Title: Justice League.
Story-Arc: Trinity War.
Writer(s): Geoff Johns, Ray Fawkes, Jeff Lemire & J.M. Dematteis.
Artist(s): Ivan Reis, Mikel Janin, Doug Mahnke, Daniel Sampere, Renato Guedes, Fernando Blanco, Christian Alamy, Oclair Albert, Zander Cannon, Keith Champagne, Vicente Cifuentes, Marc Deering, Eber Ferreira, Gene Ha, Jim Lee, Tom Nguyen, Joe Prado, Kenneth Rocafort, Walden Wong, Scott Williams, Patrick Zircher.
Colourist(s): Brad Anderson, Blond, Jeromy Cox, Gabe Eltaeb, Nathan Eyring, Hi-Fi, Art Lyon, Marcelo Maiolo, Pete Pantazis, Rod Reis & Alex Sinclair.
Letterer(s): Sal Cipriano, Yalor Esposito, Travis Lanham, Rob Leigh, Carlos M. Mangual, Nick J. Napolitano & Dezi Sienty.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Release Date: December 2nd 2014.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
My Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆.
Previously on DC Universe New 52’s Justice League series:
Justice League (Vol. 1): Origin by Geoff Johns
Justice League (Vol. 2): The Villain’s Journey by Geoff Johns
Justice League (Vol. 3): Throne of Atlantis by Geoff Johns
Justice League (Vol. 4): The Grid by Geoff Johns
Since the beginning of the New 52 era of DC Comics, there was one huge event that was being teased with countless plot threads incorporated within every comic book series until it was finally time for it to explode in this epic crossover event that brings together the various Justice Leagues to cross paths, looking for answers through understanding or a show of power. Helmed by Geoff Johns, with the help of numerous writers and artists, a new threat is ready to crawl out of the darkness and wreak havoc on the DC Universe. However, will this epic-scale crossover event know how to handle such an ambitious story without tripping over itself? Will it be able to juggle all these heroes simultaneously without any form of a misstep? If there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that things are about to get crazy for our beloved heroes.
What is Justice League: Trinity War about? Long ago, Pandora came across a strange yet magnificent artifact in the shape of a skull that invited her into innocently opening it up without knowing that it would unleash the seven deadly sins upon the world. Thousands of years later, the box resurfaces and corrupts the world as Pandora takes upon herself the task to find the purest or the darkest of hearts to reopen it and undo what she unleashed. Unfortunately, a mysterious and powerful evil manipulates events that pit the three Justice League teams (Justice League, Justice League Dark, and Justice League of America) into going up against each other. What they don’t know is that their brutal war is only the tip of the iceberg as it will conveniently lead to the introduction of a greater evil to Earth. This saga collects Justice League #22-23, Justice League Dark #22-23, Justice League of America #6-7, Pandora #1-3, Constantine #5, Phantom Stranger #11 and The New 52 Free Comic Book Day Special 2012.
This story is essentially structured as a whodunnit. From the beginning, a tragedy occurs where the most unlikely culprit seems guilty of a crime from which it is impossible to come back from. While some remain oblivious to the inexplicable circumstances that lead to this incident, others turn towards hunting down the truth no matter what or who stands in front of them. As the story progresses, the three Justice Leagues find themselves split in their motivations while someone continues to plot the arrival of a greater Evil that is bound to shake things up in the universe. Unfortunately, the idea was interesting, to the extent that it succeeds in keeping you sufficiently intrigued to want to find out what is going to happen at the end but the execution is less than stellar; which is not unbeknownst of crossover events.
Where this story mostly struggles is in the approach with each individual issue. There is an incredible amount of redundancy in each story as several plot points recouple multiple times throughout the volume. These repetitions make the progression a lot heavier to achieve and it is worsened by several subplots that are hazardously shoehorned into the story with the intention of further developing the lore but to only lead the plot to a cul-de-sac. It also doesn’t help when you reach the ending and understand that this event’s real purpose was simply to introduce a new threat for the Justice League without exactly giving the reader the chance to invested in this prospect. As previously mentioned, the 4th volume, Justice League: The Grid, also simply takes this cosmic event and shaves off all the excess fat that allows the story to make some sense, making you wonder what its purpose even was, except to make more money off fans. Hopefully, Forever Evil will be a volume that will make all this chaos worth enduring.
It’s difficult to tell such an explosive story without conveying it through the artwork. There’s no denying that the epic-scale nature of this event is intrinsic to this story arc that necessarily brings into play every single hero present in the world. To translate the gravity of what ensues in this story, countless artists (pencilers and colourists) put in their own fair share of sweat and dedication. While it might not be appropriate to speak of any form of consistency in the visual style throughout this saga, it can be said that the artwork remains bombastic by not only capitalizing on the explosive moments to keep the tension high but also by illustrating our heroes from ideal angles with great character designs as well. The length of the story and its relatively repetitious tendency also brings you to forget the somewhat obvious nuances in style employed to draw this story, leaving you to rather appreciate the whodunnit as well as the occasional world-building, rather than the details of the artwork.
Justice League: Trinity War is a cacophonic and chaotic conflict of interest where confusion welcomes carnage as the world’s mightiest heroes are introduced to a brand-new villainous and manipulative squadron.