In the lead: While Morgaine Le Fey’s thugs are stealing clay from a cave on Paradise Island, the Justice League is on Counter-Earth confronting the Crime Syndicate. With Jimmy Olson held hostage, the CSA convinces the JLA to a temporary ceasefire. After rescuing Jimmy, Superman goes over the edge and starts manhandling Jimmy. Turns out, this is Counter-Jimmy, who’s starpped to the gills with some sort of explosives. Wonder Woman’s lasso gets the btruth out of Jimmy, and Superman flies off in a huff. Batman and Wonder Woman have a heart-to-heart as the rest of the JLA tends to the abducted humans. The Trinity has been acting a little out-of-character lately, and Batman and WW realize it’s because they’re exhibiting each others attributes. But they figure this all out a little late, because Superman’s already used Wonder Woman’s warrior instinct and Batman’s aggression to take on the CSA all by himself!
In the back-up: Oracle sets up a couple of sting operations involving tarot objects to try to lure out the bad guys. The Outsiders day is quite uneventful, but Hawkman and Gangbuster get a hit. Le Fey’s goons show up, but it isn’t to steal the tarot object; they’re there to steal another object on display, the plane Superman saved in his very first public appearance. After a brief tussle, the bad guys make off with the object representing Superman’s foundation and another unexpected prize: Hawkman’s shield, which can be tracked thanks to the Nth metal inside.
My take: Man, things are moving along really fast. In issue #6, the evil Trinity first started accumulating tarot objects. By issue #7, the JLA had figured out the plan. In issue #9, the bad guys started stealing the objects personally related to the Trinity. In issue #11, the good guys have figured out that the bad guys have moved on. The good guys are hot on the tails of the evil Trinity, but Le Fey & Co. are still managing to stay one step ahead.
This little side-trip involving the Crime Syndicate has been fun. With the Trinity acting all wonky, this is a dangerous time to take on their physical equals. I’m still hoping this turns out to be a random encounter and not a part of the greater plot against the Trinity. The main storyline is still being advanced quite nicely in the back-ups, so this CSA plot doesn’t need to be involved to progress the storyline. It’s also interesting to see how the evil Trinity is affecting the good Trinity without even getting their hands dirty.
Kurt Buseik used a different technique to point out the importance of the Trinity than he usually does. Instead of describing the ways that Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are different, he points out the ways that they are the same. Namely, that the Trinity seems to appear as a group in every alternate universe, while characters like Vixen and Red Tornado rarely have a counterpart in other universes. Obviously the CSA is a good example of this, with Ultraman, Superwoman and Owlman. But the abductees from alternate universes offer up many more counterparts, like Apollo, Midnighter and Zealot in the Wildstorm universe, or Shazamazon, Moonrunner and the Shining Star from the universe where everyone has silly names.
Things to keep an eye on: Green Lantern’s powers are still all binary-enhanced, and they’re apparently working overtime on Counter-Earth.
The evil Trinity has everything they need for the “friends, foes and foundations” spell except for something representing Wonder Woman’s enemies. It seems to me that they should make a big deal out of the last piece of the puzzle, but how do you make fighting Cheetah or Ares into a big deal?
Superman vs. Ultraman, Superwoman and Owlman is next issue. Should be a hell of a fight.