Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews
Justice League #22
Johns, Reis, Reis & Albert
The Trinity War crossover officially kicks off in this oversized issue. The comic wastes no time as the book ends with the battle that has been brewing in the Justice League books ever since the Justice League of America book launched a few months ago. It's a difficult read to get into and understand but once the pace picks up the comic turns out to be a compelling read. I find myself interested enough to stick with the crossover which is a remarkable achievement considering I don't follow any of the books in the crossover.
One of the biggest problems I have with DC comics is their heavy reliance on continuity. The refusal to give a recap page or a roster rundown can be extremely frustrating to anyone that picks up one of their books blindly. Even post-reboot this problem persists and it is on full display in this comic book.
For the first third of the book I struggled to understand characters, whether it's their names, affiliations or references they make in their dialogue. With not so much as a footnote this is enough to turn away any reader not engulfed in this universe. One of Johns' favorite tricks is to end a page with a phantom dialogue box where the character is revealed on the subsequent page. He does this three times in this book and it's a nice tactic provided the reader recognizes the character that is unveiled, which was not the case for me.
After re-reading the opening pages several times I got my hands around the plot. Basically there is some sort of power box that has unleashed evil on Earth. Some character presents the box to Superman thinking that he is powerful enough to return the evil to the box. He fails and appears to become possessed in the process. At the same time, Shazam flies into a restricted air space area that creates a situation where both Justice Leagues converge.
To be honest, I'm really sure I have the plot down and I really don't know why the battle royal at the end is set up but I do understand what triggers it once they square off. That is the best part of the comic book. There are some shocking elements in the end and it really makes the book take flight.
The art is good. There are some panels that make it difficult to discern what is actually occurring and part of that problem is the lack of familiarity I have with the characters. However, the book is a great looking super hero comic. Especially the fight at the end as it provides a bunch of poster-worthy images. The line work isn't terribly detailed in some spots but it shines when it needs to be. I liked the visuals.
If you are deep into the DCU then this book is going to be a smash hit with you. If you are a newcomer then just read the comic three or four times and ignore the plot holes because at the heart of the book is a very entertaining read. I recommend checking this out because there is a lot to like in here.
4 out of 5 Geek Goggles