Trinity War (2013) Reading Order

The burgeoning relationship between Superman and Wonder Woman is making the US Government nervous. Amanda Waller and Steve Trevor formed their own Justice League of America (during WORLD’S MOST DANGEROUS) to counter the true Justice League shold they ever cross the line. And that time is about to arrive. And with Zatanna now assisting the Justice League, her own Justice League Dark team are bound to be dragged into the inevitable conflict.   But while the heroes are focused on each other, a Secret Society of Super-Villains has been forming in the background. Who are they? What’s their grand plan? And who is their mysterious benefactor?   As if that wasn’t enough, the woman known as Pandora is about to obtain the box she opened thousands of years ago that unleashed evil upon the Earth. How will this impact the three Justice Leagues and what will happen if it opens?    

SCROLL DOWN to the bottom for the KEY COLLECTED EDITIONS for this event!  

Major Crossover: With a core story plus multiple tie-ins, ‘Trinity War’ is a major crossover.  

Must Reads: Story arcs marked with a ✔are must-read stories from this time period, along with any key related stories and often-forgotten tales that are worth a read.  

Anthology Issues: When an issue contains multiple stories, the relevant story is denoted with square brackets. For example, [2/5] refers to the second story of the five stories in that issue, so you don’t need to read the other four. 

Previous events that directly impact this story:

  • THRONE OF ATLANTIS – The Society’s recruitment drive begins
  • WORLD’S MOST DANGEROUS – The formation of the Justice League of America
  • SHAZAM! – Shazam vs Black Adam

Want to keep it simple? Here’s the chronological reading order without story descriptions, or spoilers:

  • Justice League #18 [1/2] (tie-in)
  • Justice League #19 [1/2] (tie-in)
  • Justice League #20 [1/2] (tie-in)
  • Trinity of Sin: Pandora #1 (tie-in)
  • Justice League #22
  • Justice League of America #6
  •      Trinity of Sin: Pandora #2
  • Justice League Dark #22
  • Constantine #5
  •      Constantine #6 (tie-in)
  •      Constantine #7 (tie-in)
  • Trinity of Sin: Phantom Stranger #11
  • Justice League of America #7
  •      Trinity of Sin: Pandora #3
  •      Constantine #8 (tie-in)
  • Justice League Dark #23
  • Justice League #23

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Must ReadsTitle, Issue Number & Synopsis
Justice League #18 [1/2] (tie-in)
The Justice League invite a number of potential recruits to the Watchtower. Element Woman, Firestorm and the new Atom end the rampage of Dr Will Magnus’ creation Platinum when she goes haywire. Having successfully saved Platinum’s responsometer, the trio impress the League enough to receive offers to join. But, in the confusion, someone hacks the Watchtower’s file and sends them to Earth, leaving Cyborg a teasing message…

1st appearance: Atom/Rhonda Pineda (full), Copperhead, Platinum
Justice League #19 [1/2] (tie-in)
As they mourn the loss of Damien Wayne (see REQUIEM), Red Hood and Alfred Pennyworth are taken down by a masked man in the Batcave. The man locates Batman’s emergency plans for killing Superman. In Kahndaq, Batman berates Superman and Wonder Woman for even considering liberating the country and reveals what was stolen from the Batcave. In Earth’s orbit, Despero crashes into the Justice League’s Watchtower, finding only Firestorm and the Atom…

1st appearance: Despero, Sons of Adam
Justice League #20 [1/2] (tie-in)
Element Woman transports up to the Watchtower and joins the fight, only for Despero to tear her apart and separate Firestorm. Just as Despero senses deception in the Atom’s mind, Martian Manhunter arrives. The damage to the Watchtower sends it hurtling to Earth. The Manhunter psychically defeats Despero and leaves before Superman arrives, having slowed the satellite’s descent, though it still crashes into Rhode Island. It seems someone shut down the Watchtower’s defences and gave Despero a Kryptonite ring which the League confiscate. Later, Batman reveals his boxes with the means of destroying each League member. But he knows no weakness for Wonder Woman – except Superman himself. Batman also gives Superman the means to destroy him. Later, Atom reports in to her bosses – Amanda Waller and Steve Trevor of ARGUS.
Trinity of Sin: Pandora #1 (tie-in)
Pandora recalls her origins and how she unleashed the Seven Deadly Sins on Earth from ‘Pandora’s Box’. How she and two others were judged in the Rock of Eternity and cursed to walk the Earth as an immortal. How, for thousands of years, she trained and prepared to defeat the Sins. The wizard Shazam apologises to Pandora for judging her harshly and instructs her to find the Box to defeat the Sins. Pandora decides to seek out the Justice League…
Justice League #22
A week after Superman & Wonder Woman’s controversial presence in Kahndaq, Shazam flies Black Adam’s ashes (following his demise during SHAZAM!) back to his home country. Doctor Light is recruited into ARGUS’ Justice League of America to combat Firestorm. Pandora asks Superman & Wonder Woman to help her put the Deadly Sins back in Pandora’s Box. But touching the Box turns Superman evil until he drops it. The Justice League and Zatanna fly to Kahndaq to head off Shazam, so Waller summons the JLA to convince them otherwise. Superman subdues Shazam, but the JLA arrive and Doctor Light accidentally blasts Wonder Woman. Superman’s eye beams explode Doctor Light’s head. A fight breaks out between the two leagues, observed by the Secret Society’s mystery benefactor who has somehow manipulated Superman. Back in America, the Society send Plastique to blow up Madame Xanadu and prevent her from sharing her visions of the future. These events attract the attention of the Question and the Phantom Stranger
Justice League of America #6
Under orders from Steve Trevor, Vibe disrupts the Flash’s connection to the Speed Force, but also senses another otherworldly influence. Superman smashes the ground, demanding to be arrested and ending the fight. Both Leagues head to ARGUS where Amanda Waller tasks Firestorm with making Kryptonite. Wonder Woman believes Pandora’s Box corrupted Superman. She turns to the Justice League Dark for help. The Question gets into ARGUS and frees Superman, offering to find out who really killed Doctor Light…

Must ReadsTitle, Issue Number & Synopsis
Trinity of Sin: Pandora #2
Even Superman – the man with the purest heart on Earth – couldn’t open Pandora’s Box. So now Pandora seeks the one with the darkest heart. Returning to ARGUS, she’s set upon by Vandal Savage, Signalman & Giganta of the Society. She stops the fight to ask Savage to open the Box, but instead it only makes him show remorse. Elsewhere, Agent Kincaid of SHADE and Agent Paul Chang of ARGUS join forces to take down Pandora…
Justice League Dark #22
Firestorm succeeds in simulating Kryptonite for Amanda Waller. The Phantom Stranger appears within ARGUS, warning Batman and the Leagues to stop Wonder Woman and the JLD from seeking Pandora’s Box. They confront Wonder Woman in the House of Mystery, but some Leaguers switch sides before Zatanna helps Wonder Woman’s crew escape. At Cadmus, the Question reveals Doctor Psycho may have been the cause of Superman’s murderous rampage. Against Waller’s orders, the remaining Leaguers agree to help Superman as he makes his escape. John Constantine convinces Shazam to accompany him on a mission of their own. Madame Xanadu is help captive by the Society’s benefactor who reveals he has a mole in the Justice League…
Constantine #5
John Constantine takes Shazam to the Joint Bar in New York. There he explains a magic tracking bomb is seeking him out and he needs to turn off his power so it loses his trail. Constantine then switches voices with Billy Batson and takes his powers. The Cult of the Cold Flame send a demonic agent to kill Constantine, so he uses the power of Shazam to rip its head off. Billy steals his powers back, not realising he’s leaving Constantine bleeding out. As John’s spirit leaves his body, he’s threatened by Chris – the young man he allowed to die a few weeks earlier…
Constantine #6 (tie-in)
The Cult of the Cold Flame send Tannarak to finish the job of killing John Constantine. Barman Lloyd Ortiz protects John’s physical form from attackers, while Chris assaults Constantine on the psychic plane. Papa Midnite arrives to save Constantine on both planes. Tannarak locates the place where John stores all of his magical items…
Constantine #7 (tie-in)
Tannarak of the Cult of the Cold Flame has all of John Constantine’s magical artefacts, allowing Mister E to track down the mystics John was hiding and stealing their energies. Tannarak and Mister E absorb the items’ magical power, while Sargon the Sorceress takes the remaining power and uses it to confront Constantine. She traps John, then sleeps with him. John’s old flame, Julia Everhart, offers to join the Cult to save her family. Mister E finds John Constantine and Sargon and begins beating John to death…
Constantine #8 (pp.1-18) (tie-in)
Sargon’s loyalties become clearer as she advises Constantine on how to defeat Mister E. Even when his soul is separated from his body, Constantine fights back against E until he reclaims the Moonblade and drives it through him. Mister E’s energies then divide between Tannarak and Sargon as they’d planned all along. Constantine agrees to join the Cult, but he secretly makes a deal with Mister E’s trapped soul to help him kill Sargon and Tannarak.

Must ReadsTitle, Issue Number & Synopsis
Trinity of Sin: Phantom Stranger #11
The Phantom Stranger takes Batman, Deadman and Katana through levels of the afterlife to find Doctor Light. The Stranger decides to take Light back to the realm of the living to clear Superman of murder. Light gives the Stranger an object to pass to his family, if they fail. The angel Zauriel blocks their path and sends Batman, Katana & Deadman home. For daring to return to the afterlife, Zauriel erases the Phantom Stranger from time and memory.

1st appearance: Kimiyo Hoshi
Justice League of America #7 (pp.1-20)
Martian Manhunter’s squad apprehend Doctor Psycho in Pittsburgh. Psycho didn’t influence Superman, but he reveals the Secret Society were involved. Atom reveals Amanda Waller’s true intention for the JLA and admits her own role as a double-agent. They return to ARGUS where Plastique detonates Doctor Light. Despite receiving news that he’s been exonerated, the imprisoned Lex Luther is distracted by coverage of Superman killing Doctor Light. Pandora appears in Luthor’s cell, asking him to open the Box. Wonder Woman’s squad materialise in Luthor’s cell…
Trinity of Sin: Pandora #3
In Luthor’s cell, the heroes fight each other under the influence of the unseen Seven Deadly Sins. Pandora channels her abilities and kills Envy. Elsewhere, Agent Kincaid & Agent Chang discover Marcus Severin’s connection to Pandora…
Justice League of America #7 (pp.21-24)
Wonder Woman grabs Pandora’s Box and is corrupted by it…
Justice League Dark #23 (pp.1-8)
Shazam emerges in Luthor’s cell and takes the Box from Wonder Woman, which immediately corrupts him, instead…
Constantine #8 (pp.19-20) (tie-in)
John Constantine scries on Zatanna and see Pandora’s Box falling out of Shazam’s hands. He decides to return to the fight to save her. 
Justice League Dark #23 (pp.9-24)
Element Woman saves the League members from the destruction of ARGUS HQ. Firestorm reveals Waller asked him to make Kryptonite. In jail, Frankenstein takes the Box, which is then obtained by Zatanna as its corruption spreads to all present – everyone wants Pandora’s Box. John Constantine arrives and teleports the Box away with Zatanna to Madame Xanadu in Athens. Batman’s team also arrive as Xanadu announces that the Box is a doorway. The Secret Society’s benefactor exclaims that it’s time to open it…
Justice League #23
The benefactor reveals himself to be the Outsider, originating from an alternate Earth and making the jump to Prime Earth with the Atom during Darkseid’s original attack. He formed the Society and framed Superman, sending the Leagues to find Pandora’s Box on his behalf. The members of all three Justice Leagues arrive and fight over the Box. Atom announces she infected Superman by putting the sliver of Kryptonite in his brain and triggering the blast that killed Doctor Light. Cyborg’s mech body separates from him, naming itself the Grid. The Outsider opens the Box and a sinister ‘Aquaman’, the Sea King, comes through before collapsing and dying. He’s followed by the Crime Syndicate – twisted versions of the Justice League – and their prisoner emerge from the door, immediately taking advantage of the Justice League’s weakened state…

1st appearance: Crime Syndicate (Deathstorm/Martin Stein, Grid, Owlman, Power Ring/Hal Jordan, Sea King, Superman/Lois Lane, Ultraman/Kal-Il), Mazahs (identity unrevealed)
Identity revealed: Atomica/Atom/Rhonda Pineda, Outsider/Alfred Pennyworth

Must ReadsIssues & FalloutEvent / Crossover
Action Comics #23.3: Lex Luthor (2013)
Lex Luthor is released from prison, only to learn his nemesis, Superman, is missing.

Forever Evil #1 (2013)
The Crime Syndicate – an evil alternate universe version of the Justice League hailing from Earth 3 – use the fallen Watchtower as their headquarters; the Crime Syndicate announce the death of the Justice League and gather the Secret Society of Super-Villains as their army.

Trinity of Sin: Pandora #4 (2013)
Pandora has a rematch with Vandal Savage, though his experience with Pandora’s Box has changed him and he ultimately helps her.
Forever Evil: ARGUS #1 (2013)
Doctor Light reforms as an energy being intent on revenge on Steve Trevor and ARGUS.

Justice League #23.4: Secret Society (2013)
The origin of the Outsider and the Secret Society is revealed.

Forever Evil #3 (2014)
Lex Luthor gathers the handful of villains who stand ready to oppose the Crime Syndicate (unofficially referred to as the Injustice League).
Forever Evil: The Phantom Stranger #12 (2013)
God resurrected the Phantom Stranger and gives him one more chance; Zauriel apologies to the Stranger for deleting him from existence.
Justice League Dark #24-25 (2013-2014)
John Constantine is revealed to have escaped death at the hands of the Crime Syndicate and recruits Swamp Thing, Nightmare Nurse and the Trinity of Sin to help him track down the Justice League.

Forever Evil #6 (2014)
The identity of the man with the sack on his head is revealed.

Justice League of America #13 (2014)
Despero is revealed to be containing the Justice League within the Firestorm Matrix using his telepathy to keep them disorientated.
Justice League Dark #26 (2014)
Deadman possesses the Sea King’s corpse to utilise against the Crime Syndicate, but his strong persona threatens to take control of Deadman instead.


Must ReadsIssues & FalloutEvent / Crossover
Justice League #28 (2014)
Platinum returns along with the rest of the Metal Men.
Forever Evil #7 (2014)
The fate of the Crime Syndicate is decided when they face Lex Luthor’s Injustice League.

Justice League of America #14 (2014)
The Justice League of America disband.
Trinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger #18 (2014)
Superman gets the chance to make amends for the role he played in the death of Doctor Light.
Trinity of Sin: Pandora #10-14 (2014)
Vandal Savage seeks Pandora out for a viscious rematch; Giganta becomes an unexpected ally with Pandora when she’s confronted by Agent Kincaid; Marcus Severin pays the price for his involvement in Pandora’s war against the Seven Deadly Sins.
Batman and Robin #37 (2015)
Damien Wayne returns from the grave.
Constantine #17 (2014)
Mister E tries to manipulate John Constantine into freeing him from the Moonblade; Constantine has his showdown with the Cult of the Cold Flame.
Trinity of Sin #1-6 (2014-2015)
The final fate of the Trinity of Sin is decided when they face Nimraa; the Question never finds out the truth about his identity.
Justice League: The Darkseid War – Shazam #1 (2014)
The spirit of the wizard Shazam reveals his true name, Mamaragan.
Justice League #51 (2016)
The Justice League’s Watchtower is restored.
DC Universe: Rebirth #1 (2016)
Pandora is obliterated by an unseen enemy (later revealed to be Doctor Manhatan).
Deathstroke #22 (2017)
Doctor Light returns with a physical form and more sinister motives.
Heroes in Crisis #9 (2019)
Doctor Light’s wife, Kimoyo Hoshi, is revealed to have resumed her costumed identity as the female Doctor Light.

See how this story fits into the wider DC Universe continuity:

Notable collected editions featuring the Trinity War…

Collected Edition TitleCollects…
Justice League vol.4: The GridJustice League #18-20, 22-23
Justice League: Trinity WarConstantine #5

Free Comic Book Day: The New 52! #1

Justice League #22-23

Justice League Dark #22-23

Justice League of America #6-7

Trinity of Sin: Pandora #1-3

Trinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger #11
Justice League Dark vol.4: Rebirth of EvilJustice League Dark #22-29
Justice League of America vol.1: World’s Most DangerousJustice League of America #1-7
Constantine vol.1: The Spark and the FlameConstantine #1-6
Constantine vol.2: BlightConstantine #7-12
The Phantom Stranger vol.2: Breach of FaithTrinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger #6-11
Trinity of Sin: PandoraTrinity of Sin: Pandora #1-6

Collected Edition TitleIncludes…
Justice League: The New 52 Omnibus vol.1Constantine #5

Justice League #22-23

Justice League Dark #22-23

Justice League of America #6-7

Trinity of Sin: Pandora #1-3

Trinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger #11
Justice League Dark: The New 52 OmnibusConstantine #5

Justice League #22-23

Justice League Dark #22-23

Justice League of America #6-7

Trinity of Sin: Pandora #1-3

Trinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger #11

Reading Order ©OmniverseComicsGuide 2023

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