Book Review – Justice League Dark vol. 3: The Death of Magic

  • Title: Justice League Dark vol. 3: The Death of Magic
  • Author: Jeff Lemire
  • Artist: Mikel Janin
  • Line: New 52
  • Characters: John Constantine, Zatanna, Madame Xanadu, Black Orchid, Frankenstein (Agent of S.H.A.D.E.), Tim Hunter
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 10/10/2016

**Spoiler Alert** Justice League Dark starts where the previous volume ended – with Zatanna and Tim Hunter being kidnapped. Engaging the help of Dr. Peril, an A.R.G.U.S. agent, John Constantine and company soon follow to an alternate dimension. There, they discover two problems. First, the very nature of the alternate dimension is physically affecting all of the team, taking away their powers. Constantine discovers he cannot lie and keeps blurting out his innermost fears and his utter lack of real confidence at the most awkward times. Mme Xanadu has instantaneously grown impossibly old. Black Orchid has turned into a bulky flesh creature. Only Frankenstein is unaffected since he is a creature born of science – demented science – but science. The world they have landed on is one of science, where magical creatures are persecuted, hunted, and the use of any magic is illegal.

Meanwhile, Zatanna and Tim Hunter have landed right in the midst of the Magical Resistance, where the few remaining magic users think that Tim is their savior.

Constantine and company are attacked and captured by the anti-magic police and put in jail. Tim, is convinced by the magic users to lead an attack on the main scientific city. Frankenstein, however, though captured, is taken to a lab for study, rather than simply a prison, like the rest of the group. Therefore, Frankenstein is able to escape and rescue Constantine and the others. Therefore, by the time that Tim’s group attacks the city and prison – Constantine and company have already escaped.

Meanwhile, on Earth, Dr. Peril calls in Tim’s father, not only to tell him his son’s been kidnapped, but to seek his help. Tim’s father goes through the portal to the other world, and he is the hero the magic users expect, having left that world long ago to give his son a fighting chance.

For once everything works out – Tim Hunter stops the attack on the city after Zatanna realizes they’d kill innocent people if they destroyed the city. Everyone returns to Earth – even Mme Xanadu survives.

Although the first story was well-written, and the other “science world” was well visualized and designed (and the art in this book continues to be really impressive) – the story itself is problematical. Science is not in the habit of fostering prejudice and bigotry. If magic existed in the world, it is more likely to be studied by science than to be persecuted by it. Politicians have, at times, tried to twist science and policy to their own devices, but if a world was to be “ruled by science” (another unlikely scenario) it wouldn’t drive an entire class of people underground simply because of who they are.

The second story involves Constantine losing the House of Mystery and it truly wasn’t his fault. We discover just how dangerous the House is – and Mme Xanadu’s important secret.

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Book Review – Doctor Who: The Library of Alexandria

  • Title: The Library of Alexandria
  • Series: Doctor Who Companion Chronicles
  • Discs: 1 CD
  • Author: Simon Guerrier
  • Director: Lisa Bowerman
  • Characters: Ian Chesterson, First Doctor, Barbara, Susan
  • Cast: William Russell, Susan Franklyn
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 03/15/2015

Doctor Who – The Library of Alexandria is from the Big Finish Companion Chronicles line. The Companion Chronicles started with one person reading or telling the story (and sometimes a second guest reader), however, this play, as a more recent one (it’s from Season 7), though it still only has two people playing the parts, also has music and sound effects. One thing I like about all the Companion Chronicles is that they really do feel like Missing Adventures. I enjoy that.

This First Doctor story features William Russell telling the story of the time he, Barbara, Susan, and the Doctor spent a few weeks enjoying Alexandria. Susan Franklyn plays the part of Hypatia, a Greek Philosopher, but I’m pretty sure she’s also playing the parts of Barbara and Susan. (One critique I had was at times it was difficult to tell which character was speaking – Hypatia or Barbara.)

Of course, it’s a Doctor Who story, so of course, our characters’ vacation cannot last long. And it’s the Doctor who urges they all leave in the TARDIS before the Great Library is destroyed.

One problem with this story is the lack of surprise – we know the Library is going to be destroyed – and Ian, the Doctor, and Barbara all know it’s going to be destroyed. Ian and Barbara even know they can’t change anything, Barbara’s tried that before and it’s been a disaster.

The story does, however, supply a typical Doctor Who-style explanation for what really happened to the Library, but for some reason, it just seemed very, very predictable.

On the other hand, William Russell read and acted the story well. The Library of Alexandria really felt like Hartnell-Era Doctor Who. And other than occasionally having trouble figuring out if the speaker was Barbara or Hypatia – all the voices and characters were distinct.

I give this audio a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Find out more about Big Finish audios at their website: www.bigfinish.com

Click this link to order The Library of Alexandria on CD or download.

Note: No promotional consideration was paid for this review. I review because I enjoy it!