Comic Vine Review

29 Comments

Justice League #19 - Prologue to Trinity War, Chapter One: War Games; Shazam! Chapter 11 Review

4

Someone has targeted the Justice League and they make a move against them in a big way.

The Good

When this series first started out, we didn't get a lot of insight into the individual characters. This could have simply been due to the fact that (most of) the characters each had their own titles where they could be fleshed out. Lately Geoff Johns has been adding a personal touch to little details that speak volumes (such as Superman and Wonder Woman's sense of not fitting in with the rest of the world).

In a move that will make continuity-driven fans rejoice, the comic opens with a scene at the Batcave. The dialogue or issue doesn't heavily focus on the recent and tragic events in Batman's life but the fact that it is mentioned, in a great way, let's us know it does have an impact on this title as well. Along with this, Johns allows us to explore the Batcave in a way we don't often get to. Of course Ivan Reis (and the various inkers) should be given credit as well. Every time the Batcave appears on a comic and is drawn by someone else, I always pay close attention. It's fascinating to see each artist's interpretation and trying to find similarities and new items is always fun. Rather than just give us a brief run through of the 'cave, we see some things we haven't seen before. It was enough to put a smile on my face.

Before you start thinking this is all about Batman, it's not. As something interesting happens there, the attention turns to Superman and Wonder Woman. They are continuing to spend more time together, again because of the connection they've formed. These two are pretty much on an equal level and Johns shows us how similar and different they can be. It's not just another date out for a bite to eat this time. What they do will have serious repercussions. You can also see how this will fit in with JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA.

There is also more on the development of the added roster. We see the new Atom and Firestorm trying to figure out their place on the team.

We get more on Shazam and Black Adam. Johns continues to reveal more to the story and Gary Frank draws it the way only he can. You can feel things are drawing to a close and seeing how these characters are unleashed upon the rest of the New 52 Universe is something I'm deeply interested in.

The Bad

While the cover makes an interesting twist, as with most of the other gatefold covers this month, it's a scene that doesn't really take place. There are elements of it that are true but it feels more like a mislead rather than focusing on the actual story.

I have been enjoying the Billy Batson/Shazam story but partly due to the limited pages the story has to be told each month, it feels as if it's taking a long time to complete. It would be nice to see and read the entire origin in a collected format. There's also been some speculation as to how Billy would transform or introduce himself to others if he has to say "Shazam!" in order to change. We sort of get an answer here but it's not entirely clear.

There is a pretty big development in the Batcave scene. It is reminiscent of another big Justice League story. Of course it's too early to say if the current events will touch on that previous storyline. In some ways it could be good to see it play out again to reinforce it's presence in the New 52. At the same time, we don't need to see a story retread. That doesn't seem like something Johns would do. But the scene is still pretty dang cool.

The Verdict

In the beginning I was super-excited for this title in the beginning with the team of Geoff Johns and Jim Lee. The series has had some ups and downs but we are definitely back on track. Johns is setting up some big things in recent issues and you can feel the intensity building. Johns continues developing the characters in their presence on the team and touching on more personal matters with the members adds life to them and the book. Seeing new members Atom and Firestorm felt a little odd as they weren't really incorporated into the main parts of the story and we're still not fully aware how they'll fit in. A big development feels reminiscent to a pre-New 52 story. Either way, it looks like things are going to get really crazy, in a good way. The back up continues the story of Billy Batson's origin. It's interesting but the back up format is making it feel as if it's dragging on. Let's see him move beyond the origin already! It is clear that Geoff Johns is preparing to take the Justice League and readers to the next level.

31 Comments
Posted by Raw_Material

Really like the cover. Can't wait to pull this issue out at my LCS and find out who actually took the intel from the JLA Watchtower.

Edited by UltimateSMfan

all the shazam back-ups are being collected into trade n its solicited for july so thats good news.

Edited by ccraft

I really liked the conversation WW & Supes had after saving the hostages.

Posted by ehyska91

This issue is definitely setting up the next story arc. Not a lot happening, a lot of questions unanswered, and a bit of a letdown.

Posted by Arthurized

At first I hated the WW & Supes, but my mind changed. I think those two are better together. In a strange way, I don't want they make them split up.

Edited by TheCheeseStabber

"There is a pretty big development in the Batcave scene. It is reminiscent of another big Justice League story. Of course it's too early to say if the current events will touch on that previous storyline. In some ways it could be good to see it play out again to reinforce it's presence in the New 52. At the same time, we don't need to see a story retread. That doesn't seem like something Johns would do. But the scene is still pretty dang cool"

I know what you mean The Tower of Babylon was the 1st thing I thought of when seeing the cases

Edited by sho3s22

absolutely loved this issue. Gary Frank and Geoff Johns are killing it with the Shazam backups, really hope a title of its own comes out, with these two on it of course. The connection to Shazam, Black Adam, and the Justice League is slowly building up and I'm loving it. The fold out is cliche but hey, most cover never have anything to do with the interiors, so oh well.

Edited by Mucklefluga

all the shazam back-ups are being collected into trade n its solicited for july so thats good news.

Doesn't the hardcover collection come out in September?

I thought this was great, however i thought it was odd that Jason was in his suit in the Batcave. Maybe he just came over for a brief stop? Wait, why was he at the Batcave anyway?

Edited by Lvenger

@ccraft said:

I really liked the conversation WW & Supes had after saving the hostages.

So it's just a conversation? Nothing to do with the birds and the bees? Because that's what I was thinking when G-Man said "What they do will have serious repercussions."

Edited by Vulshock

@mucklefluga:Jason Todd was at Wayne Manor in Red Hood and the Outlaws #18, and we never saw him leave. This could be before he left.

Posted by Mucklefluga

@vulshock said:

@mucklefluga:Jason Todd was at Wayne Manor in Red Hood and the Outlaws #18, and we never saw him leave. This could be before he left.

Ah, OK Thanks.

Edited by UltimateSMfan
Posted by Akindoodle

@lvenger said:

@ccraft said:

I really liked the conversation WW & Supes had after saving the hostages.

So it's just a conversation? Nothing to do with the birds and the bees? Because that's what I was thinking when G-Man said "What they do will have serious repercussions."

That's precisely what I'd assumed. I let out a big wailing "NOOOOO!" Don't let that happen, not yet at least! They're still pretty young

Posted by Mucklefluga
Edited by manwithoutshame

I'm starting to think Jason Todd's very presence as a good guy messes up DC's continuity. I'm so confused about his past now...

Posted by blackcobalt

@ccraft: It did have an "Injustice" tone to it didn't it?

Posted by Mrgreenlantern

anyone else having a bad feeling about the new atom being the traitor in upcoming issues? also what was the point of having Jason in the issue if he wasn't going to do anything

Edited by The Stegman

I love the new Atom

Posted by Jethrin

Great review, G-Man!

Posted by noj

The way Shazam can say the word shazam without changing was already explained when the Wizard was telling him the basics. You have to say the word with the intent to change or something along those lines.

I really loved this issue and cant wait to see where the story is going. I cant wait to see who it was who broke into the batcave getting past all the security measures but if it is who I think/hope it is I will be VERY happy.

Oh and does anyone else think that Ivan Reis draws the absolute BEST looking Red Hood out there?!

Posted by SUNMAN

Don't know why people are tripping on the cover. I mean they are misleading if not outright wrong all the time. At least this one was pretty accurate without giving away the whole story. It's more of a metaphor for the plot.

All in all good issue. Johns continues to do all the heavy lifting for the world building of the New 52. It's more of a fun set up issue, but still a good issue

Posted by Scantenii

Was that Azrael's Batsuit in the sub cave next to the motorcycle?

Posted by thejman251

- At least Johns tried to give Bruce some a shread of respect by showing that he has some semblance of competancy.

- It would be interesting to see this story explored further and entertaining to watch the reactions of a certain someone's fan-base who love to deny facts that show that their favorite character can be beaten.

- However, i'm not too interested in John's JL run and i honestly prefer him back on GL.

Posted by Hojo49er

@noj said:

The way Shazam can say the word shazam without changing was already explained when the Wizard was telling him the basics. You have to say the word with the intent to change or something along those lines.

I really loved this issue and cant wait to see where the story is going. I cant wait to see who it was who broke into the batcave getting past all the security measures but if it is who I think/hope it is I will be VERY happy.

Oh and does anyone else think that Ivan Reis draws the absolute BEST looking Red Hood out there?!

my first guess is the mimic girl that appears in Nightwing 19. just a guess though and I admit I would be a little surprised to see someone from Nightwing cross over into the Justice League title.

Posted by KnightofSteel

Great issue. Loved seeing Reis drawing Batman! Still wondering why Red Hood was in the cave and why is he all of a sudden so chummy?

Posted by Arthurized

I'm starting to hate Batman. He turns out to be an omniscient character who knows everything. It was fun before but not any more for me. May the lord cut his tongue off !

Posted by tessmercer51

Justice league #21 THE MARCH TO TRINITY WAR CONTINUES! This is it! Shazam’s origin story concludes in an extra sized extravaganza! As Black Adam threatens to gain control of all magic, Billy Batson learns that in order to stop him, he’ll need help from the unlikeliest of people. But what greater role awaits Shazam in the larger DC universe? And what does the Justice League have to do with it?

So you'll get your wish in june

Posted by Jake Fury

Good issue, the dude infiltrating the Batcave looked mysteriously like he was wearing Bruce's pre-52 Insider suit.

Posted by AWeekInGeekdom

The issue was fantastic, the art and inks were awesome as usual... I really like Johns taking time to start fleshing out personalities and the addition of The Atom is pretty cool (I dislike Firestorm >_>) and I seriously loved the back-ups, It's a bit sad that it's ending with issue 21 so I really hope DC will announce that Shazam is finally going to be an ongoing title, that I would gladly buy.

Edited by Teerack

These are the sorta things that make me like Superman. Not him random stuff but him just out talking people.

Posted by MartianManhunterIsBetterThanCyborg

How was Despero? Please use spoilers.