Things are getting darker, and fast, for DC Comics’ supernatural squad of heroes. Or so says “Justice League Dark” co-writer Ray Fawkes about the team’s new story arc.
Although the conclusion to the “Death of Magic” arc just hit stands this week with issue #18, we’re already looking ahead to #19, which drops April 17. Picking up about one day after the team returns from the Other-Dimensional City of Epoch, where their powers were all mucked up, the issue launches a new story line that will feature familiar faces from the DC-verse, such as regular Justice Leaguer The Flash. It will also bring Swamp Thing in as a guest-star who recently re-affirmed his role as avatar of the Parliament of Decay.
As if that’s not enough, Fawkes teases there will be the arrival of a new, but familiar, villain who is really going to shake things up.
We reached Fawkes via phone at DC HQ to give us a preview of what to expect with “Justice League Dark” #19.
MTV Geek: Where do we find the team at the beginning of this new arc?
Ray Fawkes: They are back now, on Earth, and suffering the consequences at the same time they have to handle a really awful new threat. Basically, it’s a new villain for “The New 52,” but is actually an old face for Justice League fans. He’s going to be a really big problem. In many ways, he’s their nightmare come true. So they’re going to be psychically handling being changed so radically. For instance, Madame Xanadu aging so fast, then coming back to her youth; she’ll be grappling with that at the same time this insane new threat surfaces.
Geek: Swamp Thing makes sense teaming up with the JLD, but is it weird for you to bring in The Flash?
Fawkes: Not as weird for me as it is for him. It is a pretty crazy scene for The Flash. He, and many of the other members of the Justice League, aren’t really aware of the Justice League Dark. Or if they are, those guys are the weird ones in the corner dealing with magic. They don’t really mix with the big boys. This is going to be a strange eye-opener for The Flash, realizing there is this other team, this legitimate team dealing with legitimate threats that don’t usually appear on the Justice League’s radar.
Geek: John Constantine as the leader of the group seems to have a renewed purpose in his efforts. Is this going to be an ongoing theme in this arc?
Fawkes: Yeah, definitely. Also, part of what just happened, Constantine cut the team loose from A.R.G.U.S. [Advanced Research Group Uniting Super-Humans] and government control. So the team will have options available to them that would perhaps not be allowed under government control; things that would be, I want to say, illegal.
Fawkes: It’s possible. I don’t want to say too much about the circumstances he’ll find himself in here. We will definitely see Swamp Thing again down the road in the book. He won’t be a full-time member right away, but it’s a possibility for the future … He is on a quest of his own, but what he gets pulled into, he needs to help the team, and they need to help him.
Geek: Will we see other members of the Justice League beyond The Flash?
Fawkes: Yes, definitely. To a very full extent, we will be seeing lots of members of the Justice League dealing with the Justice League Dark very soon.
Geek: Are we building to a big showdown between these teams?
Fawkes: I wouldn’t use the word “showdown.” It would be more like a really chaotic event. Some will see it as a showdown, some will see it as a new partnership.
Geek: After this arc, will we see more interaction between these two teams?
Fawkes: Yeah, for sure. This is the thing: Teams are made up of individuals and they’ve got their own opinions. There are members of the Justice League Dark really into the Justice League; they think it’s a great idea and might want to be even more involved with them. There are members that see them as antagonists, and vice versa. I don’t see someone like Batman getting along with John Constantine. But then again, Deadman might think the Justice League is ace, and might want to join up with them if he could. It is going to be an interesting clash of personalities when they do meet up … I would certainly say the team will earn The Flash’s respect in this particular story, and that will figure into their interactions with the Justic League later on.
Geek: What’s a scene you’re excited for readers to see in issue #19?
Fawkes: I think readers will be really excited when we have the reveal of the villain in this arc at the end of the issue. It is going to blow some minds, and they’re going to be really into it. It is a really exciting reveal … I think readers will want to take a look at this because Mikel Janin has pulled out all the stops. This will be packed full of wild stuff and it’s like nothing else being put out right now.
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