Justice League of America 6
Geoff Johns, Jeff Lemire, Doug Mahnke
Trinity War Crossover
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
Though it does move the plot along and gets us from point A to point B within a relatively painless amount of time (one issue, to be exact), the newest part of Trinity War is a bit, well, lackluster. I think it’s safe to label this one as a slight misstep in what will otherwise prove to be a great story. And if I’m completely fair, it’s not Geoff Johns’ fault. Not at all. The two creators who really hurt this book are co-writer Jeff Lemire and artist Doug Mahnke. Mahnke’s artwork used to be crisp and detailed, but in the last few years has just proven to be rushed and poorly-inked making it look like, for lack of a better comparison, a poor man’s Howard Chaykin. And I know he is a fan-favorite, but I have truly yet to read anything from Lemire that has impressed me. In fact, he has caused me to drop numerous books. I was initially skeptical of his inclusion of this event and I’m afraid my greatest fears might become a reality.
But enough about what I didn’t like. I enjoyed the fact that we are brought in immediately following last issue’s cliffhanger, showing the repercussions of Superman’s actions (although maybe not quite his own), narrated by the Question, or as I like to call him, “that one member of the Trinity of Sin who is probably the most interesting but for some reason doesn’t have his own title.” We’ve got some more overreaction, featuring the Justice League fighting the Justice League of America, followed by Superman having a temper-tantrum and stopping the pointless bloodshed before anyone else can die. We then get Steve Trevor talking to Amanda Waller about what went down, the respective Leagues’ members awkwardly trying to make small talk, Wonder Woman confronting ex-boyfriend Trevor about going behind her back, and a particularly poignant scene between the Justice League’s “trinity” core members, featuring Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman talking about what the hell just happened and where to go next. We then get glimpses of Cyborg and Martian Manhunter performing an autopsy on the late Dr. Light, Diana looking for answers about Pandora (leading her to the crime scene of Madam Xanadu’s home and the inevitable confrontation with the third Justice League), and the cliffhanger ending with Superman being freed by the Question.
So when you put it that way, yeah, a lot happened. But nothing really important. This was just a transitional issue, which is fine, but the fact that Johns is such a great writer and Lemire is such a lackluster one was disconcerting to me as a reader. And the fact that we went from the artwork of David Finch and Brett Booth on this book normally, to the last part’s stellar pencils of Ivan Reis, and then we arrive with Mahnke’s bland and somewhat jarring portrayal of my favorite characters was a little disappointing. I really hope Lemire proves himself with his next part of the event, because I don’t think that an epic tale like this can have too many false-starts without losing fans. Especially since Justice League Dark is already the weakest of the three core titles and we’re going to have to shell out an extra dollar for the next part because it has a fancy cover. I would love to eat my words next week. Please, Justice Leaguers, don’t disappoint me.
My Rating: 3/5