Trinity War comic review
Now yes, I did review parts 1 and 2 separately on this blog. The reason I didn't cover 3-6 separately was because nothing really happened in this even until the end of part 5. So I figured I would lump a big review talking about the event as a whole. So yes, a few points from my first 2 reviews will be present here, but this is a comprehensive review.
Back in 2011, DC comics relaunched their entire comic universe, almost a starting over point for their characters, minus a few exceptions. Since the events that reset the DC universe, there hasn't been a big event that effects almost all of the characters. Well, that kind of event is here. The trinity war is here, and boy let me tell you, .....eh.
This story has been hyped up for over a year now, saying that the 3 Justice Leagues: Justice League, Justice League of America and Justice League Dark, would fight each other for Pandora's Box and the fate of their universe. There are also a trinity of mystical beings involved: The Phantom Stranger, The Question and Pandora herself. These 3 help the League accomplish their own goals, which revolve around Pandora's Box. However, their presence isn't that big of a deal honestly.
Also, for records sake, here are the members of each league:
Justice League: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, Cyborg, Firestorm, Element Woman, The Atom (more on that later.) and Zatana
Justice League of America: Col. Steve Trevor, Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern (Simon Baz), Hawkman, Vibe, Stargirl, Catwoman, Katana and new member, Doctor Light
Justice League Dark: Constantine, Madame Xandu, Deadman and Frankenstein, (another member later who is just kinda there whose name escapes me.)
The war starts in a far off middle eastern country. Superman and Wonder Woman are debating whether they should go farther with protecting the planet (this goes nowhere) after meeting Pandora, when Shazam shows up. Shazam is a magical superhero not associated with any League. Superman, Batman and the rest of their League confront Shazam as to his presence in the foreign nation. He is just trying to help. However, Amanda Waller, big government figure who assembled the Justice League of America to specifically take down the Justice League, sends the JLA to this nation to finally engage their true target. Then, Superman kills Doctor Light, which he claims is an accident. The war is now on.
The Leagues clash for a little bit, it is glorious, until Superman starts losing control and the fighting stops, very suddenly. Superman is sick, and Pandora's box needs to be figured out. Now it's what I like to call a messy scramble. Because nothing really happens other than Wonder Woman asking Justice League Dark for their help with the box. Then a whole bunch of little things happen that don't really equal up to much. The Question breaks out Superman and they gather a bunch of heroes to scramble around and do nothing, Wonder Woman and Pandora takes a group of heroes in search of someone to handle the box, this goes nowhere, and Batman and The Phantom Stranger go on a spiritual journey that does nothing but off the Phantom Stranger...kinda...sorta...but the plot line was pointless. I'd say parts 3, 4 and most of 5 were merely pointless other than filler, because nothing happened. Nobody fought, during ya know, Trinity war, there was very little fighting believe it or not. Then, in part 5, Shazam grabs the box, and for whatever reason, calls apon is magic and strikes a magical blast that turns his costume black, and affects several magical characters through the DC Universe including Swamp Thing, Demon Knight, Andrew from I,Vampire and Doctor Fate from Earth 2 (a completely different universe). It is a very cool and big moment, but we have no idea what the results are. How are these characters affected? Will they be involved somehow after the war? Nothing is explained. Then, the mysterious pale man reveals to our heroes he has orchestrated this whole thing, and that Pandora's Box hides the power he seeks, and it is not what you expect.
Part 6, the finale, is too short. It the 3 Leagues are at war with each other again, this time with JLD as well. All 3 Leagues clash and it is beautiful. it is exactly what I had been waiting for this whole event, and it is over far too soon. Then, all of the plot twists come up. I dare not spoil here, but I'll glance over what I can. There is a member amongst the Leagues who truly works for the real evil behind this whole event. It's a character nobody liked to begin with, and after her reveal, due to how much you hate her, and how her facial expressions are drawn, you will absolutely loathe this character. Like to the point you want her dead by the time Forever Evil (the next event), comes out. There is also a big character death. It is shocking, painful to watch, and did I mention shocking? Honestly, the splash page is beautiful and disgusting all at the same time. My jaw dropped. Then there is the villain reveal. The masterminds behind this whole thing, and who the problem will be in Forever Evil. If you managed to avoid the spoilers and reveals prior to the release of the finale, the plot twist is pretty shocking. They are completely out of left field and you would never expect it. It'll be interesting. Then...it's over. It turns out this was just a giant prequel to the event, Forever Evil that launches on September 4th.
What a disappointment. The 2 elements that would've made this event incredible, lots of big fights between these characters and a satisfying ending claiming to do what the event promised "The death of the Justice League", are not present here. There are only 2 big fights, the Justice League Dark is only in 1, and they are over far too quickly. It would be ok if the story surrounding it was a big deal, like in Marvel's Civil War, but the story in this event is small with not too much going on until the finale, then it's cut short and we have to wait for the fallout. It is a big let down quite honestly, and I expected a lot more from this event.
However, everything is not bad. As I mentioned, the beginning and end of the event had a lot going on, and it was filled with great and shocking moments. Another thing that worked was a lot of the characterizations here. Sure, most of it was small, and most of these awesome characters were pushed to the side for Superman, Wonder Woman, Constantine and a couple others, but a lot of characters received attention. Superman is sick this entire event, so a lot of spotlight was on him, but he had a couple of strong moments. Pandora's Box was awakening the inner feelings and motivations of characters, in evil ways of course, but interesting drama none-the-less. Superman admitted he wanted to share this life with Wonder Woman, but then he wanted to kill Batman, so it's a mix there. Wonder Woman, I did not like during this event. Someone needs to knock her off her high horse, because the DC Universe does not revolve around her. Other than that, nothing worth mentioning.
Ivan Reis did most of the art for the event, he did the important parts anyways. I've mentioned this in the past, but Reis' art is a mixed batch for me. He handles grand action and big battle scenes VERY well. He has practically mastered this, and only a few artists can compare or top him. However, I hate Reis' faces. Honestly, they are so bad in my opinion it's almost a deal breaker for me. Honestly, they don't look ridiculous or anything, but I just don't like how he handles them, especially Wonder Woman and the Atom. They are so bad. Sure there a re a few exceptions, he draws Batman and Constantine well. The Question also looks amazing, because he has no face for Reis to draw. I do like Reis' art, but the faces are just bad in my opinion.
Overall, Trinity War is not a bad story, but it is just a massive let down. There was hardly any "War", and the story ended too soon. Maybe if they put more plot twists in parts 4 and 5, then 6 were the fallout, maybe seeing these things happen, it would be better. Instead, the middle of this story is just filler. There are a couple of twists worth the read in here, and this will be essential reading for what's to come for the DC Universe as Forever Evil is almost here. I just wished it were handled better. So, yes I recommend Trinity War because the moments that are great are really great, and this is the start of establishing the new status quo at DC. If you can read it soon, read it, especially before Forever Evil, which will hopefully be better.
I give Trinity War an explosive 3 out of 5.
And remember comic fans, "Evil is relative."