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Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

Trinity #34

Trinity #34

Scheduled to arrive in stores: January 21, 2009

Cover date: January 21, 2009

Main Story: "The Depths Beyond the Depths"

Main Writers: Kurt Busiek
Main Pencillers: Mark Bagley
Main Inker: Art Thibert

Back-Up Story: "Not Much of a Soldier"

Back-Up Story Writer: Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza
Back-Up Story Penciller: Tom Derenick & Wayne Faucher
Back-Up Story Inker: Allen Passalaqua

Reviewed by: Barry Freiman with Neal Bailey and Jeffrey Bridges

Click to enlarge

Good fights bad for territory.

The bad guys take out Geo-Force and Black Orchid. They're replaced in the good Arcana by Nightshade and Sandmaster.

Meanwhile, the purple skins discuss Kellel - how he took care of the people, how he took a secret identity amongst them, and how he died for them at the hands of Doomsday. The purple skins believe Doomsday was a creation of Kellel himself which peeves Lois Lane off. The altered reality Supergirl is listening to the purple skins and repeating their story to the traveling supporting characters.

The blue skins attack the purple skins. Supergirl/Interceptor and the others - including Donna Troy who suddenly has a magic lasso - attack in defense of the purple skins.

To be continued...

Back-Up Story: "Not Much of a Soldier"

Vandal Savage and Hawkman fight in Kenya. Gangbuster feels overwhelmed.

Hawkgirl tells Hawkman to take out one of their Arcana and they kill Dr. Light. Chaos erupts. Hawkman attacks Savage, asking what they hope to accomplish without Dr. Light. Savage tells Hawkman that he's a fool to think there is only one interpretation of a tarot card. The bad guys assemble in position and the good guys lose ground.

Hawkman yells at Charity for failing to read the cards right. He suggests Tarot may be compromised.

Gangbuster reminds Hawkman they saved a lot of innocent people. Hawkman brushes him off believing only the big picture matters, not the small picture of individuals in trouble. Gangbuster feels like, perhaps, the good guys already lost.

To be continued...

Barry's Review:

1Main Story - 1: I'm with Lois. The claim that Superman would face Doomsday again and die again and be resurrected again because, somehow, that is destined to be part of his arc, is nonsense. First of all, Doomsday killed Superman in - real time speaking - 1992. That would be 54 years of the adventures of Superman without being killed by Doomsday. Not only that, but it still hasn't been clarified what happened during the Death of Superman storyline in modern continuity. There are too many factors that were part of the story that simply aren't the case anymore, continuity speaking. Lex Luthor, Jr. The Matrix Supergirl. And, back then, it was clear that Superman COULD die, which may no longer be the case since it's been implied that the 2009 model Man of Steel is immortal.

As far as the nonsense in the beginning of the story about the Arcana, the less said the better. Because if you get me started on Donna's sudden acquisition of a magic lasso, I'll start convulsing.

3Main Art - 3: Bagley's still good. What a waste of talent when a book like "Final Crisis" could use his covers.

1Back-Up Story - 1: Um Gangbuster. While you're b*tching about Hawkman, I think you've lost sight of the big picture. There is a group of nine Kenyans in addition to the little boy you shared one bottle of water with. You aren't even considering them behind you, just the Hawk above you. Pot. Kettle. Busiek.

3Back-Up Art - 3: I'm not sure if it is a plus or a minus that the back-up art always looks the same no matter who the artists are. There's nothing extraordinary about the art that identifies it as uniquely one artist's style. That's good in a continuing story generally - but given how ridiculous the story is, I'd take unique art: at least that's something for my $2.99.

4Cover Art - 4: The cover depiction has little to do with the action inside. Batman's looking over the battle when, inside, the lead story is mostly about Superman. But it's still a beautiful rendition that looks a lot like Brian Bolland's art - especially that (J)oker in the front.

Neal's Review:

1Main Story - 1: We see another reiteration of the fact that the heroes are fighting as tarot card representations, something we already know, in a completely uncreative way, using Silver Age rehashes of modern heroes without any real reason.

We see the death of Superman with one minor change that's insensate, complete with the same page twice (Doomsday slays Superman, pages 6 and 9 and, arguably, 5).

The slaying of Superman offers no real story point beyond "jogging memory" which shouldn't take four issues. This is embarrassing to read.

You remember that story that came between the shifting teams right before Rucka and company came on? The one that said, "Hey, we're going to acknowledge continuity despite Birthright and move forward." By showing a scene of Superman's past history post-crisis? In one double splash, they accomplished Superman's entire life in a concise, beautiful way, and inspired you to root for the hero.

Here, we have ten pages of almost worthless extrapolation to remind us of what even the dumbest Superman fan knows, that Doomsday killed him. To what end? Damned if I know.

4Main Art - 4: Despite the blue people, the action here is well conveyed. Why a splash page is needed to convey the information is beyond me, but the way it's drawn is beautiful. Bad writing, great art.

1Back-Up Story - 1: Okay, so, not only does the first part of this issue reiterate a dilemma that we've already had reiterated multiple times, it actually repeats the exact same plot of the first half of the issue with different characters, but no reason for different character. In fact, you could take any six characters and do this plot, given how subjective Tarot is, something Vandal even points out.

To say nothing of how ridiculous it is that Vandal Savage explains his plot to Hawkman. Maybe in 1985. Now, to have him do that, it's just embarrassing. Horrible writing.

Gangbuster is sent as backup. Essentially, he is a guy with two machine guns and fight training next to HAWKMAN and HAWKGIRL. So in other words, not only is the premise reiterating a dilemma, its execution and motivation is wholly flawed, with the motivation, one would suppose, of showing the human cost of what's going on.

But given that this will all obviously be wiped away by the end of the series as I understand it, given that it's taken place before Final Crisis and there has been no big change to the universe, these humans are proxies for the humans of the main Earth, and mean absolutely nothing. There is absolutely zero emotional investment in this doomed world for me.

I feel no connection to any character in this issue, at all, in any way. That is failed writing.

2Back-Up Art - 2: The art conveys the story, but nothing really stands out as incredibly impressive here. These are very stock versions of the characters, and there is a distinct lack of a real feel to this. It screams, "This is a comic book!" instead of immersing you in the story. Nonetheless, there were no synaptic gaps. The story was conveyed.

3Cover Art - 3: This cover says to me, "Hey, we're all the characters that AREN'T in this book, but wouldn't it be cool if we were? C'mon, kid! Buy me!"

I picture being eight (no-doubt the target demographic here) and going, "Whee!" then opening it up and crying. I'd punch my dad in the face if he bought me this comic and I were a kid. And I LIKE my dad.

At any rate, I look at this, and I say "Fanwank!" Let's put all of the characters people think are cool on one page, and make it look as awesome as we can while maintaining a lack of coherence. Look! Joker's holding a card! Wow! Zoom's running! Martian Manhunter's fighting Solomon Grundy... or something! And Batman's... BROODING!

Is it drawn well? Yes. But that doesn't change its aim, which seems to be, "Hey, you're gonna buy this because you're a DC Zombie! Pay up, sucker!" as opposed to, "How best can we symbolically and enticingly represent the story at hand without exploiting the reader?"

Jeffrey's Review:

1Main Story - 1: ...and now that we've retold the story of Jason Todd, and "Sacrifice", we'll retell the story of Superman's death at the hands of Doomsday.

Because those stories are famous! And that means "Trinity" will be famous and wonderful and loved, right?


Hello? Anyone out there?

2Main Art - 2: I don't care about blue people (I thought they were purple before), nor do I care for "Kellel's" reimagined costume. But perhaps the worst oversight here is that Donna Troy now, somehow....


Even if you buy them all suddenly remembering things from a reality that never existed to them, how would a material item from a world that doesn't exist suddenly appear in her hands?

It's like they're not even trying anymore.

1Back-Up Story - 1: Hey, you know what? Let's recap stuff that only happened a few issues ago! And talk about what we're doing while you can see us doing it right there in the art!


3Back-Up Art - 3: Still don't care. Hawkman. Gangbuster. Charity. Tarot cards. So what?

2Cover Art - 2: And Batman is here because...?

It sells books! SHHH! Never mind the issue is about SUPERMAN, where a ghostly image of him looking over the battle might make at least the smallest smidgen of sense. NAAAH. He shared a cover with Diana and Batman's boot! Time to put Batman back on the cover again!

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2009

February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009

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