Group Review: Justice League #22 – Trinity War Part 1

Well it’s not our first DC Comic group review, but it is our first “event book” to receive a group review. There’s not exactly hype around this book, but because it’s the first “big event” since the start of the New 52 people are paying close attention. Is it going to be another “Crisis” or can DC manage something new and different? As with ever group review the writers/reviews of Comic Bastards will give the issue a score of: Buy, Borrow or Pass and then a reason why they chose that score. Before we begin here’s a blurb from DC Comics about the issue: TRINITY WAR, the action-mystery event of the summer, begins with a full-length epic adventure! The death of a hero ignites a violent war among the Justice Leagues! It’s League vs. League vs. League as an impending darkness approaches the DC Universe. But the truth behind it all will lead to an evil that threatens every hero on the planet. And what does the Secret Society of Super-Villains have to with this? Everything.

Justice-League-22-0aSteve: Buy

So, I have to admit that stories concerning magic in the DC universe have never really turned me on to any significant degree. They always end up being convoluted and devolve into madness ... MADNESS I TELL YOU! But with this “Trinity War” event - so far, at least - I’m not hating it, mostly because the magic element right now is at the periphery. Saying that, there are some weird things with this issue. Justice League tarot cards, for example. Fuck YOU, commemorative lunch boxes! You’re officially the old hotness.

Otherwise, I enjoy the way Johns has set up the convergence of these two similar yet directly-opposed teams, not only with the instance that brought them together, but also their reluctance to engage one another. Of course, that was never gonna last long, and after what is a pretty surprising twist (for anyone who hasn’t seen Man of Steel yet, anyway), our heroes finally get stuck in to actively beating the crap out of each other.

And I’ll be honest, that’s what I’m here for, rather than the mystery of Pandora or the hokey “let’s re-seal the sins of the world” premise or the looming presence of The Question (whose yarn and picture rubric charting “Evil” is comically simple). No, I’m here for the nuanced / fun interchange between characters (Wonder Woman and Superman at the beginning, Vibe and Hawkman in the middle, the Doctor Light stuff throughout and the tentative posturing the two teams share nearer the end). I also want a big fuck-off brawl, and I’m pretty sure this will deliver at least that. Oh, and I’m a sucker for every time Captain Marvel (i.e, Shazam) and Superman fight, so I really dug their brief fisticuffs here. Speaking of which, the art is from Ivan Reis, which means it’s fucking spectacular. I think he’s the only one who actually makes that new Superman suit look good.

I didn’t think this was going to happen, and maybe it’s because I went into this book with lowered expectations, but I’m giving Justice League #22 a BUY and will be tentatively following this showdown. It’s not perfect, but I found it to be a fun and clear (for someone who hasn’t been regularly following the title) entry point into what will hopefully be a fairly contained event.

Justice League #22 CoverSamantha: Buy

I have to say this comic was pretty good. I like half keep up with all the Justice Leagues but the story read smoothly. I may have to pick up the other Leagues to see what is going on in their comic in order to get a good history.

Superman and Wonder Woman arguing about killing their enemies was pretty entertaining in this issue. Must be tough to be such a cool superhero dating another cool superhero and fighting about superhero problems. The comic had tons of action which leveled out with the intrigue the comic brought.

I cannot wait till the Darks get into the mix of things. I have a feeling that some members may drop out or even switch teams, especially JLA. They seem to not mesh as a team yet or have the understanding of team, probably because they don’t even know what they are fighting for.

Geoff Johns brings a great first issue and I think it would be foolish to pass up his gift of writing.

Dustin: Borrow

There were aspects that were good about this issue, but as a whole it was pretty average. Even though “Villain’s Month” aka “Forever Evil” has been planned for about a year, there is still something that feels rushed about it. I don’t really believe that all these villains have been plotting against heroes that have only recently begun springing up in the world.

Also I personally didn’t care for the angle of deceit and deception between the different Leagues already in the universe. Heroes should just be heroes and as successful as Marvel’s Civil War was, it also wrecked part of comics. Heroes can squabble, but they shouldn’t have an all-out war among themselves.

The death of a major character turned out to be a joke considering the character wasn’t major and was only recently introduced and after the events in Man of Steel it’s not so shocking to see which character took that life. It just shows how broken that character is, that in 75 years of comics he never once killed someone and yet five minutes after the movie is out he’s melting heads because of magic. Granted it will be proved that it was an accident, but who really cares. The events that happened, happened.

Also Black Adam’s dead already? Well, it’s a comic book so let’s all count to ten before that’s undone. I thought I would enjoy this book more considering Johns is one of the few repeat event writer’s that I’ve enjoyed, but he really just has a knack for killing characters and since it’s all new, who really knows the rules they’re playing with. He could have just ended some of the coolest editions to the New 52. We’ll see how this pans out, but it was disappointing to discover that it’s just a lead-in event for “Forever Evil.”

Score: 2 Buys and a Borrow

Writer: Geoff Johns

Artist: Ivan Reis

Publisher: DC Comics

Price: $3.99

Release Date: 7/10/13