DC’s premier summer event comes to its thrilling conclusion as questions are answered, status quos change, and new mysteries arise. “Trinity War” ends here!
** SPOILERS AHEAD. THIS IS IT, FOLKS. NO HOLDING BACK! **
It’s hard not to like this issue because it’s the final chapter of a massive crossover event that involves all three Justice Leagues currently operating in the DC universe. Almost literally, there’s something for everyone, whether you like the Justice League proper with its iconic heroes, the Justice League of America with a roster of deadlier heroes, or the Justice League Dark comprised of magically inclined heroes. There are so many heroes running around, most readers are bound to find one of their favorites thrown into the mix. Plus, seeing Jim Lee’s splash page from Free Comic Book Day 2012’s The New 52 #1 updated with context by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado was a treat.
Who is the Outsider that put the Secret Society of Super Villains together in the first place? Why is Superman visibly ill? What is the truth behind Pandora’s box? Who is the true mastermind orchestrating the Trinity War? What comes next? These are the questions that have persisted throughout “Trinity War” that get answered in Justice League #23, and those answers have major implications for the entire DC universe.
Though it only took up a small portion of this issue, Johns’ introduction of the Grid is phenomenal. Before this issue, the Grid was little more than a computer program Cyborg was utilizing to help his supercomputer brain process terabytes of information every second. Now, the Grid is a sentient android that has befriended the Crime Syndicate and removed itself from what’s left of Victor Stone.
There’s a lot of information to process throughout these pages. When there’s a major revelation every four to six pages, it’s hard to truly understand what happened only a few pages prior. For those who are reviewing this issue, reading an issue two to three times before writing about it is common, but for casual readers, it could be difficult to actually comprehend what’s going on in Justice League #23 without at least rereading certain pages to check for clarity.
The (arguably) biggest reveal this issue—that the Crime Syndicate from Earth 3 will act as the major adversary in Forever Evil—was announced over a week ago, taking away from the power of that splash page featuring Ultraman, Super Woman, Power Ring, Owlman, Deathstorm, and Johnny Quick escaping from their own doomed reality. Because we knew what was coming, this whole sequence almost fell flat.
For all the questions answered, or at the very least addressed, there was one that seemingly went neglected: What did the Trinity of Sin have to do with any of this? The Phantom Stranger is dead, the Question barely made a mark on this event outside a few choice alliances, and the very nature of Pandora’s box is drastically different than anyone ever imagined, which basically makes Pandora a moot point.
Though not a perfect ending, Justice League #23 is definitely one of the most fun issues of the entire “Trinity War” story. Like almost all comic book crossovers, for every question answered, new questions arise to take their place.