New 52 – Justice League #22 review

Trinity War begins and after two years of hype this better be good!

Note: If you want to know the full Trinity War reading list, I made one and you can read it by clicking HERE.

Well, I can say that Justice League #22 is definitely an important comic to read if you’re a DC fan and it’s definitely a lot to take in. Geoff Johns crammed as much as possible into this issue and a great deal of it is fan-service and setup for future chapters.

The first half of the comic is rather exposition heavy in order to help out those readers who never thumbed through the Trinity War prologue comics or the Shazam origin. Then the second half of the book is crowded with a pretty large portion of the DC Universe duking it out. Yes, that’s right, the fisticuffs are not put off until a later chapter! If you’re a fan of big action that features all of your favorite heroes beating the crap out of each other then this issue will probably be a 10/10 for you.

I honestly don’t know what more to tell you because anything I say would be a pretty big spoiler. I think that if you’re even the slightest bit interested in this comic– and you should be– then you should pick it up. Don’t worry about the Pandora #1 prologue (I reviewed that, by the way), this is really all you’ll need. All it requires is a basic understanding of who these characters are and, really, the more you know about what’s been happening in the JLA series the better. I can’t stress that enough. JLA #1-5 play an extraordinarily large part in all of this. You won’t be lost for having not read that series, but you will enjoy this book far more if you’re in the know. And if you have been reading JLA #1-5 and you’ve enjoyed that then Justice League #22 is an absolute must buy. There are some big revelations regarding who the JLA’s main storyline.

The downside of this book, for me, was that the pacing felt a bit off what with so much happening all at once and so many characters to keep track of. The speech on the final page was also very unnatural and basically just served as a way to spell out exactly what just happened so nobody is confused.

It was awfully mustache-twirly/Saturday Morning Cartoon, wasn’t it? Still, what are your thoughts on who the villain is? The Outsider! A villain who was originally introduced in a 1960’s Batman story in which Alfred Pennyworth had been experimented on and gone rogue. More recently, the character was reinvented during the Flashpoint event as an evil businessman with unknown powers.
And, lastly, there was a confrontation between a couple of heroes that I think could have gone better and was definitely done as action for action’s sake.
I’m talking about the initial fight between Superman and Shazam. Supes couldn’t have just swooped in and asked Shazam what he was doing? He has Supervision and Super hearing. He can see that Shazam isn’t doing anything nefarious, he can even look INSIDE the urn from 1000 miles away and see that it’s just ash inside. And Shazam is even eulogizing out loud so Superman would be able to hear him too. Why did he have to collide with Billy first thing? Perhaps its because Superman isn’t really himself after touching the box?
With so much going on I don’t really want to pick apart the plot too much until things are fully explained in future chapters.

The highlights are that we finally get some answers (not so much in the, what’s with the box? Who left it in the forest for Pandora to find in the first place? department), the artwork by Ivan Reis is stellar and he also did a great job of capturing Gary Frank’s look for Shazam, and it’s a comic that’s rich in content worth discussing. And not just discussing, but arguing over. I imagine there will be quite a few heated debates over what transpired in the battle scene, the role of the Trinity of Sin, and more.

(I’m gonna give a Man of Steel spoiler in this spoiler) The murder committed by Superman will be the hottest topic, but the Snidley Whiplash moment at the end with Outsider seemed to show that Johns was going out of his way to make it clear it wasn’t Superman’s fault. He’s not truly in control of his powers right now. If Superman really is possessed then I don’t think it’s as big of a deal as what happened in Man of Steel, but only time will tell. I also think that this issue created enormous potential for Dr. Light as a villain in the future. After what Waller said about wiping the mind of Light’s wife it got me thinking that maybe Light will be resurrected only to find that his wife doesn’t remember him anymore (why not just remove all memory of her husband so that she never questions his disappearance). Not only is he angry with Superman for killing him but the JLA for taking his wife away from him. Just a thought. Also, I think it would’ve been a more powerful moment had Superman killed off someone that hadn’t just been introduced to the New 52 like 2 issues ago. Light’s barely even had a chance to speak to the other characters.


You’ll have to read Justice League #22 more than once to full appreciate the enormity of what all is going on and that’s a good thing. Geoff Johns not only throws a lot of plot into these pages and answers some important questions left over from the JLA series but he also brings a tremendous amount of action to the table (as well as a full deck of tarot cards). However, the plot points can all be a bit overwhelming, as can the incredibly large cast of characters and the action can come off as fan-service. But in the end I think it’s a pretty ambitious comic that will give fans plenty to discuss, argue, and get excited about. I recommend it.

SCORE: 8.5/10