Trinity War Correspondence, Week Two: Superman Re-Chained [SPOILERS]
When we last left our heroes of the Justice League and the Justice League of America in Justice League #22 — the initial chapter of the Trinity War crossover between DC Comics’ three Justice League titles (and a few other tie-in comics) — the two Leagues were facing off over a literal line in the sand in the deserts of Khandaq. And then stuff got real, when Superman heat-visioned Dr. Light’s face clean off, killing the newest recruit to the JLA in the process. That act was like a bell ringing at a boxing match, and so everyone came out of their respective corners fighting (Except for Shazam, who was sitting in a hole in the sand, watching the two Leagues fight all around him). And that’s where we pick up in Trinity War’s second chapter.
Justice League of America #6
Written by Geoff Johns and Jeff Lemire
Art by Doug Mahnke, Christian Alamy, Keith Champagne, Tom Nguyen, Gabe Eltaeb and Nathan Eyring
Actually, before we return to the hot League on League action, we check in with the mysterious pale figure who is most likely called The Outsider, who is playing with his coin; and The Question, who is narrating a bit about himself to us. The former appears to be looking at a bunch of photographs of various members of his Society.
These look a bit like headshots the villains may have submitted to their agents, in the hopes of landing gigs in future Warner Bros. movies based on DC Comics (The Scarecrow’s headshot looks a lot like his appearance in Batman Begins, for example), or perhaps these are the results of their senior yearbook picture shoot.
Back in Khandaq, Shazam climbs out of his hole and everyone fights. You know this is going to be an epic story because the opening splash pages feature who’s who headshots of the rosters of the two teams, with poor Shazam just kind of floating around in the middle, no team of his own:
As for the fighting, some of the matches going pretty much as you’d expect, like Wonder Woman kicking Katana like a soccer ball…
Others have slightly more surprising outcomes, like Vibe vibrating The Flash so hard he makes him say “AAAKkZzz!!”
(It probably helped that Flash was standing still at the time).
The fight only ends when Superman beats everyone by shouting “Stop this right now! And lock me up!” while punching the round so hard everyone gets tossed up in the air.
They all comply, and soon JLA leader Colonel Steve Trevor and his boss Amanda Waller are arguing in her office over whether Superman’s accidental super-slaying could be turned to their advantage. Most of the various Leaguers convene in the A.R.G.U.S. medial wing for check-ups and to display a character trait or two (Hawkman is totally hardcore, Shazam is a grown man with the vocabulary and attitude of an annoying child, etc.), and Superman is locked-up in some kind of weird sci-fi chair with a heavy-duty visor over his deadly eyes and shackles on him. He’s also picked up a cough.
Batman and Wonder Woman enter his cell for an ad hoc meeting of “The Trinity” of heroes, but it doesn’t go very well, with Wonder Woman blaming Superman’s brief exposure to the Pandora’s skull-box for the friendly fire incident, while Batman’s all like, “Pandora? Mythology? Pfft. Whatever, Di.” (to paraphrase slightly).
So Wondy flies off looking for answers, garroting her half-brother Hephaestus from behind with her lasso of truth and demanding to know what he knows about Pandora’s Box, as she assumes he forged it. Getting just vague warnings about how dangerous the box is and how its magic and power predates and excels that of the Olympian gods, Wonder Woman next flies off to the only other Justice League not yet involved: The Justice League Dark, who are busy investigating the apparent death of Madame Xanadu, whose shop got blown up with her inside in the previous chapter (Good news, Madame Xanadu fans! They haven’t found her body and no body means no death!).
Finally, Superman gets another visitor while he’s looking quite rough. In addition to that nasty cough, he’s starting to turn gray and his neck veins are protruding, and not in a lifts-too-many-weights kinda way. (Hmm, could this have something to do with Waller asking Firestorm if he had the power to create Kryptonite back on page 12?) .
And who is this mysterious visitor? Only the most mysterious character in the series so far, the one so mysterious even he doesn’t know his true identity or his true face: The Question! As his disguise melts away, he poses a question to the ailing Man of Steel: “Do you want to find out who really killed Doctor Light?”
We can’t speak for Superman, of course, but we sure want to know, and we should get our chance next week when Trinity War continues and, not incidentally, so does our Trinity War Correspondence.