TRINGENUITY 5: "Trinity" Commentary

Mon, July 7th, 2008 at 1:46pm PDT | Updated: July 7th, 2008 at 1:48pm

Comic Books
CBR News Team, Editor

"Trinity" #5 on sale now

By Brian K. Eason & Justin Eger

"I’ll hold the line." -- Wonder Woman

Welcome to week three of Tringenuity, CBR's ongoing commentary of DC Comics' weekly superhero series, "Trinity." The title is divided into two 15-page features; the first focuses on Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, while the second feature portrays background or tangential events that relate to the ongoing lead storyline. "Trinity" is a weekly series that is promised to be epic in scale and help define the trio of heroes' mythical place in the DC Universe.

PREVIOUSLY

Wonder Woman battled Konvikt, as Superman, knocked unconscious from the alien's attack, recovered and returned to the battle. The Justice League focused their attention on aiding the injured, as the villainous Enigma and Morgaine Le Fey watched the drama unfold. During the battle, a mysterious furred hand reached out from concealment to brand Wonder Woman with an Omega symbol. Finally, the Batman backtracked Konvikt's trail to the escape pod that brought the alien to Earth, but unknown to him, Konvikt's sidekick Graak waited inside.

In the second feature, Tarot’s fortune-telling abilities went to a whole new level, as she contacted an entity called the Worldsoul and dreamt of a far-off world conquered by Despero. Shaken by the images, Tarot is contacted by her friend Jose as he makes a decision about his future and her safety. Meanwhile, mysterious agents behind the gang hunting Tarot bring out the big guns in the form of three superpowered mercenaries.

TRINITY #5

Our lead feature team of Kurt Busiek, Mark Bagley and Art Thibert bring the action again this week. Our establishing shot is of the strewn bodies of the Justice Leaguers who had fallen to the monster Konvikt and we rejoin the battle of Superman and the alien. The Man of Steel continues to hammer away at Konvikt, but no matter what Superman throws at monster, Konvikt will not fall. Wonder Woman barely holds her own while Batman and Superman arrive with a gas designed to immobilize the alien criminal. With Konvikt defeated, Batman discovers Morgaine Le Fey's furry agent that branded Wonder Woman in the previous issue. Le Fey, remotely, expresses shock at the discovery and her agent dies by fire without revealing his origins. We close out the story with Tarot, looking at her cards and, as we saw in the first issue, the images on her cards have become the Trinity.

The second half of the book, written by Fabian Nicieza with art by Mike Norton and Mark Farmer, brings us back to Tarot’s enforced protection at the hands of Jose, who has kept her isolated the last few days in the hopes of keeping her safe. Finally convincing her guardian to take her out, one of Tarot’s fortunes begins to take a new shape, a new image of the Trinity, but before she can discern the meaning of this reading, the superpowered trio introduced last issue strike. New villains Blindside, Throttle and Whiteout, revealed through a newfound aspect of Tarot’s abilities, attempt to kidnap the fortune-teller, though Jose, returning to his costumed identity of Gangbuster, intercedes. Defeating the villains by relying on Tarot’s early reading of his own future, Gangbuster helps her escape, though the pair is now being followed by the feral creatures that protected Tarot several issues ago.

COMMENTARY

Brian Eason: Bagley and Thibert knock the art out of the park again this issue. Beautiful stuff.

Justin Eger: Yeah, the team is getting better as the issues pass, which was to be expected. I'm really enjoying the look of the series so far.

Wonder Woman holds her own

BE: While we know that Konvikt has been established as a powerhouse, it was terrific to see Wonder Woman stepping into him and holding her own.

JE: Exactly. When you have Superman, Wonder Woman can be kid of an afterthought, so her taking a stand established her strongly this issue.

BE: Why did I ever doubt the Batman? I was sure we'd see Graak's ambush on screen, but he was such a non-threat that the Dark Knight takes him out off-camera.

JE: The fate of most fools, it would seem.

BE: Morgaine just doesn't get the Batman, does she?

JE: Nope. She can't comprehend any sort of power that doesn't make itself known with explosive force, and yet here is a man that's trumped her without even trying.

BE: And you have to know that that makes Enigma happy.

JE: It should. If he’s the analogue to Batman, then he’s already looking for weaknesses in Morgaine, and her ego is a big one.

Knocking the wind out of Konvikt

BE: I like that Konvikt has a major weakness. That's the kind of old-school thinking that I love about this book.

JE: I was worried that he was getting a little too out of control, but the image of Diana thumping him in the gut, then him breathing the sleep gas, was really nice.

Morgaine looks mad

BE: And now we know that the person who marked Wonder Woman worked for Le Fey.

JE: Yeah, that was kind of a surprise to me. I didn't expect to see the Anti-Trinity take a proactive role anytime soon, at least not until they met up with Despero, and yet here Morgaine is, trying to stack the deck in her favor.

BE: But to what end? Diana is marked and we don't know why.

JE: There could be any number of reasons. I think that Morgaine, as a worker of magic, recognizes Wonder Woman’s mystical origins and might have found a way to exploit that.

BE: It’s nice that they are already tying things together. Tarot with her transformed cards ends us on a perfect note.

JE: Yeah, it was cool to jump back to that moment from issue two and see Tarot's first glimpse of the Trinity again. Speaking of which, we get to see more of Tarot as she hides out from the gang that is hunting her down this issue. Once again, quality output by Mike Norton, though it's now Mark Farmer on the ink duties for this issue.

BE: Beautiful stuff. So far, the backups have been gorgeous. They've really pulled out all the stops on the art teams.

JE: Tarot's card readings continue to make up an important part of the second feature.

BE: And the lead feature as well. I find it very interesting that DC released a new "Madame Xanadu" series from Vertigo last week, as she was DC's big tarot card reader and it was written by Matt Wagner, author of the original "Trinity."

JE: Tarot seems to be filling the vacancy left by Xanadu’s departure to the realms of Vertigo. Had Wagner’s series not started, I’d bet good money that Xanadu would be making an appearance here in “Trinity.” Moving right along, I thought that using the cards to introduce the mystery villains form last issue was a nice touch, as well.

BE: This backup series is full of nice touches and the cards make a great tool for tying things together and enhancing the mystery.

Three new baddies

JE: Three new baddies, and though they're purely low-class, they're all kind of interesting, and enough of a challenge that Gangbuster has some difficulties.

BE: I think we probably should have assumed that they were scaled down to slug it out with Delgado.

Gangbuster!

JE: Oh yeah, we do have the full return of Gangbuster this issue. Thoughts?

BE: He looked good, I've always liked the character, but as for longevity, I think it's a long shot for this character to support a title or even a backup feature on his own.

JE: He’s looking a lot more realistic these days, and, frankly, I’d buy a miniseries from this team. Jose is a good choice for this segment: not someone too big, but someone that can make his presence felt.

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