How come everytime there's a bloody comic book crossover event, somebody always ends up snuffing it? Oh! Wait a minute. I know what I can do. I can ask Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis for the reasons why. But not in front of DC Comics in June, 2013. No. That'll be rude. 

Using GENERAL terms, answer the following 4 questions about this FIRST PART of 'Trinity War'.
  • WHAT'S THE MAIN THRUST OF THIS TALE: When a mysterious lady goes to Madame Xanadu for a tarot card reading, at every flip of the fold she slowly uncovers a mysterious plot where the Justice League, the Justice League of America, and Captain Marvel, all inadvertently cause the end of the world.
  • ARE THE MAIN OBJECTIVES ACHIEVED: Ha! Fat chance. Although things do go from bad to worse when a hero is killed by one of their own.
  • ANYTHING ELSE HAPPEN: Yes. A couple of things actually. Doctor Light has a brief tenure in the JLA, plus The Question, Pandora, and The Phantom Stranger, one by one, step into the fray.  
  • HOW DOES THIS STORY END: With 'The Outsider' smiling in the wake of Xanadu going boom!

All in all, what is the most memorable SENTENCE OR CONVERSATION spoken in this issue?
As much as I loved that scene where each member of the JLA commented on their own prospective battles, what I enjoyed even more, was when Doctor Light said such things as...

- 'The Justice League saved the world countless times. The JLA should be there to help them'. 

- 'The last thing I want to do is hurt kids'.

... because stuff like this does humanise him quite a bit.

What are the BEST bits about this issue?
(+) Normally I'm not too thrilled about an adventure with more than one artist on it, as on occasion this sort of thing can take me out of the overall storyline, causing me to curse DC for not planning their titles more professionally. But in this case though -- nah -- I didn't give a toss. Both Ivan, Joe, and Oclair, excelled themselves on pencils and inks respectively, making the splash-pages more splashier, and the panelled-pages more detailed.
(+) Now I did get a right kick out of Doctor Light in this issue. Compared to the previous version of this character, Arthur did come across a lot more humane and associative by nature. Not having that 'being a villain for villains sake' way about him.
(+) OK. All of you who hate a lot of superheroes in a single story put up your hands. Oh! Not that many. Good. Otherwise I would've had to call you a right numpty, before informing you that in this particular instance 'more' was much grander, more colourful, and blooming marvellous in tone.  
(+) I thought that the Madame Xanadu 'tarot card reading' plot device was a very interesting way of conveying this particularly fractured instalment. Conceptually this form of stylisation was its saving grace, because it allowed its topsy turvy like structure to play out at every turn of a card.  
(+) Who did you like seeing more out of The Question, Pandora, The Phantom Stranger, or The Outsider? Me, I liked The Outsider myself. Back in the day this villain was none other than Batman's butler, Alfred Pennyworth, who was brought back from the dead by external forces. Now please don't get me wrong. I did enjoy seeing the other characters I mentioned. Of course. Yet for yours truly, this one intrigued me the most.  

What are the WORST bits about this issue?
(-) Personally speaking, I wasn't a big fan of how Superman was depicted in this tale at all. That scene where he was temporarily possessed by 'The Sins' appeared very fleeting in execution. Plus as for that part where he killed... coff-coff... well? No. Not buying it myself. It felt like an excuse to make matters even worse.
(-) Another thing about this story I wasn't too keen on was how it was packed to the hilt with 'stuff going on'. Again. Don't get me wrong, folks. I never mind reading a book that's 'all over the place' structurally. It's just that sometimes too much is too much, giving the complete package a bogged down temperament in content overload.

Choose TWO CHARACTERS out of this comic book, and then compare them to SOMETHING YOU CAN BUY ON EBAY .
A PACK OF TAROT CARDS AS MADAM XANADU: The first thing that always springs to mind when I'm thinking of about this pretty-mystic, are her tiiiii... errr... tarot cards. So guess what I'm going to compare her to here, buddy? Yep. That's correct. With that, you'll win ten imaginary bonus points and a pat on the back. Good job.

A JACK IN THE BOX AS PANDORA: Is it just me, or does this hood-wearing gal remind you of a Jack in the box? Popping up all over the place, with a surprise in toe!

What QUOTE would be appropriate to sum-up this story?
'Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation' -- Viktor E. Frankl

What SONG, THEME-TUNE, or MELODY, would complement this tale, as well as add and extra dimension to it by default?
'WHAT'S GOING ON' BY MARVIN GAYE: Heaven to Betsy! Both Marvin and me were on exactly the same page during certain scenes depicted in this comic book. Well, I mean 'What's going on'? Moreover, this song and this story are both about a unity of sorts. Think about it.  

Get ready for the battle of the Leagues, fight fans. DING-DING! In the red corner, weighing in at 5 issues, are the Justice League of America. YAHHHHOOOOO!!!!! (tm). Whilst in the blue corner, weighing in at 22 issues, are the Justice League. GOOOOOOGLEEEEEE!!!!! (tm). 

But who do you think will win each battle, huh? Could it possibly be...

  • Batman Vs Green Arrow -- No contest. Bruce will kick Ollie's beard back onto his face again.
  • Superman Vs the Martian Manhunter --  Ouch! That's a tough one. Clark has the physical advantage, but J'onn has the mental advantage. Draw.
  • Flash Vs Vibe -- Ha! It's got to be the Flash, doesn't it? He has the experience and the knowledge under his belt.
  • Cyborg Vs Star Spangled Kid -- Hmm. This is another toughie. Victor has the savvy, yet Courtney has the pluck. Another draw I'd say.
  • Hawkman Vs Aquaman -- Birds eat fish, don't they? So in my book I'd put my bucks on the one with the feathers.
  • Wonder Woman Vs Katana -- At a touch I'd surmise Diana would win this joust, due to the fact she's one tough mama.

OK. So that's my pick of the crop, folks. Do you think I'm right? Do you think I'm wrong? Or do you think I'm talking out of my butt? Well, whatever you think, tough bananas. All I have left to say is that this issue of the 'Justice League' was way-way above average. The art was amazing. The story was lop-sided. And the only thing letting it down was its content overload.

Nuff said.

JUSTICE LEAGUE #22 JUSTICE LEAGUE #22 Reviewed by David Andrews on July 25, 2013 Rating: 5
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