Trinity War – A DC Comics Event Review [Shadowhawk/Bane of Kings]

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Shadowhawk and Bane of Kings take a look at the six-issue crossover event that leads into the current ongoing Forever Evil event.

“Start to finish, this was one hell of a ride, and as the first mega-event in comics that I’ve been able to follow issue by issue, this definitely was something else. Geoff Johns and Jeff Lemire started off great, and they ended great, with ample support from all the artists involved like Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Mikel Janin and the others who were really on top-form here.” ~Shadowhawk, The Founding Fields

“Worth buying all the issues for rather than just reading the ones from the comics you follow. Top notch stuff.” ~Bane of Kings, The Founding Fields

Note: This review contains spoilers about issues #22 and #23 of Justice League, Justice League of America and Justice League Dark.

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Shadowhawk on Trinity War:

The road leading to Trinity War was laid down from the very first issues of all the titles that DC launched/relaunched with the reboot of their entire universe, dubbed New 52, in September 2011. Pandora, a mystical and mythical figure straight out of Greek legends and mythology, could be seen in subtle cameos in all the titles. I myself noted her in quite a few, although I couldn’t find her in some of them.

Regardless, Trinity War is an event that has been built up for almost two years. First it was Pandora’s special appearances. Then we started to have some backup stories in various issues of Justice League, penned by Geoff Johns, in which we saw mysterious villains carrying out schemes behind the scenes, and we even got to see more of Pandora herself as well as two other mystical and mysterious DC characters, the Phantom Stranger and the Question.

Then last year, we finally got on ongoing comic with the Phantom Stranger, which was initially penned by Dan Didio but has since fallen under the pen of J. M DeMatteis. Things came to a head earlier this year when DC launched Justice League of America, a new superhero team formed under the aegis of the United States Government as a possible opposition to the actual Justice League, should those heroes ever go off the rails.

And finally, we got a Pandora ongoing comic, penned by Ray Fawkes, and Trinity War was now on.

The idea of this event is that due to the machinations of a secretive group of villains, the Secret Society, the three Justice League teams currently in operation come to blows. There is mistrust and confusion on all sides, and this is meant to help the villains achieve their mysterious goals. With the Justice League, the Justice League of America and Justice League Dark (here on referred to as the JLA and the JLD respectively) all tied up and being manipulated without their knowledge, the stage is set, and what a fantastic and epic stage it is.

The main event begins with Justice League #22, where events are sparked off once Shazam, a new and rather inexperienced superhero, who goes into the country of Kahndaq to lay the remains of his nemesis Black Adam to rest. Unfortunately, his arrival there brings him into conflict with the national army, since the arrival of any superhero in the country breaks an international law. This necessitates the arrival of the Justice League to get Shazam out of there, no matter what. Matters are complicated further once the JLA detects the Justice League’s intervention and deploys to, essentially, arrest all the members of the Justice League for breaking the international law themselves.

Justice League 22As you can imagine, this is all very much a major clustercrap and that there is a fight incoming of some major proportions. From the appearance of Pandora before Superman and Wonder Woman, to the huge action spectacle between Superman and Shazam to the Justice League and JLA facing off against each other in deserts of Kahndaq, the entire issue does a fantastic job of showing how all trust between these heroes is beginning to fracture.

Of course, things really come to a head when Superman ends up killing new JLA recruit Dr. Light, who really just happened to be in the wrong place at the right time. That was the most shocking thing in the entire issue, and also completely unexpected. Also, tragic, because of who got killed, and who killed him. Geoff Johns had developed Dr. Light as someone who did not want to fight anyone, who looked on at Superman and the others of the Justice League as the true heroes that the world deserved and needed. And yet, it was he who got sacrificed eventually, and in such a way no less.

The final fall0ut of this… incident breaks down all trust between the Leagues, and divides them like nothing we’ve seen before. And it really is interesting along what lines the divisions end up happening.

For this issue, Ivan Reis is the penciller, Rod Reis and Oclair Albert the inkers, and Rod Reis is on the colours. It would be rather easy and convenient for me to say that this issue was visually fantastic. Don’t get me wrong, it totally is. The splash pages and the special pages featuring the big stand-out moments were definitely spectacular, but there was something that was lacking all the same. Largely, the issue was the colours, which felt a bit muted at times strangely enough. And some of the panels were just not that great, largely because the pencils and colours were a bit… indistinct.

However, despite that, this lengthy issue (40 pages!), was still a damn good read, and led perfectly into the next installment, Justice League of America, which was also written by Geoff Johns.

Rating: 9/10

JLA 06The second chapter in this new saga is Justice League of America #6, penned by Geoff Johns and Jeff Lemire with artwork by, well, an army of talented artists such as Doug Mahnke, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Christian Alamy, Gabe Eltaeb and many others. The war between the Justice League and the JLA continues here, and we learn more about the relationships between the characters, especially Batman’s cynicism in the face of everything, and Wonder Woman’s insistence on finding a magic solution, the interplay between Amanda Waller and Steve Trevor, and finally, more revelations about Pandora’s Box.

Let me say this right now, I think this was an outstanding issue in every aspect, whether in terms of the script or the art or the overall story progression. Everything here was brilliant. Each panel flows into the next and with two of DC’s best writers on hand to guide along the script, there’s never a dull moment, and nor is there any lack of tension or excitement. This really was an extremely good follow-up to Justice League #22.

One of the things that really made this issue stand-out was how prominently the Question features here. Right from the beginning and all through to the end, he is there, doing his typical Question thing, and looking for answers to the mysteries that have thrown all the heroes off-track. I first “met” the character in Justice League Unlimited and I immediately became a fan, so to see the Question in such a role in this entire event was like a dream true. Although, given how his origins have been retconned through The Phantom Stranger #1 and Pandora #1, this isn’t the Question that I’m familiar with, but he’s close enough in his deeds. So that’s all that really matters to me.

Another thing was right in the beginning, when the two leagues are fighting and going all-out on each other. The way that Steve Trevor coordinates his team to take on the Justice League, and the reticence of Atom and Vibe to fight against their heroes, that was a stand-out moment. It shows that the basic concept behind the JLA is a flawed concept because of who is involved here. The JLA isn’t made up of individuals who are actually opposed to the Justice League, far from it. All this interaction in this issues here gets across that Amanda Waller actually did bet on the wrong horse, entirely.

And the art. Well, the art was a step above what we see in Justice League #22. All the characters are much more clearly defined, even in panels where the “camera” is some distance away, or when we have the splash pages and, specifically, Superman ends the fight by surrendering, torn by grief over what he did to an innocent man. Doug Mahnke captures Superman’s body language really well, and its noticeable that Superman closes his eyes off in shame because of what he’s done (also, he can’t control his heat vision anymore so that’s there too, but still, symbolism here). A powerful moment, possibly the most poignant moment in the entire issue. All the other 8 artists, the inkers and colourists and the letterer, they all did a fantastic job of making this issue the best it could have been, and was. The colours are certainly much more vibrant and eye-popping than in the previous installment of Trinity War and that was a big reason why I liked this issue so much.

Overall, a superb team effort here by everyone, whether in the story or out of the story.

Rating: 10/10

Justice League Dark 22The third chapter in this saga is Justice League Dark #22, penned by Jeff Lemire and with art by Mikel Janin, Jeromy Cox, and Carlos M. Mangual. We’ve already had two excellent installments in the event, and as we hit the middle stretch, things really start to heat up with the appearance of the Question at ARGUS headquarters and Wonder Woman off to seek John Constantine’s help. This issue also steps up with the character work, and seeing all these different characters divided over ideological lines is fascinating.

One thing I’ve enjoyed so far with Jeff Lemire’s run on Justice League Dark is his character-work, all of which has been excellent. Ray Fawkes’ introduction to the creative team fuzzled things up quite a bit, so its nice to see that Jeff Lemire has full control of the series for this event 2-parter. The way John Constantine in particular is portrayed here plays true to how Lemire has handled him throughout his run: he is a manipulative bastard who really cares about his own goals and his own plans. And then Lemire plays off Constantine against Wonder Woman, who’s come to ask the JLD for help in finding Pandora and is impatient about it.

This then segues into the defining element of this issue: all the teams have finally chosen sides. There’s one team with the Question and Superman, intent on finding a cure to his affliction and discovering why and how he lost control in Kahndaq. A second team is with Batman the Phantom Stranger, intent on making sure that the third and final team with Wonder Woman and Zatanna go off to find Pandora. There is so much conflict here, and this issue tests everybody’s loyalties to each other and to their beliefs. We see a strong and potent sequence between Green Arrow and Amanda Waller as the former’s frustration finally boils out. We see how Waller manipulates Firestorm into creating a… weapon against Superman. We see Batman and Wonder Woman go head-to-head against each other, certain that the other is walking the wrong path to exonerate Superman.

Superman killing Doctor Light. That’s what it all comes down to. This is what everything connects back to because this is the thing that set everything off. Initially it was just an opening gambit in a larger story, and now, slowly but surely, this is getting more and more prominent.

It also helps that Mikel Janin draws a really great Superman, and an afflicted Superman at that. The expressions on his face, his body language, his dialogue, everything is just so much on point. Just as with the previous two chapters of Trinity War, Superman gets some great splash pages and some really poignant moments. Overall, Mikel Janin’s art is just amazing. I love his work and his run on Justice League Dark has made that book one of the best looking books that DC is currently putting out. Justice League Dark #22 represents the peak of his work on the series, and that is no small praise or an overestimation at all. It is the truth. He’s not alone on this book, of course. Jeromy Cox’s colours are different in sharpness and are a bit softer than what we’ve seen so far in Trinity War, falling between the other two chapters.

If there is one concern I have, it is that I want to know more about what the Secret Society of Supervillains is planning, and what the long game really is, as the mysterious leader of this group hints at to Madame Xanadu, his prisoner.

Rating: 9.5/10

Interlude: Just some brief thoughts so far. All that I expected to see out of this mega-event, I’ve been getting that and more. In all the build-up to the event, I had become increasingly excited to see how all the superheroes would fare off against each other, how they would all… reform as teams in the face of all that is being thrown at them. Nothing has disappointed me at all, I’m quite happy to say. There are so many mysteries and revelations that we’ve had throughout these three issues and each and everyone of them has added to the larger tapestry, which is no small feat given the extent of the number of characters involved here. And the story isn’t limited to these issues at all of course, as I pointed out earlier, and there are several tie-ins, most of which I’ve read too, barring Jeff Lemire’s Constantine.

Moving forward with the second month of Trinity War, I have some new expectations, mostly that we start to get resolutions to some of these mysteries, especially the larger story involving the Secret Society of Supervillains, and their so-far-unnamed leader. I want to know just what is really happening here and why Pandora’s Box is such an unknown quantity, even to the Greek Gods, being a force unto itself.

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The fourth installment in Trinity War is Geoff Johns and Jeff Lemire’s Justice League of America #7. I was initially thrown off by the decision to launch this issue out of sequence, but it quickly made sense: the larger artwork by Doug Mahnke is set up that way, so going left-to-right, it stands that this issue would come out first, followed by Justice League Dark #22 and then culminating in another mega-sized Justice League #23.

The one defining thing about this issue was seeing the Martian Manhunter let loose his psychic powers. If you’ve seen Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, you’ll recall that there is a particularly powerful moment between Spock and his protege-turned-traitor Valeris towards the final third of the film, before the Enterprise arrives at Camp Khitomer to save the day. Well, the same kind of applies here, and J’onn holds nothing back. Quite surprisingly, this moment also created a subtle heart-to-heart moment between Superman and the Martian Manhunter, carrying over a theme from some of previous issue of Justice League that the latter had not really let go of his loyalties to his original friends, despite joining Amanda Waller’s JLA and knowing full well what the purpose of the new team was. Great work there by Johns and Lemire.

And this leads to the second important revelation of this series, something that we had already seen in previous issues, but that the characters themselves didn’t particularly know: that there is a double agent in one of the leagues. It is such a great emotional beat in this issue, one that matches the impact of Superman killing Doctor Light. I expected there to be some fall-out from this but unfortunately, that doesn’t happen. And one reason is that everybody is just too busy dealing with the ongoing mysteries that they don’t have the time to deal with this as well. Its not the most ideal resolution for that mystery that the writers could have gone with, but its something that I can accept all the same.

Then, we have the big, big twist in the series, the introduction of the most ruthless and cold-hearted villain in the entire DCU: Lex Luthor. I haven’t read any of the Action Comics issues for New 52 so I don’t know what happened with the character, but from everything that I’ve seen in Superman, he is currently spending time in a special prison, designed to hold him and only him. This is something that I touched on in my review of Scott Snyder’s Superman Unchained most recently. This was a really good touch, because it brought recognizable villains into the fold, as Ray Fawkes did in the tie-in issues of Pandora with Vandal Savage, amongst others. So that scratches that itch.

Also, something that is covered in the tie-in Phantom Stranger #11 is that this mystic hero and Batman, alongwith Katana and Deadman travel to the afterlife to interrogate Doctor Light’s soul and find from him what happened at the moment of his death. While that issue successfully resolve that side-jaunt, we see it reproduced here, and once again, I was hit with a gut-punch, because Phantom Stranger comes off on the wrong end of events and pay a grand sacrifice. It is a passing moment that I wish had been dealt with more, especially the consequences of it, but I’m find with it all the same.

As always, Doug Mahnke is a master of his craft here. The way he incorporates every hero into the panels and makes them all stand-out on their own speaks to his art skills, which are considerable (speaking as a layman of course) and which he has showcased again and again on this title and elsewhere. Clean, definitive pencils, with lots of expressive moments and strong moments.

One thing that stands out here is that there are so many panels in this issue. The flow is broken up here and there with a small handful of splash pages, but largely, this is an issue where the panel depth and variety is immense. This creates a very strong sense of pace for the story and reflects well on the script by Lemire and Johns. There is a bit of inconsistency in the colours, which is inevitable given the number of secondary artists on the issue, but by and large, that inconsistency isn’t prominent to leap off the page and break the flow of the story. Which is a point in the artists’ favour.

In the end, this was another great entry in the progressing narrative, but I’m getting slightly worried at this point that the larger mystery is going to remain that, a mystery. I want to know how this mysterious leader of the Secret Society is. That particular mystery has been building up for far too long, and I’m getting a bit impatient.

Rating: 9/10

Justice League Dark 23The penultimate issue of Trinity War is Justice League Dark #23 by Jeff Lemire and the art, once again, by the talented Mikel Janin. The one thing that defined this issue was “FUN”. From start to finish, I had an absolute blast reading this issue, and admiring all the fantastic artwork that Mikel, Jeromy and Rob (Leigh) handed in. Given all the conflict between the three leagues, it is high time that we finally get to see every single one of them in one place. That is exactly what we get here, and with this issue, Jeff Lemire surpasses all his previous issues on this book, especially the downer issues for the third volume with Ray Fawkes.

As with Justice League of America #7, this issue is also defined by the incredible number of panels, with the occasional splash page and even double-page spread, of which there are quite a few. Seeing Pandora’s Box featured so prominently here and seeing how it affects every single hero, bar one rogue, I realised that the entire team behind the event, especially writers Johns and Lemire, finally delivered on the full-on and no-holds barred action spectacle promise of the event. Its essentially a free for all in this issue and it is so much fun to see happen that I couldn’t help but be impressed with how deftly Lemire’s script and Janin’s art mesh together.

Whether it is one-liners or witty retorts, Lemire is on top form here because he once again distinguishes every single hero, just as Janin gives them each their distinctive New 52 look. Again, this is no small feat, and another reason that this is so great is because outside of some limited crossovers elsewhere, we haven’t seen these heroes interact so much, for such an extended period of time, and for a story of such epic proportions.

And the artwork, well the artwork was “oh my god this is bloody amazing” kind of artwork. The story moves so fast and yet the artwork hits all the right beats. This is an issue packed from the beginning to the end with detailed panels that show off every single hero involved in the event. There’s not just a handful of prominent heroes driving the story, but everyone. This is a group effort event and Janin’s artwork shows that off in great style. His excellent panel layout and all his character-work is complemented by Jeromy Cox’ colours and Leigh’s letters, which are also on top form. The standout characters are undoubtedly Constantine, Wonder Woman, Shazam, Pandora and Zatanna.

All I can really say is that this issue was intimidating to read. I read this issue three times back to back just to digest everything and pick up on the subtleties. If there is one thing lacking, it is what I mentioned before: the lack of a significant plot progression, which comes at the discount of the action spectacle. I really want to see the mysteries being resolved, but that’s just not happening. Lemire and Johns are playing everything too close to the chest and it is a bit frustrating. That really is the only reason I’ll dock the point here, because otherwise, this was a stellar issue.

Rating: 9/10

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Finally, we get to the sixth and final issue of Trinity War. So far, there has been a hell of a lot of things happening. We’ve seen the superheroes suffer a test of their faith and trust in each other, they have questioned and second-guessed their purposes, they have acted out, and they have attempted to step beyond the artificial boundaries set on them, by self or by outside influence. And in the last issue, we finally see the mysterious purported leader of the Secret Society reveal himself to the heroes. As he says, the time for revelations is at hand.

I won’t mince words here: everything that we’ve seen so far before during this 6-issue arc, all the action, all the confusion, all the tension, all the twists, everything gets ramped up to eleven here. And all of it is bookended by the biggest twist as yet: just what the hell the Pandora’s Box is and what it does and what its use by someone familiar with it, does.

Justice League #23 is all about changing the status quo. Yes, there is some plot progression here, and we finally get a closure to some of the mysteries, such as who the leader of the Secret Society is, what his agenda is/was, and what Trinity War was really about. At the same time, the ending is a non-ending because it makes Trinity War into a “Road to Forever Evil” event. And that didn’t sit well with me. Don’t get me wrong. As with all the previous five issues, I had a blast reading them and adoring all the great artwork. But I wanted much more substance out of this issue.

Fact of the matter is, this issue should have been much longer. A full 48-pages, not the 40 that it was. I wanted a full closure to the event and that’s not what we get. That’s the biggest flaw of this issue, and why I’m a little disappointed with Geoff Johsns.

Still. There’s just so much going on here. It all ends where it began: the place that Pandora apparently found the Box in the first place, all those thousands of years ago. Everything here becomes cyclical and we go back even to Justice League #1, in which we saw that Darkseid’s forces had invaded Earth. Suddenly, a hell of a lot of things start to crystallise. The coming of Karen Starr and Helena Wayne from Earth 2 to Earth 1. Vibe getting his powers. The formation of the Justice League. Professor Ivo’s alliance with The Outsider. Team 7’s formation and its final mission, which ties into Pandora’s own story. And so on. Suddenly it all starts making sense.

And that’s where Geoff Johns is at his best, tying so many different things together.

However, in all of that, what can’t be ignored is the appearance of some brand-new villains. If you were paying attention to the previous paragraph, you’ll start to get an inkling who exactly these new big bads are. It was a completely unexpected twist for me, and given that it tied into why Superman apparently killed Doctor Light (there’s that cycle once more), I was left completely amazed that this was how Geoff Johns and DC wanted to play with in Forever Evil. When you’ve got the source of all evil close by, some really insane things are going to happen.

And that’s what this issue was: insanity of the good kind.

Ivan Reis once again continued to astound here. There’s a hell of a good reason why I love his art, and Justice League #23 is the perfect example for that. His characters always feel so real, so… alive in the panels, each of which is highly detailed and nuanced with all sorts of different things. The splash pages in this issue are something that Reis excelled at and I just couldn’t have enough. Inkers Joe Prado, Oclair Albert and Eber Ferreira alongwith colourist Rod Reis and letterer Nick J. Napolitano also do a great job, and they’ve all clearly stepped from Justice League #22. I did have a slight bit of issue with the colours though, since they were still muted, and coming after all the vibrancy of the Justice League of America and the Justice League Dark issues, this set me off.

Still, all in all, Justice League #23 is a decent enough ending to Trinity War. I wish that this had been a much longer ride, but it is what it is.

Rating: 9/10

Closing Thoughts: Trinity War delivered on everything that I wanted out of it, and more. It was a much better and much more event than I anticipated, and in that context, it really was one hell of an issue. As far as recent events go, I think it surpassed Throne of Atlantis and Night of the Owls, although not by much. For the New 52 universe, Death of the Family still remains my favourite crossover event. And of course, being a nostalgia schmuck, nothing can beat Crisis On Infinite Earths.

Geoff Johns and Jeff Lemire clearly had some great plans for this event, and they did an excellent job of it. The only place where they dropped the ball was letting the action spectacle go on a bit too long at the cost of the event plot progression. That’s somewhat lamentable. But thankfully, there isn’t all that big a wait between Justice League #23 and Forever Evil #1, which I’ve already read and which just left me dumbstruck with what Geoff Johns did here. That issue is Geoff Johns being as plain frikkin cool and awesome as he was with Green Lantern: Rebirth almost eight years ago.

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Bane of Kings on Trinity War:

Justice League #22-23: Story: Geoff Johns | Art: Ivan Reis & Joe Padro | Parts 1 & 6

Justice League of America #6-7: Story: Geoff Johns, Jeff Lemire | Art: Mikel Janin | Parts 2 & 4

Justice League Dark #22-23: Story: Jeff Lemire | Art: Mikel Janin | Parts 3 & 5

So then – Trinity War. DC’s first ‘epic’ scale event is what the New 52 has been building towards for about two years now. The anticipation has been there, and whilst some may have been disappointed by it, and I’ll admit – it’s not perfect, the event itself may very well give DC another point in their favour when it comes to events, with Rise of the Third Army, Throne of Atlantis, Night of Owls and Death of the Family (unless they’re more crossovers than events) also impressing. Whereas you compare it to Marvel, I’ve had negative experiences with Age of Ultron and Avengers vs. X-Men, although Infinity and Battle of the Atom have got off to promising starts.

The book itself is yet another hero vs. hero battle, something that we’ve already seen before happen in the early issues of DC’s Justice League, although not to this extent. However, to Johns’ credit, it doesn’t come across as a re-hash of that, or Avengers. Vs X-Men, which was basically Marvel’s far weaker attempt. I loved how Johns and Lemire, who was also working on the title, wove in the mystery element of Pandora’s Box, as opposed to yet another clash because of a misunderstanding, which is starting to become a cliché and a weak excuse to pit your favourite superheroes against each other. The arc also introduces readers to characters not encountered before in the New 52, most notably The Question, who I understand is a fan favourite.

However, despite the Question’s introduction, the Trinity of Sin, compromising of The Question, Pandora & Phantom Stranger, the latter two with their own ongoing series (it’ll only be a matter of time before The Question gets one, I think) don’t really get much page time here. However, when they do appear they only get some answers regarding their characters – maybe it’s because two of the three are in their respective series already allowing the writers of those books to answer these questions, but I haven’t read them so can’t really comment. The lack of answers really proves a problem through the course of this storyline, and like Age of Ultron, Trinity War offers more of a lead in to the next big thing, but instead of Hunger, it’s Forever Evil – and the first issue of that book has not really answered all of our questions as of yet (look out for a review soon).

On the other hand, the artwork was superb. The respective artists bring great work to their respective issues with some equally stunning artwork to the books, the standouts being Ivan Reis’ splash pages which mostly feature fighting between DC’s superheroes. The event as a whole really benefited from this awesome artwork, and the plot featuring the mystery behind Pandora’s Box was also quite interesting and I loved how the creative team chooses to weave the narrative over the Justice League, Justice League Dark and Justice League of America titles rather than create a mini-series just for this event, something that DC don’t seem to be particularly fond of.

This also allowed me to check out a title that I don’t normally follow, Justice League Dark – even if it was just for Trinity War, this allowed me to sample the issue and as a result, I enjoyed it. So much so that I went back and found a second or third printing (not sure which one, will have to double check) of Justice League Dark #1 from my LCS today when I had to go back to pick up Battle of the Atom #1. And whilst it didn’t impress that much, I had a brief glimpse at how the team handled well together.

As the event deals with several characters, obviously some are going to get sidelined. I liked how Shazam played a key role in starting the whole thing even if he and Superman seemed to react a little too over the top, if you get what I mean – and when the two came to blows it felt kind of contrived, making Shazam come across as a jerk – something that happens again later on in the event, even though he may have been possessed/influenced by Pandora’s Box. I also want to pick up Constantine #5 at some point to see the showdown between John and Shazam – something that was hinted at in the main events of Trinity War, as well as jump on board the book when I can, whilst the first two issues were less than impressive I’ve been meaning to give it another try and see how it develops, particularly as I have a better understanding of the character.

Whilst we’re on the subject of Constantine, it’s important to note that he also gets a bigger role in the series. I liked the fact that because he was already corrupt, he could touch the Box and not feel the same effects that influenced everybody from Superman to Zatanna. Of course, the more powerful heroes we got to see under the influence of the book longer, with certain characters like Wonder Woman getting time in the spotlight more than say Flash, or Vibe.

However, Flash and Vibe got a pretty interesting confrontation together, and Vibe’s reluctance was a nice touch – he’s clearly, like Stargirl – not used to this sort of thing. The exchange between Vibe and Hawkman as the Justice League of America headed to Kahndaq with the intent of pulling Shazam (who was there to lay the remains of Black Adam to rest) out of the country, which by National Law is off limit to superheroes – added a nice humour element to the situation, where Hawkman suggested that he could handle both Flash and Aquaman for Vibe. The interactions between Hawkman and Vibe seem to be a frequent source of amusement, and although not that frequent, the first meeting between the two was a nice moment of comic-relief as well when Vibe pointed out that Hawkman was covered in blood, but it was clearly not his own.

The Crime Syndicate also get a key role to play in this book, although they don’t appear to til the very end, as evil versions of the heroes that we know and love. With the Sea King (Aquaman’s Counterpart) dead upon their arrival to the present Earth, things are shaping up to be very interesting indeed, with the rooster compromising of Ultraman (Superman) Superwoman (Wonder Woman), Owlman (Batman’s counterpart) Johnny Quick (Flash), Power Ring (Green Lantern), Deathstorm (Firestorm), and Atomica, who plays the role of the Mole inside the Earth-One Justice League. It turns out that Trinity War didn’t really mean the confrontation between the three Leagues after all (although that played a pretty big involvement), but Earth-Three, the world where these characters hail from. It’s a universe that I’d love to discover more about as I went into this book completely in the dark, so the end revelation left me a bit confused, but surprised – as to the whole origin concerning these characters.

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In conclusion, then – minus a couple of problems here and there, Trinity War is a stunning success. DC seem to be handling events a lot better than Marvel at the moment (although, like I’ve already mentioned, Battle of the Atom and Infinity may redeem my faith in Marvel to tell strong event stories, and I’m glad that I gave this event a read in its entirety (aside from the tie-ins) rather than just sticking with certain issues. The only major problem that I had was that it didn’t really serve as a closed event with several questions left unanswered, but the fact that we could jump straight into Forever Evil the week after with its first issue lessened the impact a bit. This event is worth checking out regardless, and it’s one worth buying all the issues for rather than just reading the ones from the comics you follow. Top notch stuff.

Rating: 4/5

Shadowhawk is a regular contributor to TFF. A resident of Dubai, Shadowhawk reads, reads and reads. His opinions are always clear and concise. His articles always worth reading.

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