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Trinity #16

Posted: Thursday, September 18, 2008
By: Jim Beard

Kurt Busiek, Fabian Nicieza
Mark Bagley, Art Thibert, Mike Norton, Jerry Ordway
DC Comics
Another top-notch issue that rolls right along, revealing secrets and crafting new ones, all wrapped up in an obvious love for the DC Universe.

Godhead: The battle for Castle Branek continues as the Trinity gain the upper hand – then lose it in one swift, crushing moment. For everyone else it means the world around them begins to unravel…

The Sacred: It was a pleasure to turn the pages of Trinity #16, and I did so with increasing fever and fervor. It's got the kind of momentum that drives you on, with great scenes that build upon one another and leave you wanting more.

What was good? The trinity working together as one. I know I've bitched about their recent muddling of minds, but here it's used to good effect and allows our heroes to fight "in tune," and functioning as a team as never before. Busiek ratchets up the fascinating aspects of the muddling by telling us that they are basically of one mind; when one begins to figure something out, it's passed on to the others, and they all benefit from it. Having the trinity strike back at foes that have--unseen--dogged their heels since issue #1 was both gratifying and satisfying.

And it doesn't stop there. Firestorm discovers the Cosmic Egg's missing. This is another welcome advancement of the overall plot and adds the "big" factor in a big way. The "N-space" in which the Egg was kept is a chilling, creepy place, and one almost fears for Firestorm when he ventures into it, wondering if that access door will be there when he turns around to warn his fellows…

Hawkman gets cooler here. Just thought I'd warn you. And Mike Norton and Jerry Ordway kick all kinds of ass drawing him. I just realized that what Carter's sporting these days is a version of his 1970s All-Star Comics revival "golden helmet" – and that's wickedly cool. He and Gangbuster rescue Tarot from Castle Branek, but it may be too late as world breaks down around them, and in a fantastic bit Hawkman's past lives spiral away from him like a spiral staircase to doom. Good God, there's the Silent Knight! Love it

Again, great action and characterization overall. Quality comic booking.

The Secular Gotta admit it; I was kind of nonplussed by the Enigma revelation. We all guessed it, for the most part, and while some of the blame may lie with me and my expectations, the nature of his identity fell a bit flat, lacked some "oomph." I think part of it is that the way it's done here paints it as a somewhat mundane thing, not as exciting as the character really is. Ah well, good thing that there seems to be more to it than what we've been told here…

The Profane: Maybe this is nitpicky, but I think for Busiek to be able to tell us that each of the trinity cannot face their opposite villainous number he had to sacrifice reason and put Batman up against Despero. It sat poorly with me and actually bugged me a little, the fact that to contrive the action Kurt had to present scenes of Batman essentially beating a much, much more powerful foe. Now, sure, it looks like that's not Despero, but Batman didn't know that at first, and it just looked foolish for Superman and Wonder Woman to let Batman take on the target they both should have armwrestled for. Batman can handle an Enigma that's prepared for him and his abilities. They all could take on adversaries of that nature. There's no way the Caped Crusader could have avoided Despero that long and that well. Paint me unconvinced and chalk up a sour note in the middle of this little symphony.

The Trinity Ascending: Good show, Clark, Bruce, and Diana. By working together as you did and overcoming adversity you cement your place as model heroes. You tried mightily to battle these worthy opponents and through subterfuge you lost. It's okay; it made for a high point in the series to-date. By the way, I felt a bit bad for Batman when he was duped.

Scripture: Tarot: "I was just – I'm tired of being afraid." Gangbuster: "I hear that." It's nice moments like these - quiet, truthful dialogue - that make a comic book a bit more than just a comic book. Good stuff. "Damn. He's hot," was pretty good, too.

Monsignor Wanty: wants to take a moment and reflect on what we have here: good writers, good artists, and good characters – now let's take this series to the next level.

Greatness.



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