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Justice League of America #7 – Review: Trinity War, Part Four

“Trinity War”, the six-issue crossover prelude to “Forever Evil”, has ran riot across the Justice League titles. Thankfully enough it has already reached and past by the midway point, with this issue marking the first of the second half. The previous issue of Justice League of America (#6 to be exact) was the most consistent chapter of ‘Trinity War” so far, but can lightning strike a second time within the pages of JLA #7?

The sad truth is that, while JLA is still forging its path as the best of the three main JL books, this issue is a down step from it’s predecessor. While the former was able to balance at least the base qualities of team work, character dynamics, and bombastic character moments (all while advancing the plot) – this month’s issue falls flat in almost every one of those same categories. It doesn’t feel like anything is moving forward or any great plot is culminating with the heroes or the primary villains respectively. Instead it all feels like the writers, Geoff Johns and Jeff Lemire, are stalling for time and padding out the issue, or in some cases, moving things a step backward.

There are perhaps only two noteworthy positive aspects of this issue, writing wise, at least. One of which is something that has carried over from last month’s JLA – the idea that these heroes can work together. It’s still a very reasonable way to go while other events have them go at each other without rhyme or reason and the inclusion is appreciated, but more on that later on. The second aspect is, one again, the character moments but with out stand out addition – Lex Luthor.

Vibe, The Flash, and even Simon Baz get trotted out and do have some humorous/touching little scenes (a JLA specialty). What makes Luthor special is that not only is it Johns returning to one of his best characters to write, but it’s also one of the first calling card to “Forever Evil” wherein Luthor is the protagonist. There's certainly not a lot that Luthor is given to do in this issue, but it shows that Johns still has a fine grasp on the character and the promise of more definitely becomes tangible within his little narrative boxes.

So, while all of that is well and good, what drags JLA #7 down is once again the enforced need to fit in with “Trinity War” and things get taken one more step back. The culmination of this issue firmly brings things back to square one, which was itself not that great a square, with the members of the various Justice Leagues once again drawn into inner conflict. By giant strokes of mischaracterization and plot convenience nothing in the last two issues of the overall “Trinity War” crossover seem to have mattered now that things are “back on track”.

If it wasn’t enough that readers now have to sit through yet another “hero vs. hero” set up, even though we’ve already gotten past one, but the way that pieces are falling into place – it’s too simple. It just makes this plot feel cheap and easy, that it did not need to be six issues and span three different titles. For all that it is worth “Trinity War” has been a plodding, dragging, mess of a story and I’m getting more and more interested in its follow-up every second. The only saving grace until then, besides the cute quips, is Mahnke's art which will thankfully stay on indefinitely.



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