Months ago, Geoff Johns promised us the Superman/Wonder Woman relationship was not just the shocking cover kiss or a sprinkle of sugar after a long and laborious new origin story. He said the relationship would not only have ramifications for the Justice League as a whole, but the New 52 and the Trinity War as well.
His crystal ball is right again as, in Justice League #19, Johns presents us with a great team book with iconic characters that are (again?) becoming people we care about and want to read about.
Take the manner in which Supes and Diana take down the big bads in this issue. Novel, to say the least. Then there is the long-awaited cover moment: Team leader Batman confronting the world’s two most powerful beings about their trysting habits. Surely no other singular moment like this one comes closer to delivering on Johns’ promise and on taking us into the beginnings of Trinity War!
The pencils of Ivan Reis were particularly outstanding this issue, giving every nuance to the more serious and emotional section, and the sprightly comedy (welllll …) of new members Firestorm and the female Atom was captured to perfection. Certainly changing these many moods as more League members pour in will be difficult, as the team continues to try to define itself. Even the Bendis-esque talking head section with the Big Three was handled well by the artist, although those twisty-turny panels can make one woozy. (Remember the late, great Gene Colan’s Dr. Strange?)
And then there is Johns and Gary Frank’s consistently excellent Shazam backup. You know, I was really not in favor of such radical changes for the Big Red Cheese and followed the backup only because Johns had said early on it would boomerang back into Justice League.
Well, while readers are still waiting for that, this backup has been one of the most enjoyable ones in the New 52, Threshold’s Larfleeze notwithstanding.
I truly wonder if Johns is where he wants to be now, or if continuity is crawling along to slowly for what he has planned. The grand Jim Lee gatefold of Free Comic Book Day was almost a year ago and, far as I know, Batman doesn’t have Pandora’s Box yet.
So let’s go to war! Trinity War, that is.