EXCLUSIVE: Justice League Dark Lineup and Character Designs

Is the standard Justice League just a little too light? Then perhaps you’re interested in Justice League Dark, out from DC next month, written by Peter Milligan with art by Mikel Janin?

If you’ve been clamoring for just a little more information, DC provided us with this exclusive image from artist Janin, showing the complete lineup, and their costume designs for the series. Click the image to get a bigger look.

First of all, they’re a good looking bunch of sexy folks. The cast involved was already pretty clear from the covers released so far, but we’re definitely seeing some redesigns, most notable Zatanna, who has dropped the sideshow magician/burlesque performer outfit for this character you would create when designing a drummer chick in Rock Band. (I’m not sure Batman would date this girl…) John Constantine looks considerably younger than his older Vertigo self, and I’ll assume he’s not married in this incarnation. Madame Xanadu, a character who I’m told has been in many comic books for many years, has a new dress. Deadman’s collar is less wonderful ridiculous. Shade seems toned down and modernized, but wearing a coat that screams “theater major”. Enchantress looks nothing like she does in Thor comics. And Mindwarp is in a comic book.

I admit my knowledge base has some holes in it. Regardless, I’m completely psyched (get it?!) for this new book, if Milligan’s recent work on Hellblazer is any indication of what we’re in for.


  1. Pretty nice-looking art, and some good redesigns.

  2. I’m pretty psyched for this too!

    Did you finish your last sentence?

  3. The left most three? Nice. I like the look. It could be that they’re the most classic. The four on the right? Ugh. That ugh won’t keep me from reading the book.. but ugh.

  4. Zatanna reminds me of Michelle Rodriguez.

  5. This little article was a freaking hilarious read even though it was just quipping about costumes. Well done Josh! Thank God that DC doesn’t take itself too seriously and will try new things.

  6. I like Enchantress and Madam Xanadu, but I have no particular attachment to them. My instinct is to dilike the Zatanna, just because I like her old look so much, but this fits in with the others well. The whole team looks like it’s based heavily on the Constantine look.

  7. Deadman should always have the high collar. It’s not like he can change what he was wearing when he died. Zatanna looks a bit whorish. I’m just speculating, but something tells me we will see a lot of hooking up in this Buffy meets Dawson’s Creek meets Supernatural universe. All of these designs look like they hired an Abercrombie and Fitch ad person to design them. One nitpick: This is not the Enchantress from Thor I’m guessing.

  8. I like the general designs but these all look like Sims characters to me…

  9. Dark Justice League… Dark Avengers… okay… why not? I’ll read it, see if it’s worth staying with.

    • I’d say the same thing, but the concepts are nothing alike. For example, I want to read this one.

    • LOL! Yes, I see your point. However, I hope DC treats this title with more creativity than they have with most of their other titles. Again, interesting concept, I’m just praying for solid execution.

    • DC has a leg up on Marvel when it comes to its supernatural side of the universe. That Hellblazer has been been able to run uninterrupted for well over a decade whereas all Dr. Strange gets is a mini-series every 5 yrs speaks for itself.

      I am a little sad to see the original Zatana costume go though.

  10. I’m reading this if only to see how Constantine can be in a team book. Loved the recent Vertigo Madame Xanadu run, so I hope she is handled well.

    • I loved that Madame Xanadu run also. Now she’s not only in this but also part of Demon Knights! Perhaps they can put her in a Legion of Super-Heroes book also 🙂

  11. I liked the Morrison/Sook redesign of Zatanna from Seven Soldiers, this looks like a decent compromise.

    I know nothing about Shade – apparently he wields the power of the Technicolor Dreamcoat?


  12. Zatanna went from a cool woman version of Thurston to a generic awful version of Criss Angel. BOOOOO!
    Thurston- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Thurston

  13. OK, just to clarify- Milligan will be writing two completely distinct Constantines, correct? Deadman and that crew will NOT exist in the Vertigo books (hopefully).

  14. oopp, wrote this in reply to someone instead of putting it here, and theres no edit/erase. so here we go again.

    It looks good, but… Constantine could do with a revamp, not as severe as Warren Ellis suggested with his Planetary analogue but more in fitting with how men from his background would dress today (without diminishing the working class rake aspect). I like the new Zatanna look (Tho I hope she still gets the fishnet tux on for shows…) but I don’t see biker, more emo/goth. I don’t see why a woman wearing leather pants always gets called ‘biker’. No biker chicks I know look like that… they’re more denim and tshirt, less frilly corset and fishnet sleeves.
    But hey… I prefer the Deadman with the pointed collar for some reason, so who am I to judge.

    What does Mindwarp do? Telepath? Hes the new guy… but Shade normally handles the psychic warefare stuff, and Zatana does the mindwiping. Is the team too psi+mage heavy? theres actually no-one to do any real hitting or other hands on elbows deep in blood stuff

  15. I’m so glad that Enchantress got a redesign. I was tired of looking at her green witch’s hat, it was ridiculous.

  16. What does Mindwarp do? Telepath? Hes the new guy… but Shade normally handles the psychic warefare stuff, and Zatana does the mindwiping. Is the team too psi+mage heavy? theres actually no-one to do any real hitting or other hands on elbows deep in blood stuff

  17. haha Zatana totally looks like a Rock Band Drummer character. good one. And they gave her a whole bunch of tattoos…

    *spoiler* in the first issue she makes a cameo on “LA Ink” and gets some work done.

  18. Milligan’s Hellblazer run has been great,I have very high expectation for this series

  19. I’m not completely sold on this yet. I’m planning to wait until I hear Josh’s opinion of the first issue before I pick this up (that little luxury is one of my favorite benefits of DC’s digital transition).

  20. I’m dong the good old “Wait&See” on this one. Def dig the concept.

    The re-designs look pretty good to me (though I do LOVE the old Zatanna, at least the fishnets are sticking around in some capacity)

  21. I’m sold on the concept. I miss Shadowpact and we finally get a supernatural super team again. While I’ve not read much Madame Xanadu, I loved her with the blindfold. What I don’t like here is the dress with the crazy random tribal tattoos. It’s a little too styled from 90’s fashion. I also don’t like the chest cutout. Maybe the story and recharacterization will change that. I like the Vertigo series styling better.

  22. I love your description of this team!

  23. I like the Zatanna redesign. While she doesn’t look like a girl Batman would date, she does look like a girl that I would date. So that gets extra points from me. I like the character, but I have no strong ties to her. I welcome the change.

    Overall, I like all the designs here. This is a good looking team. I have high hopes for this book.

  24. Zatanna is my favorite character because I’m an amateur magician and I’ve always had a love of stage magic.

    I really… really hate this redesign.

  25. Thanks for the feedback, people! I get most people are not happy with Zee’s new look. Honestly I think the story works better with it. Anyway, I love her classic look too, and I hope it will be a chance to have her in stage costume. Oh, I’m all for criticism, but I can tell it’s a hard work behind these, so please don’t be too hard with me! 😉 Best regards.

    • As a heterosexual, I loved Zatanna’s fishnets and tails. However, I think this re-design works for the character in a grittier, more intense universe. And besides, none of this matters since they’re all fictional characters. Personally, I’m looking forward to this book more than anything “Dark” that Marvel is putting out. I’m not a Vertigo fan, but this might be an interesting ride.

    • My comments are not necessarily negative. Funny, sure.

      I really dig the style.

    • Thank you for joining the conversation Mikel. It always great to see creators who care and are interested in fan feedback.

      Please know my above comment was in no way meant as a knock against the quality of your art or the hard work you have put into this new book. Your art is stellar really and I would go so far to say these are outstanding designs. However my concern is mainly that if no one had told me that “This is Zatanna” I wouldn’t have guessed it was her, as most of her “visual hooks” that make her unique are gone. There is nothing about the design that says magician or stage performer which is an important part of who Zatanna is as a character. So as a huge, huge Zatanna fan the design kinda scares me to the changes being made to her character and personality.

      Now maybe this is because in the new DCU she isn’t a performer, or maybe these are just her normal everyday clothes. I will just have to wait and see till next month. 🙂

    • I think electricv01 captured my feelings on this – I would not necessarily guess that was Zatanna from her new look. I understand the effort to make her look more modern and “hip”, but she doesn’t have to be too hipster (please no glasses and lip piercings). The fishnet sleeves are a cool idea, as others mentioned.

      And please, mikeljanin, don’t take this as a criticism of the execution of the designs. Those are some damn fine drawings, whether I like the design or not. Overall, this looks like a great team and I will be reading this book! (See if you can throw a blinfold on Xanadu for some reason at some point, just for us old-school nerds).

  26. I actually really like the Zatanna re-design. I thought going with the fishnet sleeves was a very clever way to have a bit of a shout-out to her classic look without being pinned down to changing it very little. Really nice!

  27. This looks hot. Too bad the Flashpoint tie-in Secret Seven wasn’t a more engaging introduction to some of these characters. It might have done a lot to create buzz for this book.

  28. Thank you guys, seeing that not everybody dislikes our Zatanna take makes me happy. 🙂
    While I love Peter’s work, I must say that I like way more JLDark than Secret Seven. I think three issues were not enough to give room for what the characters need. JLD is IMO more solid, interesting, creepy and obviously, dark. I’m enjoyin it a lot. Best regards, and I hope you will like it!

  29. Is anyone else a little concerned about the long-term health (or otherwise) of Vertigo? I hope I’m wrong…..

    • I read somewhere that Vertigo wants to focus more on creator-owned characters, which was the main reason to get Swamp Thing, Constantine, and any others that fall into that category (maybe Shade TCM?) back into the DCU. Vertigo still has a LOT of titles beyond those.

  30. i’m sort of glad they didn’t change dead man’s costume but i really would have like to see what they could come up with. still, i like the group

  31. That’s some nice art. I’m looking forward to this book a lot.

  32. Gonna be good.

  33. Can we count on Bobo making an appearance in this title?

  34. I’ve pretty much stopped buying all major DC and Marvel books but will definitely be picking this up. The concept, creators, and characters are right up my alley.

  35. That’s one BAD AZZ looking team right there-can not wait for this

  36. I love the new look and I’m looking forward to reading this, although Doctor Fate is outstanding in his absence. Also, would it kill them to have one non-white character in there? The Spectre?

  37. I am stoked for this title, and I like the art I am seeing so far, but, really, i detest the Zatanna redesign. Does DC, or rather it’s editorial staff, really think that making Zatanna relevant involves making her into a goth chick? I mean, that hasn’t been cool in several years. Typical straight- man-thinking too that every female character seems to want to go with a boostier or tight slutty dress while the male characters somehow all want to cover up like monks.

    Zatanna, even in the ridiculous magician’s costume, has always, at least in the last couple of decades, had a certain dignity to her. The recent Zatanna series exemplified this by giving us a character who understood the silliness of her outfit as a show business thing while when she was out of it she wore some rather mundane stuff. I can’t imagine how the character of Zatanna went from that to a tattooed goth-like rock chick. Where does that leap come in?

    I suppose it is possible that the tattoos are some kind of spell work, but i’ll wait and see if this is the case.

    Still, the artist does a good job here, and I have to at least say that i am looking forward to the story potential in this book.

  38. I would get into this but I really feel that the art doesn’t do the trick for me at all. Can’t put my finger on why though…

  39. I can’t wait to read this. The art just gets me even more anxious to get a hold of this book.