At first the Justice League Dark Annual seems to be sort of tangential to the overall series. The story centres on Swamp Thing, who is no longer the chosen elemental of the Parliament of Trees, since the destruction of that group, and no longer has such a close connection to the Green.
John Constantine drops by to inform Swamp Thing that a new parliament has arisen, and a new protector is being created. So Swamp Thing heads out, and much of the story details the creation of the representative of the Parliament of Flowers.
It’s a really melancholy tale, and makes the most out of the floral concept, both the beauty of the plants, and also their brief duration. The elemental that gets created is distinctly different from Swamp Thing, as are its abilities.
As the story goes on, Jason Woodrue, the Floronic Man, gets involved, providing the first hint that this might be part of a larger tale. By the end of the story, after some good twists and a surprising cameo, the reader understands just how important this tale actually is for an upcoming storyline.
So I give this high marks when it comes to the storytelling. A bit lower when it comes to the art. I have to admit, I just don’t care for the visual for the Parliament of Flowers elemental. Normally I really like Guillem March’s work, but it just doesn’t do it for me in this issue.
Still, that doesn’t detract much from the overall story. It’s not like the art is bad, it’s just not quite perfect for me. I guess I’m hard to please.
It’s a bit of a low key story, and gently paced. That makes the resolution all the more effective.