In “The Black Room: Part Three” we jump back into the cliffhanger we were left with last time when Felix Faust was about to take control of The Black Room – a secret government storage facility that contains the world's most dangerous magic relics. As John Constantine and the JLD show up to thwart Faust's plans and retrieve the map to the all-powerful Books of Magic, an old ally is being recruited to stop Constantine from becoming mad with power. But there's an even more sinister plot unfolding, as a member of the JLD isn't who they seem to be.
This issue is much more action-packed than the last issue, and it's neither a good or bad thing, but it's definitely fun to read. I liked the inclusion of the House of Mystery in the last issue, and the magical artifacts in this one are really fun. The story is moving along at a good pace, and we get to spend more time with the core members of the JLD. The only drawback is that we haven't spent much time with Dr. Mist or Black Orchid, but that might be on purpose (no spoilers, I promise).
From the beginning I've said that I'm all for the premise of this book. I'm a huge Constantine fan and I love all of the magic and dark characters that the DC Universe has to offer. Jeff Lemire's new take took a little to get off the ground, but on the whole I think it's really worth checking out.
The one thing I would say to fans of Hellblazer is that this is definitely not the Vertigo Comics version of Constantine. He's a much more action/adventure version of the character, but it's interesting to see him in a different light. He's still the magical con artist that we know and love, but he's not afraid to get his hands dirty when it comes to throwing punches. I do prefer to see him use his wits to get out of jams, but the regular Hellblazer title still pulls that off in spades.
Between this book, Swamp Thing and Animal Man, I'm rooting for the dark corner of the DC Universe to thrive for years to come. If anything it's making me more excited to go back and read old issues of all of those series, including House of Mystery and Sandman.