TRINGENUITY 18: "Trinity" Commentary

Mon, October 6th, 2008 at 10:38am PDT

Comic Books
CBR News Team, Editor
1

"Trinity" #18 on sale now
By Brian K. Eason & Justin Eger

"They made the world…different." — Charlie Melvins

Welcome to TRINGENUITY, CBR's ongoing commentary of DC Comics' weekly superhero series, "Trinity." The title is divided into two 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

The Trokia declared victory and used magic combined with the power of Krona’s cosmic egg to rewrite the world piece by piece, making it a place without the Trinity.

It was revealed that Konvikt was an honorable warrior who fell in love with a girl after saving the life of her wealthy father. The price for loving unwisely was his imprisonment. Konvikt discovered, to his shock, that during his battle with the Trinity, a civilian was killed. Such as act was not something that Konvikt's honor could tolerate and he went berserk and escaped with Graak beside him. The alien duo arrived at the ocean just in time to witness a massive tidal wave coming at them as reality began to change.

TRINITY #18

Kurt Busiek, Mark Bagley and Art Thibert show us this brave new world through the eyes of its greatest (and most sensational) news reporter, Lois Lane. From the set of her GBS television program, we see the that Justice Society (now the Justice Society International) has turned police force, using metahumans to patrol the globe and right whatever wrongs they find along the way. Supergirl has become a militant JSI team leader, Dick Grayson has become a mobster, while Donna Troy has lost her powers and now lives a completely different life. To top it all off, John Stewart’s strange new powers are ignited by the changes in the world around him. We also learn the murder of Sue Dibny has also never been solved, and Ray Palmer is the subject of a planet-wide manhunt, as all evidence points towards him. Meanwhile, Krona stalks off into the universe, and Firestorm arrives from the pocket dimension where Krona’s egg was kept, and is seemingly unaffected by all the changes.

Like our lead feature, the backup is a view of the world without a Trinity, as we follow the life of a citizen of Gotham City, Charlie "Bigger" Melvins. Charlie is an employee of Oliver (Green Arrow) Queen's Queen Industry and a friend of Roy (Red Arrrow) Harper. Through the story, we learn Bigger's life has been made better by his friendship with Roy and employment by Queen, but Bigger can't help shake an image of a giant Bat stalking the streets of Gotham. But there is no giant Bat in Gotham City. Bigger's warped image of reality comes crashing in as he remembers the world as it should be, including the missing Trinity and also that he is dead.

COMMENTARY

Justin Eger: Wow. We've got a serious change this week. Not like we didn't know it was coming, but still, wow.

Brian Eason: This was amazing.

JE: It was really deep, to be sure. The first half of the story really shows us most of the changes, mostly one a very global level.

BE: It's hard to tell, but in a lot of ways the world seems better off without a Trinity.

JE: I was actually considering the same thing, but only more so when we got the back half, which we'll talk about shortly.

BE: As the JSI opens their latest embassy in Africa, Lois changes gears to show the world how other metahumans, specifically the Flash, are more self-centered, as the Fastest Man Alive markets his likeness to everything in sight. And the Martian Manhunter is alive and prospering as a small-town sheriff.

JE: Chief of Detectives isn't really a bad place to be, I'd think. And the Flash seems to be doing well for himself.

BE: Because opening a Piggy-Wiggly is much better than Justice League membership.

JE: Lois Lane seems to really be channeling her old friend, Jack Ryder, this week.

BE: For those playing along at home, Jack Ryder is an incendiary TV newsman in the normal DCU. He also happens to be the secret identity of the Creeper.

JE: This Lois Lane would be great on Jack's show, "You Are Wrong!" Justice Society International?

BE: Love it. You know what a sucker I am for parallel worlds and the Justice Society. Even as a repressive global police force, I have to love this idea.

JE: I did, too. It was interesting to watch the story unfold after each page. On a purely cosmetic level, what do you think of the almost universal color scheme for the uniforms?

BE: Those costume changes we noticed last week, obviously those were intentional. Justice Society International favors gray and silver uniforms and I have to say I like the look.

JE: It works, and more so when certain characters use the colors combined with their own. I'm thinking that shot of Red Tornado, here.

BE: Yes indeed, but you kind of had to do that or he'd be the Gray Tornado.

JE: And then there's Supergi... I mean, Interceptor.

BE: Can we keep her? She is much more confident than Supergirl and the costume is perfect: no capes.

JE: But she's also rocking those 1990s visor goggles and lacking the miniskirt, so I'm going to have to call the wardrobe a draw.

BE: The visor, reminiscent of the Eradicator, yes? So is the name Interceptor.

JE: Well done, partner. I had not considered that. Man, the more we talk, the more I kind of want to stay in this new world and explore.

BE: With 34 weeks left in this title, I think we will get the chance.

JE: Rounding out the successors to the old Trinity, Dick Grayson has become a mobster, and Donna Troy is a, I don't know, a librarian?

BE: She seemed like one, didn't she? And 'Richie' Grayson must have been taken in by the mob when his parents died.

JE: Certainly an unexpected, but not unwelcome, revelation.

BE: And after the "Mobbed Up" storyline in "Nightwing," it's not a far stretch to get there.

JE: Would you believe I just spent a night rereading that one? Good times.

BE: One of my favorite runs on the series.

JE: John Stewart’s strange new powers are ignited by the changes in the world around him, though his mind tries to assimilate all the new information that is a result of the changing world. He’s freaking out.

BE: I really want to be more interested in this transformation -- apparently he now talks in 'leet speak' when he is transforming into this machine-man.

JE: And the transformation looks to be much more encompassing and more painful for John each time it kicks in. Did you notice that Hal Jordan was in civvies?

BE: Much to my disappointment, I did. For some reason Hal either never got the ring or relinquished it to Stewart.

JE: Well, if the JSI has been keeping a close watch on the extraterrestrials (as we saw with John Jones), it is likely Abin Sur never visited Earth.

BE: Good point, so how did John Stewart get his ring? I can't believe Busiek won't delve into that.

JE: And so we must wait, though at least we don't have to do so quietly. And without the Trinity (particularly Batman), Sue Dibny's murder has yet to be solved.

BE: The tiny footprints still make me crazy.

JE: On her brain! And poor Ray. It doesn't matter what reality he's in, The Atom never catches a break.

BE: He needs to be in the Amazon hanging with the little people from "Sword of the Atom." At least they appreciate him.

JE: And though everyone else seems to have been shifted to the new universe, Firestorm seems to have his faculties about him.

BE: And the fate of the universe may lie with the knowledge possessed by the Nuclear Man. Our backup was so well done, seeing Gotham from the everyman's view point was perfect. Roy is still Speedy, does that mean that Mia is Arrowette?

JE: I caught that, too. I can only imagine that's where we're going with this. After all, McDaniel has far too much experience with the characters to have slipped up, so it looks to me like the Roy never really left the Team Arrow and Mia joined in on the fly.

BE: The DCU is rife with people that have the same name, even on the same team. The JSA has a pair of Wildcats, there are two Flashes, why not two Speedys?

JE: And umpteen Green Lanterns.

BE: Gotham is both better and worse for lack of a Batman. The poor sections are worse and the rich sections are better.

JE: And it does seem to be flourishing under the watchful eye of Queen Industries, though I got the feeling that a certain amount of gentrification was going on throughout the poorer neighborhoods, which only exacerbated the problem.

BE: I am a little disturbed by how corporate Green Arrow is, not unlike Wally West in the lead feature. The heroes lack morality.

JE: Some of them, anyway. It’s as if they lost their moral centers.

BE: Because they have. There is no ideal to be measured against.

JE: And so natural inclinations have taken hold. Interesting how we've seemingly always looked at the DCU through a filter of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.

BE: And I really need Ragman to have a sidekick named Tatters.

JE: That was, I have to admit, completely inspired. And the conflict between the two "dynamic duos" makes for interesting play.

BE: And it draws the class warfare in Gotham into crystal clarity.

BE: Now we know why Bigger Melvins remembers the Trinity. He should not be alive!

JE: Without a Batman, the Joker never used Melvin as a pawn, and like we saw in the first part of the issue, things have worked out for the better in some respects. And I have to compliment Scot McDaniel on that awesome rendition of Neal Adams' classing Batman image.

BE: That was beautiful. I want to close by promoting another book this week. "Justice League of America" features a story focusing on Vixen, but also addresses the importance of the Trinity and how things might have gone differently. Great issue all around and I leave you with one image: Batman with a cowboy hat and a gun.

JE: Seems a valid recommendation. Readers, you have your marching orders.

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TAGS:  trinity, tringenuity, dc comics, kurt busiek, mark bagley

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