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Justice League #22 - Trinity War, Chapter One: The Death Card Review

5

The Trinity War has begun!

There are going to be some spoilers ahead.

The Good

The Justice League and the Justice League of America finally come face-to-face.

I wanted to be surprised with what was going to happen here, so I avoided Geoff Johns explaining the story, and I've tried to keep myself in the dark. If you feel the same way, jump down to the verdict section. Otherwise, enjoy some mild story spoilers.

This story really wasn't what I thought it was going to be. It's a mild continuation from last week's TRINITY OF SIN: PANDORA. Pandora is on her way to find Superman, who she believes is good enough to open her box, to capture the sin she was tricked into unleashing onto the world, thousands of years ago. The box has a few surprises, which leads the reader to believe that Superman isn't as "good hearted" as we all thought he was. This leads to the JL and JLA coming face-to-face, which results in a death. It's a pretty startling moment that seems to be the centerpiece to this whole event.

On the other side of things, Madame Xanadu is reading the future, and sees the destruction of the world. The main story moves through her as she reads her tarot cards. It's a cool side-piece to the issue, and ties in the dark side of DC. The tie-in between all these books makes sense and works very well. It's been building up to this, in the individual books, so these two teams coming together, along with Pandora, feels right.

There's a fantastic page, towards the end of the issue, featuring the Question with a pin-up board labelled "Who is the evil behind the evil?" Aside from the fact that DC does one of these in most major events, which can get annoying, I really liked this. It warped my perception of a certain character. Again, that's weird because as a PHANTOM STRANGER fan, I view The Question as a villain, not a hero or even a detective. I've sided with this character, before anything major has happened.

Very solid work from the art team of Ivan Reis (pencils), Joe Prado (inks), Oclair Albert (inks), and Rod Reis (colors). I've always been a big fan of Reis. He has a unique way of putting panels together to tell a story, which doesn't distract the reader from the story. This is an art team who works with the writer and vice versa. There's a fantastic splash, early one, featuring Superman that looks brilliant. Great line and color work on the page.

The Bad

I can see what people will find bad about this book. There's going to be a lot of complaints because of one person's actions here. However, this is something I LOVED about the issue. It's a super-shocking moment that is a good set-up to this story, and something GMan and I can debate about over and over again. Don't fly off the handle yet, kids. I'm sure there's a lot more to this story than what happens here. Wait it out, then complain.

The Verdict

I had high expectations for this book because I'm such a fan of JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK, THE PHANTOM STRANGER, and PANDORA. That section of the DC Universe is by far my favorite part. Luckily, this book did not disappoint me. It's a blast. Johns, along the other creative types that worked on Trinity War, has a great start to what seems to be a worthwhile cross-over. JUSTICE LEAGUE #22 is the start to something great. Sure, something big and controversial happens here, but that's not what the book, as a whole is about. Take it for what it is, the centerpiece of the story.

Overall, I highly recommend this issue.

Also, don't spoil it for people in the comment section.

84 Comments
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Edited by Squalleon

This issue was AWESOME!!!!
Yeah it was great,i didn't expect that i will like it so much. I loved all those little sub plots and details Johns put on this issue

Online
Edited by laabitres

this issue was sooo good hope it stays like that till the end

Posted by BattheMan008

Amazing! Simply amazing. Fantastic setup book for the next five parts.

Posted by Trevel8182

I gonna wait till next issue to freak out about what happened and not jump the gun like a lot of people did when Catwoman "died".

Posted by inferiorego

I gonna wait till next issue to freak out about what happened and not jump the gun like a lot of people did when Catwoman "died".

CATOWMAN DIED! STOP THE PRESSES!

:P

Staff
Edited by BR_Havoc

Have not read it yet but I am optimistic about it. I just hope it does not fizzle out towards the end because this will determine if I get Forever Evil or not.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

Posted by Shallbecomeabattoo

Sounds great, even if the whole "Forever Evil" thing sound unbelievably gimmicky and stupid. But hey... I have faith in those creators, so I will go along for the ride.

Posted by Trodorne

I wonder if the skull will be a tie in to the DC Universe Vs He-man and the masters of the universe crossover....

Who else thinks the only people to open the skull are Atom or Shazam.

Edited by monsterduc

Dropped this book like a bad habit (after issue 21, Shazam was by far the best part) after they announced that it will encompass the two other JL books that are not on my pull list, raised the price of JLD, and dropped the page count of JLA without adjusting the price. What a joke. The big two are getting less and less of my business by doing sh!t like this. Especially when the independents are giving me more for my money with much richer, original stories (not just the Civil War re-hash this "Trinity War" is...) and actual use of the page counts instead of 10-12 pages of adverts.

I am starting to move to trades more and more for the big two's $3.99 books with Chapters/Indigo's 20-35% discount as that's the only way not to get ripped off by them.

Posted by bladewolf

A good issue, but honestly it felt cluttered and rushed to me. I'm not sure how it could've been done better, but I felt as if too many things happened too quickly without enough exposition. Not a bad issue, but not great either. 3/5 for me.

Posted by lilben42

I agree with this review wholeheartedly.

Posted by saoakden

This is one of my favorite titles from DC Comics. & I have been looking forward to this story since it was first announced.

Edited by spinningbirdcake

I am soooooo ready for The Question to start busting heads. Hopefully he gets his own series after Trinity War/Forever Evil.

Posted by The Stegman

This issue was ten types of great

Edited by doombot890

seriously

thank you DC for that. MADE MY MONTH!

also the nice reveal of the pale one who I thought was some sort of Joker copy cat was great!

Posted by batmannflash

amazing! I was not disappointed at all. It even exceeded my high expectations!

Posted by blkson

Great review! Even better issue! =)

Posted by dondave

@blkson said:

Great review! Even better issue! =)

Posted by Sleepbutnodream15

This was pretty good.

Posted by manwithoutshame

Pandora is the worst. What was going through her mind as she babbles like a maniac about Superman being the one to open the box and blah, blah, blah. I'm getting a little nervous about this story. 3/5

Posted by longbowhunter

Not bad. I'll hang around seeing as how I already buy and read the other two JL books. Glad this will wrap up in a few issues. My biggest problem with these events is they usually seem to drag on.

Posted by Booster_Bronze

@doombot890:

So do we know who that revealed guy is? Is he a new villain made especially for the New 52 or was he around before the reboot?

Posted by Provehito

The Question's appearance was pretty cool. I specially liked how his billboard had Pandora's appearances from the issues #1s from the beginning of the new 52.

Posted by nappystr8

I was really excited for this, but I was also prepared for it to let me down. It did not in the slightest. It feels very much like the first issue of any of the QUALITY events of the past ten years like Identity Crisis or Civil War. There are bound to be decisions in any event that I won't agree with, but any problems I had with the issue are minor and mainly based in personal preference. The characters are well written, even the ones Johns isn't used to writing, and the story has clearly been in the works since the very beginning of the New 52 reboot.

Posted by braynehurricane

@bladewolf: I agree. It definitely felt rushed to me as well, which is pretty nuts since they've been building to this for a year or more. Not to make an argument for decompression but I might have liked to see this issue's contents take up two issues. It just felt choppy and none of the moments, which ended up almost more like vignettes, felt very fleshed out. Also, Johns really needs to stop writing such a sloppy Wonder Woman. I excused it at the beginning of the series but by this point there's really no excuse.

Posted by braynehurricane

@booster_bronze: Myself and a few other Viners have a theory going that he's the Joker from an alternate Earth, possibly Earth 2? I've also heard a theory that he might be Earth-3's Alfred Pennyworth, a servant to Owlman. Though I'm not sure I could really buy that one...

Posted by Fantasgasmic

I saw the person who got killed coming from a mile away, what I didn't see coming was that reveal on the last page! I never read anything pre Flashpoint with him, but I'm intrigued now.

Posted by Dark_Guyver
Online
Edited by lifeboy

Aww.. cr@p! We got Katana in the mix!

Posted by BattheMan008

Dropped this book like a bad habit (after issue 21, Shazam was by far the best part) after they announced that it will encompass the two other JL books that are not on my pull list, raised the price of JLD, and dropped the page count of JLA without adjusting the price. What a joke. The big two are getting less and less of my business by doing sh!t like this. Especially when the independents are giving me more for my money with much richer, original stories (not just the Civil War re-hash this "Trinity War" is...) and actual use of the page counts instead of 10-12 pages of adverts.

I am starting to move to trades more and more for the big two's $3.99 books with Chapters/Indigo's 20-35% discount as that's the only way not to get ripped off by them.

Did you actually read this issue? It was excellent and definitely NOT a waste of money IMO.

Edited by JLDoom

This was just an awesome start to a very promising new event (or should I say, the promising start to a prelude of an event)! Emphasis on "awe"!

Posted by The Stegman
Posted by akbogert

I just finished reading and am still kind of dazed, but my gut reaction is simply that this was absolutely a five-star issue and a very strong start to this event. I thought the interweaving of all the various threads via the Xanadu framing was fantastic, and I am genuinely excited to see how we get from where we are right here to the future we got a glimpse of (and/or somehow avoid it).

Posted by Baberaham_Lincoln

Awesome Issue, god i love Shazam as a character! i enjoyed seeing Superman kill =D

Posted by 34g3f3ert3t43

The last couple of pages are so powerful, with the cards burning and the Justice League's engulfed in full on war! Very excited for the next installment!

Posted by jwalser3

Pandora is the worst. What was going through her mind as she babbles like a maniac about Superman being the one to open the box and blah, blah, blah. I'm getting a little nervous about this story. 3/5

That 1/4 of the book was that big of a deal?

Posted by Hawkguy

@bladewolf: It did feel rushed but I also have the feeling that Johns will slowly unravel everything in the next few issues. He pulled a very nice Hickman issue here, laying a lot of plot points that I'm sure he'll expand on in the forthcoming parts. At least I hope so.

Enjoyed the issue thoroughly, it felt extremely cinematic and as I mentioned, had a Hickman-esque feel to it. I'm very excited for next week.

Posted by Nahuel

Haven't read it yet so just I looked the verdict section, but I hope Superman kills somebody! I'm so pumped for this Crossover and cannot wait for what is coming when this ends.

Next part comes next week?

Posted by Alak

The Superman/MMH match-up just looked so beautiful. I need to find a digital version to use as a desktop wallpaper lol.

Posted by Outside_85

I was bored by the end of this, the reason the fighting starts felt massively forced and it makes everyone look like insecure children.

Online
Edited by Stormbox

I was bored by the end of this, the reason the fighting starts felt massively forced and it makes everyone look like insecure children.

Forced and immature? Seriously? You do realize superman did you know what, right? I'd say thats a pretty good reason for fighting

Posted by weregarg

superman should kill every issue. you go man of steel!!

Posted by JamDamage

DO NOT READ THIS POST IF YOU DO NOT SEE RED BOXES!!! I might get the red box spoiler alert wrong, and I'm not going to go back and write this post again so you've been warned, and respectivally so, but with bad spelling because I've been drinking, and I spell bad as it is. What ever. I'm a "MAKE MINE MARVEL" guy. That does't mean I don't buy DC books as well, but I haven't been happy event by either company for a while. Marvel is worse then DC. Marvel has so many tie-ins so many times it can ruin your monthly issues for half a year. At least, as bad as Age of Ultron was, there were very little tie-ins. What ever. One of my all time favorite events is Infinite Crisis. I remember reading about Crisis on Infinite Earths in my public gramor school back in 86 or 87 about the changes made to DC. I was in the 5th grade, but I did grow up watching Adam West as Batman, Christopher Reeves as Superman,Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman, and Super Friends so I knew some of the characters but I didn't read comics. Not til 89 when I jumped McFarlane on ASM with David Michilinie, and Jim Lee with Claremont on X-men. What ever. Johns wrote Infinite Crisis and it blew me away. Here is again with a first issue of an event that just so much in it. I kept thinking it was the end of the issue but it kept going on. I'm happy with this event. I'm happy with how Johns (after the online commercial stating how a hero kills another hero, and the heroes lose at the end) had the killing happen so early, and who it is that did the killing, and who it is that got killed. Really? Doctor Lite? Now we see how Dr Lite becomes a villain because you know he's coming back. It's awsome. I don't read JLDark, but I know whats happening because I can look it up on Comicvine. I do read JL, and JLA, and this story is gonna be good. I can just tell from one issue, and it's been a long time since I've been able to do that.

Edited by JamDamage

I'm just excited, after reading the first issue of an event, and I haven't been this excited in a while, after I read the first issue of an event. I actually know where it's leading, but I still have good feelings about it.

Posted by Shika1Dude

The Art team on this absolutely nailed this issue, Real stellar work rite thurr

Posted by entropy_aegis

Mediocre issue,Pandora doesn't make a lick of sense first she was an abstract,then she's getting punished by flipping Shazam and now she's a part of Greek myth? and after the lame ass con Johns pulled with Catwoman/Martian I would'nt at all be surprised if he gives a similar half assed explanation for how Outsider "killed" Dr Light.

Posted by EvanTheMexiJew

I went online to see theories on who the Society's leader was, and pretty much spoiled the reveal. Also seeing Man Of Steel prepared me for this issue but I really liked it over all, especially the art. I just hope Johns is able to write all these characters. I mean, I know Batman's "overused" or whatever, but he's been underused by Johns since the first arc, in which he took out two Apokoloptian GODS by kicking some debris over.

Posted by JuliusTakalua

@braynehurricane: Kinda agree with you there with WW. Johns is making a terrible character out of WW. And some decisions in this issue kinda made me go "eck~~" but it was stil good.

Good drama and action overall. 3.5/5 pumped for the rest of the show! Next is JLA right?

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