The third member of the Trinity of Sin, the Phantom Stranger, shows up in Justice League Dark #22 and, as Good Ol’ J.R. used to say, business picks up.
Of course, this issue really sets up via Wonder Woman JLA Dark’s entrance into this war and, in large portion, into the mainstream of the New 52 universe. Although the characters on this charter have been referred to by Geoff Johns for sometime in the flag ship Justice League, this is the first connections the teams are having and now all three can spin the angst (and other sins?) coming out of Pandora’s Box … or rather her efforts to put them back in!
The use of Steve Trevor in these books since August 2011 has been magnificent. We have so many covert teams from the “past,” hidden agendas and causes for one hero not to trust the other that when the most trustworthy hero of all, Superman, slays Doctor Light, even the JLA members are taken aback.
JLA Dark #22 is a fun issue, and with so many heroes competing for panel time, Lemire does an excellent job of knowing his characters’ voices and keeping the rather complex agenda straight. And while some might be lost in the mire this might appear to be, if you have been following this event coming since Free Comic Book Day two years ago, you will be more than satisfied with this issue.
While Lemire does great on the character work, the art of Michael Janin delivers consistently clean lines, great action and character features, and the most impressive Phantom Stranger I have seen in quite awhile (big Stranger fan here).
So now as all three teams get ready to converge as Batman, as usual, keeps his own agenda, we hope this is not a mishmash of clobberin’ time Civil War style but rather that unifying event that the New 52 needs so badly.