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The Search for Swamp Thing

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CraveOnline :

The idea for what’s driving Swamp Thing mad is also interesting, a point we haven’t seen thus far in DC.

 

Except in about three or four Swamp Thing stories over the past 30 years.

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"The last man... who actually buys a newspaper" is exaggeration, not literal truth.

 

Yeah, but it looks really stupid. If someone said that to me while we were sat next to two other people reading newspapers they'd be leaving themselves open to a severe pisstaking.

 

Also not clear on how Batman's day works out. He starts off outside of town, looking at the dead Mafia guy, right? Then he jumps off a building in the centre of Gotham and gets into the Batmobile?

No. There's at least a "LATER" in between, but there could also be a delay between the dump scene and the taxi scene long enough for John's international flight. The comic has problems, but that ain't one.

 

So what was Batman doing in-between taking a sample from the crime scene and contacting Alfred in the Batmobile? You can add your own filler to explain the gap in the story, but that gap just shouldn't be there at all.

 

Well, where do you think Batman goes when he sees the signal? Conjob went to the GCPD building and found the Batmobile from there.

 

See above. Batman and Constantine's itineraries don't meet up unless either (a) Vankin has arbitrarily told the middle of the issue out of sequence without notifying the reader, (b) Batman has been off doing a load of other superhero stuff between the tree and contacting Alfred, (c ) Vankin doesn't quite get how the Bat-signal works or (d) it's just been thrown together without a great deal of thought.

 

I sincerely doubt (a), there's nothing in the text that directly states (b), and (c ) strikes me as a possibility - however, I'm ultimately going with (d).

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The other newspaper readers on page 1 aren't a problem either. "The last man... who actually buys a newspaper" is exaggeration, not literal truth.

I took it as a reference to the ubiquity of free 'newspapers' like Metro in London and other UK cities - ie, the emphasis is on the buys.

 

Chas is using an iPad in that scene, though, which suggests that the subject of Chas's jibe is the medium, not the cost. Plus, it's setting up Chas's remarks about 'Facespace' (surely Friendbook sounds a bit more convincing?) and computers, to give John the inspiration to track down Bats.

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Jonathan Vankin shares A Few Thoughts On John Constantine, from his website :

 

The first issue of my 3-part mini-series BRIGHTEST DAY AFTERMATH: THE SEARCH FOR SWAMP THING hits comics shops next week. On Wednesday, June 22 to be exact. The reappearance of John Constantine in the DC Universe is a pretty big deal, and when Dan DiDio and Bob Harras told me they wanted me to handle it, I was honored, to be honest.

 

At the same time, I felt a little funny about it because, as a former Vertigo editor I knew how much the character meant to Karen Berger. Not only do I respect the character but, more importantly, I have nothing but the highest respect for Karen.

 

All I could do, then, was honor the character by writing the "real" John Constantine as best I could. So even though the John in my series is a different version of John Constantine from the John who appears monthly in Vertigo's long-running Hellblazer series, in my mind, he's still the same guy: a cynical, sarcastic, self-interested anti-hero -- with just enough of a conscience to make life hard on himself.

 

Throughout the whole three issues, you'll find little references to John's history. Some are pretty obvious, others not so much. I wanted to include those not to show how clever I am or how many back issues of Hellblazer I've read, but to pay my own small homage to the writers who guided John through his last 25 or so years of adventures: in particular Alan Moore who created John, and Jamie Delano who gave John the personality and history that all Constantine aficionados know well.

 

Of course, like any writer, I put my own "spin" on John. Constantine's often referred to as "the working class mage." To me, the emphasis is on working class. I see John as a man who's always had t make his own way through life. No one ever gives him anything. If there's a problem to be solved, he takes care of it himself. And he does it with a hard-edged sense of humor that acts as his defense against the cruelties and unfairness of the world. The odds are always against him. But he uses his wits and, when he has to, a little magic to turn them back in his favor.

 

That's how I see John Constantine. That's how I tried to write him in this series. I hope you'll pick up the first issue on Wednesday.

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So what was Batman doing in-between taking a sample from the crime scene and contacting Alfred in the Batmobile? You can add your own filler to explain the gap in the story, but that gap just shouldn't be there at all.

The gap doesn't bother me, and I'm not the biggest fan of this book by any means. Writers put in transitions like "LATER" to skip over gaps that (they believe) don't matter.

 

 

... Batman and Constantine's itineraries don't meet up unless either (a) Vankin has arbitrarily told the middle of the issue out of sequence without notifying the reader, (b) Batman has been off doing a load of other superhero stuff between the tree and contacting Alfred, (c ) Vankin doesn't quite get how the Bat-signal works or (d) it's just been thrown together without a great deal of thought.

 

I sincerely doubt (a), there's nothing in the text that directly states (b), and (c ) strikes me as a possibility - however, I'm ultimately going with (d).

The caption "LATER" directly states (b). And I'm also going with (d). :smile:

 

 

... So even though the John in my series is a different version of John Constantine from the John who appears monthly in Vertigo's long-running Hellblazer series, in my mind, he's still the same guy: a cynical, sarcastic, self-interested anti-hero -- with just enough of a conscience to make life hard on himself.
... Jamie Delano who gave John the personality and history that all Constantine aficionados know well. ...

Not all of them, apparently.

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The caption "LATER" directly states (b).

 

Sorry to make this drag on, but no it doesn't - it just says that the Batmobile scene takes place after John gets in the cab. There's still a big, unexplained gap in the narrative.

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That's only part of it.

 

James first goes for a cup of tea in the Gotham City Hilton, for it is the only place in Gotham City that makes proper tea.

Red points out to Jason that proper tea is theft and so Jason fires up the Bat signal.

James goes on to Alfred about all this BLOOMIN' PALAVER, and Alfred laughs at James for buying a newspaper when he could have picked one off the table that had been left there by John Constantine.

At this point, Jason arrives, kicks James and then cooks Alfred a meal, thus sending him for a post-prandial nap.

While Batman is distracted, James finds a loop-hole in the Batmobile, through which John Constantine enters.

Everyone gets on the synchronicity highway home.

 

 

More importantly: IMPORTANT UPDATE TO ANNOTATIONS:

 

I like how Jon Vankin has referenced the current Hellblazer story, by having Constantine hold a cigarette and newspaper in what should be finger and thumb, but must clearly be an extra thumb. (And before someone (probably whoever gave this issue 7) points out this is an artist error, we have yet to prove that all the problems in the comic are not cleverly scripted moments for us die hard Hellblazer fans.)

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I hated it. the storytelling is convoluted (though I wonder how many of the plotting probs are down to Vankin or due to editorial interference), the dialogue laughable, and the art is atrocious. I mean really atrocious. This guy is a bad artist and a horrible storyteller. everything is horribly over and underrendered: lots of ugly scribbly lines, characters changing appearance from page to page (just look at Constantine's nose throughout the issue) and horrible, horrible anatomy. It's like they don't even bother with picking artists who can actually draw anymore.

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Did you all spot the sinister pencil-moustached man who watches John outside Kew Gardens, then follows him to Heathrow in disguise as a 1970s comedy Englishman?

 

How come no-one's mentioned the bizarre grains of wheat?

 

 

Jason fires up the Bat signal.

Is that what he's calling it now? eyebrows.gif

 

Oh wait... that's me. :blush:

 

At this point, Jason arrives, kicks James and then cooks Alfred a meal, thus sending him for a post-prandial nap.

"Kick out the James, motherf*ckers!"

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That's only part of it.

 

James first goes for a cup of tea in the Gotham City Hilton, for it is the only place in Gotham City that makes proper tea.

Red points out to Jason that proper tea is theft and so Jason fires up the Bat signal.

James goes on to Alfred about all this BLOOMIN' PALAVER, and Alfred laughs at James for buying a newspaper when he could have picked one off the table that had been left there by John Constantine.

At this point, Jason arrives, kicks James and then cooks Alfred a meal, thus sending him for a post-prandial nap.

While Batman is distracted, James finds a loop-hole in the Batmobile, through which John Constantine enters.

Everyone gets on the synchronicity highway home.

 

 

More importantly: IMPORTANT UPDATE TO ANNOTATIONS:

 

I like how Jon Vankin has referenced the current Hellblazer story, by having Constantine hold a cigarette and newspaper in what should be finger and thumb, but must clearly be an extra thumb. (And before someone (probably whoever gave this issue 7) points out this is an artist error, we have yet to prove that all the problems in the comic are not cleverly scripted moments for us die hard Hellblazer fans.)

 

Superb!

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Cosmic Comix :

 

BRIGHTEST DAY AFTERMATH THE SEARCH #1 (OF 3) – Tricky little book. Are we still interested in anything Brightest Day, due to the oft mentioned gorilla in the room otherwise known as the new DCU? Or are we even more interested in Swamp Thing now that we know Scott Snyder will be writing the series in the new DCU? I say… yes and yes! And this was a good issue. Very heavy John Constantine. Loved the way they introduced Constantine to the mainstream DCU and how they handled him meeting Batman for the first time. And having Zatanna, who previously existed in both the core DCU and the Vertigo Universe, act as a go between (she knows them both) was excellent.

 


 

Musings from the Lion City :

Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for Swamp Thing#1- I’m one of those guys who is looking at DC with a skeptical eye these days. Their upcoming revamp isn’t really filling me with hope for the future and right now, they are screwing up the present with the merging of the DC and Vertigo universes. However I was willing to give writer Jonathan Vankin and artist Marco Castello a chance…I shouldn’t have bothered. Much of the problem I had with this issue comes from John Constantine's reaction to Swamp Thing’s lashing out at polluters. There’s no reason for him to be surprise because Swamp Thing has done similar stuff like this before and even if Constantine is surprised; so what? The John Constantine I read for many years couldn’t care less if Swamp Thing was killing bad guys. There were a few bright spots in this issue; Batman’s “No smoking in the car” for one, but overall this issue was disappointing.

 


 

3,5/5

Brightest Day: The Search For Swamp Thing #1 - 3.5/5

This was a good, engaging story. I've never heard of the creative team, and whilst they lay on the English a little hard, it doesn't matter. It's only nineteen pages of story, too, but it does feel like they've packed enough in there. I'd say it's worth your time, go for it, might not work in trade paperback, though.

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Did you all spot the sinister pencil-moustached man who watches John outside Kew Gardens, then follows him to Heathrow in disguise as a 1970s comedy Englishman?

Maybe he's a Time Lord? There was the one who turned up in one of the Pertwee stories in pinstripes and a bowler...

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...(probably whoever gave this issue 7)...

 

:witchhunt:

 

That was me. I admitted i was over generous with the scoring, but i thought it was better than i expected it to be. (I expected it to be eye-bleeding, thumb-amputatingly bad.)

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I'll just keep posting these reviews until most of them are bad (ergo, It'll take a while) :

 

Cinema Fromage :

In essence, we get a taste of the old tried and true Swamp Thing; he’s pissed off at anybody that disrespects the environment. This leads to toxic waste dumping suits getting strung up and the like. We get a good bit of John Constantine other-worldly mystery too, with his customary swagger. The two characters have a long history together and from what we’ve seen so far…they seem to be back in action in a good way!

 

 

Graphic Landscape : 3/5

Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for Swamp Thing #1 (of 3): Being one who has not been reading comics for more than five years, I don’t really know anything about the Swamp Thing/John Constantine relationship. And apparently Constantine is also a sorcerer? So he’s looking for Swamp Thing for some reason that I’m still not clear on, and he goes to Batman for help. After taking on a trip through the Green or a projection of the Green where he got attacked by Swamp Thing (?) he wakes up with Batman and his ex-girlfriend Zatanna, and they want answers. And the answers they get from Constantine differ from the ending of Brightest Day #24, I think. Still not clear on this entire thing. I don’t even know if I’m going to keep reading this series (I am). Written by Jonathan Vankin, penciled by Marco Castiello, inked by Vincenzo Acunzo, colored by Barb Ciardo, and lettered by Sal Cipriano. Bad story, I had no idea what was going on. I realize that to a certain degree, you have to know what’s going on in comics, but this is just ridiculous. Good art, though. So Total Score: 3 Stars.

 

 

All About Books And Comics :

Maybe it’s because I’ve just been going through all the Hellblazer comics as part of my back-issue duties, and remembering how many great writers have worked on it (Garth Ennis, Warren Ellis, Jamie Delano, Mike Carey and Peter Milligan, among others, not to mention Alan Moore as his creator), but this comic fell absolutely flat for me: it doesn’t manage to get Constantine’s “voice” right (and name-checking one of Moore’s earliest lines of dialogue for him — “I’m a nasty piece of work, chief. Ask anybody” — makes it worse), it has a hard time getting a handle on what he can and can’t do as a magician, and it acts like the whole Alec Holland’s alive! bit is brand-new, when it’s been done at least twice before. Bleh: this gives me no hopes whatsoever for the JLA Dark #1 that’s going to have Constantine and the other Vertigoish characters in it.

 

 

Graphic Policy : 8/10

Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for Swamp Thing #1 – I know of the character John Constantine a bit and not really familiar with Swamp Thing at all, but this follow up to Brightest Day seems to fit the role of properly inducting the both of them into the DC universe. The first issue is fun and interesting enough to make me want to check out the second issue.

 

 

Martin's View :

Brightest Day Aftermath: the Search for Swamp Thing #1 (of 3) - I pre-ordered this issue as it followed Brightest Day, not knowing who was being searched for. I was half-tempted not to pick it up since I am not a Swamp Thing or John Constantine fan. But, I did any way and it wasn't that bad. I liked the interplay with Batman and Zatanna. We'll see if I get the last two issue or not. I have no plans to follow the new Swamp Thing and Justice League Dark books after the relaunch.

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fulPjIUiWQ0

 

 

Misc links :

 

DC Women Kicking Ass

 

That's My Skull

 

Panels on pages

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That's only part of it.

 

James first goes for a cup of tea in the Gotham City Hilton, for it is the only place in Gotham City that makes proper tea.

Red points out to Jason that proper tea is theft and so Jason fires up the Bat signal.

James goes on to Alfred about all this BLOOMIN' PALAVER, and Alfred laughs at James for buying a newspaper when he could have picked one off the table that had been left there by John Constantine.

At this point, Jason arrives, kicks James and then cooks Alfred a meal, thus sending him for a post-prandial nap.

While Batman is distracted, James finds a loop-hole in the Batmobile, through which John Constantine enters.

Everyone gets on the synchronicity highway home.

I would BUY THIS COMIC.

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I can imagine it now. The artwork is by Brendan McCarthy (why, oh why didn't Milligan get the vertigo people to have him do some fill-in work on Hellblazer?).

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Out of curiosity, I 'acquired' a copy of BDA:TSFST and read it yesterday. It was poo. Weak plotting, poor characterisation, dreadful dialogue and appalling art. 3/10, Must Try Harder.

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I'll just keep posting these reviews until most of them are bad (ergo, It'll take a while) :

 

Cinema Fromage :

In essence, we get a taste of the old tried and true Swamp Thing; he’s pissed off at anybody that disrespects the environment. This leads to toxic waste dumping suits getting strung up and the like. We get a good bit of John Constantine other-worldly mystery too, with his customary swagger. The two characters have a long history together and from what we’ve seen so far…they seem to be back in action in a good way!

 

 

Graphic Landscape : 3/5

Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for Swamp Thing #1 (of 3): Being one who has not been reading comics for more than five years, I don’t really know anything about the Swamp Thing/John Constantine relationship. And apparently Constantine is also a sorcerer? So he’s looking for Swamp Thing for some reason that I’m still not clear on, and he goes to Batman for help. After taking on a trip through the Green or a projection of the Green where he got attacked by Swamp Thing (?) he wakes up with Batman and his ex-girlfriend Zatanna, and they want answers. And the answers they get from Constantine differ from the ending of Brightest Day #24, I think. Still not clear on this entire thing. I don’t even know if I’m going to keep reading this series (I am). Written by Jonathan Vankin, penciled by Marco Castiello, inked by Vincenzo Acunzo, colored by Barb Ciardo, and lettered by Sal Cipriano. Bad story, I had no idea what was going on. I realize that to a certain degree, you have to know what’s going on in comics, but this is just ridiculous. Good art, though. So Total Score: 3 Stars.

 

 

All About Books And Comics :

Maybe it’s because I’ve just been going through all the Hellblazer comics as part of my back-issue duties, and remembering how many great writers have worked on it (Garth Ennis, Warren Ellis, Jamie Delano, Mike Carey and Peter Milligan, among others, not to mention Alan Moore as his creator), but this comic fell absolutely flat for me: it doesn’t manage to get Constantine’s “voice” right (and name-checking one of Moore’s earliest lines of dialogue for him — “I’m a nasty piece of work, chief. Ask anybody” — makes it worse), it has a hard time getting a handle on what he can and can’t do as a magician, and it acts like the whole Alec Holland’s alive! bit is brand-new, when it’s been done at least twice before. Bleh: this gives me no hopes whatsoever for the JLA Dark #1 that’s going to have Constantine and the other Vertigoish characters in it.

 

 

Graphic Policy : 8/10

Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for Swamp Thing #1 – I know of the character John Constantine a bit and not really familiar with Swamp Thing at all, but this follow up to Brightest Day seems to fit the role of properly inducting the both of them into the DC universe. The first issue is fun and interesting enough to make me want to check out the second issue.

 

 

Martin's View :

Brightest Day Aftermath: the Search for Swamp Thing #1 (of 3) - I pre-ordered this issue as it followed Brightest Day, not knowing who was being searched for. I was half-tempted not to pick it up since I am not a Swamp Thing or John Constantine fan. But, I did any way and it wasn't that bad. I liked the interplay with Batman and Zatanna. We'll see if I get the last two issue or not. I have no plans to follow the new Swamp Thing and Justice League Dark books after the relaunch.

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fulPjIUiWQ0

 

 

Misc links :

 

DC Women Kicking Ass

 

That's My Skull

 

Panels on pages

 

Why do they have blind people reviewing comics? Surely this is "mocking the afflicted", rather than "affirmative action"?

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Reviews ahoy :

 

 

Nerdage:

Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for Swamp Thing #1. Written by Jonathan Vankin, drawn by Marco Castiello. John Constantine was shuttled off to the Vertigo “universe” when it was decided to split off those characters from DC’s main, four-color superheroes. But now that decapitations and the like are relatively fair game for DC’s main line, Constantine is back, searching for his old buddy, the Swamp Thing. (The “Hellblazer” series continues at Vertigo, and I have no idea if it will line up with the DCU appearances at all. I’m going to guess no.) It sort of felt like the 1980s, with Constantine bumping around Gotham City and hanging out with Batman and Zatanna. Sort of an odd fit, but I think DC’s trying to reclaim their magical characters for its main line, and this is part of that process.

 

Spacebooger : 5 out of Five Bat Symbols mainly for John Constatine. I have never read a comic where Batman is treated like the sidekick.

I back my statement that this comic is the best Batman team-up ever by pointing out that in this issue Batman was the sidekick. Batman has worked with Superman and other heroes, but in these instances he was either his partner’s equal or he took the lead in coming up with the plan used to save the day. John Constatine plays the role of the alpha in this issue only really wanting to team-up so that he can use the batcomputer. I have to say that even though this is a tie-in to Brightest Day, this comic was one of the funniest comics I have read and can easily be enjoyed on without detailed knowledge of last year’s big comic event. Check out this book, especially since it looks like Constatine will team up with Superman too and I can’t wait to see how that one goes.

 

Tales Of Unspeakable Taste:

BRIGHTEST DAY AFTERMATH: THE SEARCH FOR SWAMP THING #1: I hate what DC is doing. I hate it, hate it, hate it. John Constantine has found his niche in the Vertigo world. Why do you have to drag him into your stupid summer mega-epic crossover? Yes, I know, JC started out in the DCU, but those were different times. Alan Moore was writing SWAMP THING back then, remember? DC horror books were pretty fucking edgy in those days. You could do things back then that you just can't get away with now. So what we're stuck with is a defanged Constantine. What better way to kill off interest in him? How about get him to go to Gotham so he can find Batman, so they can hunt down the missing Swamp Thing. Because Batman's the greatest detective ever, right? He can find anyone, even if he's hiding out in the Green. Jesus, why am I reading this crap? Jonathan Vankin doesn't know how to write this character. I'm certain he just read ABOUT Constantine. There's no balls to this book. Imagine Woody Allen playing Darth Vader. That's how this feels. But at least Vankin did his homework. He knows that Swamp Thing actually is NOT Alec Holland (which escapes a lot of people), and he knows that Constantine had a fling with Zatana. So the facts are in place. The attitude? Nowhere in sight. Fuck this book.

 

 

 

Blugoblin Comic Book Review : 6.5/10

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i--n4bGweOo&t=6m12s

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And more :

 

 

 

ComicBookDaily :

This series aims to answer the question of what his return means, and although we’ve not a clue as to why, this issue drops subtle hints as to what Swamp Thing’s motivations may be and who he’s targeting. With Constantine being newly introduced into the mainstream DCU beyond the Hellblazer series, I feel like this book works to integrate both characters, with Constantine being a natural addition to the story given the history between them from Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing series. I’m interested to see where this story goes, which considering the series preceding it, is a feat unto itself. Brightest Day Aftermath is not an overbearing book, but rather seems primed to slowly boil itself towards a rewarding conclusion

 

My Comic Network

There are many things in this book that I thought I could click with. Marco Castiello did a solid job with the art on this title. The story itself just felt hollow for me. There are some concepts as that I liked say Constantine’s meeting with Batman and his dealings with Zatanna and their history. Yet nothing about it really works for me. I put it on that’s a shame since I really wanted to like it. I’ll more than likely not be back for the next issue but I am glad I got to check this out. Call it one concept that I’m curious in then one that is hit or miss with me and it just doesn’t mix well. For people following Brightest Day I would say check it out and see what you think. For anyone else your mileage may vary.

 

The Savage Critic : Awful

BRIGHTEST DAY AFTERMATH: THE SEARCH FOR SWAMP THING #1: I’m tempted to say “What Hibbs said,” but I read this after reading a comp of Flashpoint: The Canterbury Cricket, and that book is so bad that this genuinely looks a lot better by comparison. But, yes, this is a pretty Awful book, with Constantine’s accent going all over the place (“Now sodd off, ye tosser!” Why’s he saying “ye”?), one of the weirdest Batman portrayals in recent memory and a plot that really doesn’t hang together well at all. Considering we’re getting the reboot and a new Swamp Thing series in a couple of months, I really have no idea why this book exists other than to take up shelf space.

 

The Happy Sorceress :

I honestly don’t believe Constantine works in mainstream DC. For starters, he can’t use his favorite word!

And I’m already a bit nervous about how they’ll handle the various characters. Based on last week’s Search for Swamp Thing, with good reason.

John was a joke, Zee a shrew & Bats too…Frank Miller.

If this is any indication of how JL Dark will be…

Sigh.

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