Justice League Dark #22: Magic Mights
The plot thickens.
In the third installment of "The Trinity War," Jeff Lemire crashes down the walls and opens up the entire playing field. It’s still unclear who the mastermind behind this insidious plot is, but he seems very confident that he’ll succeed in bring down the entire Justice League, Justice League of America and Justice League Dark. Granted, we all know he won’t, but it’s fun to pretend he just might.
Taking down three major superhero leagues is never easy. It takes commitment, pride in your work, and a plan to divide and conquer. In the second part of "Trinity War," the players inched into their roles. Now, in Justice League Dark #22, the entire JL, JLA, and JLD house of cards is coming crashing down.
First, the divide. Superman is sick, and he’s also out of control. Wonder Woman believes its Pandora’s Box, so she races to find Justice League Dark, the hero group specializing in magic. WW needs to find Pandora’s Box, she’s convinced it has possessed Superman. Cue the Phantom Stranger, who convinces Batman that Wonder Woman is about to unwittingly unleash an apocalypse.
Meanwhile, Superman has escaped with The Question, and a few other leaguers, in an attempt to find the soul of Doctor Light, the hero Superman is accused of killing. Loyalties tested, friendships betrayed, government programs rendered useless, Jeff Lemire has a lot going on in "Trinity War Part 2."
What works in JLD #22 is Lemire’s penchant for smooth storytelling involving multiple angles. Each hero acts in a way that’s based on their belief of what’s right as opposed to following orders. Lemire defines each of those motivations so when the act comes, it feels natural. Lemire is also unraveling the control the Government thought they had over these heroes. It will be interesting to see if the lack of Government control will be fallout from "Trinity War," and how that tension works its way through the New 52.
Mikel Janin’s art is nicely done, even if it is a little too close to Frank Quitely for comfort. They both have a soft light way of drawing characters. There’s a stiffness to Superman, a rugged reality to Batman, a supermodel vibe to Wonder Woman, all penciled with something that crosses between cartoon and comic book art. With styles so similar, Janin needs to find something that takes his in another direction from Quitely, outside of the fact that he’s not quite as good.
(4 Story, 3 Art)