Justice League Dark 23.2
Special “Villains Month” Title: Eclipso 1
Dan DiDio, Philip Tan
Forever Evil Crossover
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
This Justice League Dark tie-in (which is actually more accurately described as a refresher and/or even a re-do of a botched character, as well as a Team 7, Sword of Sorcery, Catwoman, All-Star Western, and Demon Knights epilogue) to Villains Month and Forever Evil had everything stacked against it. From unpopular character (even though he’s one of my favorites) to unpopular writer (even though I’m a Dan DiDio supporter and always have been), to the failed starts and poorly-executed almost-appearances, it seemed as if DC was going to be fighting an uphill battle. But DiDio, joined by artist Philip Tan, did just that. And they did so with such grace and professionalism that even the most jaded of fans will enjoy this issue. If nothing else, just for the sole fact that it should not have worked nearly as well as it did.
We’re immediately reminded of stories that just didn’t work and even given a few references to the awful The Black Diamond Probability crossover storyline that no one really ever cared enough to follow or go into. But it’s done so quickly that it’s more of a “Hey, sorry those sucked! Now we’re doing a real story that actually counts!” than a recap. We’re introduced to the new host of Eclipso, a deeply troubled scientist who has seemingly lost everything. Add that to the fact that Eclipso wants nothing more than to be free of his diamond prison (not to mention, to possess someone who is smart enough to help him further his cause but naïve or desperate enough to be completely and utterly manipulated by him), and you’ve got the perfect pairing. The highlight of this issue is the deeply disturbing “becoming blood brothers” scene, which would not have worked with a lesser artist on the book. It’s safe to say that even though this issue seemed to not be long enough, I’m intrigued enough to pick up the next appearance. I sincerely hope that the creators who use him next appreciate the hard work put into this issue. And I also want them to realize that even though he might not have the best track record in terms of stories he’s been in, Eclipso is a fan-favorite of a lot of longtime DC fans.
So yes, get the issue. And while you’re at it, go ahead and buy the fancy cover. It’s awesome. Tan’s artwork and DiDio’s straight-forward storytelling make this a fun read. The only complaints I have for it is that this team didn’t do the last Justice League Dark tie-in issue (The Creeper) and that it simply wasn’t long enough. I can’t wait to see where these two villains show up next. And I honestly can say that DiDio has certainly still got the chops when it comes to penning a good old superhero (or supervillain, for that matter) comic book.
My Rating: 4/5