Ray Fawkes, Renato Guedes
Trinity War Crossover
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
Ray Fawkes proves again that he is one of the top dogs at DC with this tie-in to Trinity War. And he does so with the use of only two characters, both of which are not what I would call A-listers. Hell, I wouldn’t even really call them Justice Leaguers, either. How anyone couldn’t be intrigued by the cover alone shocks me, but for those of you who might have passed on this issue, do yourself a favor and go pick it up before it sells out. Trust me. It’s worth it for the Renato Guedes artwork alone. And Fawkes’ script and story combination make it just that much more enjoyable of a read.
The story is simple. Constantine and young Billy Batson disappeared at the end of this week’s issue of Justice League Dark, which wasn’t written by Ray Fawkes, so it pretty much sucked. But this story did included a plotline that probably should have been in the main crossover sequence, because a lot of potential fans aren’t going to be picking up each and every single tie-in that DC puts out, especially with Forever Evil and Villains Month looming on the horizon. Without ruining too much of the plot, let me just say that John Constantine taking over the power of Shazam! for himself is nothing short of incredible. In fact, I would have loved for this to have been an entire storyline, not just half of an issue. His costume is pretty awesome and the fact that he’s not really a hero (or a villain, when you think about it) is an interesting take on the lack of control that he would inherently have over such raw power. But it doesn’t last long, as I stated before, and Billy takes over again and saves the day, sort of.
All in all, this comic is exactly what all comics, especially from the New 52, should be. It’s pure unadulterated fun. The fact that this issue is just escalation at its finest proves that it’s worth the cover price. The extra bonus of tying into the event (and actually being significantly better-written than this week’s major part) is also pretty great. But I think the greatest strength of this issue is that it really does take advantage of the fact that a lot of its readers this month were just popping in to see how it tied into the big event. And, like me, had no real intention of continuing on with the series. But the cliffhanger ending and reference to a bigger story for good old John Constantine have made me add it to my monthly pull list. So far, I’ve been very impressed with everything I’ve read by Ray Fawkes, whether it be his co-writing with Jeff Lemire (whom I feel should probably just move over and let others take a stab at characters I love that he’s ruining) or his brief stints out on his own. I honestly feel that he’s a better fit as writer for Justice League Dark. Hopefully I’ll get my wish someday. And while I’m at it, maybe it wouldn’t be too much to ask if he was rightfully returned to the helm of Batgirl?
My Rating: 4/5