Justice League 23
Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis
Trinity War Crossover
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
Finally, the comic that we’ve been patiently (albeit painfully) waiting for is here. The finale to Trinity War proved three major things to its loyal readers: Geoff Johns is still one of (if not the) best writer on the DC Comics staff, even though he’s got a fancy title now; the fact that the comics industry as a whole has a really terrible knack for leaking the surprise endings of every single comic on the stands still can’t ruin an expertly-penned (not to mention drawn) issue; and the tie-ins and middle four parts were wholly unnecessary. This should have been Justice League 22 and Justice League 23. That’s it. no extra parts. No forced purchases. Just two perfectly-executed lead-in issues to Villains Month and Forever Evil, the true crossover event that will have universe-wide ramifications. Ivan Reis is at the top of his game. Don’t let the subpar interludes and covers fool you. This is a beautiful book.
This issue has it all. We get the fight we glimpsed in the Free Comic Book Day issue that DC released two years ago. We get the revelation of the identity of the traitor in the Justice League (the Atom, or should I say, Atomica) and the identity of the leader of the Secret Society (Alfred Pennyworth). And, of course, the already-spoiled but somehow-still-awesome cliffhanger ending showing us the true meaning of the “trinity” once and for all. It’s not about the Trinity of Sin. It’s not about the three Justice Leagues. It’s not even about the trio of legendary heroes, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. No, it’s the number of true evil. It’s the number three. The unholy trinity is code for Earth 3. And with that, the Crime Syndicate is back. And, as DC has been hinting for months, “evil shall inherit the earth.” And I could not be more excited to follow Johns and company on this adventure.
And here’s why: I’ve always felt that Marvel and DC are comparable when it comes to their heroes. They balance each other out. For Superman, there is the Hulk. For Batman, there is Captain America. For Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel. And so on and so forth. But where DC has always won me over time and again is their villains. They’re the core of what makes DC the better company. There is no comparable Lex Luthor, Joker, Darkseid, or even, yes, the Crime Syndicate in the Marvel Universe. Marvel has its good villains, yes, but half of the time they are either switching back-and-forth and losing relatable or even realistic motivations at the cost of boosting sales (every X-Men villain ever) or they’re essentially crazy pretenders playing dress-up (Spider-Man) or megalomaniacal stereotypes that are all variations on the same theme of their only true villain, Dr. Doom (Avengers and Fantastic Four). But with the Crime Syndicate back in full force and taking over the world, it’s going to be awesome to see the “evil is relative” mantra taken to new and exciting limits. Because the only thing cooler than seeing the bad guys fight the good guys, is the battle that happens after the good guys lose. The bad guys turning against one another. The stakes never seem very high over at Marvel. But with DC, it’s always been very clear that the heroes win every time, yes, but when it comes right down to it, the fear is always there. Because the villain only has to win once.
My Rating: 5/5