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[All images: DC Comics]

Greetings and salutations, fellow Fridge Nukers! Bradfield here, reporting from our newly constructed Nuke the Fridge Emergency Bunker, located under the Roy Rogers Museum in beautiful, scenic Downtown Apple Valley, California.

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The covers of Trinity War parts 1-3 [Justice League #22, Justice League of America #6, Justice League Dark #22] fit together to make this widescreen image

For comics fans, the coming of Summer means one thing: lots and lots of action, and not just at the box office. Though, to an extent, wide scale, “universe shattering” summertime event comics have been pretty common since 1982 — when Marvel introduced the whole idea with Contest of Champions — over the past seven or so years, the crossover event has become more important than ever in the constant drive to maintain a fan base, as well as court new readers. “War” is big – and regardless of the publisher, the promise is generally “Nothing will be the same. This summer is no exception, with “The Big Two” and Image (specifically The Walking Dead), gearing up for big action and big changes. First up, DC ComicsTrinity War.

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Though not essential, Pandora’s first appearance is this New 52 Free Comic Book Day edition

Trinity War – the first big crossover event of The New 52 – is at its halfway point. Actually, the event was teased in last year’s N52 Free Comic Book Day giveaway, with the introduction of a new, “mystery woman,” Pandora. Yes, that Pandora, the woman from the myths, who mistakenly opened a box in which the evils of the world were imprisoned – and after millenia of wandering the Earth, she’s come to the conclusion that she has to put them back, if not eradicate each of the Seven Sins altogether. She, along with the Phantom Stranger, and The Question (who while it’s not been said outright, looks to be the first appearance of the Vic Sage version in N52), were declared, by the Seven Wizards of the Rock of Eternity, to be the three greatest transgressors of mankind; each being sentenced to immortality and a curse/powers to coincide with their crimes.

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Pandora’s mission is to imprison the evil she unleashed on the world – a mission that leads the DCU’s greatest heroes to all out war

Pandora’s mission is not without fallout. In her quest to find a pure heart to re-open the Box, she seeks out Superman, who goes insane (temporarily) upon touching it and appears to kill new Justice League of America member… Dr. (Arthur) Light??? This “murder” puts Amanda Waller‘s JLA at odds with the Justice League, as Waller’s more sinister reason for forming the JLA finally comes out: they have each been recruited to go toe-to-toe with a specific member of the Justice League, should she deem it necessary to take them out. Wonder Woman, sensing supernatural foul play, recruits the Justice League Dark in an effort to clear Superman’s name. This mission, naturally sets JLD at odds with the JLA, and the Justice League is none too happy with Wonder Woman for going behind their backs as well as working with confirmed wildcards.

However, as the saying goes, “While the cats away…” The newly formed Secret Society [of Supervillains] has been monitoring events, and manipulating Pandora. However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. What better way to make a power play than to start some major infighting among pretty much every major superhero in the DCU? Not particularly difficult to do – just take the one player off the board that could warn everyone… and plant a mole in the Justice League. All of these events lead to September’s Villain’s Month, which will not only involve another major crossover event/miniseries, Forever Evil, but fifty-two individual supervillain titles.

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Cover art for Forever Evil #1

At the halfway mark, it is everything you want from a major crossover. [Although, according to Geoff Johns at DC Comics’ Trinity War Panel at this year’s San Diego Con International, Booster Gold fans are likely to be disappointed.] Without giving too much away, I do like Pandora, though it’s hard to say whether she’s a villain — as it’s being implied — or more of an anti-hero. The two biggest N52 tweaks on classic characters are The Question and Dr. Light. So far, the former looks like the Vic Sage, and technically, the last person to hold the mantel in classic continuity, Detective Renee Montoya, is back to busting bad guys with the GCPD. However, whether or not this more supernatural slant on what was before a non-powered character is a good thing remains to be seen. I know in current continuity, Dr. Light is a scientist working with A.R.G.U.S. and the JLA – so I guess I can’t hold him responsible for the rape of the Elongated Man’s wife, yet still, I didn’t feel too bad for him when Superman… well, you’ll see, and this version was supposed to be at least a little bit of a good guy.

Because we are past the halfway mark, if you haven’t started this series, it will require a little backtracking. Make it easy on yourself. My preference in the greater Los Angeles area: Comic Madness. They have two locations – a storefront in Chino [12345 Mountain Ave. Suite J – Chino, CA 91710], and a regular booth at the Frank & Son Collectibles Show [19649 E. San Jose Ave. City of Industry, CA. 91748.] Trinity War  started before I was introduced to it at Comic-Con 2013. It sounded cool, and whenever possible, I try to read the comics on which I report, not just regurgitate something I heard at a panel. It wasn’t easy. Stores that hadn’t run out of Trinity War Special: Pandora #1 were already inflating the price – and I don’t support the speculation market. So when I asked for it at the Comic Madness booth at Frank & Son, I was expecting the usual “we’re out,” or “that’ll be eight bucks.” I was charged cover price. It’s still probably a good idea to verify availability beforehand – the storefront’s phone number is (909) 590-5949.

Click here for a Trinity War checklist.