(w) Jeff Lemire
(p) Mikel Janin
Last month's Justice League Dark #0 gave readers a look into the romantic history of John Constantine and Zatanna, which included a master mage named Nick Necro. In previous months, a mysterious man smoking a cigarette has been the guiding hand behind the JLD's troubles concerning the Books of Magic. How I did not infer that Nick Necro was the mysterious smoking figure from the last few issues is beyond me. But there you have it: sometimes you win, sometimes you totally miss the obvious clues.
The Justice League Dark seems to be getting smaller, with it's members either ditching the team altogether (see Andrew Bennet) or revealing themselves to be traitors (see Doctor Mist). With the coming cancellation of Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E., Jeff Lemire is planning on bringing Franky over to JLD bringing the roster back up to five including Constantine, Zatanna, Black Orchid, and Deadman. It's not a huge deal, but it's just interesting to see how many different characters have now been members of the JLD, and it's only issue 13.
Basically, Justice League Dark #13 is the prelude to the conclusion of "War for the Books of Magic". Nick Necro is putting his final plans together to find the Books, part of which includes Felix Faust retrieving Timothy Hunter, the boy who is supposedly the key to finding the books and unlocking their power. Fortunately, Madame Xanadu is on site and whisks Timothy away before Faust can take him. Meanwhile, the rest of the team takes on the combined power of Nick Necro - recently returned from Hell with a cadre of new powers and abilities - and Doctor Mist. This isn't the final battle. Mostly, Lemire uses this issue to put all the pieces into place for the coming showdown. Yes, there's a lot of magic being thrown around, but it's the personal relationships that take the heaviest beating this month. Constantine, Zatanna, and Necro have a past and it comes back to bite them. And we only have to wait one week for Justice League Dark Annual #1 for the final chapter!