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Trinity #9

Posted: Thursday, July 31, 2008
By: Jim Beard

Kurt Busiek, Fabian Nicieza
Mark Bagley, Scott McDaniel (p), Art Thibert, Andy Owens (i)
DC Comics
Three times three, Trinity completes its third set of three issues, and again this week we get a ton of info to ingest and a few new developments to digest. But overall, I can't help but feel the book needs something…controversial to happen. I know, I know; a series shouldn't need tricks to tell a good story, but I've heard the buzz, or lack thereof, and I'm convinced that Trinity needs something to give it the Water Cooler Effect. In effect, people need to start talking about this book.

Godhead: Personal objects are being stolen from the trinity's closest friends, family, and allies, and in the wake of the debut of two new black hats, an infamous team of other-universal nasties rear their collective ugly head.

The Believer: Lots of great super-hero action permeates this issue, and if you like Batman taking on foes that in theory would overpower him, here's a treat for you. There's also a wee bit of prickliness between Our Heroes and an odd sense of some swapping of personalities – unless I'm really reading that wrong. Superman once again ponders the uneasy feeling he's gotten of late and that feeling is translated fairly well to the reader. Things are growing darker as the story progresses.

The arrival of the Crime Syndicate should raise a few eyebrows among fans, and I think this is the kind of high-profile appearance the book can use to great impact. This week also gives us Nightwing, Robin, Oracle, Sarge Steel, Commissioner Gordon, the Penguin, the Joker, and a very brief cameo by the Outsiders. Again, if you're concerned that this series doesn't concern the DC Universe, think again.

Mark Bagley continues to please, and I'm beginning to be convinced that Bags can draw anything. He seems to be the master of every type of scene, be it natural, supernatural, usual or unusual. When Busiek gets cranked up and cookin', Bags has got his back artistically.

The Agnostic: I was nonplussed by the debut of Swashbuckler, a somewhat-annoying adversary who prances about and steals things. Going to need some more time with this one, Kurt.

I'm also pretty unimpressed with the look into Wonder Woman's job as Diana Prince; a bit of background on what the DMA is exactly would have helped those of us who don't read her title. I'm also on the fence over "He stole the Joker's laugh!" Even for a comic book that sounded straight out of Grimm's fairy tales or somesuch. See what I mean? Comics try to be fairly realistic these days, all things considered, and that was like reading The Little Mermaid. If it's any consolation to Fabian, The Little Woman loved that bit.

Scott McDaniel's art has grown on me a bit here, and at this point I'm at the level of "ehh." If inker Andy Owen can continue to tighten up Scott's looseness I think I can get to "thumb's up" level eventually. I guess it's always kind of cool to see him drawing Nightwing.

The Heretic: Though I'm sure the bit with Batman not recognizing the hairy Howlers was supposed to be "weird," it actually came off as inexplicable to me and took me out of the narrative. That coupled with then not being told when he actually encountered the beasts soured me on the sequence. It's also pretty hard to swallow all that info Dick's pulling out of the Bat-computer; if something is a Romanian folktale, how can you use that to identify physical animals? And how does Bruce have the contents of Merlin's Eternity Book in his files? It was a helluva lot of Suspension of Disbelief (SOD) that was required here and frankly, as easy-going as I am about such things, I found it not so easy-going.

Then we come to Nightwing's mask being stolen right out from under his nose, literally, by Swashbuckler. I just checked my supply of SOD, and I'm all out. Dick has virtually nothing holding the mask on his face? The huh? I mean, if Swash did something really, really, really unique to divest Nightwing of the mask, why wasn't there any mention of it in the dialogue, etc.? I just don't get that scene. It seemed…wrong. A shot at being cool went astray.

Wonder Woman Descending: Diana didn't come off as too overly concerned about the destruction Swashbuckler caused, and her pal Etta Candy made her look as heartless as a Greek statue. Then Di jokes around with her boy-toy Tom Tresser while her boss does PowerPoint of even more dire news. Then she gets all holier-than-thou when Tom males a funky comment about "just people." This paints a poor portrait of Wonder Woman.

Superman Descending: Good thing we had Clark around this issue to represent the "stoic, arms folded" crowd. Thank God for that.

Batman Ascending: Bruce is super-cool this issue, kicking ass on three Howlers and managing to remove his pants while running through a forest. Is there anything Batman can't do? Oh, and his butler is super-cool, too.

Doctrine: "We're on a closed line. We can talk dirty." For just a moment, forgive, forgive, I almost wished they did. Almost.

Monsignor Wanty: wants to reiterate the prayer for an injection of something in this book to make people sit up and take notice. 52 had its delicious mysteries and dramatic events; Countdown had its suckiness – what does Trinity have? It's not too early or late for this book to make a name for itself.



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