Trinity War Series Review (Parts 1-3)
Story: Geoff Johns, Jeff Lemire, Ray Fawkes
Pencils: Daniel Sampere, Patrick Zircher, Ivan Reis, Doug Mahnke, Mikel Janin, Renato Guedes
Inks: Vicente Cifuentes, Patrick Zircher, Joe Prado, Oclair Albert, Christian Alamy, Keith Champagne, Doug Mahnke, Tom Nguyen, Mikel Janin, Renato Guedes
Colors: Hi-Fi, Rob Reis, Gabe Eltaeb, Nathan Eyring, Jeromy Cox, Marcelo Maiolo
Letters: Dezi Sienty, DC Lettering, Rob Leigh, Carlos M. Mangual, Taylor Esposito
DC’s big summer event, Trinity War, is now “officially” halfway over, with the publication this week of Justice League Dark #22. I say “officially” because outside of the main three titles of Justice League, Justice League America, and Justice League Dark, there are multiple tie-in issues in the form of Trinity of Sin: Pandora, Trinity of Sin: Phantom Stranger, and Constantine.
This particular review is going to focus on the events of Trinity War so far in the following issues: Trinity of Sin: Pandora #1, Justice League #22, Justice League of America #22, Justice League Dark #22, and Constantine #5.
Whew – I think I probably just hit the record for typing the words “Justice League” in the above two paragraphs.
For my review, I’m going to focus on the overall story and art rather than delving deep into each individual issue. My goal here is to give you a sense of whether you should be reading Trinity War, and if so, why you should be reading it.
In terms of the story, so far it’s actually a little difficult to pinpoint what exactly is going on. Despite what the promotional posters for the event would have you think, this isn’t just about the three various Justice League teams fighting each other – this isn’t DC’s answer to A vs. X. Obviously they’re all “good guys,” to varying degrees (John Constantine is on one of the “teams,” after all), so it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that they’re being manipulated, and there is a main BBEG who does make an appearance in every issue of the main story line so far. What’s unclear is exactly who he is (although there have been some minor hints for long-time DC readers), and more importantly for this story, what his ultimate goal is in manipulating the teams against each other.
Without giving any spoilers, it seems that the aforementioned BBEG has a “grand plan” that involves needing to get rid of the Justice League heroes, and the best way he can think of doing that is to essentially “remove them from the board,” so-to-speak. His manner of going about this is to manipulate them into fighting each other so that they are otherwise engaged while he carries on his real plans. What these plans are is still a mystery, which should hopefully be revealed in the next set of issues coming out.
In terms of character development, both story-wise and art-wise, Trinity War has been a treat. Even though there is a multitude of writers and artists on the series, they are handling the characters expertly to make the transitions seamless from issue to issue. Earlier this week I was reading Justice League Dark #22, and for a time I actually forgot which title I was reading, as Mikel Janin did such an expert job depicting the characters from the other two Justice League titles. I really can’t complain about how they’re handling the character interaction in these stories – nothing seems out of place when reading Lemire writing scenes with Batman and Superman, for example, or seeing how Mahnke illustrates Constantine, Deadman, and Frankenstein. Everything just works.
My only complaint so far regarding Trinity War is that it seems to be a bit slow in getting to the point. While it seems that perhaps Pandora, the Phantom Stranger, and the Question are involved, it doesn’t appear that any of them are the actual catalysts behind the events. It’s fun to see the different teams at first fighting against each other, then splitting up and forming new alliances to pursue their own agendas, but I’m still left to ask, “What’s it all about?” I hope we don’t have to wait until the last issue to see everything tied together in a neat little bow.