IT’S DIFFICULT to decide what the ultimate development is emerging from DC Comics “Trinity War,” the epic crossover event taking place on the pages of all three Justice League titles (Justice League, Justice League of America and Justice League Dark).
The top moment could be Superman “killing” Dr. Light and the mystery behind that.
There’s also the fact that the Justice League of America was put together to take down the Justice League, should the JL ever get out of control.
But perhaps the biggest turn to come out of this crossover is the very teaming of two top DC story-men: DC’s CCO Geoff Johns, writer of Justice League and Justice League of America, and Jeff Lemire, writer of Justice League Dark and the very popular “Green Arrow” series).
Comic Riffs caught up with Johns and Lemire to talk about the Trinity War and its impact on DC’s New 52 universe:
David Betancourt: One of the first things to kick off the Trinity War was Superman "killing" Doctor Light. Was it important to establish right away that someone else was behind this, given Superman's moral code?
Geoff Johns: I think it was important for us to start the mystery right away. The how and why. By the end of the first chapter, we wanted all those questions being asked.
DB: How does it feel to finally be able to use the character Pandora — someone who at the beginning of the New 52 [and who] was appearing briefly and discreetly in every title?
GJ: We're both really happy with Trinity War, and we had a lot of fun doing it. It was great to bring her in and finally pay that off. Because there are so many questions around her and the future of the New 52, by turning this into a mystery as much as it was an action story, that really, for us, helps set a tone for bringing [in] Pandora, and the box.
What happened with Superman and Doctor Light? Who's behind it and why? And what is the plan? I think all those things, tying together and using Pandora as the focal point, has been a lot of fun.
Jeff Lemire: Pandora has a title [currently] that Ray Fawke is writing, and I think that's kind of gratifying that we created a story that had enough to it that titles like that can spin out of it.
GJ: Ray is doing a great job [with Pandora].
DB: “Trinity War” showcases all three Justice League teams. When planning this, was this seen as a chance to introduce a particular Justice League team to fans to fans who may not be reading all three teams’ titles?
JL: I think it was a big opportunity for Justice League Dark to get a bigger spotlight. Obviously, the sales on that book weren't anywhere near the sales of the other two Justice League books, but I felt very strongly about the work I'd been doing on the book, and I feel like it was a quality title. For me, obviously it's a great opportunity to bring more readers to that book and introduce those characters to a bunch of people who aren't familiar with them.
GJ: I think vice versa, there are people that shy away from superheroes, people that love Constantine, that read Justice League Dark, and to have them dive into this and see the Justice Leagues, I think it's been great.
DB: So do you assume someone who reads Constantine might not be into capes?
GF: Sure. Absolutely. It goes both ways. But it was a great opportunity. The opportunity on the books was to have the Justice League books actually tie in together. When Jeff first took over Justice League Dark, we were already kind of already using the red room in Justice League, and he had an idea for the black room which would have all these artifacts. We tied Steve Trevor into it.
We really started to try and make the books feel like they lived in the same world, and we were going to build to this to actually have them clash and meet in the same world. I think bringing the three books together and how they coexist, and how these characters react to one another both positively and negatively, was a massive goal for us. On the personal side, it was just great to be able to do a story with Jeff like this. I love his writing and his work. It was great.
JL: Geoff has done a lot of the event stuff before obviously, for years now. I had never done [an event] before. For me to be involved in my first event book, but to have Geoff, with his experience to learn from, was pretty invaluable and a really unique experience that I'm excited about.
DB: Clearly the Justice League and the Justice League of America are dealing with powers that they don't understand. Where does the Justice League Dark fit in Trinity War?
JL: One of the big themes of the whole story is corruption. You have heroes who are good and villains who are evil, and the Dark team ssort of always is somewhere in between those two. Many of the characters already walk that line between good and evil. Everything that's gone on with Pandora's box, we really see how the Dark team reacts to that and where they fit in.
Without spoiling much, a character like Constantine, for example, the corruption of the box may not have a lot of effect on him, because he's already pretty corrupt. He has an advantage there that becomes invaluable to the others.
DB: Has it been fun working on Justice League of America, given that their mission so far is to be there to take down the Justice League if they have to?
GJ: The thing that I really enjoyed about this story line [is that] JLA has a specific reason for existence. And to have that reason for existence be revealed and be dealt with, and happen this quickly, was great, because the team is going to go through quite a change throughout Trinity War, and even greater beyond Forever Evil.
DB: What can readers expect as Trinity War heads towards its conclusion?
GJ: We've already given away that the Crime Syndicate is involved and that Forever Evil is going to start. It's going to essentially be the Crime Syndicate with Lex Luthor rising up to challenge them. There's a lot that happens in both Justice League Dark No. 23 and Justice League No. 23, a lot of surprises and revelations. As one story closes, the mystery of Superman and Doctor Light kind of closes, we open up Trinity War into Forever Evil.
And there's beautiful art by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado. It's one of the most amazing issues I've ever seen them do. And then Mikel Janin and Doug Mahnke on JLA, we've had some of the best artists in the business working on the story. We've been really lucky for that.