Justice League Dark #23 Review: Trinity War, Part Five

Justice League #23

Trinity War: Chapter Five

Writer: Jeff Lemire

Art by: Mikel Janin (pencils) and Jeromy Cox (colors)

The shocking truth behind Pandora’s box is finally revealed! As Wonder Woman’s team fights for control of the box, Superman’s team confronts Amanda Waller about her lies and deception. Deadman leads Batman and his team to rescue Madame Xanadu. Every single moment in this book was exciting! Answers are finally starting to outnumber the questions. Jeff Lemire, Mikel Janin, and Jeromy Cox delivered a powerful climax that sets up the story for its inevitably epic ending.

In the previous issue, Wonder Woman’s search for Pandora leads her to Lex Luthor’s jail cell. Pandora believes Lex is strong enough to resist the box’s corruption. In a struggle, Wonder Woman obtains the box and is corrupted the same way Superman was. In Trinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger #11, The Phantom Stranger leads Batman and his team into heaven to find Doctor Light. After failing to determine Superman’s guilt, they are sent back to Earth and discover that The Phantom Stranger was destroyed by Zauriel. Superman and his team believed that someone was controlling his mind and hunt down Doctor Psycho. They discover the Secret Society used him as a decoy. Before returning to A.R.G.U.S., the Atom confesses the truth about the Justice League of America and Amanda Waller. When they return, the Secret Society uses Doctor Light’s body as a bomb and destroys A.R.G.U.S.

I’m no fan of Amanda Waller and consequently not one of A.R.G.U.S. either. I want them to receive their comeuppance at the end of this arc. As a matter of fact, I am eagerly awaiting this to happen. Waller is your typical paranoid, “eager to go to war” US politician that makes A.R.G.U.S. operate like a villainous operation. Conversely, they both are great elements for the DC Universe. As much as I dislike them, I can’t imagine Justice League of America or Trinity War without them. DC books are all about the superheroes, their powers and their fight against evil. Brining in a few political elements certainly goes a long way to ground these stories in reality and highlight some of the consequences to the superheroes’ battles. However, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Superman and his team confront Waller. She had it coming and I’m glad Lemire executed this scene perfectly.

Constantine’s return to the story –after his near death experience in Constantine #6– was one of the best moments in the book. After Wonder Woman’s team fights over Pandora’s box, it became apparent that the box corrupted every person that touched it. But, when Constantine picked it up nothing happened. He was already too corrupted for the box to corrupt him further! It was a brilliant use of character. Another shocking moment was when Shazam had the box and it caused a massive “shock wave” through the magical plains in all the universes. It affected Deadman, Swamp Thing, Animal Man, Andrew Bennett, Amethyst, Etrigan and even Doctor Fate in Earth 2! I’m not entirely certain of the time period that panel occurs, but it looks like it was when Doctor Fate, The Flash and Hawkgirl were in Nabu’s realm. I could be mistaken, but it’s awesome either way. Great to see Earth 2 make any kind of appearance in Prime-Earth. It’s curious that half of the characters featured on the page are from series that were canceled.

There isn’t enough good things to say about how perfectly executed this book was. The opening page was a wonderful recap, the battles were thrilling, dialogue tight and natural and the overall flow was consistent. If he was hitting plot points, I didn’t notice. It’s been the same way for every book in this event. Equal praise needs to be given to Mikel Janin and Jeromy Cox. The art in this book is just phenomenal. These men are talented. They can take Lemire’s words and translate them into something that looks so good on the page that I can easily imagine it moving along as if it were animated. All three of these men have a successful future ahead of them and I am glad they are playing such an important role in shaping the stories at DC.

How do I even begin wrapping up this review? This book was amazing and easily my favorite of the week. I made a few predictions about what’s going to happen at the conclusion of this event and so far so good on those. It doesn’t look like Shazam will be the one opening the box, but I am still holding firm that all the superheroes of Prime-Earth will be trapped/transported by the box. Thankfully, the wait will be over in a week. I doubt I need to remind anyone to catch Trinity War’s finale in Justice League #23.

Review score: 7 (of 7)

Frank Fuentes

Frank is a self admitted DC fanboy living in Seattle, WA. He's currently a Computer Science student with aspirations of working in the game industry one day. When he's not writing reviews for the site, he spends his free time absorbed in all kinds of geekery: video games, comic books & technology. For more of his geekery, follow him on Twitter (@cizco) or visit his site at Francizco.com.

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