CBR ExclusivesHow DC's Day of Judgement Shaped Justice League Dark's...

How DC’s Day of Judgement Shaped Justice League Dark’s Future

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Day of Judgment was a huge event that had a lasting impact on the Green Lantern franchise and led to the formation of a magical Justice League.

The Justice League has almost always been DC’s premiere team, dealing with any and all threats that are beyond a single hero’s scope. By the ’80s and ’90s, however, more and more spinoffs of the team would appear. This resulted in the 2011 introduction of Justice League Dark, who themselves were a permutation of a pre-existing team in the DC Universe.

Day of Judgment was a huge event that had a lasting impact on the Green Lantern franchise and the eventual formation of a magical Justice League. Here’s how the crossover led to the formation of Shadowpact, and eventually, Justice League Dark.

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Days of Judgment

Day of Judgment was published in 1999, and the turn of the century event was drawn by Matthew Smith and written by Geoff Johns. It involved the Spectre, the spirit of God’s wrath, being fused to the demon Asmodel. Wanting vengeance against God and all of his creation, Asmodel promptly began wreaking havoc on the Earth, opening the gateway to Hell and unleashing a swarm of demons.

Many superheroes venture to Heaven, Hell and different parts of the Earth to defend against the onslaught as well as find Jim Corrigan, the former host of the Spectre. Corrigan refuses to return and become the Spectre again, having finally found peace in the afterlife. They do come up with the idea, however, of having the deceased Hal Jordan become the new Spectre host. Jordan competes with the devilish Neron and Asmodel for the role of the Spectre, with his willpower proving him to be the best man for the job.

One of the most notable occurrences of Day of Judgment was the formation of the Sentinels of Magic. This team, which included stalwarts from the Justice League, the Justice Society and other teams, specialized in magic in one way or another. Their ranks included the Alan Scott Green Lantern, Zatanna, Deadman, the Phantom Stranger and eventually the Spectre himself. This was the first modern magic-based team in DC, or at least the first with such heavy-hitters. Much like the story in which they debuted, the Sentinels would go on to have a much bigger impact down the line.

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Days of Vengeance and Justice League Dark

The series would in some ways eventually lead to Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern: Rebirth, wherein Hal Jordan was freed from being the Spectre and, having redeemed himself as a hero during that role, became a Green Lantern once again. This led to Day of Vengeance, a sequel story to Day of Judgment that had the Spectre, now without a host, causing mayhem once again.

It was in this story that the Sentinels of Magic were updated. This new team was comprised of Enchantress, Nightshade, Ragman, Detective Chimp and later, the Phantom Stranger. Dubbing themselves “Shadowpact,” the team was DC’s premiere magical experts for the remainder of the Post-Crisis continuity. They were revealed to have a long lived legacy, with a version of Shadowpact operating in the year 2108. These events were showcased throughout the team’s ongoing comic book series, which lasted just over two years.

Since the New 52, the team and the Sentinels of Magic have been essentially replaced with Justice League Dark. This team features some of the more mainstream magic users like Zatanna from the Sentinels of Magic, as well as other characters such as Swamp Thing and Constantine. The main appearance of the Shadowpact has been in the Smallville Season 11 comics, while the Sentinels of Magic were in the DC Universe Online video game. Either way, the JLD has easily eclipsed both teams in popularity, though it still traces its origins back to the first teaming of magic back in Day of Judgment.

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