Justice League Dark–JJ Abrams company moves into DC Comics territory with HBO Max live-action project

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When people with creativity and skill have their grasp on the reins of DC Comics properties, great things can happen.  Unfortunately it’s a rarity.  Although its Arrowverse on the CW Network were good efforts, DC at the movies hasn’t shown much promise until last year’s Shazam!, although Aquaman was another good effort.  But the big win of live-action DC Comics adaptations was last year’s Swamp Thing (above) featuring the titular creature and other Justice League Dark characters Xanadu and the Phantom Stranger.  The series was our own selection here at borg for top superhero series last year.  Shazam! and Swamp Thing prove that with good writing, production, and acting talent both movie and television adaptations truly worthy of the comic book source material are possible.

New streaming provider HBO Max announced this week its own team-up.  It will join J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions to produce a new live-action Justice League Dark series with Warner Brothers Television (in addition, a project related to Stephen King’s The Shining called Overlook was also announced).

Justice League Dark is, as the title suggests, a band of superpowered characters from the shadows of the DCU.  Spanish artist Mikel Janin was tasked with re-imagining the look of these more offbeat and occult characters from their earlier individual series and appearances for the New 52 launch in 2011, and for us Justice League Dark is synonymous with Janin’s designs, shown above and below (we interviewed Mikel about the new look here at borg back in March 2012).  The JLD then included Zatanna, Constantine, Deadman, Shade, Madame Xanadu, Swamp Thing, the Phantom Stranger, Frankenstein, and the Enchantress, and more as they would emerge throughout the series’ short 40-issue run.

There’s no word yet from HBO Max, Bad Robot, or Warner as to which characters will appear in the series, although in light of John Constantine as a character in last year’s Arrowverse Crisis on Infinite Earths story arc, and Swamp Thing, Xanadu, and the Phantom Stranger already developed (along with Blue Devil) so recently with last year’s series, it seems they have a good place to start.  There’s also no word as to what this means for streaming provider DC Universe, the streaming provider created for these kinds of projects.

From The Umbrella Academy, The Boys, and Watchmen, to the last seasons of Netflix’s The Punisher and Jessica Jones, plus late seasons of Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Gotham, and Legion, new series NOS4A2 and Batwoman, and new series from DC Universe, there is no lack of superhero and superpowered content available from the DCU.  But Swamp Thing has teased viewers that the best may be yet to come.

While you’re waiting for the TV series Justice League Dark and you’re sheltering at home, what better time to get caught up on the original 40-issue series?  It’s available in six volumes.  Contact Elite Comics or your local comic book store to order any or all of these books, or check out Amazon here.  And keep coming back here for more information on the series as it becomes available.

C.J. Bunce

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