“Trinity War” continues this week with the fallout from the terrible events that transpired in Justice League #22!
The first chapter of “Trinity War” threw a lot of information at readers very quickly. Storylines from Justice League and its “Shazam” back-ups, as well as Justice League of America, all collided into a new narrative that will usher in a new era of the DC universe. It was a lot to process.
Fortunately, Johns and Lemire take the chance to slow things down a bit with Justice League of America #6 to flesh out some of the major implications from Justice League #22. First and foremost, we get to see the full extent of the first brawl between the Justice League and the JLA. Vibe sidelines the Flash, Martian Manhunter attempts to peer into Superman’s mind, Hawkman and Aquaman get to silently duke it out, while Batman and Catwoman succumb to their usual awkwardness in the face of a demigod war. It’s a lot of fun to read, partly because there’s been anticipation about this showdown since JLA #1.
Since the beginning of the New 52, fans and critics alike have aired concerns over Wonder Woman’s inconsistent characterization between titles. In the pages of her eponymous series, Diana is caring, intuitive, and practical, while Johns’ depiction of her in Justice League is more akin to her pre-New 52 self—rebellious, confrontational, and aggressive.
In fact, both versions of Diana make sense in their own context. Brian Azzarello’s Diana is less brazen and more collected because she’s in her element—however wonky it’s become—and she feels more confident in her ability to take on the threats presented by the Olympian gods. Johns’ Wonder Woman, on the other hand, is completely out of her comfort zone and compensates by being defensive and standoffish.
The Diana we see in Justice League of America #6 is, in a way, the natural extension to Johns’ depiction: she has absolutely no idea what is going on and she’s taking out her anger and frustration on those she cares about. While I was upset at Diana for lassoing Hephaestus when they had worked together in Wonder Woman, it made sense because she’s hurt and doesn’t know what else to do.
Doug Mahnke’s artwork is phenomenal. I’ve had mixed feelings about his work in the past—mostly some inconsistencies in Green Lantern—but the subtle emotional nuances and body language really helps convey the overall tone of the issue.
Also, the final pages will make you question what you knew about a few characters very much in the forefront of “Trinity War.”
Justice League of America #6 is this issue’s title in spirit only—most of the panel space is taken up by Diana’s personal mission to find out why and how Superman was mentally manipulated into killing Dr. Light. It’s a fun read, but the JLA is barely the focus. I know this is “Trinity War” and the narrative is all-encompassing between the three titles involved, but it would have been nice to see more of the title’s namesake featured.
There’s not a whole lot of war going on this issue. In fact, it’s the opposite; by the middle of the issue, the Justice League and the JLA are working side by side to discover the real threat behind Superman’s freak out. The transition from foe to friend just seemed a bit rushed.
Though “Trinity War” isn’t the most explosive or straightforward crossover event in recent memory, Justice League of America #6 helps build up the suspense and anticipation about why these three Leagues are at odds with one another. Johns and Lemire do a good job of avoiding the “middle issue” syndrome many events suffer from and make this second chapter even more enjoyable than the first.