Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Justice League Dark Recommended Reading List

My first issue as writer of DC Comics Supernatural/Superhero mash-up Justice League Dark is out tomorrow and features some of my favourite characters from the DC Universe including John Constantine and Black Orchid.

I wrote my first issue as a totally accessible jumping-on point for new readers, but I thought some people might like a few suggestions of other comics and graphic novels that might help inform them on the rich and eclectic histories of these characters. So these are my Top 5 Recommended Reading Suggestions after you finish JLD #9...

1. HELLBLAZER: ORIGINAL SINS by Jamie Delano and John Ridgeway: These first half dozen issues of the monthly Vertigo series, Hellblazer, are a great primer for the Justice League Dark's master manipulator/leader John Constantine and his twisted world. Delano mixes horror with a sharp political edge and gives you a quintessential Constantine tale.

2. BLACK ORCHID by NEIL GAIMAN and DAVE McKEAN: Recently re-released in a beautiful deluxe hardcover edition this stunningly illustrated story introduces us to the Vertigo version of the Black Orchid character. Neil Gaiman's poetic prose and McKean's lush illustration make this a must have. While the version of Black Orchid that appears in JLD is a brand new take on the character, I still recommend this book.

3. HELLBLAZER: DANGEROUS HABITS by Garth Ennis and Will Simpson: Delano's first story is a great primer to the world of Constantine, but it is probably Garth Ennis' take on the character that really hooked me when I was a teenager. While Delano provided Constantine with a post-Thatcher political edge, it was Ennis who made him a tragic romantic. A fool for love who damages everything, and everyone he touches. Some of my favourite comics.

4. SEVEN SOLDIERS OF VICTORY: ZATANNA by Grant Morrison and Ryan Sook: All the 7 Soldiers mini-series are terrific, but Zatanna is a key player in JLD and the series' artist Ryan Sook is also our cover artist, so this is an essential read in many respects. This is a great intro to the character of Zatanna and Sook's art is gorgeous.

5. DEADMAN by Neil Adams: I love writing the character of Boston Brand aka Deadman. These classic stories by comics legend Neil Adams tell the origin and early adventures of Deadman as he searches for his killer. Adams art never looked better.

And in addition to these I would also be remiss if I didn't recommend Alan Moore's Swamp Thing run. There would be no Constantine, no Vertigo and no Justice League Dark without Mr. Moore's incredible comics.