I like the individual issues that have focused on Ragman and Blue Devil, but the book still isn't giving enough characterization, in my opinion.
I picked up Day of Vengeance on the intrigue of the premise. Counting that mini-series, this team has been around for 14 months, and I don't really know a lot about them. Nightmaster is still a blank slate to me, and he has been sparsely used in the last few issues. Enchantress and Nightshade are just kind of there.
If you were unfamiliar to the DC magic universe, like I was, this series doesn't satisfy your curiousity - not b/c of impenetrable contonuity, but because nothing amazing truly happens in it.
D of V established at least 4 very interesting plotlines, that I was looking forward to: 1.) Who would be the new Dr. Fate? 2.) What is going to happen with the Spectre? 3.) What is going to happen with Shazam? 4.)What role will Shadowpact play as the "new laws of magic" are written?
That last point practically screams "premise!" and its honestly been so underexplored in this book. Since the first storyline has wrapped up, it feels like every plot has been Dr. Gotham (an under-explored main villian) throws a new evil, magical being at the Shadowpact, who for some reason are separated and/or disorganized, in attempt to distract them while he plans for his grand return. It has about as much depth as an episode of the Power Rangers. Each issue is just about the "monster of the month."
The problem is that Willingham is a FANTASTIC writer. "Fables" is comic book art. And you know, Shadowpact is still an amazing concept for a team. And everytime they display the Oblivion Bar on panel, you get a glimpse of pure imagination.
But for all the wild, fun frenzied energy that "D of V" brought in introducing a new status quo for DC magic, none of it is in this book.
The Dr. Fate plotline is being resolved in its own mini-series (5 issues in 2 months - something I can't throw money at) which will feature members of Shadowpact. I see no reason why it couldn't have been resolved in their own book.
The Spectre is being addressed in 2 of his own mini-series, with back-up stories by Brian Azzarello that, in my opinion deliver far much more entertainment, as he uses Dr. 13 to examine the weirder corners of DC supernatural.
And Shazam is being handled in his own mini-series. "D of V" established so many plot threads that I (maybe naively) assumed would be addressed in "Shadowpact." But instead I would have to buy 4 books (5 once the Fate event happens) if I wanted the complete story. And they all have great creative teams involved. But I can't afford that many new books.
And seems like when the dust settled, Willingham was left to write about the scraps with some really engaging characters that can't quite live up to their potential.
I'm ready to drop this book, but I'm not sure sure if I should stick around for this Demon storyline. It seems like the story this book should have had months ago.