Category: 52 / countdown / trinity

Trinity #38

trinity 38It’s been awhile since Fin Fang Doom has regularly reviewed Trinity, and, since he initially claimed he was going to be reviewing every issue until the very end, I figure that somebody should step in to pick up the slack, since he went off and made friends and started neglecting his promise to you, our faithful and loyal readers.

As luck would have it, I don’t have very many friends, and the ones I do have aren’t that much fun to hang out with, so I have nothing holding me back from reviewing this series. Afterall, I slugged my way through Countdown, and this series doesn’t seem to be nearly as groan-inducing as that one was. I’ll be following Fin Fang’s basic outline for reviewing, so that you long-time readers won’t even miss a step. Hold on to your butts, it’s time to get this ball rolling!

In the lead: The Holy Trinity (haha) are finally back, after a really long, boring absence, and they have their work cut out for them. Batman, in his God form, is about twice the size of Gotham City, and he’s working on some sort of mystic spell-casting in order to save all of humanity. He spends most of the issue in a big-ass church with stain-glass windows, lighting candles (that produce a LOT of smoke) and reciting incantations.

The Return of the Trinity?

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a Trinity wrap-up, but let me make up for four weeks of issues I missed: the good and bad arcanas try to claim territory for themselves while Alfred’s Six slowly learn what happened to the Trinity after they were banished. Very slowly. Mind-numbingly slowly.

triptych 12

I really raved about Kurt Busiek’s pacing in the first arc of this series, but he really dropped the ball with Act 2. He spent way too much time setting up this world (which isn’t going exist in a few issues) and started the plot with Alfred recruiting people important to the Trinity way too late.

Things actually started out okay in Trinity’s second act. Issue #18 with Lois Lane’s “Fastlane” introduction to the universe was nicely done, and the early reveal that Kanjar Ro had been impersonating Despero made it seem like the second arc was going to keep pace with the first. And then Ro met up with Despero, and they met up with John Stewart, and then Krona showed up and all sorts of craziness was going on. In issue #24, Krona kidnapped Stewart and Ro & Despero found the counter-Trinity, but none of them have shown up since. Instead, it’s been weeks and weeks of Hawkman being a dick and Tarot acting irrational. Now it’s issue after issue of Hawkman’s Justice Arcana playing Call of Duty 4 Headquarters with Morgaine Le Fey’s Dark Arcana. (more…)

Trinity #31

31In the lead: Dr. Polaris, Professor Zoom and Lady Shiva are sent by Morgaine Le Fey to London to close a dimensional rift and steal its energy. Power Girl, Ragman and Triumph (not the Insult Comic Dog) arrive to try and stop them while Green Arrow, Tomorrow Woman and the Flash close a rift in Rio de Janeiro. Khyber, a villain from Busiek’s Superman run, agrees to help Le Fey, and Charity O’Dare helps Hawkman form his Justice Arcana.

In the back-up: The purple alien dudes tell Alfred’s Six a story of a carnival boy whose parents are killed that Atmahn (the god verison of Batman) took under his wing and made a hero. Then the boy is beaten to death by people dressed like the Joker. So it’s not Dick Grayson, it’s Jason Todd.

My take: Meh. So the Robin in the story is Todd and not Grayson…why does that matter?

Things to keep an eye on: Take a look at the next issue’s cover… (more…)

Trinity #30

30Hey, remember when Doom DeLuise stopped caring about Countdown? The series created a whole new level of suck at one point and Del just couldn’t bring himself to review the thing on a weekly basis. Well, I’ve offcially gotten to that point. This issue of Trinity is from last Wednesday’s comics, which I guess is obvious since this Wednesday’s comics won’t come out until this Friday. And as a strange coincidence, it happens to be the same issue number that it was for Countdown, #30. Granted, Countdown was counting the other way, but that’s weird, right?

So what happened this issue that sucked so much? In the lead, Alfred’s Six learn the story of how the purple alien world came to be. Turns out they live in the cosmic egg, and Krona was their god until he escaped. Then the Trinity became their new gods and things got better. In the back-up, Morgaine Le Fey forms her bad guy team while Hawkman forms his good guy team, using certain villains/heroes to fit certain roles in the major arcana that’s on tarot cards.

Okay, so the back-up wasn’t terrible, but the lead was just boring as hell. That’s the sort of thing that should be the back-up story: something that isn’t essentially to the plot but fills in some gaps. Does it matter that the Trinity is the Holy Trinity inside of the cosmic egg? Not really. What matters is that Alfred has to find a way to bring the Trinity back, and this trip inside of the egg is the way to do it.


Trinity #29

29In the lead: Alfred’s Six spy on those sorta alien guys from last issue, and Donna Troy interjects when violence ensues. Surprise! She has her Wonder Girl powers! Then Alfred talks to the alien dudes and they decide to make a pilgrimage to the Trinity-inspired holy site. Meanwhile, Tarot freaks out a little bit and Charity reads her tarot cards.

In the back-up: The League tries to stop a jailbreak at Alcatraz, but gets ported away to Metropolis for a big fight with TVM and company. Tomorrow Woman manages to literally pull herself back together, but the bad guys get away. And Prometheus breaks Braniac out of prison.

Back in the lead: Tarot is kidnapped once again by the Dreambound, and Alfred’s Six start on their pilgrimage.

My take: Trinity has only deviated from the 12-page/10-page story formula a few times so far, in issues #17, #22 and this one, and it always seems to make the issue better. The back-up often seems completely unimportant, but by inserting it into the middle of the issue, it really seems like a 22-page story instead of two shorter ones.

Unfortunately, the back-up still sucked. I said last time that everything with the JSI is boring me, and it still is. I guess you need a good guy army to fight the bad guy army, but they’re not going to win the day. Alfred’s Six will be saving the day, probably with a little assist from Tarot or maybe some inadvertent help from Despero and Kanjar Ro. (more…)

Trinity #28

28In the lead: Alfred’s group of six heads to Happy Harbor, Rhode Island to the cave that would have been the first JLA HQ if the Trinity existed. After some mystic hoodoo, the group is transported to a different world and starts acting more like their “true” selves. Society in this world is run by the Nightlord, the Sunlord, and the Truthlord, obvious stand-ins for the Trinity. And those giant statues of Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman from the flash forward in issue #1 are here too.

In the back-up: Hawkman assembles a group of scientists (Will Magnus, T.O. Morrow, Lex Luthor, Dr. Sivana and John Henry Irons) to sort out this whole “reality coming down around us” thing. Luthor realizes that the power is being harnessed by TVM, presumably at the behest of Morgaine Le Fey. Tomorrow Woman confronts TVM and gets all sliced up into bits.

My take: The lead this issue was pretty good. It seems that Alfred’s six and Tarot are probably going to play a much larger role in reversing the spell and defeating the bad Trinity than the JSI is, so all the stuff with the JSI just seems like a waste of time. So I didn’t like the back-up, naturally.

It looks like I may have been wrong about Alfred getting another three people to fill a trinity of trinities. It seems odd that Maria Kapatelis would have been introduced several issues ago if she wasn’t going to come back into play, though. As it stands, we’ve got a set of three protégés of the Trinity, but I’m not sure how Alfred, Lois and Nemesis relate to one another. Alfred doesn’t fit the role of a love interest, and Nemesis doesn’t fit the role of long-standing close confidante.

Things to keep an eye on: Why are there giant statues of the Trinity in a society full of purple aliens with Bronze Age technology? The group didn’t change physical positions during the spell, so did they travel through time or across dimensions? I realize I’m grasping at straws here. That will probably be resolved next issue and really isn’t any reason to stick around for another issue. But really, if you’ve made it this far, you’re probably not going to stop now.

Trinity #27

27In the lead: The League and the JSI fight off the various bad guys that have appeared on Earth as a result of reality shifting. Morgaine Le Fey and Enigma finally meet with Konvikt and convince him to become the third part of their Trinity. Tarot figures out that if the bad guys needed her for the first spell, they’re probably going to come get her for the next go-round. And Gangbuster tries to get Commander Hall to put on the wings one last time.

In the back-up: TVM, Primat and Swashbuckler break out of prison, and turn the Tattooed Man into the new Sun-Chained-In-Ink. Le Fey pops up and commands her minions to form a super-villain army for her.

My take: It really seems like Kurt Busiek just didn’t have enough stuff to fill this second arc with. More is going on this issue than in the last couple, but the last four or so issues probably could have been combined into one or two to make the story a lot better.

At least now it looks like things are picking up (but how many times have I said that before?). Le Fey’s goons have amassed an army for her that includes Poison Ivy, Parasite, Dr. Polaris, Eclipso, Ace (of the Royal Flush Gang) and a few others I don’t recognize. I’m not sure if that’s due to my lack of knowledge of DC villains or Scott McDaniel’s art though. And it appears as though Hawkman, Green Lantern and the Flash might come out of retirement for the last big fight, though.

Things to keep an eye on: Tarot knows that the bad Trinity is going to be coming for her, but she doesn’t trust the JSI to protect her. Perhaps she’ll turn to Alfred Pennyworth and his gang of Parents, Partners and Protégés?

A big boom happened when Le Fey and Konvikt shook hands. Well I guess it was technically a big “PFAK,” but you probably wouldn’t have known what the hell I was talking about. So what’s that all about?

Trinity #26

26In the lead: Tarot and newcomer Charity O’Dare take a mindtrip through time. Turns out that Tarot is the one woman chosen in this generation to be connected to the Worldsoul, which is the living spirit of the Earth. And apparently she can talk to her former (and deceased) Worldsoul connectees. Or something.

In the back-up: Morgaine Le Fey and Enigma finally work up the balls to ask Konvikt to join their team. There’s more back-story trying to make Konvikt seem like he’s just misunderstood instead of evil. That’s pretty much it.

My take: This is without a doubt the worst issue of Trinity so far. It was just plain terrible. The only interesting aspect of these twenty-two pages is that the lead ended with Tarot standing in front of ghostly apparitions of past Worldsoulers, and the back-up ended with Le Fey standing in front of the same ghostly apparitions of past Worldsoulers. So apparently Le Fey is also attuned to the Worldsoul. So that probably won’t help the good guys too much.

The whole thing about “one in every generation” seems to me like a blatant rip-off of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Except instead of slaying vampires, all Tarot can do is feel the living spirit of the Earth. I guess that’s almost as exciting, though. Even the bit about connecting with past Worldsoulers in dreams seems a lot like Buffy having dreams about past Slayers. Oh yeah, and they’re both always women, apparently. Lame. (more…)

Trinity #25

25In the lead: The JSI breaks into the League’s secret HQ in Detroit and Carter Hall has a chit chat with the League’s leader, Barry Allen. In Europe, Enigma and Morgaine Le Fey stop fighting and decide to go track down Konvikt to use him as the third in their Trinity. Tarot arrives in Opal City and freaks out as reality shifts around her.

In the back-up: Alfred meets with Lois Lane, Richie Grayson and Thomas Tresser and tries to convince them the world is not as it should be, and they are a fundamental part of that change. Interceptor (Supergirl) shows up and Alfred subdues her with kryptonite. Everyone is convinced there’s some truth behind Alfred’s words, so they go off in search of the sixth member of their group: Donna Troy.

My take: That was not a very good issue.

There were five pages of the JIS/League confrontation, and not much came out of it. We learned Barry Allen formed the League after he was injured on a mission for the JSI, but considering this reality will cease to exist in ten issues or so, it seems a little unnecessary. And in case you were wondering, the roster of the League is Lex Luthor, Green Arrow, Fire, Vibe, Black Orchid and Ranger. Bit of a letdown. (more…)

Trinity #24

24In the lead: Morgaine Le Fey forms an impenetrable barrier around Europe. Gangbuster shows up at JSI HQ and gives Carter Hall the Khufu scroll. Enigma and Le Fey get in a fight because Le Fey is just killing everybody, but Enigma wants the power to revive people (namely, his wife and kids). He tries to convince Le Fey to use Konvikt as the third of their bad Trinity to complete the spell. The Khufu scroll returns Hall, Jay Garrick and Alan Scott to their youthful forms and convinces Hall that their world has been altered. He frees Firestorm and tries to convince The Flash (who was captured earlier in the issue) to help set things right. Meanwhile, Freddie Pennyworth, super spy, pays a visit to Lois Lane.

In the back-up: Despero’s fleet attacks Kanjar Ro. Jon Stewart saves Ro and attacks Despero’s fleet. Despero jumps into the vacuum of space (without a space suit and holding his breath) to attack Stewart. Krona steals Stewart out of the situation because he’s curious about his Oan/Qwardian hybrid energies. Despero takes Ro onboard his ship, intent on killing him, but Ro convinces Despero to seek revenge on Le Fey and Enigma, who tried to cheat Despero out of his share of the power. And Ro’s discovered where Owlman, Ultraman and Superwoman were sent in issue #13.

My take: This would all be so much easier if this series sucked. It’s easy to go on and on about something you hate, but it’s hard to talk about why you really like a series without blowing a fanboy splooge all over the blog.

I’ve said many times in these reviews that the pacing is probably the best part of Trinity. The World Without a Trinity storyline started out a bit slow and disjointed, but in the last few issues everything has really come together in a great way.

Ooh! I thought of something bad! Colorist Pete Pantazis seems to have mixed up Jay Garrick and Alan Scott this issue. The thinner, runner-like character has Scott’s blond hair, while the stockier, more Lantern-like character has Garrick’s brown-with-white-temples. Carter Hall even calls the guy with Jay’s hair Alan at one point. Even stranger, when they trio opens the Khufu scroll, the colorist gets Hall and Garrick screwed up, even though it’s obvious from the dialogue and action which is which. (more…)