The second part of “Trinity War” expands the roster of the creative team involved and also continues to dive into the relationships and confrontations between the two Justice League teams. Geoff Johns welcomes co-writer Jeff Lemire and with Doug Mahnke on art alongside a band of inkers and colorists Gabe Eltaeb and Nathan Eyring onboard as this chapter deals directly with the fallout of Superman’s fateful decision in “Justice League” #22, which ended with the Outsider absorbing the events he has set in motion.
Outsider’s thoughts segue to musings from the third member of the Trinity of Sin: the Question. This is fitting as the issue erupts with questions: how could Superman do this? Why is Steve Trevor leading a team into battle against the Justice League? What is Pandora’s box and who created it? None of these questions find closure in this issue, but they all provide hooks for the reader to latch onto as Geoff Johns and Jeff Lemire construct and reveal relationships between all of the characters present.
Mahnke’s art is detailed and rugged, fitting for the aftermath of a world-changing battle. The clarity of detail varies by inker, but no inker’s style is too overwhelming to mask Mahnke’s character work and storytelling. The artist certainly excels with specific characters — Hawkman and Martian Manhunter among the strongest beneficiaries. Once the Justice League Dark team is drawn into the fray, Mahnke is reunited with Frankenstein and all is right with the comic book world, at least for those panels. On the artistic front, it is worth noting that in Ivan Reis’ montage for the cover (the cover of “Justice League of America” #6 being the middle panel of the triptych) six members of the Justice League of America are prominently featured. That’s a fine bit of craftsmanship.
This issue is filled with questions, limiting the action to the opening scene. There seems to be a lot going on, but nothing really moves forward. I’m not as impressed with the second chapter of “Trinity War,” but it isn’t disappointing. I made a comparison in the feeling of this adventure to that of “Crisis on Infinite Earths” in my review of “Justice League” #22 and there’s still that tinge of excitement and uncertainty in the face of action. The rise of the Question into a prominent role is intriguing as well. I’m holding out hope that the Outsider lives up to the brilliant character that James Robinson created for “Flashpoint,” although he’s been more of a Joker wannabe than an overly original character. “Justice League of America” #6 is a nice coverall chapter in this brand event, but bigger action and more excitement are sure to follow.