‘Trinity War’: Preview Lemire and Janin’s ‘Justice League Dark’ 23

Aug. 17, 2013 | 2:48 p.m.

DC Comics’ “Trinity War” is barreling toward its conclusion, and the Justice Leagues’ destruction could be sealed in the time it takes to say “Shazam.”

“Justice League Dark” No. 23, Part 5 of “Trinity War,” by writer Jeff Lemire and artist Mikel Janin, is out Wednesday, and picks up where Part 4 (“Justice League of America” No. 7) left off — with the potentially cataclysmic Pandora’s Box in Wonder Woman’s hands and exerting its wicked influence on her.

As Hero Complex readers can see in the exclusive preview pages below, she doesn’t hold onto it for long.

Cover | Page 1 | Pages 2-3 | Pages 4-5 | Variant Cover | Variant Cover

Shazam, the magic-powered superhero who transforms from the young Billy Batson with a word, has been a key figure in the conflict from its beginning. Recall that in the first chapter of “Trinity War,” the clairvoyant Madame Xanadu foresaw that he would start it — and his going to Kahndaq led to the confrontation in which Superman, under some unknown influence, killed Doctor Light, beginning a chain reaction that has splintered and rearranged the three Justice League teams.

A variant cover for "Justice League Dark" No. 23. (Mikel Janin / DC Comics)

A variant cover for “Justice League Dark” No. 23. (Mikel Janin / DC Comics)

Now that he has the box, could Shazam be the one who brings about the destruction in Xanadu’s visions?

In “Constantine” No. 5, a “Trinity War” tie-in issue, the titular con man / magician, who also has a sense that Shazam could be trouble for everyone, calls the box a “global bomb” and warns Billy: “Don’t touch it, kid. You’ll think you’re doing the right thing, but you’ll only light the fuse.” That advice, from a man who had just kidnapped him and briefly stolen Shazam’s power, was not taken seriously.

The summer crossover event’s finale arrives with “Justice League” No. 23 on Aug. 28.

It all leads into DC Comics’ first universe-spanning event since its New 52 relaunch in September 2011: “Forever Evil.” That No. 1 lands Sept. 4, and the DCU’s villains will temporarily take over all the line’s titles in what’s being proclaimed Villains Month. (They’re also the subject of an upcoming documentary.)

At the “Trinity War” panel at San Diego’s Comic-Con International last month, “Justice League” and “JLA” writer Geoff Johns, who co-plotted the saga with Lemire, said that by the end of the summer crossover, “every thread we’ve set up in the New 52 since the beginning will be tied up as we go into ‘Forever Evil.’ You’ll see a lot of big reveals …. We’re really going to take it to the next level, the next phase of the New 52.”

– Blake Hennon | @BlakeHennon

RECENT AND RELATED:

"Trinity of Sin: Pandora" No. 1, written by Ray Fawkes with interior art by Daniel Sampere, is out Wednesday and is a prelude to "Trinity War." Cover art by Ryan Sook. (DC Comics)Geoff Johns, Jeff Lemire, Ray Fawkes march into ‘Trinity War’

‘Trinity War’: Reis, Mahnke, Janin draw Justice Leagues into battle

‘Trinity War’: Ray Fawkes opens up the box on ‘Pandora’ No. 1

Geoff Johns heads to ‘Trinity War’

DC Villains Month: Greg Pak on Darkseid

Shazam: Geoff Johns looks for new magic

‘American Vampire’ artist sinks teeth into Jeff Lemire’s ‘Animal Man’

Jeff Lemire on a ‘street-level’ Green Arrow

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