Justice League of America #6: Trinity War Part Deux

Justice League of America #6

 

The Trinity War. Round Two. Justice League of America #6 picks up right where Justice League #22 left off. This time around, things are a little less confusing. As opposed to throwing a mass of information at you, JLA takes the time to sort it. This is the set-up issue, the one where all the pawns are placed into their positions. Geoff Johns and Jeff Lemire team up to make sure we all understand who is who, what is happening, and what the stakes are.

Opening in Kahndaq, home of Black Adam, JLA #6 is rife with betrayal from the opening page. Steve Trevor, a man Wonder Woman thought she could trust, has confronted the Justice League with his other team, the Justice League of America. The JL arrived to stop Shazam from flying into a restricted space. The JLA, at the behest of Steve Trevor, have showed up to figure out with the Justice League are up to. In the cacophony of superhero ego, Doctor Light, a man recently given the power to absorb energy, is killed with a blast from Superman’s heat vision.

As Superman attempts to control his heat vision, the JL and JLA commence to beating the piss out of each other. Finally, when the fighting has become too much, Superman ends the fighting and demands to be taken into custody. From there, Lemire and Johns set their game up. Something is wrong with Superman, he’s sick, which is impossible. Then there’s the tension between the two teams. Stack on that the dry tinder of Shazam, and emotions are set to explode.  Outside of the emotional, we have the mystical. Wonder Woman uncovers truths about Pandora’s Box, truths that lead her to the Justice League Dark. Meanwhile, The Question has freed Superman and asks his help to find out who really killed Doctor Light.

Johns and Lemire are crisp and clean with The Trinity War Part 2. They don’t give away much, but they release multiple hooks. Superman, Wonder Woman, Pandora’s Box, two opposing superhero teams, an evil that Zeus can’t even find, much less control, and the JLD. Issue #6 has everything in it, and it is way less confusing than the opening chapter of Trinity War. Johns and Lemire focus a lot more on the emotions here, which gives a nice thread through the story arc.

Doug Mahnke is on point as always. He’s a big issue guy. The man you turn to when you need great art in an epic way for a massive story. Mahnke’s battles are huge, even in small panels. He crams so much detail and movement into them, you can’t help but be sucked in. Mahnke also loves strong lines, with heavy inks on the outlines of characters. It gives the characters weight. When one punches another, you can feel it. While his faces rarely seem as emotive as they need to be, Mahnke’s art is still wonderful.

Trinity War is a superhero mosh pit. A crackling adventure on an epic scale.

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(4 Story, 4 Art)