

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John McCubbin is a blogger at http://imaginationcentre.blogspot.co.uk/ and a comic book reviewer at Comic Vine. The use of this review has been authorized by the original author.


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