Category: 52 / countdown / trinity

Trinity #14

14In the lead: The JLA realizes that the Trinity isn’t acting like themselves (or rather, they’re acting like each other) and decide those three need to head home and cool off while the JLA deals with Counter-Earth. Green Lantern, Firestorm, Red Tornado, Ray Palmer and the All-New Atom build a machine that will send everyone back to their normal universe, but Enigma shows up unexpectedly and activates it. Everyone gets zapped back to New Earth, but not before Despero’s thugs brand Superman with a tarot symbol.

In the back-up: The heroes fight Sun-Chained-In-Ink, who didn’t so much explode last issue as he did not explode. After a while he does explode (this time in outer space), Swashbuckler and Primat get taken into custody, and TVM gets away with Maxwell Lord’s skull.

My take: I’ve noticed that you can judge how much I’m enjoying this series by how early in the comic week this review gets posted. So obviously I wasn’t too impressed by issue #14.

Nothing really happened this issue. The JLA knows the Trinity is acting kind of funny, but readers have known that since issue #10. The satellite team built a machine to send everyone home. The non-JLAers had a boring fight with a boring character that only debuted a few weeks ago. Strangely enough, this back-up seems to be as insignificant as issue #12’s lead was, because we’re at the same point now as we were at the end of last issue: Sun-Chained-In-Ink went boom.

Two somewhat major things were buried in the meaningless story, though. Superman got branded just like Wonder Woman was way back in issue #5, leaving only Batman unmarked. And Enigma was seen for the very first time by a good guy, although none of them should have any idea who he is or that he’s related to the Trinity stuff. That’s certainly not enough to base a 12-page story on, let alone fill a 10-page back-up. (more…)

Trinity #13

13In the lead: The “device” Red Tornado, Green Lantern and Firestorm planted last issue was actually the All-New Atom. Superman confronts Ultraman, Owlman and Superwoman 1-on-3 and takes out the counter-Trinity single-handedly, then straps them to a bomb and blasts them into the void between universes. Meanwhile, Enigma teleports away after Despero confronts him about Counter-Earth, and the citizens of Counter-Earth devolve into chaos after the JLA defeats the CSA.

In the back-up: Oracle has figured out that the bad Trinity are after the friends, foes and foundations of the good Trinity, and that they just need Wonder Woman’s foe to complete the task. The heroes stake out a bunch of different WW villains and wait. Gangbuster and Hawkman are watching over Maxwell Lord’s gravesite when the bad guys teleport in and start digging. They fight, then the rest of the good guys show up, then that shiny guy blows up or something.

My take: Strangely enough, this issues started exactly where issue #11 ended, with Superman beating the crap out of Ultraman, Owlman and Superwoman. So why the hell did I pay for an issue in-between? To hear the harrowing tale of Red Tornado, Green Lantern and Firestorm shooting the All-New Atom into a Ray Palmer cameo? So Enigma could completely blow his cover and have Despero and Le Fey hardly notice? And the back-up from last issue, where the Riddler figures out Enigma is counter-Riddler, would work even better as a back-up to this story. I didn’t notice while reading it, because they usually pack a lot into 12 pages, but absolutely nothing happened last issue that needed to happen. I’ve been praising this series for its fast-paced storytelling, but maybe it’s not as fast as I thought.

So aside from that, this issue was good. Ignore last issue, and it’s even better. Enigma’s on the run, the JLA has a counter-world full of armed guerillas, Nazis and other bad guy types to deal with, and Superman is going off the deep end! And choosing Maxwell Lord’s corpse as Wonder Woman’s “foe” was sweet. Reminders of how sweet Infinite Crisis was are always welcome. Unless it’s another Crisis, of course.

I like that the back-up artists are going in shifts, with three or four back-ups being drawn by the same artists before they switch out. Scott McDaniel takes a little getting used to. Tom Derenick’s stuff here has been a lot better than it was in Countdown, but no matter how I phrase that it still kind of sounds like an insult. (more…)

Trinity #12

12In the lead: Superman tries to take on the CSA all by himself, but ends up getting a little assistance from the Justice League. Superman gets mad and flies off in a huff for the second consecutive issue. Meanwhile, Red Tornado, Green Lantern and Firestorm sneak onto the CSA’s satellite HQ and plant a device of some kind. While under attack from the automated defenses, GL goes full binary.

In the back-up: The Riddler gets hired by a museum curator named Dick Grayson (yay, continuity!) to figure out who stole the tarot objects. After some investigating, the Riddler determines that only he himself could be responsible, so he sets off to prove his own innocence.

My take: Well that didn’t take very long. The mystery of Enigma’s identity is that he’s the Riddler, but not our Riddler. Assumedly Enigma is the E. Nigma of Counter-Earth, because he totally freaks out when Morgaine Le Feyand Despero contemplate taking over Counter-Earth instead of New Eart. But shouldn’t the Riddler from Counter-Earth be a good guy? Not so, because Counter-Earth seems to change based on changes on New Earth, and since our Riddler recently became good, their Riddler would have become recently bad.

Back when Trinity #1 hit, I wrote “I could have easily accepted Ra’s al Ghul (he did just break out of Arkham) or Deathstroke as a guy who could outfight Batman, or maybe even the “reformed” Riddler as someone who could outwit him, but not some guy I’ve never heard of in a stupid half-helmet thing.” Well, we ending up getting the Riddler, but the alternate universe thing sort of feels like a cop out. Enigma being from Counter-Earth also makes me worry that the CSA story is part of the evil guys’ plans, which is disappointing. Also, that “stupid half-helmet thing” I complained about earlier? It’s clearly in the shape of a question mark, but I never even noticed until now. (more…)

Trinity #11

11In 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. (more…)

Trinity #10

10In the lead: The JLA realize the missing people from last isssue are being taken by the Crime Syndicate to the Anti-Matter Earth to work as slaves, and decide to mount a rescue operation. Meanwhile, the evil Trinity sends one of their thugs to steal something from STAR Labs.

In the back-up: Nightwing and Robin fight a talking gorilla in a metal corset. Wait a minute…Nightwing and Robin fight a talking gorilla in a metal corset? Okay, just had to make sure I meant that. Then the two go and vists Jason Blood (somtimes known as Etrigan the Demon), who tells them more about the power of the trinity in magic.

My take: This is getting good.

I liked the distraction of the Crime Syndicate in the lead story and hope it turns out to be just that, a distraction. Not everything in this series needs to be related to the Trinity plot. In fact, it makes sense that some of it wouldn’t. It’s not like all the other bad guys are going to stand aside and say “It’s Morgaine Le Fey’s turn now.” Supervillains don’t take turns.

And while the lead and the Trinity are focusing on something else, the back-up is the perfect place to keep the overall series arc flowing nicely. Just because Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are busy defending innocents doesn’t mean the evil Trinity is taking a vacation. They’re still working on their master plan, and who’s better than Nightwing, Robin and Oracle to keep an eye on it? Hey, those three are just like their own little Trinity. Neat.

Anyway, the best parts of this issue are best discussed as…

Things to keep an eye on: Superman’s acting a little weird. The guy’s really angry that the Crime Syndicate is abducting people…and I mean really angry. Like super-angry. Like acting-completely-out-of-character angry. Like so-angry-the-other-characters-realize-he’s-acting-out-of-character angry. And now that I think about it, Batman not realizing right away that he’d come into contacts with the Howlers before is pretty out of character. So is Wonder Woman going shopping while the boys fight crime. The entire Trinity is freaking out; is this the evil Trinity’s doing? (more…)

Trinity #9

9In the lead: Wonder Woman tries to rescue civilians at a mall bombing committed by new villain Swashbuckler, which is all an elaborate plan to steal Etta Candy’s ID card for Morgaine Le Fey. Meanwhile, Batman tries to fight off the werewolves that attacked him last issue. At the Department of Metahuman Affairs (also known as SHIELD), Sarge Steel briefs Diana Prince on some strange mass disappearances of populations around the globe. With the help of Nightwing and Robin, Batman learns that the werewolves are called Howlers and their branding discs are Arthurian in nature. Wonder Woman is told that Earth-3’s Crime Syndicate is responsible for the disappearances and calls in the JLA for back-up.

In the back-up: Oracle leads Nightwing, Huntress, Robin and the Outsiders in the investigation surrounding the Trinity. Nightwing encounters Swashbuckler, who tries to steal Nightwing’s mask and fails. Then Swashbuckler helps The Trans-Volitional Man break into Arkham Asylum and steal the Joker’s laugh.

My take: That’s more like it. The last two weeks of Trinity pretty much sucked. There was absolutely no action, and the exposition was incredibly boring. This week had a good blend of each, and the exposition actually moved the story forward quite a bit.

I found it strange that the book opened with Wonder Woman and the mall bombing. It seems like the bombing should have happened last week as a cliffhanger for this week. That definitely would have given WW something to do last issue instead of just going shopping. The entire sequence, from explosion to resolution, only took up two pages. Even adding one panel last week would have made the sequence seem more important.


Trinity #8

8In the lead: Despero reveals to Enigma and Morgaine Le Fey that he is in posession of the cosmic egg that houses Krona. Meanwhile, Batman hosts a political fundraiser, Superman takes Lois on a lunch date in the Middle East, and Wonder Woman goes shopping. Really.

In the back-up: The evil Trinity try to figure out a way to harness the power of the cosmic egg.

My take: Oh crap, that makes two issues in a row that just sucked. I realize not every issue can be packed to the gills with action and excitement, but that doesn’t mean an issue has to be pure filler.

Maybe it would have been better if the lead was just about the evil Trinity. Thirteen pages of this issue centered on those three already, and more went on with them than with our heroes. A story about the downtime of the good Trinity seems like it’d be a better fit for a back-up story, anyway.

The worst part about this issue is that while Batman is doing his best to avoid his downtime by sulking in the Batcave and Superman is taking care of some random villainy while traversing the world with his wife, Wonder Woman is just out shopping with her gal pal. Batman and Superman are trying to figure thisw mystery out aroud the clock, but apparently Wonder Woman has different prioritites. Way to present WW as an equal to the two men, Busiek.

Things to keep an eye on: At the end of the lead, Bruce Wayne is attacked by the “werewolves” in an attempt to brand him in the same way Wonder Woman was. What do these markings mean, and how the hell are they going to brand the Man of Steel?

Trinity #7

7In the lead: The Trinity tries to piece together everything they’ve encountered so far. With the help of the JLA, they try to identify the werewolf they encountered and the symbols on Wonder Woman’s back when Hawkman shows up with Gangbuster. When Hawkman explains that what’s being stolen from the museums, Batman figures it all out. The symbols are Egyptian tarot symbols and the museum thefts are the four tarot card suits (wands, swords, pentacles and cups). Batman calls in the cavalry: Nightwing, Robin, Oracle, the Outsiders, the JLA, the Titans…pretty much everyone. Yeah, this is big. Meanwhile, Morgaine Le Fey and Enigma finally join up with the third member of their trinity, Despero.

In the back-up: After a brief mention in the lead, Firestorm asks Green Lantern to tell him about Krona. The same Krona that was the villain in JLA/Avengers (and hasn’t been seen since). Green Lantern gives Firestorm a quick recap, but luckily the uber-powerful Krona is trapped inside of a cosmic egg…or is he? Hint: no, he’s not.

My take: The amount of time it took me to get this review up may be an indication of how I enjoyed this issue. This was entirely exposition, which is absolutely necessary but almost always boring as hell.

The callbacks were the highlights of the issue. After Superman hurled the pocket solar system into space in Trinity #2, readers were left wondering if it disappeared like Batman and Wonder Woman’s threats that issue did, or if we were going to have another Rasnn/Thanagar War on our hands. Well, apparently Superman was wondering that too, because this issue opens with him searching for it with a giant telescope thingie (FYI, the solar system disappeared also). The other callback tied the back-up into the lead. Firestorm overheard the more experienced Leaguers talking about Krona, which prompted his to ask about it later in the issue to set up some more expostion. It was a good use of the back-up story.

Things to keep an eye on: In the back-up, Green Lantern once again experienced the binary power surge that he first had during his one-on-one with Konvikt. It only seems to happen when his life is in mortal danger. But is this a GL thing or a Trinity thing?

Krona has apparently hatched from his cosmic egg, although the JLA computers read eveything as A-OK. Not a good sign. How much is the bookm going to reference the JLA/Avengers mini-series though, which was also written by Kurt Busiek?

Trinity #6

6In the lead: After discovering last issue that they are part of a Trinity, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman discuss in what ways they represent three sides of the same coin (you know what I mean). Meanwhile, Tarot delves deeper into her cards after Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman continue to appear in them as a group of three. She realizes they’re all part of the old adage Truth (Wonder Woman), Justice (Batman) and the American Way (Superman). Upon making this realization, Tarot is kidnapped by the werewolf creatures that have been following both her and the Trinity.

In the back-up: Hawkman investigates a series of museum thefts that unbeknownst to him are related to Morgaine Le Fey and Enigma. In Los Angeles, he crosses paths with Gangbuster, who is desperately searching for Tarot after her kidnapping. Hawkman agrees to let Gangbuster help him search for the truth, but not before they take a little sidetrip to meet up with the Trinity.

My take: Two weeks ago, I said I didn’t like how directly Kurt Busiek was addressing what each member of the Trinity represents. Well, that’s pretty much what this whole issue was. Supes, Bats and WW spend the issue talking about how they perceive each other, and Tarot spends the issue talking about how the three are perceived by people living in the DCU. It seemed really forced, especially the Tarot parts. I kind of get the feeling that this may be the last time we get this for a while, though, because they pretty much covered everything.

I did like that Wonder Woman led the discussion amongst the three heroes, which actually makes sense from a character standpoint. As Tarot says, WW represents truth, and she’s never had a problem speaking her mind. Superman plays along and tells Wonder Woman how he sees her, but Batman stays completely out of the conversation. Open reflection isn’t really Batman’s strong suit. That’s a good example of the subtle ways Busiek could work in the differences between the members of the Trinity. Here’s hoping there’s more of that and less of the other kind from now on.


Trinity #5

5In the lead: Batman figures out how to beat Konvikt while Superman and Wonder Woman keep him busy. Then Batman hunts down one of those furry monsters that was tailing Tarot last issue, that are also tailing the Trinity.

In the back-up: Those three goofy villains from last issue attack Tarot, who is saved thanks to the the triumphant return of…Gangbuster! Wait, who?

My take: I really like the pacing of this series. The Konvikt story took four issues to run its course, which amounts to 48 pages, which is about two issues of a regular monthly series. Batman solved the “who’s following us?” mystery before it even became a mystery. After only five issues, the Trinity already know someone is watching them. Things seems to be moving along at a pretty good clip.

Superman’s reaction to the Trinity being called “The Trinity” was interesting. Surely Superman’s never thought he’s better than other heroes; that’s just not in his nature (although I’m not sure I could say the same about Batman and Wonder Woman). While the three have noticed there’s some connection they share that is unique, I don’t think any of them have ever considered themselves part of some mythical threesome. That’s what erotic fan fiction is for.