DC Trinity War Part Two: Is evil an external or internal force?

(Spoilers Ahead, Ye Be Warned….)

On Wednesday, Justice League of America # 6 came out as part two of the DC Universe wide story, The Trinity War. If you remember, I reviewed the first issue and loved every panel. Perfect set up. Perfect characters. Draw dropping art work. And, deep theological questions.

So, does JLA #6 keep it up?

Without a doubt.

When we last left The Trinity War, Superman killed a member of the JLA, the two Justice Leagues fought and Pandora wanted to get rid of human sin on her own. She opened a mysterious box and allowed the seven deadly sins into the world. And in Trinity War One, she let Superman open it. Needless to say, it messed him up.  Behind all this, The Question, a member of The Trinity of Sin (The Question, The Phantom Stranger, and Pandora) is looking for an answer to a troubling problem: Who is the evil behind the evil?

This issue opens up with the consequences of Superman’s actions; Both Leagues are fighting with each other. Finally, Supes screams out for them to stop and begs them to take him into custody. His grief is profound as he realizes what he’s done. Both Leagues know the only thing to do is to take the Man of Steel into A.R.G.U.S. headquarters.

As members of the Justice League and JLA come to grips with what happened, Batman and Wonder Woman visit Superman in captivity. They watch as he grieves, and much to their alarm, coughs. Supes coughing is a big deal, needless to say. They both discuss how it might have happened and it illustrates their different points of view. In this conversation, writer Geoff Johns once again displays his knack for exploring some seriously deep theological and philosophical questions.

Here is the conversation:

Batman: Obviously, Pandora is as real as you and the Amazons, but a box unleashing entities that MADE men evil?

WW: It’s the truth.

Batman: Men are evil because they choose to be, not because some spirits whispered in their ear. Our best chance of helping Clark right now is to get to the bottom of this scientifically so we can clear his record and his conscience…if that is even possible.

WW: The box corrupted him and it looks like its still doing something to him.

Let’s list the questions here: Does an inside or outside force make humans evil? (Read, the devil or sin)Again, can science fix it? Or figure it out? Or can myth? And, Pandora’s question, can it be gotten rid of?

Diana tries to answer these questions by seeking out the Greek god who supposedly made Pandora’s box, Hephaestus, craftsman of Olympus. The misshapen god reveals the shocking secret that he didn’t make the box, that no god knows where it came from and they all feared it from the beginning. He reveals to WW that the reason Zeus tricked Pandora into opening it is because he didn’t want to open it himself.

WW’s final question to herself is: Where does she go when science AND myth fail her? She turns to John Constantine,  the magician, and fighter of demons.

You know what I don’t get? I don’t understand how major religious sites have NOT done many stories about this comic book run. I’m really gobsmacked by it. This is a huge cultural event that is addressing MAJOR theological issues. And…..barely a peep.

I’m really excited to see where Johns takes this series next. He is setting up some great ideas. So, check this series out right now.

 

 

About Jonathan Ryan

Jonathan Ryan is a novelist, blogger and columnist. His novel, 3 Gates of the Dead, published by Open Road Media, is in bookstores everywhere. The sequel, Dark Bride, will be out early next year along with a powerful new Young Adult Trilogy, Revolution of the Wolf and a moving middle grade series, Ghost Bear.


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