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Comic Book / Justice League Dark

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Not the shiny-happy Justice League

Justice League Dark is a comic featuring a group within the Justice League that focuses on the magical and supernatural aspects of the DCU.

The original run launched as an ongoing series in the New 52, with the initial cast featuring Zatanna, Deadman, Madame Xanadu, John Constantinenote , Shade, the Changing Man and a new character called Mindwarp, who was introduced in Flashpoint. The team's roster fluctuated regularly over the course of the series, drawing on DCU characters with a connection to the supernatural.

It came to an end in 2015 after 44 issues and two annuals... but as the team's members would be the first to tell you, some things don't stay dead for good.

In 2018, a new series was announced as part of the "New Justice" DCU imprint spinning out of Justice League: No Justice, with Wonder Woman heading a team including Zatanna, Swamp Thing, Detective Chimp. and Man-Bat. Their first storyline will involve the group dealing with the aftermath of the Dark Multiverse Invasion and them trying to stave off the Death of Magic. The very, very, very bloody Death of Magic.


An animated film, Justice League Dark, was released in 2017, with Constantine actor Matt Ryan reprising his role as John Constantine. For this outing, Constantine's team-mates included Deadman, Zatanna, Swamp Thing, Black Orchid and Jason Blood.

A live-action film is also in the works, with the title Justice League Dark as of 2017. Although it was unclear if the movie would be a part of the DC Extended Universe line-up at first, it was confirmed that the movie would be a part of the universe not too long after the initial line-up of films were announced.


Tropes featured in Justice League Dark include:

  • Dark Is Not Evil: Pretty much every member of the team would on first glance appear to be more at home causing terror wherever they went, but they only save that for the real bad guys. Hell, it's in the name.
  • Deconstruction: The Will They or Won't They?, Opposites Attract, and Working with the Ex dynamics between John and Zatanna are brutally slaughtered. John's attachment is a borderline obsession that no one really approves of. Zatanna is upset and angry whenever John shows up, and never starts to like or even respect him again no matter how many times he saves her life. In issue #30, Zatanna kicks John out of the House of Mysteries and the JLD. John has matured enough to realize that she, and everyone else, would be better off without him.
  • Fantastic Aesop: Magic is sometimes used as an analog to drug abuse, in that most of the magic users are unstable. But the line is blurred with Xanadu, who is dependent on normal drugs in order to cope with her visions of the future.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: The team appears to have softened into this. In the Horror City Arc, John doesn't even need Zatanna to get everyone else to find the stolen House of Mystery, though he does need Frankenstein to talk Swamp Thing around.
  • Intimate Healing: Averted. While much has been made of tantra as sex magic, the only instance of it being used has John and Zatanna sit across from each other in bathrobes, with only their hands touching. Which is not far off from actual tantra meditation, except for how it heals injuries.
  • The Lost Lenore: Kathy George, whom Shade keeps trying to recreate.
  • Must Be Invited: Exaggerated. When John invites people — including Andrew Bennett from I, Vampire — into the House of Mystery, he can call them back later whether they want to or not. They usually don't.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Enchantress's madness? Madame Xanadu's fault.
  • Power Perversion Potential: The relationship between Deadman and Dove (of Hawk and Dove) was established when Deadman attempted to possess a human body in order to have physical intimacy with Dove. She was noticeably perturbed.
  • Put on a Bus: Shade and Mindwarp in Peter Milligan's final issue.
    • Zatanna is conspicuously not called to the team in the Horror City arc.
  • Psycho for Hire: When Mindwarp is being recruited, it is established that even the other morally gray characters consider him a psychotic madman.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Emphasized and acknowledged by Xanadu. She states that all the others are dangerous to themselves and others, but are the only people around to save the world from mystic threats.
  • Shoot the Dog: John sacrifices the innocent June Moone in order to stop Enchantress. Deadman calls him out on this.
  • Shout-Out: Dove encounters John Constantine eating beans out of a can at her kitchen table. Much like how another bird-themed hero encounters a trenchcoated antihero.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: John fell in love with Zatanna when she was with Nick (and though they were all a happy threesome for a while, they eventually shut Nick out). Then, John's actions led to Giovanni Zatara's death, and Zatanna left John, wanting nothing more to do with him. Shortly after Zatanna finally deals with that and becomes more civil, Xanadu prophesies that John will kill Zatanna. John doesn't take it well.
  • Supernatural Team: Every member of Justice League Dark is in some way supernatural, either being magic users, involved with the magical community or some other part of the DC Universe divorced from scientific explanation.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: In the beginning, none of the group really likes or trusts any of the other members, except for Zatanna. Even John looked out for Zatanna.
  • Will They or Won't They?: John has an obsessive emotional attachment to Zatanna throughout the series, which is not returned. At all. As of Issue #30, John decides that the best thing for him to do is leave Zatanna to move on with her life.
  • Working with the Ex: John and Zatanna. Belligerent Sexual Tension abounds as they didn't break up due to internal problems or (entirely) because John was an asshole, but because John's actions led to her father's death.
  • You Won't Feel a Thing: Deadman uses the "This won't hurt me" variant on June Moone when entering her body.


Example of: