Justice League Dark Exclusive First Look | NYCC 2016

As a highlight of this year’s New York Comic Con, fans were treated to an exclusive sneak preview of Justice League Dark, the next title in DC Entertainment’s animated film series.

Although DC’s Hollywood films aren’t universally loved, you can’t deny that they know how to rock the small screen. With video games like the Arkham series, oodles of tv shows and cartoons, and, of course, the series of animated films, the studio isn’t getting complacent. Although some shows get put on the chopping block unjustly soon (like NBC’s Constantine), the creative team at DC Entertainment do what they can to keep in-demand characters alive. From the looks of it, Justice League Dark, is doing just that.

Based loosely on the New 52 comic, a team reluctantly comes together based on the occult and fantasy corners of the DC Universe to face paranormal threats. They provide a skill set – and grey morality – that the regular Justice League lacks. Its odd for John Constantine (voiced by Matt Ryan, returning  to the character after the canned NBC show) to work in a team. Also odd to be working for superheroes that his character is meant to be the antithesis of. But it makes sense when you realize that the arrangement gives him more excuses to do his favourite things: screw around with magic and start trouble.


Matt Ryan returns to the role of Constantine in Justice League Dark

Fans of John Constantine, for whom this movie is certainly for, are loyal to the end. They love him and they want his stories, whether it’s darker and taboo Vertigo or lighter and more accessible mainstream DC. Based on the exclusive first-look scenes we got to watch, this movie strikes a balance between the light and dark. The overall integrity of the film – writing, animation and performances do suggest that fan loyalty has been rewarded.

With every DC animated film the animation itself gets better, and it shows here. The character’s facial expressions and nuances are unique and rendered in loving detail. Action sequences and the visual style for the magic spells are more than just a visual feast, with each character having their own style and form.

“The characters’ facial expressions and nuances are unique and rendered in loving detail.”

Dialogue is snappy, very in-character and helps blend the superhero and occult characters in a feasible way. Matt Ryan’s charm and deadpan snark are back for John and it does much to elevate the story and team.

But there is a million dollar question – where is Swamp Thing? How does he look? Since Swampy’s comics are where John got his start, he’s anticipated to show up. We know that the big green guy will be there, but his role in the film is currently staying under wraps. Even at the exclusive Comic Con crowd, they kept some secrets. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Justice League Dark is slated for home release in early 2017.


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