While Marvels latest Event is a well put-together, if emotionless, story, DCs latest - Trinity War - is stupid, badly written, and barely makes any sense and is by far the worse of the two.
Trinity War was initially sold as a conflict between the three Justice teams: Justice League, Justice League of America, and Justice League Dark, with the mysterious Pandora somehow caught up in the midst of it all. What the story of Trinity War has become instead is Superman killing Doctor Light, a character whom many might remember with distaste as being the rapist from Identity Crisis and who was rebooted in the New 52 as a family man/scientist who - just before Trinity War kicked off - turned out to have light powers. The Event comics since then have seen the various characters putting aside their differences and looking for a reason why Superman wasnt to blame for killing Light - not quite the storyline readers were expecting and definitely not in a good way.
Part 4 (of 6) sees our heroes continuing to find out who was responsible for making Superman kill Light. Their search leads them to another doctor, Doctor Psycho, a psychic dwarf who was in Kahndaq when Superman did the deed - but its a dead end with the trail pointing, once again, to the Secret Society with everyone asking, once again, what is the Secret Society? Meanwhile Pandora visits Lex Luthor and offers him the box (which looks like a golden version of Hirsts Skull) only to be stopped by Wonder Woman, and the Justice League find out that the Justice League of America were assembled by Amanda Waller to replace the Justice League so they head to Waller for answers.
In a comic where very little happens, its perplexing why it would take two experienced and competent writers - Geoff Johns and Jeff Lemire - to put it together. The Doctor Psycho storyline is a dead end and read like filler - why not bypass him entirely and head straight to finding out about the Secret Society? Or if thats not a storyline ready to be explored, why not look into the Waller-set-us-up storyline? What we get in this comic instead is a whole lot of nothing, just set-up for the next issue.
Another problem with an Event like this that utilises so many characters is the lack of things for those characters to do. Since the big fight in the first couple of issues, the various Justice teams have meshed together with members from each going off in groups - the only problem being only one of the members in the group actually does anything. The others simply loom in the background. And even with the one person in the group doing something, the story still feels very light with little substance behind this Event.
Focusing on the series instead of the Event, Martian Manhunter is the only member of the JLA who gets any real time in this issue and he continues to be a creepy bad guy instead of the hero hes supposed to be. Since his behaviour in his last issues of Stormwatch to his inclusion in the JLA, hes been wiping peoples minds, endorsing torture and other heinous acts, all in the name of protection and the greater good - hes gone from being a heroic character to a green Dick Cheney!
Doug Mahnkes art is generally good but his work in this issue is a bit poor. The smaller scenes look a bit rushed while his bigger panels/page length panels/splash pages look much better if a bit busy with too many (useless) characters crammed in.
With only two issues left before the Event wraps up, its astonishing to think that this - this! - is why DC went through the trouble of putting Pandora into every #1 of the New 52. Its such an underwhelming and poorly thought out Event comic that its amazing not one of the writers on board - and Johns and Lemire are both pretty good at writing comics - thought to create a better storyline than Superman killing some third-tier character barely anyone knows.
Justice League of America is one of the worst titles DC is currently publishing, but Trinity War might be the worst Event comic DC has ever published.
Justice League of America #7 by Geoff Johns, Jeff Lemire, and Doug Mahnke is out now
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