In the lead: Whoa! There’s lot going on here. Krona’s free, and looking a lot cooler as a glowing-sun guy than he did as a blue-skin-with-a-receding-hairline guy. Meanwhile, Lois Lane introduces us to the World Without a Trinity via her talk show “Fastlane.” Check out “My take” for more on that. And John Stewart seems to remember that things aren’t the way they’re supposed to be, then goes binary and flies off into outer space. Finally, Firestorm returns from checking on the cosmic egg (which he did in issue #16) to discover that he didn’t return to the same world he left.
In the back-up: Charlie Melvin thinks he’s going crazy because he remembers some sort of a giant bat protecting Gotham. In fact, he seems to remember two other heroes that aren’t in his world anymore…
My take: Yowsa. Both the good and bad Trinities are out of the picture. John Stewart, Firestorm and some random civilian seem to be the only people who know something is wrong. And one of the most powerful villains in all of existence is on the loose. Kurt Busiek has got me really excited about the second arc of Trinity.
Wondering how the Word Without a Trinity is different from the real world? Well here you go:
-Dick Grayson never became Robin. He’s a mobster.
-Donna Troy never became Wonder Girl. She’s a nerd.
-Kara Zor-El never became Supergirl. She’s Interceptor, who has no idea she’s Kryptonian, and she’s extremely pissed off that a Green Lantern has involved himself in “terran missions,” which “could be taken as an act of war.”
-J’onn J’onzz never became Martian Manhunter. He’s just detective John Jones, and he seems like he’s in a bad mood.
-The Justice League never formed, probably in part because Martian Manhunter wasn’t around. This means Aquaman never befriended the surface world, and he’s sort of the despotic ruler of Atlantis.
-The Flash is the Booster Gold of this world, cashing in on his celebrity by merchandising himself. While there is mention of a “predecessor” aside from Jay Garrick, it’s never stated explicitly who the Flash actually is. He does have red hair, but it certainly doesn’t seem like Wally West would act that way.
-Hal Jordan isn’t a Green Lantern, but John Stewart is. Since the ring supposedly would have gone to Guy Gardner if Hal wasn’t available, I’m guessing Hal quit but never rejoined the Corps like he did in the real world.
-The Justice Society International is the only superteam, and they seem to be doing a decent (but not perfect) job of fostering peace in the world. Founders Jay Garrick, Alan Scott and Ted Grant have actually retired and act as ambassadors for the team.
-Police still haven’t solved the murder of Sue Dibny, although they have finally discovered “tiny footprints in her brain.” Seems odd that Sue would have been killed if the Justice League had never been formed, but it was a nice way of showing how things don’t get done without the Trinity around.
-Queen Industries, not Wayne Enterprises, is the big-time corporation in Gotham. Green Arrow, Red Arrow and Speedy are the public heroes of the city. Ragman and Tatters, the Junkyard Sidekick help keep the back alleys safe.
So yeah, this issue was sort of packed to the gills. And very, very good. If you’re not reading Trinity, now would be a great time to jump on.
Things to keep an eye on: Krona is hatched, and it appears I correctly guessed after last issue that he won’t be an immediate threat for quite a while. It feels to me like restoring the Trinity and changing the world back to normal will be the entire second act, and the final act will be the Trinity versus Krona.
Seriously, what the hell is this binary thing? John Stewart knows what it is and apparently knows how to both utilize its abilities (which he did in issue #14) and reject them completely (which he did this issue). It’s a pretty safe bet he won’t be able to hold it off forever though.