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[Comic Book Review] DC Comics – Trinity War by Geoff Johns and Jeff Lemire (2013)

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Plot Summary: After the devastating destruction caused during the comic book crossover Throne of Atlantis (Aquaman #14-17 & Justice League #15-17) the United States Government constructed the Justice League of America to challenge the Justice League should they turn rogue.  These teams come into battle and a hero is killed and in comes the Justice League Dark who battles things from the shadows and the supernatural.  Pandora from the Trinity of Sin (Pandora, The Phantom Stranger, The Question), is seeking assistance in recapturing the seven deadly sins which she set loose upon the world years ago. After being told that only the strongest or darkest of heart can open Pandora's box she intends to use the Justice League to accomplish her goal.  Other members of the Trinity of Sin are backing and manipulating the other teams for their own goals and aspirations.  With the three Justice Leagues battling one another, the Secret Society of Super-Villains makes plans to keep the heroes fighting  one another so they can accomplish their goals as well.

Publisher: DC Comics

Writers: Geoff Johns, Jeff Lemire

Pencils: Ivan Reis, Mikel Janin, Doug Mahnke

Issues: 13 Issues

Review: by Anthony and The Superior Spider-Sam

When Trinity War was first announced as the next big DC Comics crossover event, written primarily by Geoff Johns, we were excited to read it and see what new thing it would bring to DC's New 52 universe.  Our excitement was rooted in our shared fandom of and appreciation for Geoff Johns's writing. He's the writer behind Green Lantern: RebirthThe Flash: Rebirth, Sinestro Corps War, and Blackest Night.  All of the aforementioned were fantastic comic book series which we would recommend to anyone looking for a great comic to read.  When the New 52 was announced, he took on Justice League, Justice League America, Aquaman, and Shazam!.  With such a deep and rich history of great comic book writing, we picked up DC's Trinity War expecting greatness from Johns yet again.

What We Liked:

The Story

The story is told beautifully through six main issues, along with five Tie-In issues.  The first two issues of the series, or the first act, if you will, sets up the story for the event.  We learn the major players involved and some of their motivations, whether they’re for morally just reasons or for personal gain.  Further along in the second act, the action is at full blast with fights erupting on nearly every page, while various characters make feeble attempts to uncover the truth behind Pandora’s Box and it’s connection to Superman’s illness. Finally, in the last arc all of the smaller storylines and questions they created are solved along with the overarching questions concerning Pandora’s Box, Superman’s sudden sickness, and The Outsider.  After reading the story several times, it was very rewarding to find the smaller hints and clues that lead to the great reveal in Justice League #23.

The Characters

The writing in this series is some of the best we’ve read in a while.  There are multiple characters that are very well written. In certain scenes, just from the conversations they have, you can catch a glimpse of who the characters are as a whole. For example, in issue #22 of Justice League of America,  there’s a conversation between Superman and Wonder Woman that brings to the forefront Superman’s humanity and aversion to capital punishment. Another example of great character writing can be found in issue #06 in a conversation between Batman and Superman that shows the contrast between these two characters.  Superman is the alien, and Batman is the human; but, Superman acts more human, showing concern and emotion while Batman is alien and removed.

The Art

There were three artist doing the pencils for this series. Each artist had two issues over the three titles, Justice League, Justice League Dark, and Justice League of America.  While similarities can be seen from artist to artist, their artistic differences shine through for better or for worse.

The first artist, my (Anthony’s) favorite, is Ivan Reis , penciling for Justice League with Geoff Johns writing. His art is the first we see going into the series, starting off the story.  His art really sets the tone with great detail given to single character panels as well large group scenes.

The second artist, the Duah’s favorite, is Mikel Janin, penciling for Justice League Dark with Jeff Lemire writing. Mikel Janin, in my (Anthony’s) opinion, had the second best art throughout the series.  Janin’s art syle is very smooth and has a realism and softness when drawing characters faces which really brings his panels to life.

The third artist is Doug Mahnke, pencilling for the Justice League of America issues with both Geoff Johns and Jeff Lemire writing.  Mahnke’s art style, while not terrible, is very distinguishable from the other two artists.

What We Didn’t Like:

We really enjoyed this crossover event, and we’re hard pressed to find something negative about it.  The only thing that jumps out is something that’s been a trend in comic book crossover events as of late, the main story of the event only exists to set up the next comic book event.

You can purchase DC’s Trinity War on Amazon here:

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