Robot 6

Grumpy Old Fan | ‘Trinity War,’ the worst of both worlds?

This cover is a spoiler, sort of

This cover is a spoiler, sort of. (Don’t look, you fool! Don’t look!)

Honestly, the post title is a little misleading. Overall, I liked “Trinity War.” It was paced well, the creative teams did a good job wrangling all the characters and (for the most part) keeping them in character, and both story and art were top-notch. Basically, it felt like an old-school Justice League/Justice Society team-up, and for this grizzled veteran of the crossover wars, that’s high praise.

Nevertheless, its conclusion frustrates me, and I can’t talk about it without a massive spoiler warning. About the only thing I can say without reservation is that this week’s Justice League #23 featured the conclusion of “Trinity War.” To reveal much more about it would spoil the last page of the issue.

This is a terribly ironic situation, because DC Comics has made no secret about the setup for the sequel miniseries, the seven-issue Forever Evil. However, in the interests of preserving at least a nominal sense of fair play, I can’t really talk about that either. It all makes me feel very cynical, just when I was feeling good.

Anyway, if you’ve read the issue — or if you don’t mind knowing absolutely everything that happens, including the usual history lessons and ill-informed speculation — let’s talk.

MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD

5

4

3

2

1

OK, so thanks to writer Geoff Johns, everyone knew the Crime Syndicate was coming. Similarly, just about everyone seemed to have deduced the Outsider was the Earth-3 version of Alfred Pennyworth. As Johns told CBR, “some [readers] have pieced it together, but not everything, which I like. They’re on the right road, but it’s not quite correct.”

Indeed, in JL #23, Johns seems almost more eager to explain everything than to bring the current story to a natural conclusion. The issue ends with the various Leaguers down but not out, and the Crime Syndicate charging toward them. Johns has been saying all along that the bad guys win, but this is just the bad guys showing up.

To be sure, “Trinity War” started with a tone of tragic inevitability, and made a credible case that the three Leagues could actually work together, before falling back into a hopeless spiral toward the end of Part 4. JL #23 kicks the decline into high gear, revealing not just that the Atom put a Kryptonite sliver into Superman’s brain, which she then used to poke his heat-vision nerve, but also that Cyborg had been co-opted by a “sentient computer virus” called Grid. Now Superman’s still dying, Victor Stone’s on life-support after Grid separated him from his electronic parts, and Pandora’s skull-box is from Earth-3, “the birthplace of Evil.” (I presume it’s capital-E.)

For what it’s worth, those revelations were each handled very skillfully. Johns, penciler Ivan Reis and whoever among Joe Prado, Oclair Albert, and/or Eber Ferreira inked the Atom’s diabolical exposition, especially did fine work. (Talk about being good at being bad!) The bit about the “birthplace of Evil” is intriguing as well, given Johns’ use of the Emotional Spectrum in Green Lantern, and the larger cosmological aspirations of Blackest Night (which, of course, spun out of GL). We can even slot Volthoom, the “First Lantern” from Johns’ final GL arcs, into the larger picture, assuming he’s meant to be a version of the entity fueling the weapon of Earth-3′s GL counterpart Power Ring.

Unfortunately, “Trinity War’s” non-ending also recalls the set-’em-up, knock-’em-down nature of Johns’ last few GL arcs. There, one arc led directly into another, with only the story titles and the specific threats distinguishing them. In that light, “Trinity War” now feels like mere setup, with Forever Evil representing a long, hard slog ‘til April. You review the story as it is, not as you want it to be, but I was hoping for a little more movement on the “Justice Leagues Are Dead” front. Even a page of “Coming Soon in Forever Evil” teasers would have been good. Not to be ghoulish, but if JL #23 had been a flash-forward, showing the Crime Syndicate ruling over a decimated DC-Earth (we can’t call it Earth-1, that’s for those hardcovers) and giving a few quick shots of how they dispatched our heroes, that might have given the overall story some closure. On the other hand, it might have prompted unwanted comparisons to Marvel’s Age of Ultron.

In any event, although there’s only a week until Forever Evil #1 presumably starts to supply some answers, I’m still not done asking questions:

  • What was the deal with Doctor Light? Was he just a red herring (remember, a DC-Earth villain would be a hero on Earth-3) to draw suspicion away from the real traitor?
  • Did the Question really see the Crime Syndicate coming, or was he heading down a different path? (And does that make the average DC reader smarter than the Question?) Will we have to wait until Forever Evil #7 — if not the sure-to-follow Question ongoing series — to learn his secret?
  • Why was Batman able to carry Pandora’s Box without much angst or other trouble? Was it “powering down” at that point, or is it just Because Batman?
  • Why show Sea King (the evil Aquaman) coming through the dimension door only to have him do a big face-plant? Am I missing some Geoff Johns/Aquaman meta-reference, like he loves classic Aquaman and hates all others?
  • Is Bruce Banner the Crime Syndicate’s hooded prisoner? (Actually, I’m betting it’s Earth-3′s Teth-Adam.)
  • How will the Crime Syndicate “kill” the Leaguers?
  • Perhaps most importantly, aren’t Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner and the rest of the entire freaking Green Lantern Corps available to help free DC-Earth from the Crime Syndicate?

Actually, one clue to Forever Evil — which, again, I thought would be revisited in JL #23 — comes from Madame Xanadu’s vision of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman surveying a ravaged landscape in JL #22. With what we know now, we might reasonably presume they’ll be trapped on Earth-3. That, in turn, suggests The Flash won’t be with them, as historically only the Flash(es) could travel between parallel Earths unaided. (It’s all about adjusting one’s internal vibrations to match the specific frequency of a particular universe. No big deal.)

Indeed, last week’s glimpse of Earth-2 in Justice League Dark #23 may be a not-so-subtle clue as to how the Leaguers could finally defeat the Syndicate next spring. We all know Johns loves DC history. The latest evidence is right before us, as flashbacks in JL #23 fondly revisit “untold” League battles against Starro (the team’s debut in the immortal The Brave and the Bold #28), the Weapons Master (B&B #30), and Professor Ivo (B&B #29). Heck, the Outsider’s observation that Earth-3′s actual geography is reversed is a callback to the Crime Syndicate’s first appearance; and the JLA/JSA team-ups themselves just celebrated their fiftieth anniversary (they started in August 1963′s Justice League of America Vol. 1 #21). The Crime Syndicate first appeared a year later, in the second JLA/JSA adventure from JLA issues 29-30 (August-September 1964), so they’ll be celebrating their fiftieth anniversary just about the time Forever Evil is wrapping up. What better way to send them off than to bring the greatest heroes of two worlds together again, for the first time? I hope Ivan Reis and Nicola Scott are up for it.

Get ready, because I’m about to set myself up for a big disappointment! Sure, Deadman made contact (of a sort) with Doctor Fate in JLD #23. Assuming they remember the cross-dimensional shenanigans of the current Batman/Superman arc, our World’s Finest know about Earth-2; and if not, the stars of Worlds’ Finest could re-enlighten them. And why limit this to the Justice League books and Earth 2? Maybe Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato could produce the “Flash of Two Worlds” remake/tie-in — because history demands Barry Allen discover Jay Garrick, even if the latter’s not his comic-book hero anymore. Can you hear my weary old nerd heart beat faster, ever faster?  Can you imagine the very, very long odds on any of these things ever coming to pass?

It’s almost enough to make me forget that “Trinity War” didn’t so much end as stop. On some level I knew this would happen, as it’s always a cliffhanger when the villains win; but I didn’t expect the fight itself to be postponed. I keep coming back to “The Best of Both Worlds,” the classic Star Trek: The Next Generation cliffhanger that wasn’t really advertised as such. I watched it as it happened, and as the time ticked away on that summer night in 1990, I knew Riker and the Enterprise crew would need to do something quickly! to rescue Picard so the season could end cleanly. When “To Be Continued” flashed on the screen, I joined the rest of assembled Trekdom in a collective Calculon-worthy groan of anguish. The last pages of “Trinity War” weren’t quite that suspenseful, but I was thinking hey, there aren’t a lot of pages left.

Of course, these days the real test of durability is how well the story reads in collected form. Once some time has passed, and “Trinity War” is seen more as a prelude than as an event unto itself, readers’ expectations may adjust appropriately. Right now, though, I have to say that Justice League #23 was kind of a downer, and not in a good way.

Hmm … maybe this should be continued next week as well?

News From Our Partners

Comments

66 Comments

I too liked it overall, but can’t help agreeing that Johns’ work has settled into a predictable rut.

My only fault with the series is how they handled Pandora’s Box.

1. Did she actually “open” it all those years ago? They said only one from Earth-3 could, so is she actually from Earth-3?

2. If Earth-3 suppose to be a “mirror” of sorts of our world and vice versa….what was the equivalent of Pandora’s Box here? I mean, here you have a device that can cross dimensions ending up here but what did we have?

3. Good grief, the real superpower of the Crime Syndicate is Super-Patience. What did they do for five years? Just hang out to wait for their Alfred to open the gateway?

4. Ok heroes, a good portion of you have been hurt and no doubt seeing Cyborg fall to pieces was shocking. But it’s obvious who the bad guys are and you let them just babble on for a bit. ATTACK THEM!
Cy….you should have flicked Atom off your shoulder as soon as she admitted being evil.

I did have some personal likes in all this.

1. Atom/Atomica- wow…she was a creative character. Going back I saw the writers did give a hint when she was playing computer games and her fellow players called her a “traitor”.

2. Crap, poor Cyborg..or should I say “leftovers of Vic”. Unless they pull out some major mojo..he is dead. I don’t think Green Lantern can keep him alive long when he is only 1/3 a person. I like this because it was shocking, not because Cyborg got hurt or anything. I really like his character.

3. Gotta like how Flash handles things in a fight of corrupted heroes. Everone else is punching, firing weapons and whatnot, but if you look in the background you see Flash tying up Catwoman. Even corrupted by evil, Flash doesn’t want to hurt anyone.

“Johns almost seems more eager to explain everything than to bring the current story to a natural conclusion.”

Sadly, for this former Johns fan, this could describe the ending to every major storyline he’s written outside of Green Lantern (and even that had it’s fair share of “this doesn’t end it just rushes on to the next big thing”): Infinite Crisis, Flash: Rebirth, Blackest Night, Brightest Day, Flashpoint (which actually had the heart of a good story but had the tacked on reboot/merge).

Geoff Johns is a one-trick pony obsessed with recycling old ideas.

Personally, I think the prisoner the Syndicate brings over is Alexander Luthor.

I wouldn’t be shocked if the force that destroyed Earth-3′s world was Darkseid. Also, I was also thinking that the thing w/ Deadman and Dr. Fate was the beginning of DC planting seeds for a JSA/JLA story down the road.

Honestly, it might be kind of cool to have a JSA/JLA event with tie-ins. Based off the ads, it looks like Forever Evil will be the Crime Syndicate vs DC-Earth villains, which could be interesting. One possibility for how it ends is the DC-Earth heroes teaming up with the villains to finally give the CS the boot, or in their escape from Earth-3 (if it’s as you predict and the heroes are sent to Earth 3) they come across Earth-2 and enlisted them to help. However it goes down, expect Darkseid to show up at the end to be the antagonist or the next crossover.

Speaking of Lex…they missed a perfect funny moment. After Lex fires everyone, he is alone of course and that’s when all heck broke loose. I would assume that everyone just poofed away to Greece (or wherever) and left Lex alone in his cell again. They should have had a panel or two having someone come in (Lex looking all weary from the fight/action) and be completely oblivious to everything that had just happened.

Nice column this week–I read all of it while picturing the voice of Jay Sherman from “The Critic”, as if this was a segment on a TV show.

For a long, long time I was a DC guy. Sadly since the arrival of the New 52 I have stopped reading virtually everything they publish. Bland stories, uninspired art, once great characters now rendered unrecognizable. It smacks of the old Heroes Reborn fiasco and I just hope, like that failed experiment, that the real DC heroes will reappear someday and straighten this whole mess out.

That’s not true, Stephen M. Johns has plenty of new ideas.

Of course, they’re all terrible…

Ugh, the whole event was horrible and it led to one of the worst “twist” endings ever.

If anybody is still impressed by “Evil Alternate Earth Version of Superheroes You Know”, this planet needs a cleansing.

At least they killed Cyborg. Has anyone EVER cared about Cyborg? What a waste of ink that guy’s always been.

“If anybody is still impressed by “Evil Alternate Earth Version of Superheroes You Know”, this planet needs a cleansing. ”
“Has anyone EVER cared about Cyborg?”

penguintruth, maybe the world doesn’t revolve around you.

But it does rotate around me.

“But it does rotate around me.”

I’m sure you thought that was clever, Michael.

The GL Corps and the other lantern corps can’t come in and save the day because they have their own major problem, which should be shown very clearly next Wednesday in GL 23.1 aka Relic #1.

Other than the end being typical of Geoff Johns, I actually liked Trinity War in retrospect. And wow, Ivan Reis knocked it out of the park. But like I said, it’s not really much different than the end of Third Army when you get right down to it.

I will admit I haven’t read any of this storyline. In fact I haven’t read Justice League after the first couple of issues. I did give Justice League Dark a try. I liked the Peter Milligan issues, but wasn’t a fan of Jeff Lemire’s DC Defenders version of the book and dropped it. I was a huge fan of Geoff Johns, but I have found that his reach outstretches his grasp on far too many occasions. I don’t think that he’s really able to handle these sorts of big stories.

His run on the Flash was brilliant and I would recommend it for anyone looking for fun, snappy superhero stories. JSA was also really good. I read a lot of the earlier Green Lantern issue, and while I personally find Hal Jordan rather boring (give me Kyle or Guy Gardner any day), I liked that he and Peter Tomasi managed to do a large scale crossover restricted to two books with The Sinestro Corps War. It felt just about the right size. His Superboy stories in Adventure comics were good. The Action Comics stuff he did with Gary Frank and Eric Powell etc. were flawed but good as well.

In my opinion, Blackest Night was a complete mess (as was Infinite Crisis). It was large and sprawling and entirely uninvolving. Lots of hero fights zombie version of old friend/fellow hero etc. Brightest Day was so exciting it was entirely forgotten about with Flashpoint. His post Blackest Night run on Green Lantern involved a year of treading water until the next big Green Lantern crossover happened. I hestitate to call him a hack, but these are not the sort of comics that I want to read. They are just a blatant attempt to keep the audience coming back for another fix.

I appreciate that this stuff is corporately mandated, and that he is a DC bigwig now so is probably largely responsible, but I would like the dude to find some sort of distinctive voice as a writer, which I don’t feel that he has anymore…or at least that he has shown in a while.

Johns always puts Stargirl in everything, and there’s a story there about why he does it, and I don’t denigrate him for doing it. But in the New 52-verse, I don’t see how she could be carrying around Jack Knight’s cosmic rod, because in the Nw 52-verse, there was no Golden Age era, therefore no Golden Age era Ted Knight Starman, therefore no modern era Jack Knight Starman to give the cosmic rod to Courtney when he quit being Starman. Oh well, It’s a Jim Lee/Dan DiDio production!

I read the first issue of Trinity War in Justice League and then I read the last issue in this week’s Justice League. I didn’t fell like anything really happened. There were the JLDark characters and Superman looked like Bizarro but other than that I can’t imagine what happened that took all those other issues to cover.

Unless there was something really awesome in the issues I missed, this storyline was really pretty pointless. The Crime Syndicate could have shown up several issues ago and saved us the effort of this Pandora’s Box MacGuffin or Red Herring.

Oh lookie!! Another “I don’t really like DC comics, but I keep reading them anyway” article. Goodie.

As to the Q’s/complaints…

Johns’ writing:

The “continuing saga” style that Johns has made his bread & butter for over a decade now, shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Even beyond that, these guys are in the business of periodicals. Every story has to lead to another story, & new stories take threads from old ones. There is nothing new under the sun, & if you are thinking otherwise, then you are in the wrong hobby.

I treat TW just like the trilogy of GL: Rebirth, SCW, & BN… Clearly FE is act-twp of a story that he’s been planning for awhile now, obviously since the start of the New 52.

Regarding all the “dangling” plotlines from TW:

Why do people ask these Q’s that they KNOW are gonna get answered a few issues later??? You really don’t think that what happened to Dr. Light won’t get answered, sooner than later? I could see if this was 3 or 4 years later, & nothing had been resolved. Geez, use some common sense, people!!

Or better yet, just keep reading, like we all are gonna do, despite the complaining that some of us are also prone to do.

Anyways, I loved TW, from start to finish. It was a fun read, & it delivered on all aspects for me. It’s clearly the culmination of everything the New 52 stands for, which is great by me. It also proves why Johns is one of my (if not THE) fave writers.

Also, what hasn’t been mentioned, was that as an event, they managed to keep it small, by minimizing tue amount of tie-ins… Something DC’s competitors have yet to figure out how to master. But, with all the bellyaching, this is something that has gotten overlooked.

Anyways, Can’t wait for FE!!

I was holding off to read Trinity War until it was completed and if it got good word of mouth. I now no longer plan on reading it.

Saul Goode had a goode idea with bringing in Alexander Luthor, and that would actually get me interested. If it’s a brand new character, then nevermind.

Acer relates everything back to “The Critic”.

“But it does rotate around me”

@peguintruth – Because you are fat.

I can’t read anything that Geoff Johns writes these days without feeling my intelligence being insulted.

It’s weird. I used to love DC. I thought their universe was a wonderful place to set stories and I felt it was special. The history, the legacies, the heroics.

The New 52 ( are they STILL callling it that?) isn’t for me.

I’m glad that some people liked Trinity War. It wasn’t my thing, but if you enjoyed it more power to you.

I liked the legacy aspect to the DC Universe too pre-reboot. I really loved JSA actually.

And I miss Starman, although I don’t want to see it resurrected. It ended beautifully.

“Oh lookie!! Another “I don’t really like DC comics, but I keep reading them anyway” article. Goodie.”

@Samurai36: So you’re saying you don’t like this type of article…yet you read them (and comment) anyway?

Even disagreeing with some points, I really appreciate this column. Kudos to the author.

Can’t say the same about the boring rant in defense of DC Comics from SAMURAI36. ;)

@rwcastromiller:

For the same purpose that the Oracle had in the Matrix, or that the prophecy of Anakin in SW: to bring balance to the force.

@Samurai36:

It seems you missed the irony entirely. Have fun and keep reading : )

Ah yes, the “irony”. Because that was sooo high-brow. I got it, dude.

@Matt:

It’s so “boring”, but you felt the need to respond to it? Is that like the “irony” that you other guy mentioned?

What I find “ironic”, is that hardly anyone can actually respond to my points.

@Brandon The PLANET is fat!

As for the Geoff Johns hate, I dislike this particular story, but I don’t really have enough experience with Johns to decide if he’s a terrible writer overall. I mean, I really liked Superman: Secret Origin.

I skipped this when it was coming out— but after reading this article’s recap of the series’ apeshit mining of the (then current) DCU mythology, I just might dig through those BOOK OFF 4-for-$1 comics pile and see for myself wtf was going on. Johns’ writing really hasn’t won me over, but I’m now interested to read this non-GL work of his…

Better than buying what DC has coming out this month?

Aaand congrats, SAM 36: you derailed ANOTHER thread ‘critical of (the New) DC’— by talking about yourself in the comments.

I was always unsure about who was buying Geoff Johns books these days, considering his mega decompressed style, his propensity for sophomoric violence and unproductive nostalgia, but this comment thread educated me. Apparently the answer is those who are unable to parse irony. Everything makes sense now, I suppose.

Ha ha! You guys make me glad I bailed out when DC rebooted. Thank you for helping me not waste my money on this NuDC trash. Because there’s a lot of great comics coming out these days, just not by DC.

I do hope one day DC regains their sanity. Some of my favorite characters used to live there.

@Other Chris
Is that a good or bad thing?

@Jake
It’s funny you say that, because I never even read Trinity War at all. All I did was look at the previews and the eventual entries on scans_daily. So to the current DC administration, in the fine words of Nelson Muntz: HA-HA!

Most of Geoff stories lead into another one. Remember Crisis of Conscience end was picked up directly in Infinite Crisis. I find the approach similar. Trinity War’s end will be picked up directly in the first few pages of Forever Evil.

I too have been on a downward spiral regarding Geoff’s writing. I felt like the New 52, which he helped usher in, has been his major undoing. What i used to love about Geoff’s writing is that he was pretty excellent (in my opinion) about going in, taking a character’s history, and finding new ways to look at it or pull certain strings out of it, to create engaging stories. He used DC’s history to write engaging present day stories.

But that’s just it. With the New 52, what is DC’s history? No one knows what it is. There is no accurate frame of reference. Yes, stories before the New 52 could undo history as we knew it with new revelations, but at least readers were working from the same starting point as to what history was – even if was about to change over the course of a few issues with some story that revealed previously unknown details. Now, with New 52, DC’s history is what they need it to be for that story. It’s all up in the air. Stories we previously read may or may not have happened or they did but it a different way than we knew them to happen.

The magic – the strength – of Geoff’s writing is gone because he doesn’t have a history to work with anymore. I have found all of his new 52 work to be largely flat. His stories don’t engage me anymore. I don’t feel connected to these characters anymore because I don’t know who they are, what their pasts are. Yes, in time, if I keep reading I’ll come to know them – but for now, these are just alternate universe characters I’m reading about, and subsequently, Geoff’s writing just isn’t working for me (I guess, because at the root of it, the New 52 isn’t working for me).

I’m still reading a decent number of titles, but since the onset of the New 52 – either from cancellation or me dropping the titles – my pull list has been count in half as I found I just don’t care. And without DC’s history to work with – that I don’t feel is either made up or ‘confirmed’ on the spot as the story needs – Geoff’s writing is nothing special anymore.

I still love his Wally West stories, his early GL stories, his Legion reinvigoration (what a wasted opportunity there – work so hard to bring the Legion back to it’s glory and then DC let it all wither away), his JSA work, his first two years on the Teen Titans – some of my favorite stories ever. But nothing he’s written since the New 52 has not spoken to me or engaged me at all.

Wow. Having not read anything DC have been putting out, other than Batman, for over a year now, i appreciate this article’s existence and it’s ability to tell me dropping 99% of my DC titles like a lava covered ball of lead wasn’t a bad decision.

Shame, i was SO stoked about the New 52 and what they could have done, instead we get rehashed versions of stories we’ve seen countless times before written and drawn (mostly) by the people who drew and wrote them originally.

I have actually been wondering why the Green lanterns wouldnt come help out. I mean they have an entire corps at their disposal.

Was going to purchase The Flash vol 2 trade until I found out that story arc was incomplete without vol 3 (which I didn’t want even if free) so…. cancelled my order for vol #2.

So glad to see that any remote interest I might have held to read Trinity War has been thoroughly trounced by its also requiring yet another bunch of books and probably even then won’t have a conclusion.

Comic book companies: stop making me not get books on account that your stories no longer have timely conclusions not necessitating yet another story! Rather than hook me, if I don’t like the following plot I’m going to end up not getting anything at all.

Irritated.

@Ed:

Yes, thanx… Because nobody else is talking about themselves in their comments, yes?

But if by “derailed another thread, you mean that I added some positivity to this continuous, but oh-so-productive DC hate-fest, where people make the same mindless complaints over & over, then you are most welcome.

1- I never thought Dr. Light was a traitor. He was just a new member of the JLA.

2- If you look, Batman never directly touches Pandora’s Box, he has it on a leash.

3- Oh, and the reason the Green Lantern Corps can’t all come to Earth’s aid is because THEY HAVE AN ENTIRE FREAKING UNIVERSE TO LOOK AFTER! If you hadn’t noticed, there are like 5 Green Lantern books that explain what they’re up to, and why they can’t all come running to earth all the time.

@SAMURAI36

Just because you don’t agree that doesn’t make it “mindless complaints” and it doesn’t make it a DC hate-fest. Doesn’t mean they are automatically right either, but that’s how it is with individual tastes. They are individual.

The Boy With A Herve Villechaize Tattoo

August 31, 2013 at 3:01 pm

GOD, I want that mystery prisoner in the hood to be either the previous universe’s Superman, prev.-u Wally West, or Alexander Luthor from the end of Infinite Crisis.

Johnny Sarcastic

August 31, 2013 at 3:12 pm

@ SAMURAI36
“What I find “ironic”, is that hardly anyone can actually respond to my points.”

Your definition of ironic is worse than Alanis Morissette’s. (ohhhhh 90s burn)

People are responding to your posts; you just refuse to acknowledge anything that isn’t completely in-line with your own thought process. That doesn’t make them less clever than you nor you smarter than them. It actually makes you a close-minded idiot. Likely there are people reading your responses to responses and not even bothering because there’s no way to actually have rational discourse with you. Thankfully this is just comics we’re talking about, here.

I’m surprised that people say nothing happened between the first and last chapter… In the grand scheme of things, maybe not, but it changed the fate of some characters (Pandora and the 7 deadly sins, Phantom Stranger, Cyborg, Superman). Also, for the people complaining that this has been done before and it’s getting boring… Well guess what! This is the New 52, with a bunch of new readers that HAVEN’T seen this stuff before.

…and with the Legion ending that leaves me only with one DC comic purchase: Batman

Michael: You’re on to something. I’ve been saying that since the Throne of Atlantis arc. What really made Geoff’s work special was working with continuity to produce something that was different and, while not original, certainly innovative. Arguably, I’d loved all his major events from Infinite Crisis even up to Brightest Day. They were all interesting in their own ways. Then they did this DCnU thing and now he’s forced to create things whole cloth and…it’s not working like it used to.

NOW. That said? I liked Trinity War. It wasn’t a tour-de-force in terms of event storytelling, but I enjoyed it.

Hey guys, I’m one of the new readers since the new 52 and I can say that without ever really compairing back to the past issues, I really enjoyed Trinity War. I usually only pick Justice Leauge of America and Green Lantern: New Guardians (plus trades of Justice League, Batwing, Worlds Finest, Supergirl, Batman) but picked up the others titles in the crossover plus the tie ins. So I’ve been introduced to so many new charaters, Pandora, Phantom Stranger, Question, Zanadu, Constantine- and some of them I’m interested in reading on with their stories. Which I guess is the aim at the end of the day.

I’ve seen the crime sydicate in the crisis on two earths cartoon so am intreaged to see what’s going to happen there. I’m not keen on having to buy Forever Evil for the next however months though, so will probably wait for the trade. I guess we’ll not know till October what’s going to happen to the teams?

A lot of hate here. Comics are comics. I’ll never understand why somebody will complain a lot for a comic. If one day I do that, then it will mean that I don’t enjoy reading these stories anymore.

@Carlos

Just because someone finds a lot to complain about in regards to a single comic, storyline or whatever that doesn’t mean he doesn’t enjoy those types of comics or stories. It can simply be that this particular story failed to deliver. Of course if all you can do is complain then maybe you should stop reading the book and find others more to your liking or you will just end up a grumpy old fan (pun intended, but no offence meant) ;-)

“Not to be ghoulish, but if JL #23 had been a flash-forward, showing the Crime Syndicate ruling over a decimated DC-Earth…”

I think you mean “devastated”, not “decimated”. The latter means to reduce something by a tenth.

Δημήτρης Αρναούτης Οικονομάκης

September 1, 2013 at 9:46 am

i love johns work overall but i m tired of these crossover events each summer when eventually nothing happens and there are so many subplots you get tired i mean come on superman dying? hes not gonna die or loose any of his powers in the end as i expected its pretty predictable and repetitive stuff like all new 52 stories with the exception of the leviathan arc(which seemed somewhat out of continuity) and thats why i never even bothered buying or downloading a single issue since the beginning of the event
the outsider is the only pole of interest i liked him in the silver era comics i discovered and adored the flashpoint version of his the alfred being outsider silver era reference excites my inner geek
maaaaybe i ll download the whole story if its available at a low price in the near future :)

It seemed like a whole bunch of nothing happened. A lot of movement and pandering just so we could get the Syndicate in the mix. Lucky for DC, I LOVE the Syndicate. I only read Trinity War because I know I won’t be able to resist Forever Evil.

Conceptually, I love Forever Evil. Very intriguing, although I have to agree with the above column: did they actually SET UP this crossover? Not really, not totally. What that means is the FE #1 will be a bunch of exposition and positioning instead of a headlong rush into action/plot.

I think the hooded prisoner is Earth-3 Luthor who will steal the identity of the real Luthor and convince/deceive the villains of DC-Earth to unite against the Syndicate. At least that’s what I’m hoping cause THAT’D BE DOPE.

Even though I jumped in near the end of this, it is simply not good. I will buy the entire trade and maybe I will change my mind or something — I don’t know.

Wait….isn’t Bruce Banner the Hulk?

Yes, I think the author meant “Wayne,” not “Banner.” Also, I don’t see why it would be Bruce. It’s probably Lex Luthor of E-3, although why they would carry him around I can’t tell you.

I never saw the magic in Geoff Johns’ writing, guys… He never does a story without graphically killing a character along the way and the stories I have read have never been particularly intelligent, either. That’s one of his standard story points. Hasn’t changed since I’ve noticed over 10 years ago.

As for Flash, he’s as responsible as anyone else since Waid’s second Flash run on writing Wally West into a literal dead-end and THEN bringing back Barry Allen in a hamfisted way that makes GL: Rebirth actually make sense!

He’s no Mark Waid/Flash run one, that’s for sure.

And he’s never been the second-coming like some fanboys like to imagine he is.

He’s just good at writing stories for the lowest common denominator and the LCD just happens to make up the majority of fans now. Until the LCD wakes up and realizes what those of us who’ve left comics have realized — that if you keep giving good money for trash, trash is what you will get –, travesties like the 52 are going to continue… and the Johns’s, Lee’s, and Didio’s will keep getting their way at DC and the versions of your favorite characters that you once loved will stay out of new stories that much longer.

The 52 has now invaded the animation universe of DC. The next new DC animated release on home video might be the first movie I skip altogether. I’m just not interested in giving money for adaptations of any of the nuDC garbage. Particularly something like JL which has gone beyond stupid. It’s rewarding the architects of DC’s current mess as I see it.

As long as people keep giving their money out for the newest installment of the “mediocrity 52″, the “usual gang” (DiDio, Lee, Harras and Johns) will stay in charge.

I’m new to comics. I have no clue of Geoff John’s old writing, and I have no idea if trinity war was original I the scope of comics.

With that in mind, I liked the start of TW, the middle was uneventful and a bit boring, and the end was so-so. I would have liked more fighting among the justice leagues, that way, a more weaken group of heroes would have had a harder time fighting the Crime Syndicate. This would have led to a more inventive and strategic way of fighting the bad guys — e.g. perhaps the pairing of heroes that we haven’t seen before (or at least that I haven’t seen).

Who knows? Maybe that is where the story is going…

Brian from Canada

September 2, 2013 at 10:57 am

It’s amazing how many people put down stories they didn’t read because of some negative reviews.

“Trinity War” does actually end: if you look at it objectively, the “Trinity War” was assumed to be the battle between three Justice Leagues. Instead, Xanadu reveals at the end that “Trinity” refers to Earth Three, meaning that the whole battle between Leagues has been a decoy — albeit a big decoy to set up the ramifications at the end. NO roster is going to be unaffected.

Stuff did happen between Justice League issues too. Constantine tried to steal the power of Shazam, which sets up his ability to handle the box (because he’s equally corrupt and hero). ARGUS’ plans were revealed. More of the Crime Syndicate roster was revealed. Pandora killed one of the Sins.

More importantly, for all the haters out there: “Trinity War” was the first introduction in New 52 of many members-to-members. We saw new team ups. We saw different heroes take leadership roles.

As for the questions…

• What was the deal with Doctor Light? Was he just a red herring (remember, a DC-Earth villain would be a hero on Earth-3) to draw suspicion away from the real traitor?

Doctor Light couldn’t be the traitor because he was a later addition to counter Firestorm’s addition. Doctor Light’s real purpose was to be the innocent victim: had it been any other JLAer, save for Stargirl and Vibe, it could have been chalked up to a previous encounter or a victim of the past. But Dr. Light comes in clean, a victim of happenstance, and someone who isn’t trained to defend against the attack.

THEN Doctor Light serves three other purposes: first, his spirit gives Batman’s team a reason to separate from the others, just as Dr. Psycho is the decoy for Superman’s team; second, his being in Heaven removes The Phantom Stranger from the board (supposedly permanently), lessening the heroes’ strength; and, third, his body is used to blow up ARGUS and make them ineffectual against the Crime Syndicate. Belle Reve is easily compromised, leaving Waller with… what? Detroit? And we already saw how poor that facility is.

• Did the Question really see the Crime Syndicate coming, or was he heading down a different path? (And does that make the average DC reader smarter than the Question?) Will we have to wait until Forever Evil #7 — if not the sure-to-follow Question ongoing series — to learn his secret?

The Question doesn’t see anything coming. He’s like The Phantom Stranger in that he’s given a mission but doesn’t know the intended results, just some reward that’s constantly out of reach. The real question is who The Question is getting his questions from: why did The Question lead Superman to Dr. Psycho if it was just a decoy?

• Why was Batman able to carry Pandora’s Box without much angst or other trouble? Was it “powering down” at that point, or is it just Because Batman?

Some are saying he didn’t really touch it. My guess is that Batman is like Constantine: he’s done some things that don’t make him pure any more, like killing or being willing to kill. In fact, the true side of him he showed to The Joker in “Death Of The Family” might indicate that Batman’s fury is more powerful a villainy than the villain’s itself, and that may be recognized by the box as a kindred spirit.

OR there’s the other option: he has no opposite on Earth Three. The box directly affected Superman (Ultraman), Wonder Woman (Superwoman) and Vandal Savage (possibly a member of the resistance on Earth Three). Shazam got affected because the magic can be good or bad, and the shockwaves spread out.

Note that Batman’s on Luthor’s side in the Forever Evil teasers as well.

• Why show Sea King (the evil Aquaman) coming through the dimension door only to have him do a big face-plant? Am I missing some Geoff Johns/Aquaman meta-reference, like he loves classic Aquaman and hates all others?

I think it’s to remove Atlantis from the board and focus on the land combats. Plus, there’s the added factor that it makes the doorway not always successful, suggesting that visits from one planet to another aren’t going to be as easy as a quick 1-2-3.

• Is Bruce [Wayne] the Crime Syndicate’s hooded prisoner? (Actually, I’m betting it’s Earth-3′s Teth-Adam.)
How will the Crime Syndicate “kill” the Leaguers?

“Forever Evil” will answer the latter question, and it’s most likely that the prisoner is Luthor since that’s who the solicitations are focused on. It would also make sense to take the one man who can technologically open a portal away from those who might follow.

• Perhaps most importantly, aren’t Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner and the rest of the entire freaking Green Lantern Corps available to help free DC-Earth from the Crime Syndicate?

As someone already said: read the Lantern books. The Lanterns are going out. The entities within the batteries are gone to die elsewhere, and Relic is approaching to destroy them. Guy is also a Red Lantern now and about to fight Atrocitus, while Kyle’s just witnessed the eradication of the Blue Lantern Corps.

Didio did say that the non-crossover stories occur BEFORE “Forever Evil” and will jump forward after, but I think it would be better to assume that the Lantern story occurs concurrently. The lack of power would also indicate why Hal can’t be reached. Since Simon doesn’t use the ring all that much, he may not be feeling the full affects of the loss yet.

Brian from Canada

September 2, 2013 at 10:58 am

Sorry, forgot to add: the REAL question of the last issue should be…

Why show Andrew Bennett? Sure the final events of I, Vampire happened before this!

Johns never was a great writer. He never had a distinctive voice and a remarkable style.

But his creativity has declined considerably with the New 52.

@Kradeiz
‘I think you mean “devastated”, not “decimated”. The latter means to reduce something by a tenth.’

I think you mean the historical definition meant to reduce something by a tenth now. It’s original meaning has, for a long time, been superseded in common use as a synonym for ‘devastated’. Words evolve over time. For example both moron and idiot were psychological diagnoses…not so much anymore.

I’ve gone from a full-fledged DC fan that was coming to overlook Johns’ flaws because of my affinity for the “world” that existed in the pages of DC Comics to, just recently, ending any involvement I have with the New 52 version and recognizing how much Johns’ strengths are rooted in needing the history and stories of others to riff off of.

The New 52, generally speaking, feels cheap, unearned and in poor taste.

Bahaha, I was about to point out the prescriptivist pedantry but Rich beat me to it. Alas, it wouldn’t be a discussion about comics without some tedious (incorrect) pedantry to liven things up.

And here I was thinking the Justice League title finally had some interesting characters with the Atom and Element Woman. I guess the former was just a means to end. Ah well, so much for that.

I miss me some Wally West.

Leave a Comment

 


Browse the Robot 6 Archives