Justice League #23: Trinity War’s End
Didn’t see that coming.
When my intrepid editor Andy Hunsaker first spoke about The Trinity War, he said the main baddy kind of looked like Alfred. How were we to know it was Alfred, even if it is Alfred from Earth 3? Yep, looks like the entire point of the Trinity War was to open a portal for the Crime Syndicate. Remember them? Owlman, a frightened Green Lantern, an evil Superman and Wonder Woman, etc, etc. The direct opposites of what our heroes are here on our Earth. Yep, they’re back, and now this Crime Syndicate will be running things.
Justice League #23 wraps up Trinity War with a massive battle and a whole lot of exposition. With six issues, draped over three different Justice League titles, plus an array of tie-in issues, we still needed three pages of heavy exposition to explain what was going on. That’s part of the problem with Trinity War – lots going on and little actually happening. I’ll be the first to admit I like the whole Crime Syndicate idea, mainly because of the throwback aspect. Good vs. Evil, each hero matched up perfectly. The New 52 needed something like this. I just wish the introduction to it had been better.
As a final chapter, Trinity War Part 6 has all the bells and whistles you need. Nearly every superhero in the DC Universe is present and accounted for. Each of them are being corrupted by the emissions from Pandora’s Box, which looks like a skull. The only one not corrupted by it is Constantine because he’s already a lowlife. Superman is sick, dying slowly. As the heroes vie between being corrupted and fighting to stop Pandora’s Box, the Earth 3 Alfred hatches his plan.
Turns out, the lady Atom in the current Justice League was actually from Earth 3. She stumbled into our world alongside Alfred. At one point, Atom flew into Superman’s ear and shoved a sliver of Kryptonite into his brain. Why? Well, without Superman at full strength, the Crime Syndicate have few real enemies. Pandora’s Box is not a legend, nor is it magic. It is, instead, a portal from Earth 3 into our world, one that Evil Alfred opens. Our heroes are scattered, beaten, and Superman is dying. Now seems the right time for evil to win.
I’m going to assume that the Crime Syndicate allows the criminals in our Earth to run free, hence the Villains Month run we’ve seen advertised. I’m looking forward to this, even though Trinity War was a bust for me. Geoff Johns just sometimes over does it. This was one of those times. This was a story for the Justice League title, not multiple titles, and surely not tie-ins. Even with the enjoyable end, JL #23 felt like another convoluted chapter in an overwritten story arc.
Ivan Reis' art remains superior as always. There are some artists that inherently understand comic books. Reis is one of them. His line work is always top notch, his details excellent, and his use of movement inspired. Issue #23 holds a lot of information and Reis helps disseminate it through his visuals. Two-page splash pages, off-panel placement – he makes all of it tie together. Strong work for an artist who never lets up.
(3 Story, 5 Art)
Trinity War Storyline
(2 Story, 4 Art)