What the Trinity War needs to do to avoid Civil war's criticism

Despite the fact that fans claim to hate it, we still buy it. We discuss it. We have entire forums dedicated to heroes fighting heroes.

So far, Marvel's done a big event based on this concept alone, twice in the last 6 or so years.

Now, DC does its own take its on go at the event. Geoff Johns, the writer, is not lacking in knowledge of how to do wars, see Sinestro Corps War, or friends vs friends, like Blackest Night. But can he do Trinity War better than Civil War?

What does he have to avoid?

The Conflict Ball and Necessary Proper Tension

Marvel's really, really big conflict ball that is generally preferred to the one recently

This T.V tropes term refers to a very quick descent to violence. Civil War had this problem: the heroes were just far too quick to do some really, really over the top acts of violence. Iron Man in particular is guilty of this, but then again so was everyone.

Avengers vs X-Men, despite its hate, at least had Schism to give a reason for Wolverine to not aide the X-Men, X-Sanction and Cable to make the two groups at odds, the Phoenix Force and their two radically differing views on it and Cyclops's good point about the Avengers staying out of X-Men affaris (And Vice versa)

Its not perfect, but there was a bit more reason.

This is where the New 52 comes in handy. A lot of old history is gone, meaning the characters have not had the time they once did to bond with one another. You've also seen some conflicts already.

First, Baz ended up attacked by the Justice League, and you also had Green Arrow and Aquaman's issues in Issue 8. With these three heroes, you have an example of already existing tensions to start a war.

Seeing as I don't read a lot of the main DC comics, I may not be able to find point that I have not read or seen, so be free to point out other examples. Though then again.....would Swamp Thing be in the Trinity war?

Geoff Johns

Geoff Johns

I understand that sometimes Geoff undelivered on Justice League, but I liked how the Graves arc ended myself. However look at what he's been doing....

1: In Green Lantern, he caused Hal to 'vanish'. Due to this, the Justice League is after Baz because they believe that he could have something to do with it.

2: In Aquaman, we see that Arthur Curry is a darker character, quite willing to kill, which would really bother Batman The Others and his new conflict with Orm over Atlantis, a X over which will affect the Trinity War, suggests that Aquaman will be a catalyst.

3; He did the final for JLI (....I miss you....) , where not only did he suggest SuperWonder is a harbinger of the end for more than just Superbat people, but also gave Brother Eye from O.M.A.C a connection to a mysterious other. Could this other be a player in the Trinty War?

4; Finally, he's writing the Justice League Books, meaning that he will indeed be the guy to start it. As of now, at least Dan Dido is helping set the story up with Phantom Stranger's recent confrontation with Pandora....and possibly other writers too as we get closer.

In a sense, what its being done is setting the stage for so long it doesn't feel out of the blue like Civil War was. Cylcops and Wolverine at least spent years glaring at the other.

DC's Masterminds of Behind the Scenes Manipulation

With 14 issues at the most so far, few characters have been brought back, and we still clamor for many. But perhaps its time to look at whose been used as opposed to who hasn't.

Amanda Waller, the lady who gave the Justice League a run for their money on the T.V show. Now we have her running Suicide Squad, planning something with the Teen Titans and asking Graves for advice on how to take down the Justice League.

What do I know

My personal favorite Justice League founder the Martian Manhunter. This super powered Telepath was nearly a leaguer before going nuts, knows something big for the future, betrayed Stormwatch and is a JLA member.

Helspont and the Daemonites. These guys in particular interest me. With aliens meant for possessing humans, they alone could star a civil war by possessing various heroes.

Maxwell Lord. Might had slipped by some due to being a O.M.A.C, but he's around...or was? Did he die? But this guy did nearly destroy the Trinity pre New 52, perhaps he'll finish the job?

Even the Joker could be it. The few times Batman has gotten close to killing are generally Joker related, such as the death of Jason Todd. Now imagine if the Joker managed to kill someone important off....like Damian, Alfred or as it seems now, James Gordon. Batman could snap and kill the Joker.....and have Superman go Kingdom Come. They are fighting in a scene after all, Bat and Supe.

All of them feel more catalyst like for a civil war than Nitro and laws.

Who would or would not be involved

Wolverine and the X-Men #15

DC has 52 titles at all times. how many would tie in.

From my understanding of Marvel's event hate, a lot of the issues that come from the events is how they tie into the other comic and interrupt the storylines.

You can see that in the New 52, with Batman and Robin being a notable example. Though I have not seen nearly as much hate for the Death of the Family than AVX.


With Action Comics tying into the present after Morrison leaves, that suggests that the title could have a tie in issue. With the heroes as they are in the JLA and the JL, you could expect tie ins with Batman, Aquaman, Vibe, Katana, Birds of Prey, Superman, Green Arrow and Hawkman.

Though titles like Wonder Woman, that appear to be the past, probably won't.

But they are but a fraction of the New 52's whole. Some none JL/JLA hero tie ins are likely.

Nightwing would be in it as Batman's ally, same with Batgirl or Batwing

The Teen Titans are led by Tim Drake, while you have Superboy who might have reason, after the H'el on earth thing to be allied to Superman, or after him....


As government agents, Suicide Squad could be JLA allies.

And then you have Team 7. They could have found Pandora's box after all.

Green Lantern is trapped in a long term story event with the Third army, likely keeping Kyle, Guy and Stewart off world, with Hal being a possible exception.

Its just fact that many of the other titles really can't be part of the Trinity War without it being really a stretch, even without a story arc that could go on for a while. The Legion of Superheroes is in the future and their time travel tech is acting up, though the Legion Lost could.

John Constantine is too centered in the magical aspect of the DCnU, so his title probably won't be involved unless the JLD is.

Earth 2 is too caught up in its own problems, though Worlds Finest could appear in it.

Demon Knight's are in the middle ages, so assuming the fights aren't crossing time....

Swamp Thing and Animal Man are actually possible, because Swamp Thing was met up by Superman in the first issue, suggesting a continuing connection between them, while Animal Man could follow Swampie's lead as they are allies.

All in all, this could draw in as many tie ins as Civil War, with hopefully less story flow problems. After all, Civil War had a lot of tie ins, which did create some problems, but allowed the issue to be seen though a lot of angles. Black Panther as a outside leader, Wolverine actually going after the problem (Nitro) and the X-Men as those who took a third route.

Could Trinity War too?

The News Making Death

That thing most comic book characters can avoid. Captain America died in the Civil war, but came back far too quickly despite promises he wouldn't. I like Steve, but perhaps he could have stayed down like other iconic dead characters (Barry was down about 20 for example, Supergirl about 15) in these sorts of events.

Now, had Captain America died for Real, and stayed that way, the Civil War might be better remembered. But he was only dead two years.

AVX might also stay better remembered in Charles Xavier stays dead. But personally, I expect his return by 2016 our time. What about you guys?

If a death occurs in Trinity War, and stays that way, it could make it iconic. Of course, the question is who to kill off......

With the way the DC is going at, I'd suggest perhaps Lois Lane or Steve Trevor. Cyborg too is possible, erm well to be fair the death would have to be unexpected. They seem a bit too obvious, I had personally hoped for Black Panther, Magneto or perhaps Cyclops (To keep him from doing something that more derails the poor guy).

It could have been a way to avoid the Steigfield lawsuit, killing Superman........

There would also be other popular but not flagship characters, such as Zatanna, Catwoman, Tim Drake, Nightwing and Booster Gold, if he isn't already gone.

Final Words

Can we say how the Trinity War will be started or what will happen? Any book could be connected to it, perhaps Static's poorly done two Sharon arc was to create a perfectly good or evil Sharon to open the box of Pandora? Then again, for perfectly good or evil, and to avoid the possible Milestone problem, Bunker could the sacrificial good or the Joker the evil? Perhaps the JLD will be involved because the JLA tries to ban magic......which seeing as a crazed Enchantress did capture Superman, Wonder Woman and Cyborg while beating up Batman might not be a bad idea.

But the speculation is for later, and we must only use what pieces we have at the present time. As of Christmas, however, we know, or can guess, this.

25 Comments Refresh
Posted by Juandicimo_Magnifico45

First off, great article! I enjoyed reading your blog post a lot.

You made some interesting points for sure. The biggest question comes down to; who is writing it? Geoff Johns has proven time and time again that he is a great writer, especially with enormous events, but are we overusing him? I sure hope not! My hope is that they will have solely Geoff write this (with help from others of course, such as Dan Didio as you mentioned). I think a large part of the reason why AVX was bad, was the multiple writers.

As for who creates the rift.. I think that it will be caused by the heroes themselves. While it might be easier for an outside source to create a rift, having simply the heroes butting heads will create a better story. What DC has done right is take their time. AVX felt rushed into. The Trinity War has been a long time coming, which has allowed for a lot of good reasons for a rift. I just love how currently, the rift could be caused by many reasons. In so many books, a start for a war can be foreseen.

Lastly, you point with the dead of a hero. If a death does occur, I have more faith in DC than Marvel. Characters like Barry Allen and Hal Jordan remained dead for a long time, causing their dead to be very significant. However, I am don't think a death is necessary. We are so used to these large events ending in a certain character dying that we expect it. But, can we achieve a great story without a death? I guess that is where we must wait until we have more evidence to foreshadow from.

I have high-hopes for the Trinity War, although I better prepare for light-eating habits that month because I will be buying a lot of tie-in comics like usual.

Edited by colonyofcells

I prefer to see more deaths to avoid comparison with Marvel's civil war. Superman should kill Simon Baz. Aquaman should use his trident on Ryan Choi. Barry should strangle Vibe. Cyborg should disintegrate Element Woman.

Posted by Twentyfive

Holy cow, man. Great post!

Posted by JLDoom

Wow yuo put a lot of effort into this. Great job!

Edited by Jonny_Anonymous

@krspaceT: I think the Trinity War is more like A Vs X since it's the Justice League Vs Justice League of America and since the JLA are all hot heads and prone to kill then I don't think they'll need much reason to get violent

Posted by SUNMAN

I've already got a fairly good sense Trinity War will not be like marvel's Civil War. DC general doesn't put it's big name heroes in spots that compromise their integrity and core character beliefs completely (Hal Jordan and Zatana withstanding). For the most part heroes can be redeemed and are slightly more rationalized in their actions unlike marvel over the last 6 years or so.

Posted by Lvenger

An intriguing blog post. But Civil War did have a good catalyst. Nitro's explosion made for a compelling reason as to why the Civil War erupted. Johns does know how to do massive conflict events so hopefully he'll come good with this. Though given his writing on Justice League so far, I'm very sceptical. As to who causes the event, I'm guessing it'll probably be the heroes themselves over conflicting attitudes towards Pandora's box. The JL will take one side whilst the JLA will take another. Of course there are probably many other things I'm overlooking. And no way should Lois or Steve die permanently Both are major characters in the New 52 now and I doubt they'll be killed so readily.

Posted by MaxSchreck

This wasn`t a bad article , but you might have found a way to make the reboot even worse :

-----Even the Joker could be it. The few times Batman has gotten close to killing are generally Joker related, such as the death of Jason Todd. Now imagine if the Joker managed to kill someone important off....like Damian, Alfred or as it seems now, James Gordon. Batman could snap and kill the Joker.....and have Superman go Kingdom Come. They are fighting in a scene after all, Bat and Supe.

James Gordon and Alfred shouldn`t be killed unless its an elseworld story . These characters are that essential to the Batman mythos ,

And killing Damian in a event like this would be such a tremendous waste . Morrison and Tomasi need to finish writing his character arc first .

Posted by AtPhantom

@Lvenger said:

An intriguing blog post. But Civil War did have a good catalyst.

Yeah. Civil War didn't have a problem with the cause of the divide. It's main problem was that it had a political commentary which was absolute nonsense. Trinity isn't comparable to that.

Posted by Lvenger

@AtPhantom said:

@Lvenger said:

An intriguing blog post. But Civil War did have a good catalyst.

Yeah. Civil War didn't have a problem with the cause of the divide. It's main problem was that it had a political commentary which was absolute nonsense. Trinity isn't comparable to that.

Agreed. Civil War fell down with the national security vs personal liberties ideology in the background to the Pro Reg vs Anti Reg clashes.

Posted by krspaceT

@Lvenger: @Juandicimo_Magnifico45: @colonyofcells: @Twentyfive: @JLDoom: @Jonny_Anonymous: @SUNMAN: @MaxSchreck: @AtPhantom: Added a new section about tie ins if anyone is interested

Posted by Lvenger

@krspaceT: Interesting addition. Though I'm not fond of events that try and make you read every damn tie in issue to the main event itself. I prefer events that act as stories unto themselves whilst the tie ins flesh out the backstory. Like what Scott Snyder did with Night of the Owls and is doing with Death of the Family.

Posted by TheCannon

This is the best blog I've seen on comic vine. Good work.

Posted by Stormbox

Pretty good

Lets hope its a great event!

Posted by RedHush1

i heard lemire said the jld would be a big part in the trinity war. also since they said jld woild show up in phantom stranger four

Posted by hydro 300

What a great article ! Ihope DC is reading this because it is awesome !

Posted by queenfrost_

Batgirl will die and Batman will kill the Joker and this will happen

Posted by Lvenger

@queenfrost_ said:

Batgirl will die and Batman will kill the Joker and this will happen

Solicits for future issues of Batgirl show Barbara to be alive and well. And I doubt DC will allow their top superhero to break his no killing rule let alone the death of their most popular supervillain. What's happening in the Trinity War is down to John's work in Justice League and JLA. This has no bearing on it.

Posted by queenfrost_

@Lvenger: Its all about risk taking ;)

Also gail's tweet made me think babs is dying:

Posted by Lvenger

@queenfrost_: Ah yes I heard about that. Could be a red herring though.

Posted by Ravager4

@queenfrost_ said:

@Lvenger: Its all about risk taking ;)

Also gail's tweet made me think babs is dying:

Wouldn't be about Babs dying, considering she's featured in future solicits for both Batgirl and Birds of Prey, but it's possible they wanted her to "fridge" another character (maybe Babs Gordon, Sr., or Alysia, or as not-so-crazy as it sounds, bringing back Steph or Cass to kill them), and Gail didn't want to do it. From what she's said, the disagreement that she and her editor had was, to her, something that could easily be fixed, but instead of compromising. her editor just fired her.

Posted by krspaceT

@Lvenger: @Juandicimo_Magnifico45: @colonyofcells: @Twentyfive: @JLDoom: @Jonny_Anonymous: @SUNMAN:@MaxSchreck: @AtPhantom@TheCannon: @Stormbox: @RedHush1: @hydro 300: @Ravager4: @Lvenger:

A new link to a related blog is up.

Posted by TheCrowbar

So umm...how do we know the Trinity War is between Superman/Wonder Woman and Batman and NOT against Pandora/Phantom Stranger and The Question?

Posted by avenger693

And the people think Marvel copies DC. Oh WOW!!!!!!

Posted by colonyofcells

Trinity War seems to be between 3 groups : Superman/Wonder Woman, Batman and Martian Manhunter with each group aligned with Phantom Stranger, Pandora and Question.