Justice League #20 Review: Prelude to Trinity War

by Jay Mattson
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Who’s ready for “Trinity War”? DC is gearing up for its first major crossover event in the New 52, and this issue is where everything starts coming to a head. The event—which spans across Justice League, Justice League of America, and Justice League Dark, along with some tie-ins—is poised to completely change the landscape of the DCnU, with Geoff Johns at the forefront leading the charge.


JUSTL_Cv20_ds_a0826Geoff Johns is a master planner. His work on Green Lantern over the past decade is a testament to his ability to create a mythos between titles that evolves and interconnects on a level few other writers can achieve. Like the last few issues, Justice League #20 is all about the build-up to this summer’s “Trinity War”—we’re getting clear plot developments that lead directly to a conflict between the three Justice Leagues running around. But unlike DC events of the past, it doesn’t feel forced or overbearing.

First-person narration is a trickytechnique, but Johns pulls it off this issue with RhondaPineda, a.k.a. The Atom, leading readers through her experience fighting one of the League’s oldest and most powerful enemies. Rhonda is already a great character, and Element Woman actually brings some humor to the ‘New 52’, something DC has been lacking recently outside Batman: Li’l Gotham. The showdown with Despero is a great showcase for Gene Ha’s artwork.


Where are Aquaman and Flash during all of this? In past issues, Flash’s absence has been Justice League 20explained away due to his tussle with Gorilla Grodd. It would stand to reason, then, that Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman would also have their own things going on.

Also, the new recruits were invited to the Watchtower for an induction ceremony and the League wasn’t there. Neither Firestorm nor Atom thought to call someone? It’s not often one arrives at a party and the hosts are absent.

VERDICT:Rating4 (4/5) 

Justice League #20 is a fun, fun issue. Despero’s attack, while not entirely explained, is a great way to not only introduce the villain, but also give the ‘new blood’ their first taste of life in the League. It’s hard being a literal keystone for the ‘New 52’ and telling a satisfying, quality story, but Johns pulls it off month after month. This issue is no exception. “Trinity War”, here I come.

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