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Trinity #3

Posted: Thursday, June 19, 2008
By: Jim Beard

Kurt Busiek, Fabian Nicieza
Mark Bagley, Art Thibert, Mike Norton, Jerry Ordway
DC Comics
As the hymn begins and soars to the height of the sacristy, we bow our heads and contemplate that which is the third issue of Trinity – and that which completes its first triad.

Godhead: The Justice League of America drops in – literally - on a rampaging Konvikt in a battle-heavy first half, one that relies on punches rather than proclamations. We're also introduced to Tarot, a new character that at the outset seems to have little or no connection to our trio of heroes…yet.

The Believer: The good this issue is me being able to report that Kurt Busiek continues to pinpoint personalities and characters with near-pinpoint accuracy. His JLA in action is a great example of a comic book super-team and frankly, they come off a bit better here than in their own title. Another highlight is further development in the tone of Morgaine le Fay and Enigma's relationship, here shown to be falling into a workable situation albeit one that is not above a jab or two. Morgaine gets in a good poke at Enigma's supposed favoring of Batman and deepens the mystery of just who this "new" villain is.

We also learn that tiny Graak is a lawyer. That's right. Massive Konvikt's monkey-on-his-back Graak announces that he's the "official mediary and speaker-advocate" for he who is "designated" Konvikt. Just when you think Graak's getting a bit too annoying he pulls out a wild card and you get intrigued all over again. That's the power of Kurt at work, in my opinion.

I'd also like to illuminate Morgaine's assessment of the JLA deferring to Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman in a fight, and also her note of Batman and Wonder Woman's deferring to Superman within their trinity. Enigma further calls out the trio's "essential nature to dominate any setting," and I think we start to see the underpinnings of Busiek's series: the reasons and whyfores of this incredible grouping of action heroes and how they impact the greater community and each other. It's subtle, but very, very cool if you take the time to think about it.

Extra credit to this issue for a nice surprise ending – perhaps this "KPLOW" will become the new "One Punch" standard for super-hero stories, eh? Extra-Extra credit for the splendiferous finishes of Mr. Jerry Ordway on the Tarot intro.

The Agnostic: Now we come to the introduction of our newest Trinity character, Tarot. She's an east LA prognosticator who's mixed up in gangs. Yeah, I know. Heavy sigh. I'm not exactly sure what it is about this particular theme that triggers little to no interest in me, but Tarot and her situation are no exception to the "rule." Gangs in mainstream comics just never seem to click and rise above cliché, and frankly, this issue lays out quite a typical comic book gang set-up: young person who's trying to keep their nose clean runs afoul of "nasty" gang-bangers who want what the young person's got. I wish I could say there was something different in this intro. that allows for a divergent path, but I can't say that in all honesty. It was fairly tired stuff. Maybe gangs only work when they're unfettered by the restraints of mainstream strictures, and can be the truly terrifying culture that so many street gangs have become.

The positive note here is the return of Jose Delgado, Gangbuster of the Superman comics of the 80s and 90s, and the hint that Tarot may very well become part of a third trinity in Trinity. That only makes sense, and while some may say that's cliché, I say bring it on.

I'll give some credit to the Trinity team for the risk they took this issue by coming on strong with the JLA and bringing the trinity in so late (and so briefly), and by the risk in the back-up tale of barely connecting with the rest of the book (Tarot's in LA, which if you remember is where Enigma has set something up). It passed muster this week, but I can see where many readers might not be likely to sit still with the absence of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman for long.

The Heretic: I'm proud to say that other than lots of action and little to no thoughtful "meat" this week, there is nothing overtly heretical about Trinity #3. And that's a credit to its creators.

Superman Ascending: Though the Man of Steel's lain pretty low at the end of this issue, he actually gets the thumbs-up from me. That was a nice little shock, and I have to tell you, I really want to know what the hell that was all about!

Batman Descending: The Darknight Detective does absolutely nothing this issue except revive a bedraggled Red Arrow. Pity that.

Wonder Woman Descending: The Amazing Amazon also gets short shrift this week, functioning purely to float Batman to the ground after the trio's arrival and to look pretty. Pity that, especially after the first two issues made me think I might want to look into picking up her book. I mean, Firestorm got better FT here than Diana.

Doctrine: "…but Graak cool, Graak cool…" Who ever have thunk that Graak could be so – cool?

Also, "lightningoid" has got to get Busiek some sort of prize, right?

Monsignor Wanty: obviously wants more of the trinity herein, of course. That's not to say we need to sacrifice the wonderful connectors to the greater DCU, natch, but three issues in is a bit too early to have Clark, Bruce, and Diana become bit players in their own musical. Also, can we have a JSA appearance sometime soon, too? How Our Heroes relate to their legendary forebears has always been something I can never get enough of.



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